Cammy Abernathy, the dean of engineering, held a town hall meeting on March 12 during which she welcomed discussion from the engineering faculty in regard to budget cuts requested from the provost’s office.
One of the options proposed and briefly discussed was cutting the budget for graduate assistants across the entire college.
Every graduate assistant, faculty member and undergraduate student should strongly voice disagreement with this idea.
Whenever budget cuts start at the bottom, there is a problem. It does not make sense to cut graduate assistants’ pay. These employees already work more hours than they are paid for and they generate prestige and recognition for their departments, colleges and the university as a whole.
Graduate assistants in engineering already work more than 40 hours a week. Many of these graduate assistants are international students and therefore cannot take out most loans, get another job or move expenses to a credit card. Their workloads will remain the same, but their pay will decrease.
We need questions answered.
How will decreasing graduate assistants’ pay in one of the most celebrated colleges on campus attract better caliber students to UF in the future?
How does this speak to President Machen’s goal of improving graduate programs at UF?
Looking at graduate assistants and viewing them as a “cost” is always inappropriate.
What will be the “value added” back to the College of Engineering by hacking away at its entire graduate assistant population?
Graduate Assistants United