To: Faculty, Other Academic Appointees, and Graduate Students
From: Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Subject: Update on Graduate Education Initiatives
Date: February 28, 2023
Since the release of the Committee on Graduate Education report, we have shared regular updates on our continued efforts to enhance graduate education at the University of Chicago. Below are updates on key initiatives and resources for graduate students.
Academic and Career Resources
  • Mentorship support: UChicagoGRAD has introduced individual mentorship advising appointments for graduate students to meet with staff and discuss strategies for identifying mentors and building effective mentoring relationships, ask questions about the graduate school experience, and develop strategies for handling difficult conversations and situations. UChicagoGRAD is also working with graduate students to develop new programming and online resources to help students navigate mentorship relationships.

  • Career services: Students are encouraged to attend GRADUCon, the University’s annual career exploration conference for graduate students, postdocs, and recent graduates, on Friday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Ida Noyes Hall. Join hundreds of participants for a day of career-themed panel discussions and one-on-one conversations with UChicago alumni mentors.

  • My Planner: The University Registrar continues to work with graduate units on the rollout of My Planner, a degree planning tool for students and administrators. My Planner accommodates highly flexible and program-specific milestone elements for a more holistic view of student progress. Degree paths for PhD students in the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions have been completed, and work is underway with other divisions and schools.

Student Life
  • Graduate Student Lounge: Starting in Spring Quarter, UChicagoGRAD will pilot expanded hours for the Graduate Student Lounge, located on the fourth floor of the University Bookstore. Designed by students, the lounge is a central hub for activities, including studying, small-group collaborations, and socializing.

  • Graduate student representation: I am grateful for the continued partnership of Graduate Council, the Diversity Advisory Board, and the International Graduate Student Advisory Board to bring together graduate students across all academic units. These groups build community through mentorship programs, including Maroon Mates and International Allies, and organize social events, such as the recent Winter Social.

Administrative Improvements
  • Financial wellness and student payments: With the tax filing deadline approaching, UChicagoGRAD has responded to student requests to provide several tax resources, including asynchronous tax information sessions focusing on specific populations, and a new tax FAQ. Plans also continue for this summer’s student payments transition, which is being implemented in response to student feedback. Students will receive communications from their dean of students about how these changes may affect them. Please contact with any questions about student payments.

  • Grievance policies and procedures: As of the start of Winter Quarter, all graduate divisions and schools implemented new grievance policies that align with the recommendations of the Graduate Grievance Policies and Process Committee. Students with questions about grievance policies or those seeking support in navigating conflict are encouraged to reach out to their dean of students or UChicagoGRAD’s student affairs office (

I appreciate the dedicated efforts of faculty, students, and staff to continue identifying and implementing improvements to graduate education at our University. Additional information on graduate student resources is available at
Graduate Education