Dean's Corner

August 11, 2020

Dear University of Oregon graduate students,

In advance of our next series of town hall meetings, the Graduate School leadership team has reviewed our official statement in support of Black Lives Matter. While the statement is available elsewhere on our website, I wanted to make sure that you had easy access to it through this more personal format as well.

We acknowledge that we have room for improvement and are actively reviewing our current practices, but we also want to hear from you. Let us know what you would like to see change in the Graduate School. You can reach us at any time at gradsch@uoregon.edu.

With all best wishes,

Kate Mondloch

Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School

Graduate School Leadership Statement on Black Lives Matter

We at the UO Graduate School stand in solidarity with the Black community on our campus and beyond. We are outraged and devastated by the routine violence and injustices inflicted upon Black people, as most recently demonstrated in the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. We believe that the enduring legacies of racism and inequality must be addressed. We believe that Black lives matter. Black minds matter. Black scholars matter.

In our role as stewards of graduate education, we believe in creating communities where violence by police is not tolerated; inequity is addressed; and people of all backgrounds, races, religions, and cultures are valued and engaged as equals. We believe that advanced-degree seekers and holders should play critical roles in the creation and sharing of knowledge, and in creating a wiser, more compassionate, and just world.

As an organization, we affirm our commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion at all levels of graduate education. We recognize that we must work together with students, faculty, staff, the campus community, and other stakeholders to translate our good intentions into action. We will continue working with our campus partners to make programs more diverse and accessible, to promote diversity as a principle that supports the learning of all students, to deepen our understanding of inclusive mentoring practices, and to provide inclusive and accessible student support services. #BlackLivesMatter

Graduate School Leadership Team:

Kate Mondloch, Interim Vice Provost and Dean

Andy Karduna, Associate Dean

Jered Nagel, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs

Padma Akkaraju, Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Lisa Howard, Director of Finance and Administration

Hannah Schneider-Lynch, Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment 

 


 

JULY 15, 2020

Dear University of Oregon graduate students,

I hope this message finds you and your families healthy and safe.

I know that the dual scourge of the health pandemic and the insidious systemic racism and anti-blackness in our society are causing significant uncertainty and stress for all graduate students. It also is clear that the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on underrepresented students, further compounding systemic injustices. While I’m relieved to report that the recent ICE guidance banning international students from the U.S. if they take only online courses this fall was canceled by the federal government yesterday, international students nevertheless face ongoing insecurity in light of travel restrictions and other complications. We usually don’t send communications during the summer, but I wanted to check in during these unprecedented and turbulent times to acknowledge that working on these issues are top institutional priorities, to let you know that we in the Graduate School are here to support you however we can, and to share some support resources that I hope may be of use.

During the COVID-19 health crisis, it’s important that we practice physical distancing but not social isolation. With this in mind, the Graduate School has developed an array of online summer programming and activities that are attuned to the unique circumstances facing graduate students. At this moment of urgent racial reckoning, I’m especially excited about our “Justice Readings: Anti-Racist Awareness and Ally Development” forum for graduate students led by Padma Akkaraju, the Graduate School’s director of diversity and inclusion. Below this message, you’ll find comprehensive details and registration information for this and our many other offerings, including professional and personal success advising, writing webinars, well-being and mindfulness sessions, community-building meetings, and more. While we’re disappointed that we can’t gather in person, we’re buoyed by the fact that you can enjoy these online resources and programming from wherever in the world you may be.

I’m also pleased to announce that the Graduate School again will sponsor tuition for up to 50 graduate students to have access to the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) WriteNow writing productivity platform. The WriteNow fall session access dates are August 24 – November 15, 2020. We piloted sponsoring our first cohort this summer as part of our professional development programming and look forward to giving a new group of students this opportunity in fall. Additional program and application details are below. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

As always, and especially as you look toward the new academic year, we encourage you to be in regular contact with your advisors and program directors. Advisors and programs have been encouraged to be flexible, understanding, and creative in working with students on their individual academic plans, while trying as much as possible not to delay student progress. Should you need assistance in working with your program or advisor, please do not hesitate to contact us at adgradschool@uoregon.edu.

Finally, I’ve excerpted below many of the key university resources designed to support you financially, professionally, academically, and personally during the pandemic that I shared with you in June. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at gradsch@uoregon.edu and we’ll do our best to assist.

On behalf of all of us in the Graduate School, we wish you a healthy and restorative summer, and eagerly await the opportunity to work with you in the new academic year. 

Best regards,

Kate Mondloch
Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School 

 

Graduate School Programming – Summer 2020

Justice Readings – Anti-Racist Awareness and Ally Development Forum
Join fellow graduate students to read, contemplate, and discuss contemporary articles to explore how to be an active ally of the black community and people of color. Readings will be provided to the participants. The weekly meetings aim to provide a safe, collaborative, and empowering discussion forum for graduate students.

Registration: Please RSVP.  

For more information, please contact Padma Akkaraju, the Graduate School’s director of diversity and inclusion. 

 

Health, Well-Being, and Happiness Hour
Join our weekly well-being meetings focused on breath work and guided meditation as well as health and wellness resources. Sessions are facilitated by a trained peer mentor. 

Registration: Please RSVP for the sessions you wish to attend. Students will receive the zoom meeting link and password after registration.

