Come have a drink with SUGS on Friday March 6 at 5pm in the GCB! Bring your cohort-mates, or meet new friends, and celebrate our hard-won dental care! You can talk about ongoing issues, find out more about the work SUGS does, or just relax with fellow grads. The first 5 pitchers are on us! Cheers!
(Sent to graduate community February 27th, 2015)
Dear Brown Graduate Students,
I write to update you on the University’s approved budget for the Graduate School in 2015-2016. Given the current budget deficit, the University Resources Committee (URC) had very little ability to fund additional costs. However, we recognized that the Graduate School is a priority and made every effort to meet the most critical needs of the doctoral students. Dean Weber’s highest priority was to provide financial security for students engaged in advanced graduate study. As a result, the URC approved a $2.2 million increase to the doctoral student support, and I estimate another $500,000 in matching funds will come from departments for the dissertation completion program. The central University contribution alone represents a 9% increase in overall doctoral student support.
I know that many of you have concerns about dental insurance coverage. This expense, estimated at $400,000 annually for doctoral students across the University, was the highest unfunded priority item for the Graduate School after the URC process. Though dental insurance has been available to graduate students who wished to pay for it, greater access to it is a funding issue I have been working on since September. President Paxson and I have decided to use discretionary funds to support dental insurance for doctoral students in the next academic year. My intent is to include this expense in the University’s operating budget through the URC process for the 2016-17 academic year. I am pleased to report that paid dental insurance will be available to doctoral students who are eligible for paid health insurance beginning September 1, 2015.
Brown has ambitious plans for the Graduate School, and many of the goals have been shaped by conversations with graduate student groups. We want to be as responsive as possible to the needs of graduate students and are very interested in hearing from more of you. Dean Weber is a steadfast advocate for Brown graduate students and he and I plan to continue to engage with graduate students and groups throughout the semester. I recognize that the role of graduate students is central to Brown’s mission and I look forward to collaborating with you on many important issues in the coming years.