Strategy 2-A

Develop sustainable funding for doctoral education


Purpose behind creating a Work Group on Doctoral Funding

Doctoral programs at a public research university such as KU are integral to both our teaching and our research missions. Doctoral education factors into our national rankings (US News & World Report, National Research Council, etc.), and affects our standing in the AAU. Attracting top-notch doctoral students to our programs requires that we have excellent faculty and excellent programs, and that we have adequate funding to attract the best doctoral students.

Funding levels for doctoral programs vary considerably across campus, and many programs are underfunded. In addition, possible changes to how we provide general education to our undergraduates may affect doctoral programs due to shifts in GTA-taught or GTA-assisted courses.

Goal 2, Strategy A of Bold Aspirations focuses on developing sustainable funding for doctoral education. A work group with wide faculty representation has been formed to consider a range of different mechanisms for funding doctoral education at KU.

The purpose of this work group is to:

  • determine what the current model(s) for funding doctoral education at KU is or are, and to identify strengths and weaknesses of the current approach;
  • research different models that other institutions employ for funding doctoral programs, focusing in particular on peer and aspirational peer institutions; and
  • propose a funding model or models for doctoral education that would be most successful at KU.

This is not intended to be business as usual. The proposed model(s) should

  • be something that KU can reasonably accomplish;
  • take into account the relationship between graduate student numbers and the ability of programs to mentor students appropriately, reach appropriate target completion and time to degree goals, and place graduates in appropriate positions upon completion; and
  • not be burdened by the current funding model(s).

As the KU Core curriculum is developed, this group will work with the transition committee for the KU core to predict the effect on graduate funding and build a funding model that best responds to the effect of the new KU Core curriculum on GTA assignments.

Follow the progress of the Doctoral Education Work Group through the meeting minutes below.


Doctoral Education Work Group Roster – Faculty

  • Danny Anderson (chair) – College Dean's Office
  • Mary Banwart – Communication Studies
  • Monica Biernat – Psychology
  • Byron Caminero-Santangelo – English
  • Leisha Dehart Davis – Public Affairs & Administration
  • Michael Detamore – Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
  • David Fowle – Geology
  • Laci Gerhart – Graduate Student in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Jim Guthrie – Business
  • Marsha Haufler – College Dean's Office
  • Jim Orr – Molecular Biosciences
  • Chris Petr – Social Welfare
  • Nathan Presnell – Graduate Student in Spanish & Portuguese
  • Robert Rohrschneider – Political Science
  • John Rury – Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
  • Emily Scott – Medicinal Chemistry
  • Leslie Tuttle – History

Doctoral Education Work Group Roster – Staff Support

  • John Augusto – Graduate Studies
  • Heather Eastlund – Provost's Office
  • Sandra Hannon – Office of Institutional Research & Planning
  • Jenny Mehmedovic – Change Facilitator
  • Kathy Pryor – Change Facilitator
Bold Aspirations

Bold Aspirations is the strategic plan for KU, comprising individual plans for the following:

Policy Library Search

Visit the Policy Office for more information.

This past week, new Jayhawks moved in and started their first semester at KU. Madisen Pool, a freshman in computer engineering, captured one of his first sunrises on the Hill. With a fresh start, and a feeling of accomplishment for starting college, Pool thought this view was a great reminder to enjoy life. We asked Pool what his advice would be to his fellow new Jayhawks and he said, "make your time here at the university memorable. Have fun, do something you’ve always wanted to do, meet new people, and most importantly get the most out of your experience and shape your life the way you want it to be. Rock Chalk!" We couldn't agree more. Rock Chalk, Madisen! Show us your new experiences with the hashtag, #exploreKU.

KU student tricks monkey flower into growing protective ‘hair’ Thanks to a KU Undergraduate Research Award (see more at http://ugresearch.ku.edu/student/fund/ugra), Sukhindervir Sandhu, a KU junior in biochemistry, figured out which genetic button to push to get a monkey flower, or Mimulus guttatus, to grow protective trichomes, or plant hair. Sandhu was able to track it down to a gene called SKP-1. By silencing SKP-1, he discovered that gene regulates plant hair growth in monkey flowers.


Green Office

Why KU
  • One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • 26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
  • 1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • 46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
    —ALA
  • $260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
  • 23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times