For more information, please contact Padma Akkaraju, the Graduate School’s director of diversity and inclusion. 

 

Community-Building Meetings

Our online community-building meetings bring students together to share ideas, questions, and concerns on various topics such as life in general, teaching, and learning online.

Mondays and Thursdays, 4:00–5:00 p.m.

Join the Conversation

 

Professional Success Advising Office Hours

  • Goal setting
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Well-being
  • Teaching and learning

Mondays: 2:00–4:00 p.m. and Tuesdays: 10:00 a.m. –noon

Connect with us

Individual appointments may also be made in advance. For more information, please contact Padma Akkaraju, the Graduate School’s director of diversity and inclusion. 

 

Support for New International Admits and Graduate Students with Families

The Graduate School is piloting a new peer mentoring and outreach support program for newly admitted international students and students with families. New students in those groups are encouraged to reach out to us at gradmentors@uoregon.edu

 

 

Summer Writing Webinars for Graduate Students

Join CoDaC writing consultant Mike Murashige for two webinars focused on improving your writing habits. For more information, please contact Mike Murashige, CoDaC writing consultant. 

What to Do When My Motivational Tricks Stop Working
At various moments in life, we all procrastinate — about cleaning, exercising, paying the bills, grading. But when procrastination begins to intrude on our larger goals, it can become a problem. So, why do we do it? Even when we feel poorly during and afterward? In this short webinar, I’ll be laying out 5 propositions about procrastination and writing resistance as a first step toward dealing with it in your writing life as well as how people manage it in their work lives. In the next webinar, I’ll be describing some of the steps you can take to deal with procrastination.

Tuesday, July 21, 10:00 a.m.

Register in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 

The Mechanics of Procrastination and Resistance
Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve “gone back to the well one (or two) too many times” to get you moving on a course paper, your proposal, the newest dissertation chapter when it comes to getting yourself motivated to write? Most, if not all, writers will, at some point, face the challenge of rethinking their writing process and strategies. In this companion webinar to “The Mechanics of Procrastination and Writing Resistance,” I’ll be giving 5 small lessons about how to reimagine and rework your writing process to create a healthier writing life for yourself.

Wednesday, July 22, 10:00 a.m.

Register in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 

 

Graduate School-Sponsored Fall 2020 Writing Program

The Graduate School will sponsor tuition for up to 50 graduate students to participate in the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) “WriteNow” writing program this fall. This online program provides 12 weeks of access to the WriteNow platform, a timer for writing productivity and goal setting, and a support community of fellow writers. Sponsored enrollment will be based on a first-come, first-served basis.

To Apply:

  1. Activate your free National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) account membership
  2. Submit your application information to the Graduate School before noon on Monday, August 3. 

Note: Please activate your NCFDD membership, but do not register for WriteNow on the NCFDD site—the Graduate School will let you know if you are one of the first 50 students to register and will submit your WriteNow enrollment information to NCFDD and pay the fees on your behalf. Once your NCFDD account is activated, you can find more information about the WriteNow program.

WriteNow Access Dates: August 24 – November 15, 2020

Questions? Contact Tara Kaiser

 

 

COVID-19-Related Support Resources for UO Graduate Students (excerpted from June 1 message)

 

Financial Hardship Resources

If you are experiencing financial hardship, one or more of the resources below may be of use, depending on your specific situation:

CARES Act Grants – UO graduate students who are eligible to submit a FAFSA in AY 2019-20 can receive CARES Act grants to cover expenses that are a result of disruptions to campus operations caused by the coronavirus. Funds can be issued directly to students to address COVID impacts. Please review the application details.

Students in Crisis Fund – Offered through the Office of the Dean of Students for students who are dealing with serious financial disruptions related to the national response to COVID-19. If you are in a financial crisis that is or has the potential to negatively impact your academics, you may be eligible to apply. To inquire about the Students in Crisis Fund, please call 541-346-3216 or fill out the application.

Graduate Student Assistance Fund – Graduate students experiencing financial hardship related to a new child, medical expenses, or childcare expenses may qualify for financial help through the Graduate Student Assistance Fund. Please review the qualifying events.

Jesse M. Bell Graduate Loan Program – Take out a short-term loan for up to $500. This is available to graduate students with high academic standing and can be used in pursuit of their graduate studies.

UO Emergency Loan Program – Up to $300 may be borrowed interest free for up to 90 days. One loan may be borrowed per term. To qualify for an emergency loan, a borrower must be admitted to the university and enrolled for the current term, with no outstanding emergency student loans, and the student’s billing account must be in good standing. Past due charges are deducted from the proceeds of the loan. Government issued photo identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) is required.

Resources for International Students – The Division of Global Engagement’s International Students and Scholars Services offers a variety of financial resources specifically for international students. Updated advising and policy information pertinent to international graduate students is available from ISSS.

Because of the rapidly evolving nature of this situation, policies may change without advance notice. Please be sure to confirm your eligibility with the offices listed above.

