Graduate student's loosing Assistantships.

Doug Stemke dstemke at umabnet.ab.umd.edu
Fri Jul 26 16:17:48 EST 1996

Hello.  I am a postdoc doing my third term as a postdoc.  That is not what
I'm writing to this news group about, however.  In my trips through
various Universities I've seen a nasty tendency to cut support off for
students.  In some cases it was because the student, while making
progress, couldn't get that 'perfect gel' or ran into some other difficulty
in the project.  The other problems are related to cash-flow in the lab
where the student comes up high and dry.  In two cases while I was in
Baltimore I saw students expected to continue their research even though
they were without pay for as long as a year.

I know that in Canada (U. Alberta and Dahauser (spelling?) U. in Nova
Scotia) there are special committees set up to watch out for the student's
interests.  This often included faculty from outside the University to
independently judge the student's progress and watch out for their
interests.  If I ever leave this postdoc cycle, I would like to see the
student's interests better watched out for.  I was wondering how other
Universities handle these problems (prof. funds run out; slower than
expected progress; etc).  I also realize that there are poor students out
there that need to be weeded out.  But the cases I've seen do not reflect
lazy or incapable students, rather ones where circumstances are beyond
their control.

Any reasonable discussion would be appreciated.

Douglas Stemke

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