Termination or Resignation of Graduate Assistantship

Original Policy Source APPM - Section IV. Item 6
Policy Approval Authority University Council
Primary Audience Faculty
Status Active
Effective Adoption Date 05-04-1992
Last Review Date 04-07-2014
Policy Category/Categories Faculty & Academics

Should the appointee fail to report for assignment on the date noted in the offer letter, the employing unit must, if it wishes to terminate employment, notify Human Resource Services immediately, preferably via phone or email. The department should then submit a PAF (Personnel Action form) through the appropriate college dean or division head, so that Human Resource Services may be notified that the appointment is being canceled. Similar notification should be made when a student resigns an assistantship before the official appointment end date. In this latter case, the letter must indicate the date on which the student last worked. Failure to report such situations promptly can result in overpayment of the assistant. 

A graduate assistantship may be terminated, according to the following policies and procedures. (NOTE: Where reference is made to the "head of the employing unit," this should be understood to mean "head of the employing unit, or his or her designee.")

  1. Failure to report for work on the reporting date specified in the offering letter constitutes grounds for termination of the assistantship, with no remuneration, at the discretion of the head of the employing unit. Notification of such termination is to be sent, immediately, to Human Resource Services.
  2. Notwithstanding any other University policy, practice or procedure, a graduate assistantship may be terminated by Human Resource Services without notice if the assistant is found to be ineligible by virtue of noncompliance with either Board of Trustees or University regulations or with federal and state laws and regulations.
  3. A graduate assistant can be immediately removed from any particular work assignment without notice if, in the opinion of the supervisor or the head of the employing unit, continuation of the assistant in that assignment poses a threat to the safety or well-being (physically, academically, or otherwise) of the assistant or of others. In such a case, the assistant may be reassigned, at the discretion of the head of the employing unit, to other duties if another appropriate assignment exists within the unit, or if not, may be given notice of immediate termination. The grounds for the immediate termination shall be provided to the student in the notice. The student shall be given an opportunity to respond to the notice and to ask the head of the employing unit for reconsideration of the termination action. During this time, the student may be removed from employment and the workplace.
  4. A graduate assistant may be given notice of immediate termination for poor performance of work assignments, for poor academic performance, contumacious conduct, or for any other reason that does not violate federal and state employment law and university policy prohibiting discrimination. The notice must contain the grounds for termination.
  5. The Graduate School and Human Resource Services recommend, but do not require, that any decision (except as outlined in 1 and 3 above) to terminate an assistant be made after the assistant has been informed in writing of deficiencies and given an appropriate time to correct deficiencies. Copies of any such documentation should be signed by the assistant to acknowledge receipt and by his/her supervisor and the head of the hiring unit as evidence of concurrence; copies must be sent to Human Resource Services and the Dean of the Graduate School.
  6. Prior to making a decision to terminate an assistant (except as outlined in 1 and 3 above), the head of the hiring unit and the supervisor are required to consult with and the Dean of the Graduate School.
  7. If a graduate assistant is notified in writing of termination, the assistant’s supervisor and the head of the hiring unit, prior to the effective date of termination, must give the assistant one opportunity to state why he/she should not be terminated. In rare, exigent circumstances that require removal of the student from employment before he/she has had an opportunity to be heard, the student shall be provided this opportunity within a reasonably short period of time after the student is removed from employment. The decision to terminate the assistant’s employment is solely the responsibility of the supervisor and head of the hiring unit. Their decision is final.

Approved by Graduate Council, May 4, 1992

Amended by Graduate Council, April 7, 2014
Editorial modifications, April 16, 2004


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