 

Mental Health, Wellness, and Basic Needs Resources

  • UO has prepared this information about health and wellness. The Dean of Students office regularly updates their food insecurity resources, which includes information about food available on campus, as well as in the greater Eugene/Springfield area.
  • The Counseling Center is available to provide assistance by phone; teletherapy is available for students physically located in Oregon and in some other states. The UO SAFE Hotline is operational 24/7 at 541-346-7233 (SAFE). The UO After-Hours Support and Crisis Line can be reached at 541-346-3227.
  • The Whitebird Clinic is an excellent community resource, which includes phone counseling. Additionally, Lane County has an excellent online guide to mental health during this unprecedented time. If you are in crisis, the Crisis Text Line is available.
  • Be sure to check out Kognito—an online, interactive, evidenced-based training on how to support peers and students with a mental health concern. The Graduate School equity and inclusion committee recently completed the training and highly recommends it for all students and faculty.
  • Graduate students with families should take a look at the National Association of School Psychologists’ online resource guide for parents. The Center for Disease Control has published this guide for parents on how to protect your family. The Graduate School’s Family Issues GE is available to support families via e-mail at familyge@uoregon.edu.

 

Resources for Reporting Racial Discrimination, Bias, and Hatred

 

Academic Policy Modifications

Our temporary academic policy modifications in response to COVID-19 include:

  • Modifications to grading options
  • Revision of the seven-year time-to-degree extension process
  • Final term registration waivers
  • GE full-time enrollment requirement revision
  • Suspension of petition fees
  • Approval signatures on Graduate School forms
  • Dissertation defenses

As always, we encourage you to be in regular contact with your advisors and program directors. Graduate students and their advisors should establish a clear communication plan, including frequency, time, and modes of communication (e.g., Zoom, phone, email).

 

Remote Teaching and Learning Resources

 


 

JUNE 1, 2020

Dear University of Oregon Graduate Students,

I hope this message finds you and your families healthy and safe.  

I know that all graduate students have been impacted by COVID-19 and the associated stay-at-home orders. The closure of libraries, collections, and laboratories on our campus, suspension of travel for field work, and transition to remote teaching and instruction have caused significant stress and uncertainty. I also recognize that many of you have concerns about your personal and financial well-being. Without a doubt, these are very challenging times.

As the term comes to a close, I wanted to remind you of the university resources designed to support you financially, professionally, academically, and personally during this pandemic, and to help mitigate some of the key impacts highlighted above. First, however, I want to thank you for your hard work this academic year – as students and, for many of you, as instructors for our students, researchers in our centers and labs, and assistants and collaborators in our offices and programs in Eugene and beyond. Graduate students are a critical part of the institution’s success and while this academic year will undoubtedly be known as one of the most challenging in our history, please know that we are here for you and will do whatever we can to assist you during this uncertain time.

Below this message, you will find updated versions of the resource guides I shared with you and your Directors of Graduate Studies (DGS) and Graduate Coordinators earlier this term. Key resources include: the CARES Act Grant; Students in Crisis Fund; Graduate Student Assistance Fund; minimum credit enrollment reduction for graduate employees (GEs); extended sick leave policy for GEs; seven-year time-to-degree modifications; final term registration waivers; Graduate School advising and specialized programming; resources for remote learning and teaching; and information specific to international graduate students. Please take a look and let us know if you have any questions.

I know that many of you engaged in a letter-writing campaign for a universal one-year funding extension for all graduate students. While we will not be able to offer you universal one year of funding you requested, we want to help, and we share your interest in removing financial barriers to graduation caused by COVID-19. Our staff has spent weeks consulting with students, faculty, staff, and program administrators on our campus and across the country to learn about the differing effects of the pandemic across programs and cohorts, as well as best practices for addressing them. With that in mind, if you are a student in good academic standing who, (1) cannot graduate this academic year due to the pandemic and the associated stay-at-home-orders, and (2) have exhausted the institutional support promised in your initial funding offer letter, please reach out to your DGS or graduate program director immediately. The Graduate School will work with your DGSs and program directors on a case-by-case basis to determine the appropriate response.

It is important to note that the Graduate School relies on individual graduate programs to decide how best to mentor and make accommodations for students whose research and writing has been impacted by COVID-19. We encourage advisors and programs to be flexible, understanding, and creative in working with students on their individual academic plans, while trying as much as possible not to delay student progress. We already have heard of some really creative pivots and are grateful to all of the advisors and mentors helping to orchestrate revisions whenever possible. Please be sure to contact your DGS or program director if you are experiencing exceptional degree completion setbacks due to the current pandemic. DGSs and program directors will work with the Graduate School to identify potential support mechanisms on a case-by-case basis. Should you need assistance in working with your program or advisor, please do not hesitate to contact us at adgradschool@uoregon.edu.

We will continue to work with your DGSs, program directors, and graduate coordinators to do everything we can to help you complete your degrees and meet the challenges before you. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please be in touch. I hope you’ll consider joining me during my virtual office hours on Thursday afternoons throughout the remainder of spring term. (Sign-up details below). In the meantime, I look forward to better days when we can all see each other again in person.

Best regards,

Kate Mondloch

Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School

 

COVID-19-related support resources for UO graduate students

Financial hardship resources

If you are experiencing financial hardship, one or more of the resources below may be of use, depending on your specific situation:

CARES Act Grants – UO graduate students who are eligible to submit a FAFSA in AY 2019-20 can receive CARES Act grants to cover expenses that are a result of disruptions to campus operations caused by the coronavirus. Funds can be issued directly to students to address COVID impacts. Please review the application details.

