Due to the University’s unprecedented budget situation, the University Library and GSLIS must reduce the number of state-funded graduate assistantships for GSLIS students in 2010-11.
This joint decision reflects the financial challenges faced by both units—and experienced by every unit on campus. Dean of Libraries Paula Kaufman and GSLIS Dean John Unsworth are committed to proactively addressing the situation.
“We are fully committed to exploring opportunities that will offset the reduction and maintain as closely as possible our current number of graduate assistantships,” explained Dean Unsworth. “We will work carefully with our colleagues in the Library to ensure that existing opportunities are used wisely.”
Both units emphasize the following points:
- The Library is proud of its longstanding tradition of providing graduate assistantships and other pre-professional opportunities to ensure that GSLIS students complement their classroom learning with field-based experiences and active mentoring from practicing librarians.
- The Library and GSLIS will renew their focus on identifying projects that could, if successful, lead to new opportunities for grant-funded assistantships for GSLIS students.
- The Library and GSLIS will explore opportunities for funding assistantships with private endowments; student scholarships and fellowships have been a major focus of both units’ fundraising campaigns, and several endowments are already in place.
- The Library and GSLIS will review appointment availability for graduate assistants on an ongoing basis, as more details become available about the 2010-11 budget.
According to Dean Kaufman, “The Library recognizes the value of graduate assistantships, not only to the Library and GSLIS students but also to the quality of the services the Library provides. In light of economic hardship, this reduction is necessary, but we hope it is only temporary.”
GSLIS remains a leader in providing varied opportunities for its students to gain pre-professional experience during their studies. In addition to assistantships, GSLIS students pursue practica, alternative spring break placements, service learning, internships and graduate hourly positions.
For more information, contact Rae-Anne Montague, GSLIS Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, at -rae, at illinois.edu- or (217) 244-0577, or Scott Walter, Associate University Librarian for Services and Associate Dean of Libraries, at -swalter, at illinois.edu- or (217) 333-0318.
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