Committee on Graduate Education


Please Fill out the Survey from the students on the Committee on Graduate Education

The Committee on Graduate Education launched a comprehensive survey this week to assess the issues facing graduate students. As students on the committee, we are eager to incorporate the broad range of experiences and perspectives of the UChicago graduate community, so please take time to follow the link in the email sent out Tuesday and fill out your survey! It’s important for graduate student voices to be heard, and this is an excellent way to voice your comments, compliments, and concerns.

The Survey Lab is collecting the survey data on behalf of the Committee, and your responses will remain confidential. We will not associate your answers with you individually, and all of our reporting will be done in the aggregate. Reviewing the data this way will help us understand where there are things that are working well and where we have work to improve. The student members on the committee will be meeting throughout the summer, so please feel free to contact us with any ideas or questions concerning graduate education!

Our own @anon49885067 is on the committee along with other GC representatives.

Survey results are out: Committee on Graduate Education – UChicagoGRAD | The University of Chicago

PDF: UChicago-Graduate-Student-Survey-2018-Summary.pdf (818.6 KB)

Just pasting here the minutes from the discussion with the Committee on Graduate Education in the last GC meeting:

  1. Community on Graduate education

    a. Jordan Johansen - Co-Chair on committee of graduate education

    i. Committee has met about 50 times in the past few months to draft this report
    ii. We have two town hall events coming up

    1. Nov 13th 2-3pm
    2. Nov 14th 4-6pm
    3. Both in UChicago Grad office

    b. David Nirenberg: This committee is actually 17 strong, and we were charged in the spring by the provost to do a thorough assessment of graduate education in every aspect: a huge charge, so we broke it into four arches of inquiry (academics, student life and campus climate, administrative/financial aspects of graduate education, and the constantly evolving role of graduate education in not only this university, but all universities). To address those areas, we’ve gathered mounds of data (from Registrar, non-private information on health, rent changing in Hyde Park, etc. etc. On every single area, we’ve gathered as much data as the university can possibly produce). We’ve looked at pay, and compared stipends across departments/faculties. Surveys were just a small part about this year-long data hunt, but the Grad Student Survey is the only thing we’ll be talking about today. 40% of doctoral population, and ~25% of non-doctoral program, responded. We’ve published results online, but we’re going to break down results by faculty now

    i. Student experience:

    1. More than a quarter of students are not satisfied with student life experience
    2. Greatest issue is student life experience

    ii. University resources

    1. Everyone loves the library, with only a few exceptions
    2. Workspace is a major issue (compared with the library)

    iii. Professionalization

    1. Generally students have greater receptivity in the way that they are developed as scholars than how they are prepared for their careers

    iv. Faculty members’ disengagement

    1. Students feel that timely written/verbal feedback on work and career advice from faculty is lacking

    v. Housing/safety

    1. Students are satisfied with housing
    2. Not satisfied with safety

    vi. University Support

    1. Students are not happy with the lack of dental and vision insurance and that is must be paid for separately
    2. Underrepresented students are being underserved by resources
    3. Among dissatisfied students, international students are feeling worse-treated than the general pool

    vii. Chicago Center for Teaching has been excellent, but there’s room for improvement in terms of training how to teach within the departments

    viii. Personal health/financial issues are a big obstacle, more so in different degree programs than others (PhD candidates struggle less than non-PhDs)

    ix. AND, a more detailed breakdown and analysis is underway

    c. Thoughts/questions?

    i. Next steps after data is assembled/analyzed?

    1. End product of the committee will be a comprehensive report that pulls together info from all different data sets, and we won’t be giving prescriptive advice, but we will have a rigorous evaluation of issues at hand
    2. Lots of these issues are on a divisional/departmental level, so even if it’s not under our purview necessarily, we can point out individual problems and maybe offer some suggestions

    ii. When you analyze the differences between Masters and PhD programs, you’ll see more differences?

    1. Yes, and we have seen some of this, and lots of these things have been good case studies
    2. We have a “dashboard” (data set) for every program, and we can say “in this program, students are taking __ long to finish, only % are finishing, they’re leaving with $_ in debt,” etc.
    3. We’re comparing ourselves to ourselves: Other universities don’t publish this important information

    iii. Timeline?

    1. We’ve been drafting for about three weeks, and have made a lot of progress, but our deadline is ~Jan 11, but we may need an extension
    2. Faculty survey closes today, and that data will take a while to analyze\\

    iv. Is there a main focus of the faculty survey?

    1. So faculty survey is mostly focused on faculty perceptions of graduate education, for example we want to know how faculty think about all the facets of student life that they have control over.

    v. Kartik: I went through the survey and there were lots of questions with text-based answers, are we going to see any analysis for them…?

    1. We have a plan to analyze them in aggregate. For anonymity reasons, we don’t get the raw data ourselves, we get it from the survey lab, and we’re working with them to generate aggregate data
    2. Some departments are so small, that if you were to divide by gender, year, and department, it’s no longer anonymous
    3. Text responses, though, are really important and helpful, and often give us specific and important intelligence

    vi. Email us with any information you want to share, or questions you have~

Faculty survey results are out as well: Committee on Graduate Education – UChicagoGRAD | The University of Chicago

PDF: Faculty-Survey-2018-.pdf (206.6 KB)

And the final report is also out now: Committee on Graduate Education – UChicagoGRAD | The University of Chicago

PDF (without appendices): CoGE-Report-no-appendices.pdf (2.0 MB)