Revised: 05/09/2014

 

Salaried Graduate Assistant Employment                  UPPS No. 07.07.06

Procedures                                                                          Issue No. 3

Effective Date: 03/31/2011

Page 1 of 8

                                                                                                 

 

01.       POLICY STATEMENTS

 

01.01  This UPPS provides an organized procedure whereby graduate assistants seeking part-time employment and the respective departments and offices of Texas State University seeking part-time graduate assistant employees will receive maximum benefits from the Graduate Assistant Employment Program.

 

01.02  Specific objectives of the Graduate Assistant Employment Program are to:

 

a.   provide information to both the student and the employing university department;

 

b.   ensure compliance with federal, state and university regulations, policies, and guidelines;

 

c.   complement and strengthen the educational program and support the educational goals of the student; and

 

d.   assure that Texas State’s graduate assistant employment policies are competitive for recruiting at the state and national level.

 

02.       DEFINITIONS

 

02.01  Graduate Assistant Titles and Descriptions:

 

a.   Graduate Teaching Assistants and Doctoral Teaching Assistants – are employed by an academic department, paid from faculty salaries and reported as the “teacher of record” for an organized class. Graduate teaching assistants and doctoral teaching assistants receive a faculty contract for a semester or the academic year and are paid on a monthly basis, appointed via a Personnel Change Request (PCR), and are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) under the learned professional exemption.

 

 


b.   Graduate Instructional Assistants and Doctoral Instructional Assistants – are employed by an academic department, paid from faculty salaries, but are not reported as the “teacher of record.” Graduate instructional assistants and doctoral instructional assistants are responsible for a specific group of students and assign some portion of these same students’ grades. The academic department may pay graduate instructional assistants’ salaries for those assisting in the operation of a lab or an activity or recitation group from course fees collected for this purpose. Graduate instructional assistants and doctoral instructional assistants are normally appointed for a semester or the academic year, are paid on a monthly basis, appointed via a PCR, and are exempt from the FLSA under the learned professional exemption.

 

c.   Graduate Research Assistants and Doctoral Research Assistants – are employed by a department or university office and may receive pay from grant or university funds. Responsibilities may include research, technical assistance and institutional support. If employed on a grant, the work performed must directly relate to the objectives of the grant. Graduate research assistants and doctoral research assistants can be appointed for a semester, the academic year, or the duration of a research project or any portion thereof, and paid on a monthly basis. They are appointed via a PCR, and are exempt from the FLSA under the graduate research exemption as provided in the June 28, 1994, DOL Opinion Letter #1263.

 

02.02  Benefit Eligibility

 

a.   All positions as described in Sections 02.01 a. – c. are eligible for employer group insurance plans administered by the Human Resources Benefit Office when employed at least half-time (20 hours per week) for a minimum period of four and a half months.

 

b.   All graduate student employees with nine-month appointments may choose to receive their nine-month salary in 12 monthly payments. If salary spread is elected, it will remain in effect every year thereafter until either: 1) the employee signs an authorization to change back to a nine-month pay basis to begin the next fiscal year; or 2) the employee becomes ineligible. Employees who wish to elect twelve-month salary spread or change back to a nine-month pay basis must complete a Salary Spread Election Form prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

03.       ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

 

03.01  Academic/Enrollment

 

*a. Graduate Teaching Assistants and Doctoral Teaching Assistants

The “Credentials Guidelines” in the SACSCOC Principles for Accreditation for graduate teaching assistants include “a master’s in the teaching discipline or 18 graduate semester credit hours (SCH) in the teaching discipline, direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluations.” Additional Texas State requirements include unconditional acceptance into a graduate degree program. The student must enroll in at least nine graduate SCH in a graduate degree program each fall and spring semester of employment and in at least three SCH during the summer if their initial employment is in the summer. The dean of the Graduate College must approve graduate and doctoral teaching assistants taking more than 12 graduate SCH of course work per fall or spring semester, or those taking more than six graduate SCH per summer session. The student must also maintain a minimum 3.0 Texas State grade point average in course work leading toward the completion of a graduate degree.[a1]  The dean of the Graduate College must approve any exceptions. The graduate advisor must submit requests for exceptions in writing to the dean of the Graduate College prior to the first day of class.

