Appointment Process and Responsibilities

Guidance for Graduate Students:

  • When signing the offer letter with the appointing department, make sure to obtain a copy for personal records.
  • Complete all new appointment information through UAcess Employee immediately. All new GAs, must undergo a pre-hire screening process, including a background check, in accordance with ABOR policy 6-709.
  • Take action on and complete Graduate Notice of Appointment (NOA) within 14 days of receiving the email notification from Human Resources. Failure to complete this necessary step will put the GA at risk of not being re-hired for future semesters.
  • Complete all mandatory trainings related to their appointment. This includes, but is not limited to, Teaching Assistant/Associate Training Online (TATO) and any departmental trainings. Please note that Graduate Assistant/Associate Teaching Orientation (GATO) is no longer offered by the Graduate College. However, individual departments or colleges may be requiring in-person training. Please contact the appointing department for more information.
  • Discuss all other positions with their supervisor(s). This is to ensure that any other employment and/or appointment will not interfere with the assigned duties.
  • Complete all duties and responsibilities assigned by the appointing department(s).
  • Be aware that while concurrently enrolled at least half-time (6 units during the Fall and Spring, and 3 units during the Summer), a GA is exempt from Social Security Taxes (FICA).
  • Graduate Assistants/Associates are also subject to all rules, regulations, and policies that are set by ABOR (Arizona Board of Regents) and the University of Arizona.  These include but are not limited to those governing intellectual property, equal opportunity, affirmative action, conflict of interest, and code of conduct.
  • International students are responsible for keeping their visa documents in order and notifying International Student Services of any changes in program length.  Should the need for an updated I-20 or DS-2019 arise, it is the GA’s responsibility to follow up in a timely manner.  GAs that do not turn in the visa extension to their hiring department prior to the expiration date are not allowed to work or be paid and will not be eligible for any missed pay due to the visa  expiration.
  • The  University maintains an official policy on GA workload.

Guidance For Appointing Departments:

  • Offer letters are required for all new hires and nearly all changes to GA positions (reappointment, FTE, level, title, salary changes, etc.).  A copy of the signed offer letter must be given to the student and a copy retained for departmental personnel records.  Employees must be logged in on campus or through a VPN connection to access the offer letter.  Once you log in, it will take you back to the home page. You will then need to go to the offer letter link again, or access it through the side menu under “Funding and Financial Resources”. 
  • Complete all new appointment information through UAcess Employee immediately. All new GAs must undergo a pre-hire screening process, including a background check, in accordance with ABOR policy 6-709.
  • Ensure that all GAs have a valid Social Security Number which must be presented to the Financial Services Office front desk within three weeks of being appointed (by the graduate student). New international students who do not have an SSN can apply for one. Please refer to this website
  • Appoint the GA in as timely a manner as possible. Please refer to the UAccess Employee New Hire/Rehire Guide for instructions.
  • Generate, send, or withdraw Graduate Notices of Appointment (NOA) as soon as UAccess Employee allows.  Please refer to the GA Notice of Appointment Guide for instructions.
  • Check to ensure that GAs are fully admitted into a degree seeking program, are enrolled properly, meet English proficiency requirements prior to being appointed (for Teaching Assistants/Associates only), and have completed all necessary trainings mandated by the Graduate College and/or the appointing department.
  • Be aware that a GA on an academic contract is not required to perform duties outside of their contract dates unless the student and department agree (preferably in writing) about this prior to the appointment start date. If the student and department have agreed to additional duties, requiring additional pay, please see the section on supplemental compensation.
  • Similarly, GAs are not required to perform duties on official university holidays (e.g. Labor Day, Thanksgiving closure, Winter closure, MLK day, etc.) or academic breaks such as spring break, unless the student and department agree (preferably in writing) about this prior to the appointment start date. If the student and department have agreed to work on/over an official university holiday, they must be either given like time off on another day, to be mutually agreed upon by the student and department personnel, or provided additional compensation.
  • Ensure that all appointed Graduate Teaching Assistants/Associates (GTA) receive an end of semester evaluation. The results of these evaluations (as a whole) must be submitted to the Graduate College by filling out the Graduate Assistant/Associate Teaching Evaluation web-form.
  • All Graduate Assistants/Associates (including GAs who are the sole instructor of a class) must be assigned a faculty or instructional staff supervisor, to whom they will report and who will be available to mentor them as necessary during the period of their appointment. Lead GAs and peer–to-peer mentoring can supplement this reporting structure.  However, formal evaluation and supervision of GAs rest with the faculty or instructional staff supervisor.  GAs may not evaluate other GAs. 
  • The University of Arizona requires that each person occupying a Graduate Assistant/Associate position must receive a written performance evaluation from his or her supervisor at the end of each term of hire, regardless of the specific duties.
  • Graduate students who are assigned duties of a Graduate Assistant or Associate (GA), such as teaching or research related activities including grading, must be hired with the title of Graduate Assistant or Graduate Associate. They may not be hired as student workers nor may they be paid using fellowship funds per IRS Section 117. Refer also to GA hiring policies and procedures. Student workers are generally assigned tasks that are routine in nature and require little or no previous training or work experience.
  • The  University maintains an official policy on GA workload.