Students in Crisis Fund – Offered through the Office of the Dean of Students for students who are dealing with serious financial disruptions related to the national response to COVID-19. If you are in a financial crisis that is or has the potential to negatively impact your academics, you may be eligible to apply. To inquire about the Students in Crisis Fund, please call 541-346-3216 or fill out the application.

Graduate Student Assistance Fund – Graduate students experiencing financial hardship related to a new child, medical expenses, or childcare expenses may qualify for financial help through the Graduate Student Assistance Fund. The qualifying events are defined here

Jesse M. Bell Graduate Loan – Take out a short-term loan for up to $500. This is available to graduate students with high academic standing and can be used in pursuit of their graduate studies. More information is available here.

UO emergency loan – Up to $300 may be borrowed interest free for up to 90 days. One loan may be borrowed per term. To qualify for an emergency loan, a borrower must be admitted to the university and enrolled for the current term, with no outstanding emergency student loans, and the student’s billing account must be in good standing. Past due charges are deducted from the proceeds of the loan. Government issued photo identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) is required. More information is available here.

Resources for international students – The Division of Global Engagement’s International Students and Scholars Services offers a variety of financial resources specifically for international students. More information is available here. Updated advising and policy information pertinent to international graduate students is available on the ISSS website.

Because of the rapidly evolving nature of this situation, policies may change without advance notice. Please be sure to confirm your eligibility with the offices listed above.

 

Mental health, wellness, and basic needs resources

  • UO has prepared this information about health and wellness. The Dean of Students office regularly updates their food insecurity page, which includes information about food available on campus, as well as in the greater Eugene/Springfield area.
  • The Counseling Center is available to provide assistance by phone; teletherapy is available for students physically located in Oregon and in some other states. The UO SAFE Hotline is operational 24/7: 541-346-7233 (SAFE). The UO After-Hours Support and Crisis Line can be reached at: 541-346-3227.
  • The Whitebird Clinic is an excellent community resource, which includes phone counseling. Additionally, Lane County has an excellent online guide to mental health during this unprecedented time. If you are in crisis, the Crisis Text Line is available.
  • Be sure to check out Kognito—an online, interactive, evidenced-based training on how to support peers and students with a mental health concern. The Graduate School equity and inclusion committee recently completed the training and highly recommends it for all students and faculty.
  • Graduate students with families should take a look at the National Association of School Psychologists’ online resource guide for parents. The Center for Disease Control has published this guide for parents on how to protect your family. The Graduate School’s Family Issues GE is available to support families via e-mail at familyge@uoregon.edu.

 

Resources for reporting racial discrimination, bias, and hatred

  • UO leadership’s statement condemning violence and discrimination issued on May 29 is available here.
  • The Respect website offers information for UO community members experiencing discrimination or harassment. To report an incident of hate or discrimination call the 24-hour Non-Emergency Hate and Discrimination Report Line at 541-346-5555. You may report anonymously or they can connect you with confidential resources.
  • Incidents of bias or harassment on campus can be reported to the Bias Education and Response Team or the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance.

 

Academic policy modifications

Our temporary academic policy modifications in response to COVID-19 are detailed here. These include:

  • Modifications to grading options
  • Revision of the seven-year time-to-degree extension process
  • Final term registration waivers
  • GE full-time enrollment requirement revision
  • Suspension of petition fees
  • Approval signatures on Graduate School forms
  • Dissertation defenses

As always, we encourage you to be in regular contact with your advisors and program directors. Graduate students and their advisors should establish a clear communication plan, including frequency, time, and modes of communication (e.g., Zoom, phone, email).

 

Remote teaching and learning resources

  • Tips and ideas from the Teaching Effectiveness Program, including advice and assistance for remote course building, are available here.
  • Tools and resources for remote work, teaching, and learning are updated regularly by Information Services here.

 

Graduate school programming and advising

  • Career coaching
  • Professional success and resilience webinars
  • Identity-based advising
  • Mindfulness practice for stress reduction and professional success

Learn more or suggest additional topics here. Individual advising appointments are also available.

 

Graduate employee (GE) positions

  • Check your GDRS for instructions on how to apply for jobs in your own program
  • Check the GE job postings site to review jobs outside of your own program
  • In accordance with the GTFF Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Graduate School is currently accepting applications for a Graduate Diversity and Inclusion GE and a Family Issues GE. We hope you’ll consider applying.

 

Chat with the Dean

Kate Mondloch, Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, will hold virtual office hours throughout the remainder of spring term. All UO graduate students are welcome. We hope you’ll drop by for a chat!

  • Thursdays, 3-4 pm, via Zoom
  • Contact Executive Assistant Tara Kaiser tkaiser@uoregon.edu to set up an advance appointment or to drop-in during the session
  • Meeting connection information will be shared once registered

 


MAY 7, 2020

Dear University of Oregon graduate students,

We in the Graduate School are eager to provide you with resources that inspire and inform, supporting your efforts from home or wherever you may be during this transitional period. With that in mind, please see below for updated versions of two of our important resource guides.

We remain dedicated to supporting you in every way we can. As always, please reach out to us with any questions or concerns at gradsch@uoregon.edu and we will do our best to assist.

