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12.  Graduate Teaching and Research Assistants


Graduate students are involved in teaching and research as an enriching experience related to their study.  They are paid for their assistance and thus are part-time employees of The University, obligated to comply with all relevant policies.  Their dual role as students first and employees second requires that special care be given to the management of graduate teaching or research assistant (TA/RA) positions. 


12.1  Purpose


   12.11            To enhance the ability of The University to attract and retain highly qualified graduate students.


12.12            To provide assistance to those disciplines that offer graduate degrees.


 12.13             To provide financial support to graduate students so they can devote more time to the advancement of their program of study.


   12.14            To provide supervised training experiences that allow close work with faculty, especially as related to the student’s goals in teaching and in research.




12.2  Employment Policies


12.21            Departments and Schools will post available positions in advance, preferably in the preceding long semester, to make potential candidates aware of the opportunity, to facilitate recruiting benefits, and to provide equitable access to the openings as they become available.


12.22             The Assistant Vice President of Graduate Studies will review all position listings and selection procedures to assure compliance with this policy.


12.23             Students employed as graduate assistants in either teaching or research must be accepted into the program in a regular or provisional status at the time the appointment is made. During the period of employment the student must be enrolled full time.  Full time status is defined as enrollment in 9 hours of course work applicable to the degree plan during regular semesters, and 3 hours to 9 hours during summer.  Note that during the summer, different graduate programs and different funding sources may have different requirements for full time status.  UTPB’s minimum for the summer is 3 hours but the student will be obligated to meet the applicable requirements for his/her program or funding source(s).


12.24            Selection procedures will be consistent with normal recruiting policies as defined by the personnel department to comply with regulations and guidelines.


   12.25            The designated supervisor will be the Department Chair, the Dean of the

School, or the supervisor's designee.  Other faculty members may be involved in leadership, mentoring, and coordination of efforts, but responsibility for duties, compensation, and compliance with policy will remain with the administrator who has fiscal responsibility for the position.


12.26            Compensation will be consistent with the guidelines currently applicable through the personnel office and equitable with other similar positions in the University.  Differences in compensation must be based on the job description and qualifications required.


12.3  Rights and Responsibilities


12.31            The graduate student assistant must receive a list of duties and expectations for the position. These will also be on file in the Department or School office and in the Office of Graduate Studies.


12.32            Graduate student assistants will receive orientation through the Office of Graduate Studies/Office of Human Resources each semester, which includes the new employee orientation and training regarding relevant University policies and procedures.


12.33            Duties assigned to the TA/RA will make allowance for the primary responsibility of the student and the faculty to encourage full time graduate study.


12.34            Duties assigned will have educational objectives and supervision consistent with the expected educational benefit to the student.


12.35            Duties must be reasonable based upon time estimates and the maximum half-time nature of the appointment.




12.4  Evaluation and Reappointment


12.41            The graduate student assistant is expected to be professional in execution of duties.


12.42            The graduate student assistant is entitled to receive a written review of performance each semester from the designated supervisor.  The evaluation must be consistent with the duties prescribed and with the educational/training nature of the position.


 12.43            Reappointment will be based on departmental or school needs, available funding, performance of duties, and progress toward the degree.