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Introduction

Section E.1 of the Graduate School Handbook

E.1.1
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GA and Fellow Absences. These guidelines formalize a set of practices to be used by academic and administrative units at Ohio State to support graduate associates (GAAs, GRAs, and GTAs, collectively referred to hereafter as GAs), fellows and trainees during instances of personal and/or family illness, bereavement, childbirth and adoption.

Absences extending longer than two weeks (referred to hereafter as leaves of absence), especially those that are unexpected, are usually the most difficult to manage, since they require careful balancing of the student’s personal needs with academic and administrative policies, the student’s academic standing and degree progress, unit or principal investigator needs, and funding realities. Appropriately addressing these challenging life situations, which can also jeopardize degree progress or degree completion, typically involves not only the graduate student and his/her supervisor but also the student’s advisor, graduate studies committee chair, and often the department head. Some situations may require additional expertise (from the Graduate School, the Office of International Education, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Student Financial Aid, or other areas).

This project is part of a multi-year effort to address the recommendations of the 2001 Graduate Quality of Experience (G-QUE) report produced by the Graduate School and Council of Graduate Students. The G-QUE study recognized the centrality of graduate education and graduate students to Ohio State’s teaching, research and service missions. Excellent graduate programs are also essential to the success of the university’s Academic Plan.

The G-QUE report made recommendations about strengthening the academic core and interdisciplinary experiences of graduate students, enhancing professional development and career services for graduate students, improving the quality of graduate student life, improving the campus climate for special populations, optimizing the administration of graduate education, linking graduate education to larger institutional goals, and alleviating graduate students’ financial concerns, especially in the area of health care and especially for students supported on associateship, fellowship and traineeship appointments. Many of the recommendations in the G-QUE report have been implemented.