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The School of Arts and Sciences standard stipend for teaching assistants for the 1992 fiscal year will be $8,600, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies Donald Fitts said yesterday. The stipend is $400 more than last year's, which was set at $8,200. The funding usually increases $200 to $500 annually, Fitts said. The associate dean said there was no one factor that led to the $400 increase in the stipends, which are officially set by School of Arts and Sciences Dean Hugo Sonnenschein. "It increases by what we think we can afford," Fitts said. "We try and make it a little greater than the inflationary standard, and we also watch what the competition is doing." But graduate student government leaders said they were disheartened last night by the stipend level. Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Chair Susan Garfinkel said she was upset the University did not increase the stipend by at least $500 as it has done for the past two years. The SAS stipend was $7,700 in 1990 and $7,000 in 1989. Garfinkel also noted that the proposed student health insurance for the upcoming year is approximately $950, 11 percent of a graduate student's stipend. Graduate Students Associations Council President Michael Polgar said he was disappointed the University had not given the graduate students the $10,000 stipend they had requested in previous years. According to Polgar, the University formed a committee on doctoral education two years ago which had concluded that a reasonable stipend level was $10,000. "It's better than nothing," Polgar said of the stipend increase. Individual departments may choose to supplement the stipend with their own funds, while other departments split the money so they may accommodate more students. In past years, the Biology Department has paid its teaching assistants $12,500, one of the highest stipends, while the Folklore Department, which splits its stipends among students, has one of the lowest.

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