Visiting Scholars Program

scholarsdebatingFor a long time the Department has maintained an active Visiting Scholars program.  Typically, scholars are early-career scholars or come from foreign countries.  By participating in the Visiting Scholars program, they have a formal UCLA affiliation, which gets them a library card and the opportunity to sit in on courses.  The Department provides a small amount of office space, as well as help in obtaining a visa to the US when necessary.  Visiting Scholars work with a faculty mentor who must formally endorse their application.  While the level of faculty involvement varies, I think that in general the Scholars are well-served by their interactions.  My sense of the program is that it has been a really wonderful way for our Department to serve a wider, global community of health services scholars.

The fee to participate in the Visiting Scholars program is currently $5,000/year, and it can be pro-rated down if a scholar is here for less than a full year.  This fee has not been changed in over 10 years, since the program’s inception.  Given the current budget crisis, I propose raising the fee to $9,ooo per year.  My rationale is that (a) the normal course of tuition inflation would have raised the fee at least from $5,000 to $9,000 since the program’s inception; (b) a $9,000 fee is roughly commensurate with what it would cost to enroll in a formal instructional program for an equivalent amount of time; and (c) we could use the extra money.

I would like to put my proposed fee increase up for discussion and then put it to a vote of the faculty.  Please make your arguments for or against the fee increase in this blog.  Once the rate of new comments dwindles, I will put that matter up for an internet vote.  I am not planning to engage in a lot of internet voting right now, but this is a test case on an issue that I don’t think will generate any heated emotions on one side or the other.  (If I am wrong, we will move the discussion from the blog to a live faculty meeting).

Thanks for your participation in this new form of democracy.


1 Response to “Visiting Scholars Program”

  1. 1 Arturo September 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    It sounds like a good idea. It can compensate for budget cuts to the department. We should discuss it in the next faculty meeting or during the retreat.

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