A University of Missouri at Columbia task force is recommending better pay for graduate assistants, increased access to housing and child care for graduate students, and more shared governance, along with other improvements, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported. The news follows months of turmoil on campus over climate concerns and the news in August that the university was eliminating health insurance subsidies for graduate students because they did not comply with the Affordable Care Act. The health care changes were soon suspended, and a task force on graduate students' concerns picked up the issue.
The task force, formed by Leona Rubin, associate vice chancellor for graduate studies at the request of Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin (who has since resigned), looked at three things: quality-of-life issues for graduate students, nonacademic resources and academic experiences. Its newly issued report recommends the university increase minimum stipends for graduate students with 20-hour appointments to $18,000 annually by 2020, whereas some students currently make as little as $14,000, according to the Tribune.
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