Like most of the Graduate Center community, the PSC-GC Executive Committee was surprised by recent news of plans to severely cut 2021-22 admissions: Graduate Center Fellows by 50% in each department; tuition-only fellows completely. We have received numerous calls and emails from faculty in our union stunned by this decision and concerned about the immediate and long-term impact to Graduate Center programs. We know very little about how and why the decision was made, and we are eager to learn more.
We have also heard, however without confirmation, that funds may be reallocated to support current Graduate Center students. As we have emphasized on many occasions, such support is long overdue. Many graduate student workers have had their research and their livelihoods affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. These students would benefit from financial support and additional funding from the university, along with the benefits that come with it, particularly the provision of health insurance to all doctoral students. However, we’re hearing this news without any assurances and that’s unacceptable.
We do know that the Graduate Center is the recipient of millions of dollars in federal stimulus aid from both the original CARES Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, its successor legislation passed in early January. The Graduate Center administration can and should find equitable resolutions that do not fall into an austerity framework, proactively pressing for the release of federal stimulus funding, and joining with our union and coalition partners to advocate for sizable increases in state and municipal funding.
The lack of transparency and inclusion has left us still seeking answers to many crucial questions. As a cross-title union of staff, student workers, and faculty, we have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in bringing the full diversity of our members together to discuss and establish next steps. Please join us for an open forum on Thursday, February 4, at 2pm. Register here
Sponsored by The Professional Staff Congress (PSC) – the union that represents 30,000 faculty and staff at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the CUNY Research Foundation.