German and Scandinavian Studies

TA Appointment - Reappointment Policy

The goal of the German and Scandinavian Studies graduate funding policy is to support the maximum possible number of graduate students in good standing enrolled in the program and to facilitate timely completion of their degrees. The policy outlined below has been determined in consultation with graduate student employees and in accordance with the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) contract.

1. Requests By Graduate Students for Funding

a. All incoming students will be given the opportunity to request an assistantship. Within the letters notifying them of their acceptance into the MA or PhD program, prospective students will be asked whether or not they want an assistantship, if one has not already been offered. The initial funding offer will specify how long it can be renewed.

b. No incoming student will receive an offer of funding before the final application deadlines for each semester. The Admission and TA Selection Committee will consider the entire pool of punctual applications before making funding decisions, using the criteria in section 2 below.

c. For students already enrolled in the graduate program, funding is renewable if the person has both adequately performed her or his required duties as a graduate student employee, and is making satisfactory academic progress towards the degree.

d. The program will, in fall and spring semesters, inquire in writing (including email) whether a student would like his or her funding to be renewed. At these times, the positions available for assignment to enrolled graduate students will also be announced. The students will need to respond in writing to request a continuation of funding and to specify positions for which they wish to be considered. Additional application materials needed for specific positions will be included in the respective job announcement.

2. Decisions about Who Will Receive Funding

a. Beyond their claim on support based on continuing commitments by the program, students will be awarded assistantships based on merit and qualifications, applicability of the experience to the student’s academic program, and considerations of the overall diversity of the graduate program’s student population and range of concentrations. Merit will be determined based on the applicant’s personal statement, c.v. and writing samples, grades, recommendation letters, work and related cultural experience, and fit with the program’s mission. Increasing diversity in the profession is an important goal in recruiting and retaining students.

b. Rankings of students to be assigned available assistantships (and those that become available after applications have been evaluated) will be made by the Admissions and TA Selection Committee. In ranking applicants for award of assistantships, the committee will rank all applicants after considering the following criteria:

1. Priority is given to students in first four semesters of course-work on campus (either MA or PhD).

2. Next priority is given to ABD students in the PhD program who have passed their comprehensive exams and are entering their 5th and 6th semesters of PhD work.

3. Other criteria which the committee will consider in making its rankings:
a. teaching experience and potential; demonstrated teaching effectiveness b. scholarly activity (conference papers, fellowship and grant proposals, publications, etc.)

c. Students seeking renewed funding will demonstrate good standing in the program. Satisfactory academic performance shall be defined as no more than two incompletes on one’s transcript at any time and an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Students who do not meet these criteria will not be guaranteed renewed funding.

d. No student will be eligible for a second assistantship in the program until every student on the waiting list for assistantships has been offered one.

e. Upon written request, students may receive an explanation for their ranking. Challenges to the rankings may be made according to GEO agreements but must be in writing and in a timely fashion.

3. Notifying People That They Will Receive Funding

a. In accordance with Article 23(4)(c) of the GEO contract, the department will make every effort to notify students as soon as possible of funding decisions. Students who do not receive a position in the first instance will be placed on a waiting list and informed of their ranking there. Rankings are determined by the admission and TA selection committee. Changes in / additions to rankings would only be made twice a year: for spring semester appointments and for fall appointments. Rankings for summer teaching will also be made during the appointment procedure in the spring.

4. Posting of Job Possibilities Available to Graduate Students

a. Job openings at the beginning of the academic year:

As early as possible in the spring semester, and with a decision and notification timetable in accordance with the GEO contract, a list of all available assistantships will be distributed to all students seeking or already receiving funding. The list will describe each assistantship, including hours and expectations, any necessary special qualifications, and any requirements for work beyond the semester dates. Job descriptions will include all specific qualifications required for the position.

By the deadline stipulated in the announcement, students are to state their preferences among the

available jobs. Students will indicate in writing their top three preferences. The faculty will distribute the positions to qualified applicants, based upon the criteria established in Article 23 of the GEO contract.

Priority may be given to anyone currently holding a particular position, as long as the completed work has been satisfactory. In other cases, the academic advantage of a variety of teaching and other experiences will be distributed as equitably as possible among the enrolled students. Performance in any previous assistantships will also be taken into account.

b. Job openings that occur periodically throughout the year:

German and Scandinavian Studies will immediately post positions that become available throughout the academic year, by email and/or by notices placed in student mailboxes. Students will have at least five working days to respond in writing. If the position must be filled more quickly, the posting will state the deadline for applications.

German and Scandinavian Studies will give notice of all new positions in accordance with Article 23 of the GEO contract.

c. Job openings for the spring semester:

German and Scandinavian Studies will give notice of all new positions for the spring semester by December 15, in accordance with the GEO contract. The posting of jobs and students’ indications of preferences will follow section 4(a) above.

d. Job openings outside of the German and Scandinavian Studies program

Students in the program will receive announcements when information is received about available assistantships in other academic departments or elsewhere.

5. Notice of Assignment

a. By the date stipulated in the job announcements, and in accordance with the GEO contract, all students will be notified in writing whether they have received funding, including information about which position they will fill. German and Scandinavian Studies will make available a list of assistantship assignments.

b. Applicants for funding who do not receive appointments at this time will be informed of their position on a waiting list for any positions that open at a later date. Offers for such positions that become vacant will be made according to the ranking of students on the waiting list, with a reasonable time allowed for accepting or declining the position (generally at least 5 days, unless greater urgency is called for by the needs of the program).

b. For positions that become available throughout the year, German and Scandinavian Studies will notify in writing graduate students who are chosen to fill an opening. German and Scandinavian Studies will also notify those who were not chosen of their subsequent position on the waiting list.

Notes

1. Positions resulting from students’ proposing, and receiving funding for, additional courses beyond those funded by GSS are not covered by the above. Teaching such courses does not affect students’ eligibility for other GSS funding.