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Mark Southern (Germanic studies), on behalf of the Research Policy Committee, has filed the motion below regarding tuition remission for graduate research assistants.

The secretary has classified this motion as general legislation. The recommendation will be presented to the Faculty Council for action at its meeting on March 19, 2001.


John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council

This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council web site ( on March 12, 2001. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.




Regarding tuition remission for graduate research assistants [(RAs)] GRAs,1 the Research Policy Committee (RPC) moves and recommends the following:

 The University shall adopt a policy requiring that tuition remission be included in grant applications on grant proposals that employ students as research assistants, unless tuition remission is not allowed by the granting agency.1

 If tuition remission is not written into an application, and if the granting agency does allow tuition remission, a written justification signed by the applicant's dean must be provided by the principal investigator to Office of Sponsored Projects.


1. It Works. This policy has already been implemented successfully in the UT College of Engineering.

2. Increased Awareness. According to information gathered by Graduate Student Assembly representatives from every UT department: (1) the most frequent reason why an [RA] GRA1 is not receiving tuition remission is that the research grant's principal investigator did not realize that tuition remission could be included in a grant; (2) the second most frequent reason is that the [RA]GRA1 is afraid to ask the principal investigator for tuition remission. Adoption of this motion would remove both of these problems.

3. Equity. About 1400 [RA] GRA1 graduate students currently receive tuition remission from contracts and grants (about 70%); about 600 more are without tuition remission (about 30%). The majority of principal investigators heading up research grants already do write tuition remission into grant applications. Correcting this clear imbalance, whereby a sizable minority of 600 working [(RAs)] GRAs,1 are left without a tuition waiver, is clearly the right thing to do.

4. Competitiveness. As things stand, UT is demonstrably at a disadvantage, and losing competitiveness, in the absence of such a tuition remission policy.

5. Recruitment. Conversely, once this policy is in place, it would provide a powerful and attractive benefit for being part of UT's research community.

6. Pragmatism. Recruitment of the best graduate students is a priority issue for the University, for the graduate school, and for many faculty members whose research depends on graduate student [(RAs)] GRAs,1. Graduate student [(RAs')] GRAs',1 needs must be adequately addressed. Tuition remission in grant proposals is an issue on which we can become fully competitive, largely at the expense of the agencies and foundations that make grants. Proposals that do not ask for tuition remission are often leaving money on the table.

7. Industry standard. A similar policy on tuition remission in grant applications is common practice at the majority of U.S. universities comparable to UT.

1 Amended by the Faculty Council on April 16, 2001.