Graduate Student Advisory Committee
Commitment, Partnership, Advocacy, and Leadership

Our History

The original Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC) was established on February 11, 1969, by nine graduate students selected from graduate programs in Mathematics, Sociology, Education, Science Education, Chemistry, Librarianship, and Applied Sciences, and appointed by the Dean of The Graduate College. The purpose of the Committee was to serve as a source of information for graduate students regarding administration and conversely, as a source of graduate student opinion to the gradate office regarding policy decisions affecting graduate students. From 1970 through 1972 the GSAC functioned at the University level with support from several departmental graduate committees. The first year the GSAC worked well. The second year, however, Committee members graduated at various times, which finally left the Chair as the sole Committee member. GSAC needed a more functional structure.

In 1972-73 an Ad Hoc Committee on University Services to Graduate Students was formed to examine the issue of graduate student representation at WMU. In April 1973, this committee recommended to the Graduate Studies Council the re-establishment of a Graduate Student Advisory Committee.

Formally, the GSAC is a standing committee of the Graduate Studies Council appointed by the Dean of The Graduate College. In practice, the members are selected by the acting GSAC Chair from recommendations by units offering graduate programs and by departmental and college-wide graduate student organizations. The Vice President for Student Services and an Associate Dean of The Graduate College also serve on the Committee.

In 1973, the Graduate Studies Council charged the GSAC with the following mandate:

  • Periodically review services and needs of graduate students.
  • Make recommendations to appropriate officials and offices.
  • Recommend graduate students for appointments to University councils and committees.
  • Serve as a liaison between departmental graduate student organizations, the Graduate Studies Council, and the Dean of The Graduate College.

The newly reappointed GSAC sought to establish its own identity as a graduate student organization in addition to performing the above mandate. It helped to improve services for graduate students in the areas of library, placement, parking, news for graduate students, and the scheduling of graduate courses during the Spring and Summer sessions. The GSAC has since been committed to continuing efforts to enhance the status of the graduate student body at WMU.

In March 1974, the Associated Student Government, upon GSAC's request, adopted a by-law to its Constitution delegating to the GSAC responsibility for graduate student affairs and appointments to councils and committees. As a result, the GSAC gained autonomy in dealing with graduate student affairs.

The GSAC of 1974-75 continually sought to improve services provided for graduate students. It recommended that the administration re-examine over-all service needs of part-time and commuter students, and to develop specific objectives and criteria to evaluate effectiveness and efficiency of University offices, colleges, and departments. It surveyed library services at WMU, as well as at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University, and recommended that the libraries assign lockers and carrels to graduate students actively engaged in research, and to conduct regular library orientations to familiarize graduate students with library services and staff. It requested that the Western Herald cover more graduate student news. This generation of GSAC also sought more representation of graduate students on councils and committees.

GSAC is presently as active as ever, offering services, for example, like university orientations for incoming graduate students on the one hand, and professional development workshops for those on the verge of graduation on the other. Now, as state budgets for higher education are slashed, and changes inevitable, GSAC serves to insure that graduate education at WMU remains strong.



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Graduate Student Advisory Committee
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49001-5242 USA
(269) 387-8207 | (269) 387-8232 Fax