Friday, February 25, 2011

Financial aid application deadline is March 10

Feb. 25, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Officials in the Indiana University Office of Admissions are reminding students interested in applying for financial aid for the 2011-2012 academic year of the upcoming filing deadline.

All aid applicants must complete the 2011-2012 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 10 (Thursday) to be considered for Indiana state scholarships and grants. In addition, certain campus-based financial aid awards have limited funding and are awarded only to eligible students who complete the FAFSA by that date. Students and parents can complete the FAFSA online at

To complete the FAFSA, applicants will need financial information for both the student and parents including 2010 federal income tax returns, W-2 forms, and any other 2010 taxable and/or untaxed income statements. If you or your parents will not have your federal tax returns completed by March 10, you can use estimated income amounts. Once your federal taxes are filed, you may correct your FAFSA by using the IRS data retrieval process within the online FAFSA website.

If you will need to make corrections to the FAFSA after you have submitted it to the processor, the corrections must be completed before May 16 to still be considered for state scholarships and grants. Information about Indiana state scholarship and grant programs is available at

The FAFSA can be signed electronically using a PIN number from the U.S Department of Education. Both students and parents can apply for a PIN at

Students must complete a new FAFSA each year and meet the application deadlines for each new application year. More information about the aid application process at Indiana University is available at

Performance measures restrict funding to IU graduate programs

By Katie Dawson | IDS Reports | Feb. 24, 2011

Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education has called for 5 percent of all current university funding to be redistributed using a new formula based on performance measures.

The new formula was created to provide an incentive for universities to meet specific performance requirements, such as an increase in on-time graduation rates, successfully completed credit hours and other standards, said Karen Hanson, IU executive vice president and provost.

If schools don’t meet the requirements, they lose funding.

“If we do well on those measures, then we’ll get more than our money back. If we do less well on those measures, we get less of our money back,” said Neil Theobald, vice president for financial affairs.

Theobald said IU might have a hard time meeting some of the requirements.

“At the current time, we lose fairly substantially,” Theobald said.
Theobald said the reason IU is having trouble is because the state’s performance-based measures were developed for undergraduate education only.

IU’s medical school and graduate schools lose money because they can’t compete for their funding against undergraduate education, Theobald said.

Hanson said IU is doing great as a college but can’t possibly live up to the measures set by the state.

“We’re not opposed to performance-based measures, but we think they need to make sense given the mission and character of the campus,” Hanson said during a meeting with the Bloomington Faculty Council on Feb. 15.

Theobald said the University has already talked to the commission about its concerns on the measures.

“Right now, you’ve got Ivy Tech and the IU medical school as the same,” Theobald said. “Your performance is based on what your mission is. The mission of a community college and the mission of a medical school are wildly different.”

Changing the standards and adding more performance measures for graduate schools would make it easier for IU’s graduate schools to receive more money.

“We’re in favor of it. I think it’s a good idea,” Theobald said. “It’s just a work in progress, and the commission knows that.”

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

IU revises Ph.D. research guidelines

By Caitlin Ryan | IDS
Feb. 22, 2011

Ph.D. students can no longer serve as principal investigators of their own work.

In January, the Office of Research Administration at Indiana University released a change in policy regarding principal investigators on studies involving human subjects. According to this new policy, the PI of a student’s work must be one of the individuals listed on the Human Subject Office’s website as an academic appointee eligible for this title.

Among those eligible are faculty members such as professors or assistant professors, librarians, deans, chancellors and research staff. Students, lecturers, teachers and research associates are no longer allowed to hold the title of principal investigator on research approved by the University.

Dr. Peter Finn, chairman of the Institutional Review Board, helped to make the final decision regarding the policy.

The rationale behind this change is that students are only “temporarily affiliated with the University,” thus it is more suitable for a tenured faculty member to oversee information.

“Faculty members are much more accountable to the University than students. Technically, in the past, the faculty member advising the project should have been responsible, but they weren’t always ... this change in policy puts more of the responsibility on them,” Finn said.

This policy does not change the way graduate students conduct research, but leads to questions regarding responsibility versus ownership of research.

Marda Rose, a Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic linguistics, said she is concerned.
“By writing the professor’s name as the principal investigator on the project, the student no longer has a written document that clearly states that the research he or she is conducting is his or her own,” she said. “What is at stake is who is getting credit for the research.”

Other graduate students have expressed their concern regarding awareness of the new policy.

Traci Nagle, another Ph.D. candidate at IU, said “I found out about (the policy change) only when a friend called it to my attention ... I was not notified of this policy decision by the Human Subject’s office. Had my friend not told me about it, I probably would not have found out about it until I had to submit a Continuing Review in October.”

Existing studies will not be modified to reflect the new policy until the next “amendment.” Finn said an e-mail announcement was sent out regarding the new policy.

“The key issue here is that the person who is the principal investigator on the IRB (form) is not the same as the person who is the principal investigator doing the research,” Finn said. “The students remain the principal investigator on their own study, but under their faculty member.”

Finn said there are a variety of avenues for students to pursue through the University and the Human Subjects Office if they are concerned about who would be accredited with being the primary author on their study.

“Being the principal investigator on the IRB (form) does not confer authorship or ownership of the data,” Finn said.