With all best wishes for your continued good health, safety, and a successful spring term,

Kate Mondloch
Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School

 

Mental health, wellness, and basic needs resources

  • UO has prepared this information about health and wellness. The Dean of Students office regularly updates their food insecurity page, which includes information about food available on campus, as well as in the greater Eugene/Springfield area. The Counseling Center is available to provide assistance by phone. The UO SAFE Hotline is operational 24/7: 541-346-7233 (SAFE).
  • The Whitebird Clinic is an excellent community resource, which includes phone counseling. Additionally, Lane County has an excellent online guide to mental health during this unprecedented time. If you are in crisis, the Crisis Text Line is available.
  • Graduate students with families should take a look at the National Association of School Psychologists’ online resource guide for parents. The Center for Disease Control has published this guide for parents on how to protect your family. The Graduate School’s Family GE is available to support families via e-mail at familyge@uoregon.edu.
  • Incidents of bias or harassment on campus can be reported to the Bias Education and Response Team or the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance.
  • If you are experiencing financial hardship, one or more of the resources below may be of use, depending on your specific situation:

CARES Act Grants Graduate UO students who are eligible to submit a FAFSA in AY 2019-20 can receive CARES Act grants to cover expenses that are a result of disruptions to campus operations caused by the coronavirus. Application details are here.

Graduate Student Assistance Fund – Graduate students experiencing financial hardship related to a new child, medical expenses, or childcare expenses may qualify for financial help through the Graduate Student Assistance Fund. The qualifying events are defined here

Students in Crisis Fund – Offered through the Office of the Dean of Students for students who are dealing with serious financial disruptions related to the national response to COVID-19. If you are in a financial crisis that is or has the potential to negatively impact your academics, you may be eligible to apply. To inquire about the Students in Crisis Fund, please call 541-346-3216 or fill out the application.

Jesse M. Bell Graduate Loan – Take out a short-term loan for up to $500. This is available to graduate students with high academic standing and can be used in pursuit of their graduate studies. More information is available here.

UO emergency loan – Up to $300 may be borrowed interest free for up to 90 days. One loan may be borrowed per term. To qualify for an emergency loan, a borrower must be admitted to the university and enrolled for the current term, with no outstanding emergency student loans, and the student’s billing account must be in good standing. Past due charges are deducted from the proceeds of the loan. Government issued photo identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) is required. More information is available here.

Resources for international students – The Division of Global Engagement offers a variety of financial resources specifically for international students. More information is available here.

Because of the rapidly evolving nature of this situation, policies may change without advance notice. Please be sure to confirm your eligibility with the offices listed above.

Graduate School programming: Resilience, wellness, and success in challenging times

During the COVID-19 health crisis, it’s important that we practice social distancing but not social isolation. With this in mind, we’ve developed programming and activities that are attuned to the unique circumstances facing graduate students. These include:

  • Spring 2020 webinars: Resilience Building for Wellness and Success; Mindfulness-based Stress Relief; Time Management and Organizational Skills; Overcoming Imposter Syndrome; and Addressing Anti-Asian Microaggressions
  • Virtual office hours for one-on-one advising and consultation
  • Virtual office hours for professional development and identity-based peer advising
  • Online career coaching
  • Community-building meetings focused on managing scholarship, work, and family during the stay-at-home order

For complete details and registration information, go here. Summer programming details will be available soon.

 


APRIL 9, 2020

Dear University of Oregon graduate students,

I hope that this message finds you healthy, despite these very trying times. I know the challenges associated with the transition to remote teaching and learning, juggling work and personal life, and the availability of resources for research and scholarship all have caused significant stress and uncertainty.

At the Graduate School, we’ve been working hard to develop policies and programming to facilitate your success—whether you are in Eugene, Portland, or anywhere else in the world. I wanted to share some information about resources that you might find useful as you continue your education during the spring term. These include academic policy modifications, resilience and wellness programs available to you during the term, and additional resources about what’s going on at UO.

Take a look and don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions at gradsch@uoregon.edu. All of us at the Graduate School send our very best wishes to you, your family, your students, and your friends for your continued health and safety.

Take care,

Kate Mondloch
Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School

 

Academic policy modifications

Our temporary academic policy modifications in response to COVID-19 are detailed here. These include:

  • Modifications to grading options
  • Revision of the seven-year extension process
  • Final term registration waivers
  • GE full-time enrollment requirements
  • Suspension of petition fees
  • Approval signatures on Graduate School forms
  • Dissertation defenses

As always, we encourage you to be in regular contact with your advisors and program directors. Graduate students and their advisors should establish a clear communication plan, including frequency, time, and modes of communication (e.g., Zoom, phone, email).


Graduate School programming: Resilience, wellness, and success in challenging times

During the COVID-19 health crisis, it’s important that we practice social distancing but not social isolation. With this in mind, we’ve developed programming and activities that are attuned to the unique circumstances facing graduate students. These include:

  • Spring 2020 webinars: Resilience Building for Wellness and Success; Mindfulness-based Stress Relief; Time Management and Organizational Skills; Overcoming Imposter Syndrome; and Addressing Anti-Asian Microaggressions
  • Virtual office hours for one-on-one advising and consultation
  • Virtual office hours for professional development and identity-based peer advising
  • Community-building meetings focused on managing scholarship, work, and family during the stay-at-home order

For complete details and registration information, go here.

