Financial Support—Teaching Assistants

Reappointment as Teaching Assistants

The following criteria are considered in applications for reappointment

  • Academic excellence as judged by the professors. At least a 3.00 GPA is required for reappointment. Students who have had several incompletes or dropped too many classes will be given lower priority.
  • Academic progress toward MA and PhD degrees. Students wishing to be considered for first-round support for the PhD must complete the MA degree by the end of the Fall semester. Support is limited to two years for the MA and four years for the PhD.
  • Teaching performance, as measured by student evaluations and supervisors.
  • Professionalism. If a graduate student has displayed a lack of professionalism, the department may bypass or put the student on a waiting list for an assistantship. The Graduate Director will explain the reasons for the faculty's decision orally or in writing.
  • Transcripts and Essays. The secretary will ask obtain transcripts for all students who wish to continue as TAs. In addition, the candidates will write a one-page summary of their academic progress and future plans. The department will consider both items in making decisions about TAs.

Collateral Employment

Outside employment must not interfere with departmental duties and responsibilities. The department strongly recommends that a student not have employment outside the department.

Professional Responsibility

The department expects TAs to fulfill their contracts with the university in a professional manner. They should be on campus from the first to the last day of the semester, they should administer their own final exams, and they should turn in their grades on time. TAs who cannot teach their class for an academic or professional reason (e.g., taking the MA exam, presenting a paper at a conference) are required to inform the supervisor beforehand and to arrange for a qualified substitute. It is the responsibility of the absent TA to inform the supervisor in person, not through the substitute. In the case of personal problems (e.g., illness, death in the family, a car accident), TAs must arrange for a qualified substitute and inform the supervisor as soon as possible.

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures does not permit TAs to date or go out with their own students.

TAs who fail to fulfill these responsibilities will receive a letter of reprimand for their files. After repeated offenses, the departmental faculty will also vote to take one or more of the following measures

  • Give the TA lower priority for special teaching assignments (e.g., upper-level courses)
  • Give the TA lower priority in decisions about contract renewals and teaching assignments

Assigment of Upper-Level Undergraduate Courses to Graduate Students

  • The department will announce all available upper-level undergraduate courses (2000-, 3000-, and 4000-level) in advance by memo or by posted notices.
  • Interested students should send the Department Head a current CV and an application letter stating their qualifications and their interest in teaching the course.
  • The following criteria are considered in choosing graduate students to teach upper-level undergraduate courses
    • Qualifications to teach the course (dissertation subject, language competence, prior course work, teaching evaluations)
    • Seniority (ABDs will be given preference)
    • Progress toward degree (courses, time completed)
    • Performance in course work
    • Visa, scholarship, pay, or time limitations
    • Availability
  • As a general rule, the department assigns classes at the beginning of the academic year, and strives to provide opportunities for as many qualified graduate students as possible.
  • The entire section decides course assignments.