September 1, 2016

TO: President Tony Frank

FROM: Sue James on behalf of the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity

SUBJECT: Recommendation to Reconsider Past Recommendation: Creation of a centralized website where all graduate employment opportunities are advertised before positions are filled (2003)

Background

In 2003, the Commission recommended the creation of a centralized website where all graduate employment opportunities are advertised before the positions are filled.  It was thought that this would create a more equal opportunity for graduate students seeking positions due to the de-centralized structure of how job opportunities were handled at the time.  The Graduate Funding System used at University of California-Davis was sighted in the 2003 recommendation as being a model that CSU could use to create a centralized and more equitable system for selecting graduate students to fill employment opportunities.

Since the 2003 recommendation, little has been done to provide a solution to the problem.  Current and prospective graduate students often have difficulty locating funding and/or employment opportunities suited to their career and lifestyle needs.  Currently there is still no centralized website or portal available for graduate students to assist in these endeavors.

CSU offers two avenues for student employment 1) JobX: a job posting service featured through Student Employment Services and 2) Handshake: an online database of on and off-campus career related positions for students and alumni hosted by the Career Center.

While JobX has the potential to host job opportunities for graduate students, according to Student Employment Services, this is rare and the site is mainly used for undergraduate positions that are not specifically career related.  Examples of these include employment through the Bookstore or Dining Services, although some undergraduate internship opportunities do arise on this portal.

The Handshake database hosted by the Career Center, offers career based listings for current students and alumni, but does not advertise for departmental positions such as graduate research assistantships or graduate teaching assistantships.

According to Sara Neys the graduate advisor for the Biomedical Engineering department, graduate teaching assistanships (GTA’s) are dealt with on a departmental basis, while gradaute research assistanships (GRA’s) are generally sought out specifically by an inquiring professor or a student interested in working with them.

As previously mentioned in the 2003 recommendation for centralizing information on graduate student opportunities, University of California-Davis has an excellent resource website hosted in the graduate studies portion of the University website: https://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/current-students/employment.  It features tabs and links for both student teaching and research positions as well as a tab for other employment opportunities as noted below.

Recommendation

The Commission recommends that a central website be created and that all graduate employment opportunities be advertised on the site before positions are filled.  The site could be modeled after the web resource the University of California-Davis has implemented through a partnership with Aggie Job Link or a similar company.

Hiring units and individuals would be responsible for posting notices of available positions.  Announcements should be brief, standardized and simple to post.  Each announcement should provide a contact person for applicants seeking more detailed information.  Once the website is in place, no graduate student may be hired until the position announcement has been made available on the website ensuring that all qualified individuals are given the chance to apply.  The website could be located in the Graduate School, which would then have the responsibility for design, implementation, maintenance and enforcement.

Promotes the Mission and Goal of the Commission

Centralized posting of job opportunities for graduate students provides a more equal process and allows all graduate students the chance to apply for positions that may be qualified.  This more fair and equitable approach will better guarantee that women grad students have an equal opportunity to apply to all open positions.

Attachments:
Information about University of California Davis Program
2003 Past Recommendation: Centralizing Information on Graduate Student Employment Opportunities