The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Wednesday, September 5, 2001- 9C
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LSA budget leaves little room for GSIs
LUVt UF IT
By Whitney Elliott
Daily Staff Reporter
June Gin is currently a graduate student
instructor for Cominunication Studies 102 and
a'second-year SN"RE doctoral student.
Although she has been a Comm 102 GSI sev-
eral times and her professor would like to hire
her'again for the fall semester, it is likely she
will not teach another term in this departnient.
Gin and many other GSIs beginning to look
fot jobs for the fall are concerned about the
College of Literature, Science and the Arts'
recent implementation of a so-called "bottom
line budgeting" plan that will give departments
a set amount of money to spend on GSIs for
"The professor who I'm currently working
for is trying to hire me again," Gin said. "The
communications department policy is that Pro-
fessor Travis Dixon cannot hire me again. The
LSA bottom line budgeting doesn't give the.
communications department enough money to
The new budget only gives departments
enough money to hire LSA graduate students
orgr aduate students whose tuition is compara-
ble tb that of an LSA graduate student. Depart-
ments keep whatever money that remains after
they finish hiring GSIs.
University officials are keeping tight-lipped
about the new policy. LSA budgeting depart-
ment officials would not comment on GSI hir-
ing policies for this story.
Darci Dore, graduate program coordinator
for the communication studies department, a
division of LSA, said students have been hired
from outside the department in the past, but
the budget leaves little room for that next year.
"We now have a budget only to provide a
tuition waiver for LSA students or students
whose tuition is lower or equal to the tuition of
an LSA student;" Dore said.
Mark Dilley, coordinator of the Graduate
Employees Organization, said the union is
concerned with the growing number of calls
from GSIs who are not getting jobs. GEO has
filed a grievance with the University's human
resources department about bottom line bud-
"We're getting calls from people saying,
'They're not hiring me because my tuition
costs a little bit more than the regular Rack-
ham graduate student's does,"' Dilley said.
Second-year Law student Harry Mihas has
been told he can no longer continue to teach in
the history of art department.
Six years of experience at ABC and NBC
and his master degree in art history should
qualify him to teach film and video classes
within the communication studies department,
Mihas said, but because he is in the Law
School, he will not be hired.
"It's frustrating that I'm not being looked at
or considered. I know I can offer students
something. As an individual, Pm very quali-
fied. I have experience teaching as a graduate
student instructor," Mihas said.
Mihas said his calls and e-mails to LSA
administrators have not been answered.
"You feel like you're being ignored," he
'NO ONE TOLD US'
Sociology doctoral student Cedric deLeon
said he is experiencing another problem relat-
ed to LSA budgeting. The sociology depart-
ment has decided to only give fellowships to
graduate students who reach candidacy by the
end of their third year, deLeon said. This will
go into effect for current second-year graduate
students and all students after that group.
"They're coming up with a compromise for
third-year students for a half-year fellowship
and a half-year GSI-ship," deLeon said.
But deLeon said third-year students who
were counting on a full fellowship are still
"The people in my year are terrified because
they didn't know this would happen. No one
told us. It just came at us. We're scrambling,"
Gin said when she was hired in previous
years, the departments did not consider what
college she was a student in.
"They were doing tuition-blind hiring back
then. Now the departments in LSA are con-
stricted by this bottom line budgeting," Gin
Gin said departments need to hire graduate
students from schools outside of LSA for
courses like Comm 102.
"This course historically relies on experi-
enced GSIs outside of LSA. Bottom line bud-
geting would break that pattern," she said.
"What would this mean for quality of
instruction? Currently we have three GSIs
working for the class I'm teaching. None of
them are returning. He relies on the veteran
GSIs to train the new GSIs," Gin said.
"So basically, I'm the only one who has
taught this class continuously who is available
to teach this class in the fall," she added. "He'll
have to have four new GSIs and none of them
will have taught this class before."
QUESTIONS OF QUALITY
Mihas said he does not think LSA depart-
ments will hire the best GSIs available at the
University under the new budgeting plan.
"To me, that tells me that you can't hire the
best people out there. You can only hire within
constraints. In big departments they need a lot
of graduate student instructors." Mihas said.
"Students are going to get a GSI that the
department thinks they can jam into the posi-
tion. They're going to get GSIs who don't
know their subject."
Dore said the communication studies
department would not hire someone who is not
qualified to teach and with the new budgeting
plan, she did not expect any trouble in hiring
"I don't anticipate having a shortage of
See GSI, Page 11C
FILE Pt OTO
Provost Nancy Cantor has offered to supplement funds for GSis in the coming academic year,
Provost offers financial aid to
LSA i, 1n order to keep GSsY
By Whitney Elliott
Iu ta m
The Office of the Provost announced yesterday
that it will financially support the College of Litera-
ure, Science and Arts in the hiring of graduate stu-
dent instructors from other University colleges for
the fall 2061 and winter 2002 semesters.
