College of Liberal Arts

COLA Offers Accommodation to Graduate Student Parents

Fri, Aug 10, 2012

Effective immediately, the College of Liberal Arts has instituted a new policy providing academic accommodation for graduate student parents. As detailed in a letter from Dean Randy Diehl, the College will give a one semester extension in expected time to degree for new parents, in the case of either childbirth or adoption. According to the Dean's letter, "the goal of this accommodation is to emphasize that new parents among our graduate students will not be penalized for a delay in progress toward degree, nor will their supervisor or department be asked to answer for such a delay."

The policy is inspired by the Provost's "Extension of the Tenure-track Probationary Period," which extends the tenure timeline for junior faculty who become parents. Liberal Arts is the first College in the University to provide this same accommodation to graduate student parents. Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Judith Langlois fully endorsed the new Liberal Arts policy, offering her, "congratulations and appreciation to the College of Liberal Arts for being the first to formally implement this important accommodation for their graduate students."

The full letter from Dean Diehl is available here. If you have questions regarding the purpose or implementation of the policy, please contact Lauren Apter Bairnsfather at

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