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Dear graduate and professional students,

A woman with gray hair and wearing a purple top poses for a photo
Dean Beth Mayer-Davis

Since taking on the role of Dean at The Graduate School in fall 2022, I have learned a great deal. I’ve heard from many of you and received many thoughtful notes sharing your experiences at Carolina, both positive and negative. Our mission to serve and support graduate and professional student success is something I value and take seriously.

As such, I’m pleased to announce the launch of the Graduate Student Experience (GSE) Initiative—a cross-campus collaborative effort to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the overall graduate and professional student experience here at Carolina to ensure that our campus has the appropriate policies and practices in place to support academic rigor as well as student success and well-being.

We have been working hard behind the scenes to gather support and engagement from all areas of campus while setting up the formal structure and membership for this important effort. I’m grateful for the overwhelming enthusiasm I’ve seen from a very committed group of 100+ advocates—graduate and professional students, faculty, staff, and campus leaders alike.

With a charge from Provost Christopher Clemens, the GSE Initiative is comprised of a Steering Committee, an Advisory Board, and five working groups with representatives from the College of Arts and Sciences and every school across the University, in addition to key campus units such as Abacus Evaluation, Operational Excellence, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of University Counsel, and the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

We intentionally embedded graduate and professional students across all areas of this effort—on the Steering Committee, Advisory Board, and the five working groups. Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) President Lauren Hawkinson sits on our Steering Committee. Members of the GPSG Cabinet as well as master’s and doctoral students from the Royster Society of Fellows and the Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor are also involved.

We are working on a GSE website which will outline more details and updates as this effort takes shape. In the coming weeks, we will share this website along with a campus-wide announcement about this effort. In the meantime (and in the future), feel free to contact us at

Thank you all for the important work you do. We’re honored to have such a talented group of graduate and professional students at Carolina and know you deserve the best possible environment to learn, grow, and reach your goals.


Beth Mayer-Davis
Dean, The Graduate School

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