Stanford unveils measures to address affordability issues

Stanford will implement a 3% base salary increase for eligible employees and subsidize Cardinal Care health insurance for graduate students who are research or teaching assistants, university president Marc Tessier-Lavigne announced Wednesday. and Provost Persis Drell in an email to the community.

The announcement of affordability initiatives comes as the pandemic enters its second year and at a time of record inflation and rising consumer prices.

“We believe these investments will significantly support the well-being of people in our community and, in doing so, continue to strengthen the excellence of our programs and Stanford’s contributions to the rest of the world,” wrote Tessier-Lavigne and Drell.

A permanent 3% base salary increase will begin March 1 for faculty and staff eligible for regular benefits. Effective February 1 through the end of 2022, an allowance of $125 per pay period will be paid to employees eligible for regular benefits who earn a base salary of less than or equal to $150,000 per year and who are required from working on a Stanford site to anyone. Employees with a remote or hybrid work environment are not eligible for the allowance, according to the email.

Tessier-Lavigne and Drell added that the University will also address the high health care and education costs faced by graduate students. Beginning September 1, Stanford will fully subsidize Cardinal Care health insurance for fellows and graduate students who are in teaching and research assistantships.

The move comes just months after the Graduate Student Council raised concerns about the high cost of cardinal care compared to health insurance options at peer institutions at a meeting of the Faculty Senate. Additionally, the University will immediately increase the maximum annual family grant for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with dependent children from $15,000 to $20,000 and $5,000 to $10,000, respectively, according to the email.

In the spring, the University will also launch a pilot program offering short-term transitional housing to new postdoctoral researchers, some of whom may have difficulty securing a lease for accommodation near the University if they do not have a credit history or social security number. Additionally, Stanford will enhance the housing allowance program and restricted land lease purchase program to help faculty find suitable housing, according to Tessier-Lavigne and Drell.

The measure also supports non-tenured professors with “an additional year to their appointment or an additional quarter of post-pandemic leave” and professors whose research has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic with a taxable wage subsidy or grants. unique searches.

Although the new initiatives do not specifically address affordability for undergraduates, the email indicates that affordability for undergraduates is primarily addressed through financial aid and only 13% of undergraduates cycle leave university with student debt. Undergraduate student affordability, they added, remains a “priority” for administrators and the board.

The affordability initiatives were informed by the University’s Affordability Task Force, which is responsible for setting priorities to address affordability issues in the Stanford community, Tessier-Lavigne and Drell wrote. .

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