We will also host an Online Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. All students who are interested in sharing their research in the form of a short video with an interdisciplinary audience of faculty, students, staff, and members of the public can learn more here. The submission deadline is May 4, 2020.


Additional resources

In addition to the Graduate School COVID-19 FAQ and UO COVID-19 FAQ, our Graduate School programming and events site will be updated regularly. My messages to graduate students are available here.

 


March 25, 2020

Dear University of Oregon graduate students,

As I look back on the last few weeks, I am inspired by the care, compassion, and efforts students, staff, and faculty have made as we collectively navigate this new landscape. I also recognize that the normal flow of life and work has been unsettled in unprecedented ways.

In addition to the FAQ posted on our website, I wanted to make sure you are aware of the bevy of information and resources available to our graduate students – whether you are in Eugene, Portland, or anywhere in the world. Please review the information below and reach out to us at gradsch@uoregon.edu if you need help. The university’s COVID-19 (coronavirus) website is another great resource that offers information pertinent to graduate students.

We in the Graduate School are eager to support you however we can during these challenging times. Please take care and let us know if you need assistance.

Best regards,


Kate Mondloch
Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School


Enrollment, grades, and academic standing

  • We encourage you to communicate regularly with your advisor or program director about continuing to make progress toward your degree. If you need further assistance, please email the Graduate School at gradsch@uoregon.edu
  • Graduate students should be able to access all of their classes remotely via Canvas. For assistance gaining access, visit Canvas support or Going Remote. Any department that needs to cancel courses will reach out to students to help find alternative classes.
  • If you need to take an incomplete for winter term, the Graduate School does not have a limit on the number you can accumulate and still remain in good standing. However, some graduate programs do have such limits. Please refer to your department’s requirements and consult with your graduate coordinator or the director of graduate studies with questions about your academic standing within the program.  
  • If you have questions about comprehensive exam policies and formats, consult with your department or program to discuss your options. The Graduate School is encouraging programs to be as supportive as possible, but it is up to each program to make determinations about what accommodations can be made while maintaining academic integrity.
  • If you need to take a leave of absence, check here for the policies and procedures. Please contact the Graduate School at gradsch@uoregon.edu if your request for a leave would exceed the current maximum number of terms.
  • International graduate students can connect with resources in a number of ways. Those include reaching International Student and Scholar Services advisors by phone at 541-346-3206; by email at intl@uoregon.edu; calling or sending an email to provide the ISSS office with your WeChat information so an advisor can contact you; or by using Microsoft Teams by going to teams.microsoft.com and logging in with your DuckID to begin a remote session.
  • If you are an international student, you do not need to return to campus during the spring term to complete your courses. You can do so from abroad. Your visa status can remain active if you complete your courses from outside the United States. Please contact International Students and Scholar Services to request the option to complete spring term remotely in your home country. Please visit this link to compete the relevant forms to notify ISSS that you will be outside of the U.S.

If you are affected by the recent travel restrictions due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, visit the ISSS immigration FAQs for travel restrictions to learn more about your options. Please feel free to contact ISSS directly at intl@uoregon.edu with any additional questions.

If you are on an F1 visa and cannot return to Eugene, ISSS will keep your I-20 SEVIS record active for up to five months from your departure date from the U.S. As soon as you are able to travel, you can re-enter the U.S. within five months of your departure date with a current I-20 with valid travel signature; a valid F-1 visa; and a valid passport. If you cannot return to the U.S. within five months of your departure date, please email ISSS at intl@uoregon.edu to request a new I-20 for re-entry to the U.S. for summer or fall term.


Mental health, wellness, and basic needs resources

  • UO has prepared this information about health and wellness. The Dean of Students office regularly updates their food insecurity page, which includes information about food available on campus, as well as in the greater Eugene/Springfield area. The Counseling Center is available to provide assistance by phone. The UO SAFE Hotline is operational 24/7: 541-346-7233 (SAFE).
  • The Whitebird Clinic is an excellent community resource, which includes phone counseling. Additionally, Lane County has an excellent online guide to mental health during this unprecedented time. If you are in crisis, the Crisis Text Line is available.
  • Graduate students with families should take a look at the National Association of School Psychologists’ online resource guide for parents. The Center for Disease Control has published this guide for parents on how to protect your family. The Graduate School’s Family GE is available to support families via e-mail at familyge@uoregon.edu.
  • If you are experiencing financial hardship, one or more of the resources below may be of use, depending on your specific situation:

Graduate Student Assistance Fund – Graduate students experiencing financial hardship related to a new child, medical expenses, or childcare expenses may qualify for financial help through the Graduate Student Assistance Fund. The qualifying events are defined here

Students in Crisis Fund – Offered through the Office of the Dean of Students for students who are dealing with serious financial disruptions related to the national response to COVID-19. If you are in a financial crisis that is or has the potential to negatively impact your academics, you may be eligible to apply. To inquire about the Students in Crisis Fund, please call 541-346-3216 or fill out the application.

Jesse M. Bell Graduate Loan – Take out a short-term loan for up to $500. This is available to graduate students with high academic standing and can be used in pursuit of their graduate studies. More information is available here.

UO emergency loan – Up to $300 may be borrowed interest free for up to 90 days with a service charge of $8 per loan. One loan may be borrowed per term. To qualify for an emergency loan, a borrower must be admitted to the university and enrolled for the current term, with no outstanding emergency student loans, and the student’s billing account must be in good standing. Past due charges are deducted from the proceeds of the loan. Government issued photo identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) is required. More information is available here.

