TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, March 24, 2004
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TCU wants to increase grad funds
A committee and consulting firm will help TCU to expand and improve its graduate studies.

By Lori Russell
Staff Reporter

The university is working to increase funding for its graduate programs and to recruit better graduate students, Chancellor Victor Boschini said.

There are many factors involved when determining how graduate studies will expand, Boschini said. Graduate programs are more cost-intensive, and the resources per capita are much greater in graduate programs than in undergraduate programs.

Specific goals and target dates for the enhancement of the graduate programs will follow reports from the Vision in Action committee, which will be available in April, Boschini said.

The committee, led by Leo Munson and Nowell Donovan, is working with the support of Kaludis and Associates, a private consulting firm in Washington D.C., on the university’s strategic planning process, said William Koehler, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

The process involves several small study groups at TCU that act as support committees, offering information and proposals based on their specific areas of expertise, Koehler said.

The Vision in Action committee is addressing what the goals of graduate education are at TCU; the best ratio of undergraduate to graduate students; and the ideal mix between traditional graduate programs and nontraditional graduate programs, such as part-time, night and online programs, Koehler said.

The reports from this commission are meant to guide fund-raising campaigns and help to set goals and agendas, Koehler said. These results will be available to the entire TCU community in fall 2004.

“Graduate programs are a vital part of our university because they contribute to our undergraduate program as well,” Boschini said. “Graduate students give undergraduates aspiration. They also stimulate ideas for research and invigorate faculty.”

Bill McClain, a graduate biology student, agrees that the graduate programs need more funding.

“I receive a ‘living stipend’ from the school for teaching the freshman biology lab,” McClain said. “The ‘living stipend’ hardly covers my living expenses when three paychecks - six weeks of work - are needed to cover books and fees.”

Koehler said that the amount of living stipends varies depending on the field of study and the job held by students and increasing stipends is always a major concern in universities.

“We are working on a plan that would provide the opportunity to increase those stipends annually,” Koehler said.
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