September 21, 2016

Dear Iman and Kenna,

 

I apologize for the delay in this message. Dean Doyle and I promised you some updates and numbers pertaining to graduate student enrollment and funding problems when we had them. While it took a little longer than we thought to collect the data, we have continued to solve problems and I didn't want you to think we forgot to keep you in the loop!

 

Fellowship Award Entry:

​Our SIS colleagues tell us that since July 29, 11,341 graduate student awards have been entered, which includes 4,756 stipends. I know that number is not terribly meaningful without much ​context but with

​10,844 students enrolled we know that many students have successfully received one or more awards this fall.

​ ​

Here is the award data as of Tuesday, September 20:

  • 94% of the processed awards have been disbursed, paying charges on students accounts and/or providing direct funding to students as determined by the award type.

  • Of the requests for award set-up, only 17 are pending due to invalid or incomplete information from departments

 

​GSI/GSR Fee Remissions:

In addition to data conversion errors, mapping mistakes, and other system-related delays, Campus Shared Services HR (CSS-HR) has reported an especially impacted year resulting in long-delays in hiring and on-boarding. Also, there were a variety of errors and bugs related to LBNL hiring and fee remission payments for UC Berkeley students. Most of these problems have been identified and backlogs have been largely cleared. The leadership for Campus Shared Services, Human Resources, SIS, and Graduate Division continue to discuss ways to increase efficiency and reduce wait times for hiring in the first weeks of the semester.

 

Cancellation for Non-Payment:

Regarding Cancellation for Non-Payment (CNP) for graduate students, as of 4:00pm on September 19, there were​ approximately 300 enrolled students that had not yet paid 20%. This number is dropping daily, but due to multiple delays related to the new SIS, these students will be protected from Cancellation ​

for Non-Payment (CNP) for Fall 2016.

 

Graduate Division staff are contacting each of the GSAOs with students that appear on the unpaid list so that we can surface and resolve all remaining roadblocks to payment of student fees. We expect this process to conclude soon; in the meantime graduate students do not need to worry about being cancelled for non-payment as long as they are enrolled in units and are in communication with their department about their fees.

 

​Add/Drop Self-Service for Grads:

Another detail I wanted you and your GA colleagues to know is that we learned that there was an arbitrary cut-off for graduate add/drop self-service at the end of the third week of the semester​ that was in contrast to the undergrads who have until the end of fifth week to change their own schedules. Based on requests from GSAOs and other graduate advisors, the Office of the Registrar extended students' self-service access to the add/drop system through fifth week for Fall 2016 and future semesters. As always, GSAOs will retain access to their students' schedules and can add/drop for their students until the end of instruction.

 

​Future Registration/CNP timelines for Grads:

We told you and the GA delegates two weeks ago that we believe it is non-productive and disruptive to the entire academic enterprise when enrolled graduate students do not have access to necessary services during the early weeks of the semester while awaiting processing of fee payments from external sources or fee remissions. We want to report that we have presented this concern to campus leadership for discussion and resolution. We don't have specific information to share yet but continue to advocate the position that graduate students have many legitimate needs for services during the weeks that their fee payments may be legitimately delayed. We anticipate some agreement on this matter before the start of the Spring 2017 semester and will keep you informed.

 

If you have any questions, let me know. We will stay in touch on the above and other issues as they arise this academic year. Thank you again for your collaboration in ensuring graduate students' needs are heard and addressed.

 

All best,

Andrea