Resources for international students – The Division of Global Engagement offers a variety of financial resources specifically for international students. More information is available here.

 

Because of the rapidly evolving nature of this situation, policies may change without advance notice. Please be sure to confirm your eligibility with the offices listed above.

 


March 13, 2020

Dear Graduate Students, Graduate Coordinators, and Directors of Graduate Studies,

In light of the evolving COVID-19 health situation, I write to add to President Michael Schill’s announcement sent on March 11 and address some specific issues relevant to the graduate student community. Please note that this is a dynamic situation and the University will continue to communicate as conditions change.

First and foremost, we want to facilitate and encourage your continued progress toward your degree. Strategies to help navigate the current situation are offered below.

All Graduate Students:

  • Communicate regularly with your advisor or program director about continuing to make progress toward your degree, whether on campus or not.
  • To minimize the impact on students planning dissertation defenses, we are lifting until further notice the current Graduate School restrictions that require students and committee members to be physically present at the defense and that the defense is open to the public.
  • Should you or a family member become ill and you need to request a leave of absence, please visit https://gradschool.uoregon.edu/academics/policies/general/on-leave-status
  • Note that current UO guidelines limit all nonessential gatherings to 25 people, but this could change. To allow for social distancing, general recommendations include: use remote collaboration tools when possible (i.e., video and phone conferencing tools), even for those onsite in the same office suite; decrease density in shared office or workspaces, so that people are working at least 6 feet apart; and reevaluate activities that can be performed with reduced face-to-face interactions. UO is finalizing an institutional contract with Zoom to assist with remote participation and collaboration. 
  • As with all members of our community, we encourage you to practice self-care, wash hands thoroughly and frequently, avoid contact with people who are sick and stay home and self-isolate if you are sick.
  • In some specific cases, graduate students may qualify for financial help through the Graduate Student Assistance Fund. https://gradschool.uoregon.edu/funding/special-assistance-funds/assistance-fund
  • UO has placed restrictions on travel described here https://www.uoregon.edu/coronavirus-faq#travel

Research and Administrative GEs:

  • Please reach out to your supervisor, faculty advisor and/or program director as appropriate to discuss social distancing practices that work for your specific assignments over spring term — including whether your work can be done remotely, whether your hours can be flexed so that you are not in a shared space, or whether you can work from a different campus location. With an increased emphasis on social distancing, please also be mindful of standard safety considerations to avoid working alone if doing so would create an unsafe environment. You and your supervisor should consider campus spaces where you can maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others. We are encouraging all supervisors to document any changes in normal working conditions.
  • If you have other questions related to your employment, please talk to your faculty advisor, program director, and/or supervisor as appropriate.

Instructional GEs:

  • Graduate employees should work closely with their faculty to make decisions regarding instruction.
  • Guidelines for all instructors on teaching remotely can be found here https://provost.uoregon.edu/academic-continuity-preparations  
  • If a student in a class taught remotely has a health-related reason that they cannot participate, treat the student as if they were experiencing any other health issue that keeps them from participating. No doctor’s note is needed.
  • If you cannot perform your duties due to health-related reasons, follow the standard procedure for finding a substitute or canceling class. Please communicate such a decision to the faculty of record, program staff, and, of course, to the students. 

All GEs should review their sick leave benefits. https://gradschool.uoregon.edu/funding/ge/absenses 

We encourage all graduate students to check the UO’s coronavirus information site frequently for the most up-to-date information. The site has rich resources pertinent to health support, university operations, international student services, managing stress, and much more. The FAQs and the resource sections are continually updated as new guidance and information is shared from the CDC and local, state, and federal health authorities. https://www.uoregon.edu/coronavirus.

Should you have additional questions or concerns that are not addressed on the main coronavirus information site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Graduate School at gradsch@uoregon.edu. We are here for you and will do whatever we can to assist you during this uncertain time.

Take care,

Kate Mondloch

Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School

 


January 28, 2020

Dear Graduate Community,

I hope your winter term is going well. As always, I encourage you to reach out to the Graduate School whenever you need assistance in your graduate studies. Today I’d like to introduce two great Graduate School resources for your personal and professional development: our new One Stop Graduate Student Resources webpage and the annual Graduate Research Forum.

As you may have noticed, we redesigned the Graduate School’s website this summer and created a new resource page—Graduate Student One Stop. You can find it easily in the top banner on our homepage and on any of our site’s pages. Graduate Student One Stop brings together important information about academic and research resources, funding and financial aid, registration and classes, costs and billing, housing and dining, wellness and safety, campus life, diversity and family resources, and more, all in one convenient location. We’d love to hear your feedback about how it works as well as suggestions for how we might improve this resource. You can reach us at gradschooldean@uoregon.edu.

My second topic is the upcoming Graduate Research Forum on May 8. Every year the Graduate School organizes the interdisciplinary Graduate Research Forum as an opportunity for graduate students to share their research in a concise way, practice presentation skills, and receive valuable feedback. You can participate in one of three formats: poster, three-minute thesis (3MT), or panel session presentations.

