Submitting the Personnel Action Form (PAF) for a Graduate Assistantship

Section IV. Item 5.

Personnel Action Form (PAF)

Simultaneously with the preparation of the acknowledgement of acceptance letter (if sent), the offering unit should prepare the Personnel Action Form (PAF), and obtain approval signatures of the department chair and the college dean/division head. The PAF is then submitted to the Office of Graduate Assistantship Employment at Human Resource Services for final approval and processing. In order to be processed, the following must accompany the PAF sent to the Office of Graduate Assistantship Employment: a completed graduate assistantship application form, the evaluation form, the original offering/acceptance letter, a copy of the acknowledgement-of-acceptance letter (if sent), the completed Personal Data Form, the Selective Service Registration Compliance form (unless it is contained on the GA application) and the completed W-4 form. NOTE: If the assistantship is to be funded through a grant account or a Foundation account, the PAF must be approved by the office of Grants Fiscal Administration or the Foundation's controller prior to submission to the Office of Graduate Assistantship Employment.

Incomplete forms will delay the processing of an assistantship appointment, as will the following circumstances:

  1. Student not admitted to Graduate School. The student must be an admitted graduate student (or a student admitted to Law School). Students-at-large are not eligible to hold graduate assistantships.
  2. Stipend level not within approved range. Maximum and minimum stipend levels are specified each year. (See Section IV, Item 1-2.)
  3. No Certification of Competency in Spoken English. Under Illinois law, students whose native language is not English must demonstrate competence in spoken English in order to receive graduate teaching assistantships involving oral classroom instructional duties (unless the language of instruction is not English). A minimum score of 50 (220 on the old version) on the Test of Spoken English (TSE/SPEAK) has been set for this purpose. Departments desiring to require higher TSE/SPEAK scores are free to do so.
  4. Encumbrances. An encumbrance is an issue between the student and the university; it may pertain to such matters as lack of tuition or fee payment, parking or outstanding library fines, or an incomplete admission file. The Office of Graduate Assistantship Employment will notify the employing department/unit and the student that the PAF cannot be processed until the encumbrance is lifted.


Approved by Graduate Council, May 4, 1992
Editorial Modifications, February 6, 2004; October, 2004; July 13, 2010

Last Updated: 7/13/10