Policies & Procedures

Institutional Policies & Procedures

TA Policy Statement
The TA Policy Statement, taken from UT’s Handbook of Operating Procedures, provides an overview of the rights and responsibilities of TAs, including required qualifications, the selection and appointment process, the terms of the appointment, TA duties and teaching load, the supervision and instruction of TAs, reappointments, and the termination of appointments.

TA Grievance Procedures
A TA at The University of Texas at Austin has the right to seek redress of any grievance related to the terms and conditions of such employment. Each TA may express a grievance through the procedures outlined in the link above with the assurance of timely and thorough consideration. See also the Graduate School’s webpage about grievance procedures.

Title IX Grievances
The University of Texas at Austin is committed to maintaining a learning environment that is free from discriminatory conduct based on gender. As required by Title IX, the University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities, and it encourages any student or non-student who thinks that he or she has been subjected to sex discrimination, sexual harassment (including sexual violence), or sexual misconduct by another student, member of the faculty or staff, or campus visitor or contractor, to immediately report the incident. For additional information about Title IX, please consult UT’s Title IX Resource Guide.

In addition, see the Title IX pamphlet “Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students.” Although the pamphlet focuses on secondary schools, the underlying legal principles apply to all recipients of federal financial assistance, including postsecondary institutions.

Compliance Training for Graduate Students
Graduate student employees are essential members of the university community who are assigned duties in the classroom and the laboratory as part of their educational experience. In these capacities they work closely with other students and staff and at times find themselves in supervisory positions, especially over undergraduate students. Like other university employees, graduate students assigned to these roles are required to be aware of, and in compliance with, state law and university policy on equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment.

International TAs
In 1989, the 71st Texas Legislature passed House Bill 638 requiring that all public universities provide a program or short course to ensure that courses be taught clearly in the English language. In order to comply, the International Office conducts an English Certification Program for international TAs and AIs, which is a condition for positions entailing contact with students. For more information, visit the ITA English Certification website.

Resident Tuition Entitlement
Students who are not residents of Texas when they begin their studies are subject to nonresident tuition fees. There are, however, a number of circumstances in which students may qualify for resident tuition rates, among them employment under a qualifying job title. Although the student remains classified as a nonresident, the difference between the nonresident and the resident tuition rate is waived. A TA job title is considered a qualifying job title for this purpose.

Fourteen-Semester Rule
Graduate students may be employed in the following titles for a maximum of 14 long semesters: Assistant Instructor; Teaching Assistant; Teaching Assistant (no student contact); Graduate Research Assistant; Academic Assistant; Assistant; and Tutor. Note that this is the maximum time and that the College or an individual department may impose shorter time limits.

College of Liberal Arts Policies & Procedures

Parental Accommodation
The College offers four types of accommodations for graduate students with growing families: academic accommodations; TA accommodations; GRA accommodations; and parental leave. It is the responsibility of a graduate student anticipating a birth or adoption to inform his or her Graduate Adviser, Graduate Coordinator, and thesis/dissertation or research project supervisor of any anticipated accommodation needs as early as possible, and to submit the required documentation in support of the accommodation request. See also the Title IX pamphlet “Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students,” which is discussed above under the “Title IX Grievances” heading.

Work-Life Balance
Faculty, students, and staff members often struggle to maintain a healthy balance between professional success and personal wellness. The University of Texas offers many resources and programs that support the physical and mental health of employees and students throughout their academic lives and professional careers.

Graduate Student Funding
In an effort to increase the utility of student support plans, the College encourages  departments to offer all entering Ph.D. students recruitment packages guaranteeing five years of support starting with the first year in the program. Where funds are available, departments may offer support during the sixth year, on a competitive basis, to students in good standing who make adequate progress toward their respective degrees. The College envisions student support with College funds as limited to six years, beginning with the first matriculation into the student’s current academic unit. The College will consider support during the seventh year in a small number of cases.

Departmental Policies & Procedures

For information on departmental policies and procedures with respect to TAs, please consult your department’s handbook and/or speak with your graduate coordinator. While the College and its units cannot contradict UT policy, they can work within these policies, for example: the continuation or termination of TA employment may be in part a function of maintaining good academic standing as defined by the department; or a department may require that its graduate students maintain a GPA that is higher than the minimum as defined by the Graduate School.