 

*b. Graduate Instructional Assistants and Doctoral Instructional Assistants – Texas State requirements include unconditional acceptance into a graduate degree program. The student must enroll in at least nine graduate SCH in a graduate degree program each fall and spring semester of employment and in at least three SCH during the summer if their initial employment is in the summer. The dean of the Graduate College must approve graduate and doctoral instructional assistants taking more than 12 graduate SCH in the fall or spring semester of course work, or those taking more than six graduate SCH per summer session. The student must also maintain a minimum 3.0 Texas State grade point average in course work leading toward the completion of a graduate degree. The dean of the Graduate College must approve any exceptions. The graduate advisor must submit requests for exceptions in writing to the dean of the Graduate College prior to the first day of class.

 

*c.  Graduate Research Assistants and Doctoral Research Assistants Texas State requirements include unconditional acceptance into a graduate degree program. The student must enroll in at least nine graduate SCH in a graduate degree program each fall and spring semester of employment and in at least three SCH during the summer if their initial employment is in the summer. The dean of the Graduate College must approve graduate and doctoral research assistants taking more than 12 graduate SCH in the fall or spring semester of course work, or those taking more than six graduate SCH per summer session. The student must also maintain a minimum 3.0 Texas State grade point average in course work leading toward the completion of a graduate degree. The dean of the Graduate College must approve any exceptions. The graduate advisor must submit requests for exceptions in writing to the dean of the Graduate College prior to the first day of class.

 

*03.02 Summer Enrollment of Previously Employed Students

 

Graduate assistants enrolled in nine graduate SCH during the prior spring and fall semesters (or with an approved exception on file) [a2] may work in the summer with no enrollment requirement. Students enrolled and employed as undergraduate assistants in the previous spring and fall semesters may work as graduate assistants in the summer with no enrollment requirements. Teaching assistants who are employed in spring and fall semesters may spread out their required enrollment hours (18 SCH) over the entire academic year, if their department allows it. Students seeking summer employment as graduate assistants who do not meet these criteria must enroll in a total of [a3] three graduate SCH during the summer.

 

04.       ALLOWABLE WORK HOURS

 

04.01  Graduate assistant employees may work up to 50 percent FTE (20 hours per week) during the fall and spring semesters. The dean of the Graduate College may approve up to a maximum of 75 percent FTE for non-international students. For employment over 50 percent, an exception request from the graduate advisor or the department chair and an approval by the dean of the Graduate College must be on file. International student appointments may not exceed a combined total of 50 percent FTE.

 

04.02  Graduate assistant employees may work up to 100 percent FTE (40 hours per week) between semesters and over Spring Break (during energy conservation days), if approved by the dean of the Graduate College. For employment over 50 percent, an exception request from the graduate advisor or the department chair and an approval by the dean of the Graduate College must be on file. If not enrolled in course work between semesters, international students in a degree program may work up to 100 percent FTE with an approved justification on file.

 

*04.03[a4]       Summer Employment

 

            For employment over 50 percent in the summer, an exception request from the graduate advisor or the department chair and an approval by the dean of the Graduate College must be on file. Non-international graduate assistant employees may work up to 100 percent FTE (40 hours per week) during the summer, if approved by the dean of the Graduate College. If not enrolled in course work during the summer, international students in a degree program may work up to 100 percent FTE with an approved justification on file. Exceptions to work 100 percent will only be granted in rare circumstances.

           

05.       HIRING PROCEDURES

 

05.01  Appointment and New Hire Paperwork

           

a.   Graduate assistants cannot be appointed in salaried and hourly positions concurrently. Likewise, in accordance with Internal Revenue Service and the state of Texas guidelines, the university cannot pay graduate assistants as consultants or contractors while employed by the university, or for 12 months following the termination of their university employment.

 

b.   New hire paperwork for graduate or doctoral teaching and instructional assistant appointments are processed through the Graduate College and Faculty Records. Paperwork for graduate or doctoral research assistant appointments is processed through the Graduate College, the appropriate vice president’s office and Human Resources for all divisions except Academic Affairs. Graduate or doctoral research assistant appointments in Academic Affairs are processed through the Graduate College and Faculty Records.

