Timely and Accurate Payments to Graduate Students
To: UChicago Faculty and Other Academic Appointees
From: Daniel Diermeier, Provost
Subject: Timely and Accurate Payments to Graduate Students
Date: May 7, 2019
In its report, the Committee on Graduate Education highlighted “irregular, uncertain, or delayed payments to students” as a primary concern. As I stated in my response to the Committee's report, late or incorrect payments to graduate students are unacceptable. To address late payment issues, in January 2019 we designated Emily Easton, Associate Director of Graduate Administrative Services at UChicagoGRAD, as a new resource for graduate students experiencing any problems related to payments. In addition, Emily has been working with the Schools and Divisions to analyze the multiple payment processes, determine the root causes of the errors, and identify solutions to prevent future occurrences. This has led to proactive identification and prevention of incorrect or missing payments and, in the few cases where errors are still occurring, immediate notification to affected graduate students and resolution to correct the mistake in less than a week.
While this process significantly alleviated some of the most serious problems, it also revealed the complexity of our current system. Students receive payments from different sources of funds, distributed through different systems, and governed by different processes. Many of these processes are conducted manually and are subject to error. To provide a thorough review of the various financial systems and processes that impact graduate student payments, I have asked the University’s internal auditors to conduct a comprehensive audit beginning this summer and develop recommendations to improve our processes.
We will keep you updated as the financial audit progresses and we implement improvements. In the meantime, any graduate students experiencing any issues related to payments should continue to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.