Duke’s Graduate School announced a series of actions to combat rising living costs for Ph.D. students on Wednesday. These changes come amid continuing demands from Duke’s Graduate Students Union for greater financial support from the University.
Active Ph.D. students will receive a one-time payment of $1,000 by October, “doubling the [$500] originally announced in June,” according to the announcement sent by Provost Sally Kornbluth, Suzanne Barbour, dean of the Graduate School, and Executive Vice President Daniel Ennis. Supported by “funds from the Provost’s Office,” the payment will increase this academic year’s stipend by 5% to $34,660.00.
The Graduate School also announced that full-year stipends for Ph.D. students for the 2023-2024 academic year will increase by 11.4% from $34,660.00 to $38,600.00.
“These actions are directly informed by the report and recommendations developed by a task force of representatives from The Graduate School, the GPSG and the schools that house Ph.D. programs,” the message read.
Changes to the stipend will be supported by resources from the “schools that house Ph.D. programs and The Graduate School.” The Graduate School will also provide a one-time $800,000.00 from its reserve funds for “support through hardship assistance, additional academic-year dissertation travel awards and professional development resources.” More information on how graduate students may access these funds will be available in “1-2 weeks.”
Following an Aug. 10 message allowing for monthly payroll deductions for parking, the Graduate School announced Wednesday that in spring 2023, the University would standardize and reduce graduate and professional students’ parking rates to those of undergraduates.
“This means that graduate and professional students will save 23.5% if they park in PG3 or 12.5% if they park in the Science Drive Garage or the Graduate Center Lot,” the email read.
On Sept. 19, the University will also extend “night permit” parking access to the Circuit, Chemistry, GC and H parking lots to begin at 4 p.m. in order to provide students with “more flexibility to park closer to the buildings where their training takes place.”
The University is also “in the process of master leasing” 84 more beds in Lancaster Commons, in addition to the 250 beds already provided, and added that it will explore developing dining plans to help graduate students manage food expenses.
The message concluded with a promise to expand the University’s “fruitful collaboration” with the Graduate and Professional Student Government. The University will review stipend levels annually with the GPSG, the Graduate School and schools housing Ph.D. programs, as well as conduct “annual engagement” with the GPSG to review parking and transit programs for upcoming years.
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Audrey Wang is a Trinity junior and editor-in-chief of The Chronicle's 119th volume.