 

1)   Graduate teaching assistants and doctoral teaching assistants must submit a complete faculty applicant packet which consists of a faculty employment application, official transcripts from all degree- granting institutions, a current vita or resume and three letters of recommendation. Also, each department will complete the Graduate Assistant New Hire Packet available at: http://www.hr.txstate.edu/.

Faculty Records must receive these documents, along with a PCR and a Contracting of Temporary Faculty Form, from the department via the college dean and the dean of the Graduate College.

 

2)   Each department will complete the Graduate Assistant New Hire Packet for graduate instructional assistants and doctoral instructional assistants and graduate research assistants and doctoral research assistants and submit it with the PCR, through the appropriate channels as noted above, to the Graduate College. The Graduate Assistant New Hire Packet is available at: http://www.hr.txstate.edu/.

 

05.02  Pay rates – Each of the above job titles in Sections 02.01 a. – c. are paid in accordance with the salary schedule in the University Pay Plan.

 

06.       ACCOUNT MANAGER OR DESIGNEE RESPONSIBILITIES

 

06.01  The account manager or designee may determine the need for graduate assistants and may work with the appropriate vice president for position approvals. Appropriate titles are determined based on the criteria in Sections 02.01 a. – c.

 

*06.02 The account manager or designee is responsible for contacting the International Office to verify employment eligibility for all international graduate and doctoral students prior to hire (see Attachment I).

 

06.03  The account manager or designee must forward the appointing PCR and all forms noted in Section 05.01 b. via the college dean and the dean of the Graduate College to the Human Resources Office or Faculty Records, as appropriate.

 

06.04  The account manager or designee must ensure that students meet all academic and enrollment policies found in Sections 03.01 and 03.02.

 

06.05  The account manager or designee must ensure that students are not appointed over 50 percent FTE without specific approval from the dean of the Graduate College.

 

06.06  The account manager or designee must prepare the separation PCR, the Employee Separation Form and Separation Checklist (see UPPS No. 04.04.50).

 

06.07  The account manager or designee is responsible for notifying graduate student employees if they are appointed to a benefits-eligible position and instructing the students to contact Human Resources for enrollment information within the 30-day enrollment deadline.

 

07.       OUT-OF-STATE WAIVER

 

*07.01 According to the Texas Education Code, Sec. 54.212, a teaching, instructional, or research assistant of any institution of higher education, and the spouse and children of such a teaching, instructional, or research assistant, are entitled to register in a state institution of higher education by paying the tuition fees and other fees or charges required for Texas residents under Section 54.051 of this code, without regard to the length of time the assistant has resided in Texas, if the assistant is employed at least one-half time in a teaching, instructional, or research assistant position, which relates to the assistant’s degree program under rules and regulations established by the employer institution. The account manager or designee will be responsible for submitting the required paperwork for the out-of-state waiver to the Student Business Services Office. The out-of-state waiver request form and deadlines can be found at: http://www.sbs.txstate.edu/students/waivers-exemptions.html.

 

08.       NON-DISCRIMINATION

 

*08.01 Texas State University will not discriminate against any person in employment or exclude any person from participating in or receiving the benefits of any of its activities or programs on any basis prohibited by law, including race, color, age, national origin, religion, sex, disability, veterans’ status, or on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

 

09.       REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS

 

09.01  Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

 

Position                                                         Date

 

Dean, Graduate College                            July 1 E4Y

                                                                       

Assistant Vice President                            July 1 E4Y

for Human Resources

Chief Diversity Officer and Director of     July 1 E4Y

Equity and Access                                      

                                                                       

Director, Faculty Records                           July 1 E4Y

 

10.       CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

 

This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

 

Dean of the Graduate College; senior reviewer of this UPPS

 

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

 

President


 [a1]This rule, while in the catalogue and included under b and c, was missing from a

 [a2]It is impossible to monitor fall enrollment when summer PCRs are processed, as fall enrollment has not opened up at that time

 [a3]It is impossible to hold an assistantship and enroll in 9 hours and do well as classes are more condensed.

Heading added and text inserted  [a4] for clarity