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Brown's Efforts Regarding Federal Tax Legislation

November 11, 2017

Dear Graduate Students:

On Friday morning, President Christina Paxson shared with the Brown community the serious concerns Brown has regarding the impact of certain provisions of the proposed federal tax reform bill, titled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” She also shared the efforts being undertaken at Brown to understand and push back against the proposed provisions that could have an adverse impact on higher education.

I write to echo President Paxson’s message and reiterate that we are working to determine the potential impact on graduate students. Of special concern is a proposal in the House version of the proposed legislation that would eliminate a provision in current law that provides a tax exemption on tuition and stipends for graduate students. The Senate is considering its own version of a tax reform bill, and it is important to note that the legislative process remains active and further changes are expected. We understand this raises concerns for many graduate students who understandably have many questions. We are not certain of the impact on our graduate student community, but we share your deep concern and are examining the evolving legislation very closely. We are using both internal resources at Brown and external partners to do so, as well as to advocate for what’s in the best interest of students. 

I also want to encourage you to express your views directly to your local representatives. You can find contact information for all federal officials at: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials. As graduate students, you represent an important voice in our efforts to promote access to higher education and to highlight the importance of your research and teaching pursuits in your departments and programs.

Graduate education is vital to the mission of this University, to the betterment of society and to the future of this country. We are monitoring the progress of this legislation and working closely with our partners across campus, including the Office of Government and Community Relations, to ensure that graduate student voices are heard.

Sincerely,

Andrew G. Campbell
Dean of the Graduate School