MCS GSAC Meeting Minutes
February 13, 2001

| MCS GSAC Home Page |

February 13, 2001

In Attendance:
Karen Zaiger (Chemistry)
Alex Bodarenko (Mathematical Sciences)
Abhijit Brahme (Physics)
Marc Fasnacht (Physics)
David Owen (MCS Dean's Office)
Katya Malkin (MCS Dean's Office)


2000 GSAC Minutes Archive

This year's minutes:
January 23, 2001

I. POLICY ON OMBUDSPERSONS

David distributed an updated copy of the MCS policy on departmental ombudspersons and asked for feedback from students. This policy was also distributed to the department heads, but no feedback has been received yet. It was decided that the best way to get students to read the policy and comment on it is to post it on the web site and send an e-mail to students in each department. Katya has posted the policy on the web site at ombudsdraft.html.

II.SOCIAL EVENT AND POSTER SESSION FOR NEXT YEAR

David gave a brief update on the status of future poster sessions/social events. He has reviewed the event and budget with Bill Williams and requested that MCS fund this event next year and possibly make it an annual event.

III.CAREER DEVELOPMENT SEMINARS

GSAC members reported that students in each of their departments would be interested in career seminars if their schedules permit them to attend. Seminars might not be as well attended or financially feasible if held too frequently, so it was decided that holding a college-wide seminar once or twice a semester would probably be a good idea. Speakers should address graduate students from all four departments and in particular, provide information about career options outside of academia.

An initial seminar should be held and if the response is good, additional seminars can be scheduled. They should be held in the UC with refreshments provided.

David will bring up the idea to Bill Williams and also discuss planning with John Woolford. Some ideas for speakers included Carnegie Mellon alumni and speakers who attended John's seminars for Biological Sciences, but who might also be able to address careers in other departments. Renee Starek, the MCS Career Consultant, might also be able to recommend speakers.

IV. CALIBRATING EXPECTATIONS

The subcommittees are still working on narrowing down specific areas of expectation.

Shared database space is not currently available from Computing Services, but it is planned for the future and they have expressed an interest in our project. For the time being, the data can be housed on Katya's PC. It should be easy to move the data to a shared space when and if it becomes available.

V. HEALTH INSURANCE

David distributed a proposal that Jacques Katz, president of the GSA, sent to the Provost regarding university subsidized graduate student health insurance. The proposal suggests and prioritizes alternatives for such subsidies and provides estimates for their costs. One alternative is that Ph.D. and Masters students from departments that provide lower stipends be targeted for subsidy by the university.

Also distributed were health insurance statistics for CMU students and an article about a National Labor Relations Board decision in favor of New York University graduate students' right to organize and bargain with their employer (the university) even though they are enrolled as students.

VI. NEXT WAVE Science magazine's "Next Wave", career resources for scientists, is looking for a new campus representative from Carnegie Mellon. A brief description of this representative's responsibilities was distributed and members were asked to consider students and post-docs in their departments who might be interested.