October 2004

Projected Growth of PhD students/College Plans
At the September 29th Workshop, the business plan for increasing PhD enrollment by 900 by 2010 was presented and requests for proposals (RFP) for funding new assistantships for PhD students and funding of innovative recruitment strategies were announced. Please see the powerpoint presentation used during the session. To summarize the workshop and the contents of the powerpoint:

  1. In order to reach our goal, each college was asked to articulate their contributions to the growth. The College Plans are due November 1.
  2. The goal for Fall ’05 is 100 new PhDs, 51 to be funded from sponsored research or private funds/endowments, and 49 to be funded from E&G sources.
  3. The Provost has provided funding for 49 additional PhD students for Fall ’05. The program is called PhD 2010 Assistantships. Requests for these assistantships (2005-2010) are to be included in the college plans.
  4. Colleges will be notified about the disposition of their requests in mid-November so that departments can incorporate these into their strategic recruitment plans for Fall ’05, Fall ’06 & Fall ’07.
  5. I also announced the Graduate Dean’s Assistantship program (approximately 20 assistantships) for innovative, or interdisciplinary efforts. These can be requested directly to me by November 1.
  6. There’s also some funding to support innovative recruiting efforts and departments can send their requests for recruitment funds to me by Nov 1.

Cunningham Doctoral Scholars Program
Last year we officially changed the Cunningham Fellows program to the Cunningham Doctoral Scholars Program. I encourage you to use these for recruitment of top doctoral students

Health Insurance for graduate assistants
Health insurance is a critical issue for the recruitment and retention of graduate students. For Fall 2005, the university has made a commitment to fund a substantial portion of the premium for graduate students on assistantship. The exact amount and percentage will be confirmed shortly. Current and incoming graduate students will be provided with health insurance coverage as part of their offer of assistantship (GA, GTA, GRA). Details will be forthcoming.

ETD Workshop
We have now developed an ETD online workshop. Please share with your department and post. Thanks.

I’m pleased to announce our newest publication – Graduate School eNewsletter that will be published quarterly. The Monthly Memo from the Graduate Dean will continue to provide monthly updates and announcements while the eNewsletter will focus on people, programs & events and will highlight accomplishments of graduate students.

Deadlines for International Students
The Spring 2005 deadline to accept international students residing outside the United States is November 1. International students are expected to arrive in Blacksburg no later than January 13 and participate in the mandatory international student orientation on January 14, 2005. Departments may request an exception for specific individuals by contacting the immigration advisors (Zelma Harris or Ruth Athanson) in the Graduate School. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis after evaluating the applicant’s chances of getting the immigration paperwork and visa in time to arrive by January 13.

Next Monthly Memo:

Institutional Plan for Graduate Degrees (IPGD) – Call for Proposals
Relocation of the Graduate School
Health Insurance premium
CGS&P activities