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Roundup

May 17, 2017

Commencement!
The Graduate School will hold a Convocation on Sunday, May 21, in the Hall of Graduate Studies Courtyard at 2 p.m. The ceremony, presided over by Dean Lynn Cooley, features the awarding of prizes to students and faculty mentors. University Commencement takes place on Monday, May 22, at 10:30 a.m. on Old Campus, followed by the awarding of diplomas in Woolsey Hall and, for students receiving master's degrees from the Jackson Institute, in Horchow Hall.

Admissions Tallies
A total of 10,733 people applied to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for admission next fall — 5% more than last year. Out of this year’s applicant pool, 640 new students are expected to matriculate in late August. There were 8,699 applicants to PhD programs, and 470 are planning to matriculate; of the 2,034 applicants to master’s degree programs, 172 are planning to enroll. The overall admission rate was 14% of applicants.

New Home for the McDougal Center
The McDougal Graduate Student Center is moving to the top floor of 135 Prospect Street this summer, in advance of the closing of HGS for renovations. The new location will have a lounge, offices for Student Life, Diversity Fellows, the GSA, a Career Strategy (OCS) satellite office, and a program room. The courtyard and terraces will provide outdoor space for relaxation, receptions, and parties. The new facility will be a temporary home for the McDougal Center until a permanent location is available in three to five years elsewhere on campus.  Photo by Tony Rinaldo

New Housing for Graduate Students
A new residential facility for graduate and professional students is nearing completion. The complex, at 272 Elm Street, will open at the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year and will accommodate 82 residents in modern, suite-style units with kitchens. The Hall of Graduate Studies dormitory tower will close in June 2017. Originally built in the 1930s, it will be renovated and repurposed into faculty and departmental offices.

Unionization update
In February, a small number of graduate student teaching fellows voted on whether or not to join Local 33 of UNITE HERE. Only about 10% of the 2,600 doctoral students in the Graduate School were permitted to vote because of the way the elections were organized into nine separate departmental micro-units.

Following the election, Yale challenged the eligibility of the ballots cast by professional school students and master’s degree students, and Local 33 conceded those ballots should not be counted, leaving only 228 valid votes. One micro-unit voted not to join the union; six micro-units were certified by the National Labor Relations Board following the elections, and two were not certified because the vote was too close to call.

Yale’s request for review of Local 33’s questionable micro-unit strategy is still pending before the NLRB in Washington, D.C. That strategy is unprecedented in higher education. Unions at other private universities, including Columbia, Harvard, Duke and Cornell, have all sought school-wide bargaining units. The regional director’s determination that Yale’s teaching fellows are employees is also in dispute.

Among first-tier research universities, Yale provides unsurpassed support to Ph.D. students. The doctoral students at Yale receive annual stipends of $30,000 or more, and a tuition fellowship or other grants fully cover the annual tuition of $39,800. The students also receive free health coverage for themselves; if married their spouse is covered at 50 percent, and if there are eligible children, the whole family is covered. Over six years, the total cost of support equals nearly $375,000 for a single Ph.D. student. For a student with a family, the support totals more than $445,000.  Over the course of six years, doctoral students also gain valuable teaching experience as part of their training, by devoting no more than a sixth of their time to teaching, and in many cases far less.

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