Loyola University Administration Responds to Graduate Assistant Petition of November 8, 2019

November 12, 2019

Mr. Alec Stubbs

Dear Alec, et. al.,

I want to say thank you to Loyola's 280 graduate assistants for your contributions to our campus community. In addition to furthering your own education you play important roles as mentors, teachers and leaders and help maintain a campus culture dedicated to scholarship, teaching and fellowship. While our points of view diverge on the appropriate relationship between graduate assistants and the university, we respect our graduate assistants and believe it is incumbent upon us to provide a socially just academic environment for them by listening and working together to create a rewarding teaching and research environment.

Consistent with Loyola's Jesuit, Catholic mission, which includes the principle of service to others, our graduate assistant programs provide students with mentorship and experience to help them thrive academically and eventually become leading researchers and scholars in their own right. Like most in the higher education community, Loyola believes that our graduate assistants are fundamentally students—not employees.

Our graduate assistants are recruited and admitted to Loyola as students, based on their academic qualifications. They are awarded scholarships, stipends, and other awards to encourage them to study with us. The mentored teaching and research/scholarship activities they perform are part of their integrated learning experiences and help demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter. When graduate assistants leave, they receive academic degrees. They are students in every sense of the word.

We are proud of our current package of financial aid, services, and learning development resources for graduate assistants and know that it is competitive across other comparable Jesuit and Chicago-area universities' graduate programs. Graduate assistants' financial aid packages (scholarship, stipend, and student health insurance) are valued at around $50,000 per year, which includes scholarships, stipends, and student health and dental insurance. More information is available at luc.edu/loyolaforyou.

Loyola is committed to providing its students all the support they need and deserve during their educational experience. We continue to be open to hearing your concerns and remain committed to evaluating on an ongoing basis the support that the university provides graduate assistants.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Regan, S.J., PhD
Dean
The Graduate School