This announcement comes in response to a recent
LSA change in departmental budgets for the 2001-
2002 academic year which would allocate a set
amount of money to each department, a program
known as "bottom line budgeting."
With this budgeting plan, in order to keep the
same pool of GSIs in LSA for the fall 2001 and win-
ter 2002 semesters, funds which are unavailable in
the 2001-2002 budget to pay the GSI tuition waivers
will be supplemented by the Office of the Provost for
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said the
one-year plan for the Office of the Provost to cover
excess tuition wavers will buy the University time to
reach an equilibrium in departmental spending on
GSIs and lecturers so that in the future the University
will be able to continue hiring the same mix of GSIs
that it has in the past.
"They can take the summer to think about what
they're going to do. It's good that they're not just
writing people off, that they're finding solutions,"
said Harry Mihas, a second-year Law student.
The tuition money LSA pays to have GSIs from
other colleges at the University teach in LSA classes
comes out of the LSA section budget, which pro-
vides funds to pay GSIs and lecturers, and goes into
the budget of the school in which the GSI is enrolled.
The money flowing from LSA to other schools
has increased quickly in the past several years, said
Prof. Phil Hanlon, associate dean of LSA planning
In the 1996-1997 academic year, LSA spnt, $.1
million on GSIs from other University colleges. in
the 1999-2000 academic year, LSA spending on
GSIs from other colleges increased by 72.5petaict
to $3.3 million."
"Next year the provost will see what's appropriate
to do at that point to eliminate these increases," Han-
Hanlon said in a written statement that while LSA
is looking at ways to dampen this spending increase,
it is holding to "the University's commitment to
interdisciplinarity and the diversity of persbecite
that comes with having instructors from'5tlibr
schools and colleges."
Hanlon said this agreement is in the interest' f
GSIs and includes the capability to hire the 'highst
"We're just delighted that the provost is will ig to
enter into this agreement," Hanlon said.
In response to this budget 'plan, several G Is'liae
expressed concerns that departments will be tetfrbd
to hire less expensive GSIs and save the moneyfbr
other departmental needs in lieu of the new budgPt-
But Hanlon said the LSA planning and'fiicie
department will closely monitor department biudgets
so funds given to the section budget are only iidd'fbr
"graduate student support."
"There will be no budgetary incentives tg''hite
LSA students over non-LSA students.' The' t ttion
budget is the only part of the budget whertlepa -
ments are not allowed to spend savings on other gn-
eral departmental needs. Any savings in the sedtion
budget must be used for graduate support," Hii6n
"It's of paramount importance to the colle6' 'id
that's one reason that we spend $3.3 million bfause
we want to have the most qualified instructorsn
classroom for our undergraduates," Hanlon said.
.Departments may soon not have the money to pay GSIs like Karen Wang to instruct classes.
LSA will respond to GSIgnevance
Daly Staff Reporter
The College.of Literature, Science
and the Arts administration is expected
to respond soon to the grievance that
the'Graduate Employees Organization
has' filed against the college regarding
the use of tuition in hiring graduate
The GEO, LSA representatives and
University Human Resources held a
rievance hearing - the third step of
the University grievance procedure.
GEO President Cedric deLeon said
the LSA administration "stonewalled
the entire meeting. The administration
has' been fairly forthcoming, but each
time we ask a question about bottom-.
line budgeting, they say they'll
'address that in the written response."'
deLeon said the meeting focused on
a memo sent several weeks ago to all
LSA departments from John Cross, the
former associate dean of LSA, which
told all departments that bottom-line
budgeting would affect the LSA hiring
for the 2001-2002 academic year.
Bottom-line budgeting is a plan to
give LSA departments set amounts of
funds to hire GSls and lecturers. GEO
grievance coordinator Alyssa Picard
said this includes the notion that some
departments will discriminate against
GSIs with higher tuition, such as out-
of-state students, pre-candidate stu-
dents who take classes and GSIs from
Prof. Phil Hanlon, associate dean of
LSA planning and financing, said the
hearing was helpful and clarified
essential points which the GEO and
LSA had disputed.
But deLeon said departments had
taken this internal memo from Cross
seriously and it was followed. "Depart-
ments did fashion their hiring around
bottom-line budgeting," he said.
deLeon said LSA administration has
"back-pedaled" from implementing
the bottom-line budgeting as was stat-
ed the in memo from Cross because of
the reaction from GSIs. "CEO's posi-
tion is that for that period of time when
John Cross's memo was in effect, they
were in violation of the contract
(between GEO and LSA)," he said.
Hanlon also said the grievance hear-
ing clarified the LSA's recent agree-
ment with the Office of the Provost.
"Specifically, the Provost will pro-
vide for any increase in tuition flow to
other schools and colleges over this
year's levels. But there will be no
reduction in GSI funding by LSA next
year," Hanlon said.
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