Petition to restore Purdue graduate student funding
February 24th, 2016
Dear Provost Dutta:
Although at first glance, the proposed changes to the teaching assistantships in the College of Liberal Arts look like improvements, we graduate students in the School of Languages and Cultures have some serious concerns.
Of course we would welcome more money and a lower teaching assignment, but we are concerned with the future of our programs. In the short term, better conditions are long overdue, but looking ahead, we fear that this reduction in graduate student numbers means that very soon there will no longer be enough students to make up a cohort or offer classes that will fill. This would be to our great long-term detriment.
There is much less prestige in graduating from a defunct program. This would likely seriously hamper our job search. Moreover, if classes are not offered in our target languages, but instead are clumped together and taught in English (as has happened in some universities faced with similar cuts) student proficiency will be lower and our degrees will be worth less.
We disagree that our programs are less valuable than those in the six departments that are receiving increases. Market value is cited as the reason for these decisions, but that appears to be anecdotal. Where are the data proving this assertion?
We would like you to give adequate Graduate Assistantship money to the School of Languages and Cultures so that our degrees will continue to have the high value associated with Purdue.