BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Acting on recommendations from the Task Force on Graduate Education, which reflected input from faculty and graduate students, Indiana University President Pamela Whitten and IU Bloomington Provost Rahul Shrivastav have announced that IU Bloomington will enact significant improvements in minimum stipend pay and relief from mandatory fees for its student academic appointees, graduate students who hold part-time teaching or research appointments.
In a joint memo sent to the IU Bloomington campus, Whitten and Shrivastav said the minimum SAA stipends will increase to $22,000, effective retroactively to July 1, 2022. While many SAAs already earn more than $22,000, this increase will help ensure that all graduate education programs at IU Bloomington remain competitive in recruiting students. In fact, with this pay increase, IU Bloomington moves from the bottom of Big Ten universities in average graduate stipends to the top half.
IU Bloomington will also cover the mandatory graduate student fees of $1,435 currently paid by all SAAs, in addition to covering course-specific fees for SAAs in programs that charge them. This action regarding minimum stipends meets and exceeds the targets identified by the task force and represents a 46% increase over the minimum SAA stipend of $15,000 offered at the beginning of the fall 2021 semester.
Whitten and Shrivastav also announced that they will charge the dean of the IU Bloomington Graduate School with benchmarking stipends through validated data analyses to ensure that IU Bloomington minimum stipends and discipline-specific stipend rates remain in the top half of the Big Ten.
“The initiatives announced today address concerns and challenges that were first identified specifically by our graduate students and faculty. They also reflect the principles of collaboration, co-creation and equity that shaped the charge to the task force,” Whitten and Shrivastav wrote.
“We are unwavering in our commitment to ensure our actions reflect the dignity and value we place on our graduate students,” added Whitten and Shrivastav, who also expressed their anticipation for additional announcements and action in response to future recommendations from the task force.
Both the actions announced and the work of the task force have been informed by a variety of student organization leaders who met over the summer with task force Co-Chair David Daleke and outgoing University Graduate School Dean James Wimbush.
The Task Force on Graduate Education will continue to consider a variety of topics related to graduate education at IU Bloomington, including health and wellness; curriculum and academics; housing; professional and career development; and diversity, equity and inclusion. The task force working group on financial support will continue its work as well.
A final report from the task force, reflecting contributions from all of its working groups, will be published no later than June 30, 2023.