Biology and Marine Biology

(Axel Boer) #1

Suggestion 5: Increase MS graduate student stipends and re-visit the “two class” system of financial
support for Master’s and Ph.D. students.

This recommendation continues to be a primary concern of our program. Since the last review, M.S.
Teaching Assistant (TA) stipends have increased from $9,500 to $11,000/academic year. Stipends for
Ph.D. students are $19,000/academic year. The Department recognizes that the disparity between M.S.
and Ph.D. stipends is substantial. Our goal has been, and continues to be, to close this gap by raising
stipends for M.S. students.

Suggestion 6: Lines for additional TAs and RAs are needed.

One new M.S. TA line has been awarded to the Department since 200 7 and there are no lines for research
assistants (RAs). In our Department graduate students working as RAs are typically paid using funds from
externally funded grant proposals or other contracts.

Suggestion 7: Require health insurance for, and provide full tuition remissions for, all in- and out-of-state
students (M.S. and Ph.D.).

The requirement for health insurance is now a law mandated by the State of North Carolina.

The Graduate School has made efforts to make more remissions available to our out-of-state students;
however, no new remissions have been acquired by the Department since 200 7. This, along with TA
availability, limits our total enrollment. We use all of our tuition remissions to cover out-of-state tuition
for our M.S. and Ph.D. students, and we use essentially all of our tuition scholarship money to cover in-
state tuition for our Ph.D. students. However, we have no funds to cover in-state tuition for M.S. students
and this, along with the low stipend levels, makes our master’s graduate programs a financial strain for
most of our students.

Suggestion 8: Add new faculty to relieve overall workloads and increase the breadth of the program.

The Department has received no new faculty lines: therefore, faculty workload remains a principal
concern. We have hired 1 2 new tenure-track faculty members whose expertise complements and broadens
the Department’s emphases on research and teaching. These include: Drs. Brian Arbogast (Terrestrial
Mammal Conservation), Susanne Brander (Aquatic Toxicology and Endocrinology), Robert Condon
(Biological Oceanography), Joseph Covi (Integrative and Comparative Biology), Patrick Erwin (Microbial
Ecology), Arthur Frampton (Virology), Stephanie Kamel (Marine Evolutionary Ecology), Zachary Long
(Coastal Plant Ecology), Susanna Lopez-Legentil (Marine Molecular Ecology), Darin Pennys (Plant
Evolution and Ecology), Ryan Rhodes (Microbiology), and J. Wilson White (Marine Biology).

Suggestion 9: Create post-doctoral teaching positions to provide faculty teaching relief.

Two such positions have been created. These provide teaching and research support for the Graduate
Coordinator and the Director of the Microscopy facility.

Suggestion 10: Institute a formal requirement that all graduate students have a course-related teaching
experience before graduating.

Nearly all M.S. and Ph.D. students, at one time or another during their program of study, are employed as

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