Please check out the Forum website for helpful descriptions of each presentation category, workshops geared toward presentation skills, and complete details on how to submit an abstract. Everyone is welcome and no prior experience is necessary. It’s a great opportunity to practice sharing your research in a supportive environment. Abstracts are due March 30. Please reach out to us with any questions.

I hope to see many of you there!

Best wishes,

Kate Mondloch

 


December 3, 2019

Dear Graduate Community,

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Kate Mondloch, Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School.

I’d like to begin by recognizing the enormous contributions made by the Graduate School’s previous dean, Janet Woodruff-Borden, who recently accepted an exciting new role as Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Congratulations, Janet!

Prior to joining the Graduate School, I’ve been a Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture in the College of Design since 2005, the same year in which I earned my PhD from UCLA. I’ve been deeply involved with graduate education and advocating for students ever since joining the UO. I served as department head from 2016 to 2019 and director of graduate studies from 2007 to 2013. I’m also the founding director of the UO's transdisciplinary New Media and Culture Certificate.

I hope that the end of fall term is going well for you and that you’re finding sufficient time for self-care. Part of my role as vice provost and dean is to holistically support the graduate student body by directing you to a wealth of campus resources that can help you care for yourself and others. On our website, you can find community resources, including Mental Health, Parental and Child Support, Self-Care and Basic Needs Security and Recreation and Wellness resources. I’d also like to share a link to a thought-provoking article that offers coping mechanisms for the stress sometimes associated with returning home: “You Can Go Home for the Holidays.

As deadlines approach, applications open, and the holiday season gets into full swing, feeling stressed is completely normal. We hope that the resource list above will help you find ways to stay healthy—emotionally, mentally, and physically. Our work will always be there, but our health needs constant nurturing, especially at this time of year.

Your comments and questions are always welcome. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch at gradschooldean@uoregon.edu.

I look forward to working with you.

Kate Mondloch

 


October 28, 2019

This week’s chill was a healthy reminder of the ever-changing seasons. One of the beauties of living in Oregon is being able to see and feel the seasons change day by day.

As the days become shorter, the weather grows colder, and the sun lingers less, we at the Graduate School want to remind you that we’re here to support you through your graduate studies and beyond. In conjunction with our continuous Resilience Series workshops, we offer weekly peer-to-peer writing groups, a quiet space to think clearly, and ample amounts of coffee in our Graduate Student Center. We also continue to compile resources available whenever your schedule permits that you may find useful.

Our ongoing goal is that you’re able to excel academically, professionally, and personally. Keep an eye out for more events this fall and winter, focusing on mental health and awareness.

On Thursday, we have our Addressing Daily Microaggressions and the Hidden Curriculum workshop from 12-1:30 pm, in the Lokey Education Building ED 276. If we don’t see you there, we hope you have a fun and safe Halloween.

Janet Woodruff-Borden

 


October 22, 2019

I spent some time outside this weekend and was reminded of the amazing beauty that surrounds us here in Oregon. I hope you have had a chance to spend time amongst the autumn leaves. For me, one of the most spectacular parts of our surroundings is the trees.

You might have noticed our new Graduate School website makes use of a leaf motif every now and then. I was struck by the beauty of the trees the first time I visited the state. This weekend was a great reminder of how being outside and doing something as simple as apple picking can be restorative.

I hope you are taking the time to find your own ways to “restore.” It goes without saying that graduate school isn't easy. It's plagued with frustrations and an array of professional complexities. We know from our own experiences as well as national data that it can feel intimidating, isolating, and often exhausting.

Some of you may know my academic background is in Clinical Psychology. Throughout my career, my research has focused on the causes and treatments for anxiety and related issues. That work informs my goal to make sure the Graduate School is here to support you during your time here and beyond.

This fall, under the direction of Dr. Padma Akkaraju, we are conducting a Resilience Building workshop series focused on developing tools for well-being and success.

Join our upcoming event, "Develop a Positive Self-Image by Addressing Stereotype Threats" on October 23 or join us at a future event.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Janet Woodruff-Borden

 



October 15, 2019

Hello Graduate School community,

We are excited to let you know that we have begun a new communication approach to stay in closer touch with you throughout the academic year. I will be sharing some thoughts with you on a regular basis on topics from wellness to professional development. Our mission in the Graduate School is to facilitate the access, engagement, and success of all of our students by integrating our core values into policies and actions. As a part of that mission, I will be sharing resources with you to help you holistically succeed in graduate school and beyond.

This week, I would like to share a podcast I discovered, Vitamin Ph.D. The podcast comes out of Boston University and was an organic project arising from a need we share in graduate education – how do you reach busy people across varied programs to provide information that would be of use to them? Obviously, our workshops, training, and orientations are intended to accomplish some of that. But, recognizing that schedules don’t always permit you the flexibility to attend everything, it’s important that we offer other ways for you to access information that you might find useful.

I hope you will take a minute to check out professional development resources on the new and improved graduate school webpage. Our goal is to provide workshops, yes, but also articles, links, and other resources that you might find helpful as you navigate graduate school. We are also working to make our workshops available to you online – more to come on that!

For today, the Vitamin Ph.D. podcast is a new and terrific resource that BU has kindly agreed to share. The podcast touches on ways to navigate mental health, the interview process, and doctoral life in general. Binge-worthy? Yes. Useful? Absolutely. Have a great week! 

Janet Woodruff-Borden

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