The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday September 25th

Free graduate students

Graduate students at the University should be given ample time to complete their degrees even if their programs require a significant amount of off-campus research or fieldwork.

The University should allow graduate students to work toward their degree with as little red tape as possible.

The proposed Continuous Enrollment Policy should not be implemented in its current form. Under this new policy doctoral candidates would be required to complete their dissertations in eight years and master's in five.

The University certainly has a vested interest in ensuring that these graduate students complete their degrees in a timely fashion. No one is advocating graduates take several years off.

But the policy would place an additional financial burden on already cash-strapped graduate students.

Under the proposed policy graduate students would be required to stay enrolled continuously even if the student were studying abroad.

While the University would pay tuition for students given an outside research grant these grants are not easily obtained.

The University should also seek more graduate student input as it moves forward.

The policy has been in the works for 18 months yet even Chancellor Holden Thorp has acknowledged that communication between the University and graduates has been poor during this process.

Before the University finalizes the plan it must allow for more graduate student input.

And during an economic recession the University should seriously consider if this is the best time to implement this potentially burdensome policy on graduate students.

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