April 3, 2019
Dear Loyola Community,
The Loyola University Chicago community is full of rich, diverse perspectives. This is what makes our community such an engaging and vibrant place to live, work, and learn. Even when we disagree, we do so with good faith and respect while emphasizing the importance of listening and understanding. We want to take a moment to address an issue in the most direct way possible.
Loyola’s more than 280 graduate assistants in the Graduate School are a vital part of the University. The students they mentor and the faculty with whom they collaborate are all better for their contributions. The role of a Loyola graduate assistant not only helps create a campus culture rich in scholarship, research, teaching, and mentorship, but it also enables each to gain valuable experience that future employers will find attractive.
We recognize that some disagree with our stated position that graduate assistants are students of Loyola, not employees and, therefore, not eligible for union representation. Graduate assistants at Loyola are admitted to a graduate program as students based on their academic profile. They are neither hired nor employed by the University. Our graduate assistant programs provide students with the mentorship and experience to allow them to thrive academically and eventually to become leading researchers and scholars in their own right.
We want you to know that the University hears the concerns expressed by many graduate assistants. We are dedicated to providing graduate assistants with a strong financial, educational, and developmental support package while also honoring our commitment to keep tuition in the Graduate School affordable.
We are proud of our current package for graduate assistants and know that it is competitive across other Jesuit and Chicago-area universities. We have made meaningful improvements in the past several years and are committed to ensuring that our offerings meet the needs of our graduate assistants as much as possible. Students in the Graduate School with full assistantships have access to a package worth up to $49,000 per year. A brief summary of what is offered to our students on the lakeside campuses:
- We award $4 million for graduate assistant stipends each year.
- We award $5 million for scholarships/tuition grants each year.
- 279 students were awarded health and dental insurance this academic year, which translates to an investment of $3,358.28 per student.
- From 2017-19, we granted 232 travel awards to graduate students to present at conferences, an investment of $90,000.
Across virtually every category of benefits, we have enhanced the level of support at a time when many universities are looking for ways to scale back. We are regularly evaluating the support we provide graduate assistants and making improvements when necessary. A full list of the enhancements we have made to support graduate assistants is available at Loyolaforyou.org.
Looking forward, we acknowledge that every member of our community has an important perspective and we are committed to listening to and sharing about all matters at Loyola University Chicago.
Margaret Faut Callahan, CRNA, PhD, FNAP, FAAN
Interim Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Provost, Health Sciences Division
Fr. Thomas Regan, S.J.
The Graduate School