My advisor has funds for me to use for research from his grant so that I don't have to teach in my final semester. Unfortunately my department is denying the request and forcing me to teach a course to be funded since they are low on teachers. 75% of other students are being allowed to use research funding in my department, and I am one of the 5 who is not being allowed. The reasoning is because of timing and a change of policy that once the department determined they were running low on instructors they started denying requests for research funding.
I have exhausted avenues within my department and have still been denied. I do have a lot of savings and could afford not to be funded at all. Honestly, I am tempted to deny teaching altogether. Of course I would not earn my 10-15K + health insurance + tuition benefit that I would get for research funding or teaching or being on the grant for research, but it is doable and honestly tempting to me right now. I am really upset about this.
I am going into my last semester and need time to finish my thesis, find a job, and everything else that comes with graduating. I simply do not have time to teach and have been counting on this funding from my advisor. I think it is completely ludicrous that the department is telling my advisor he cannot fund me using the grant money which was set aside for me.
Can you think of anything I can do to fight this? It seems both immoral and illegal to me. Should I contact the graduate school or the dean of students? Do I have any legal recourse for this? It just feels they are stealing the grant money from me because they won't allow my advisor to give me the grant money meaning I am forced to teach if I want to get paid.