Ask a Dean

How can I get funding to present a conference talk? How do I apply for parental leave? Who can I talk to about a confidential issue in my graduate field? How do I handle a difficult relationship in my field? 

Use the "Ask a Dean" program to get timely answers to your questions.

Questions and responses that may be of interest to the graduate community will be published anonymously on the Graduate School website and in the Graduate School Announcements. 

Questions Submitted to the "Ask a Dean" Program in the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Academia and Research:

  • How can I discuss justice usefully in my classroom? Read response
  • Can you help me find a TA who can take over my course this fall? Read response

Fellowships and Funding, including Taxes:

  • Which tax year is used for spring stipends? Read response
  • Do class lectures count toward the 15-hour per week average for assistantships? Read response
  • Where do I find resources for short term research outside of Cornell? Read response
  • Is there anyone who can help me with the Soros fellowship application? Read response
  • Can you tell me how Cornell follows 117 a-c while so many other institutions obviously follow 117d? Read response
  • Why do universities "charge" and then "waive" tuition for graduate students, instead of simply voiding tuition for graduate students altogether? Read response
  • Are all funded graduate students functioning under 117(a-c) of the current tax code? Read response
  • How will the proposed changes affect my taxable income, particularly in regards to the tuition that the NSF pays to Cornell? Read response
  • Three questions about Cornell's response if the proposed tax legislation is passed. Read response
  • Will the Graduate School commit to increasing wages or decreasing tuition for graduate students if the proposed changes to the tax code pass? Read response

Health and Wellness:

  • What can we do to be prepared for an active shooter? Read response
  • Can you help me with work life balance and where can I compost organics on campus? Read response
  • Can we label major allergens in foods campus-wide? Read response
  • Can I extend my health insurance through October? Read response
  • Can I extend my insurance until my GRA appointment ends? Read response

Policies and Requirements:

  • Why are the in absentia forms so cumbersome to fill out? Read response
  • Can I minor in a field that Cornell does not offer and can I have a non-Cornell faculty member serve on my committee? Read response
  • What is the policy regarding funded graduate students taking courses in professional degree programs? Read response
  • What is Cornell's policy regarding research students taking professional degree courses? Read response
  • Are students required to view "Not Anymore"? Read response
  • Can I ask a professor outside Cornell to be on my exam committee? Read response
  • Should I only show the the published paper in the dissertation papers only option? Read response
  • How do I register when I enter the research phase of my graduate study? Read response 
  • How do I register for the fall semester given that I will be finalizing my dissertation? Read response
  • Is it a policy of Ask a Dean to report letters to supervisors and DGSs without first responding to the grad? Read response
  • Can an instructor withhold credit from a student who does not adhere to business casual dress? Read response
  • Are all dissertations published automatically with or without embargo? Read response


Student Experience:

  • Can you keep the Cornell Chimes? Read response
  • Can Cornell Chimes concerts reduce their scheduled during exams? Read response
  • Can you explain why Kimball Hall only has shower facilities for men? Read response
  • Does Cornell have a weekly events emailer? Read response
  • Is there one place I can go to find out about upcoming seminars? Read response
  • Has the Graduate School ever considered setting up theater/improv style workshops for graduate students? Read response


Union Representation:

  • Are there any updates on the unionization vote that took place last spring? Read response