The resolution below was adopted with overwhelming support by the Doctoral Students’ Council on April 15, 2016

If you would like to add your name as a co-signer of this resolution, please do so in the comments section.


WHEREAS the Doctoral Students’ Council represents all doctoral and masters students at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY); and

WHEREAS the average time to degree of doctoral students is 7.7 years; and

WHEREAS paying tuition increases doctoral time to degree because doctoral students take on more work in order to pay their tuition costs; and

WHEREAS taking on extra work in order to pay tuition hinders students’ ability to participate in professional development activities such as conferences which also will enhance students’ curriculum vitae and job prospects; and

WHEREAS students’ ability to participate in professional development activities such as conferences also enhances the prestige and name recognition of the Graduate Center; and

WHEREAS many Graduate Center doctoral students continue to serve CUNY in their sixth year and beyond as experts in their fields, experienced fellows, and as seasoned adjunct instructors whose experience benefits CUNY undergraduates; and

WHEREAS despite their expertise and experience, doctoral students in their sixth year and beyond who continue to work for the University are essentially subjected to a pay cut for their labor because their salaries are not increasing with experience, because they no longer are covered by a five-year fellowship package, and because they must reinvest the money they earn serving the university and its students into tuition; and

WHEREAS the lack of a new contract for six years has meant stagnant wages for CUNY adjuncts, who are already underpaid, while New York City’s high cost of living continues to rise; and

WHEREAS doctoral students in their sixth year and beyond who are working as experienced CUNY adjuncts receive significantly less money than a doctoral student under a new fellowship package for teaching the same class, while also often providing mentorship and course materials to newer instructors, creating a situation that is economically unjust; therefore

BE IT RESOLVED THAT CUNY Central extend tuition remission beyond the first ten semesters to a total of any 16 semesters for all doctoral students serving the University as rightful compensation for the de facto pay cuts described above and to recognize the investment of labor, energy, and skill that Graduate Center students make into CUNY; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT the Doctoral Students’ Council reaffirms its role in advocating for tuition-free public higher education for all.

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