Graduate Assistantships

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A number of 1/4 and 1/2 time art history teaching assistantships are available in the fall and spring semesters each year for teaching discussion sections attached to survey courses that satisfy undergraduate General Education Program requirements ("GE" courses). A quarter-time Teaching Assistantship requires an average of ten hours of work time each week over the course of the academic year; a half-time Teaching Assistantship requires an average of twenty hours of work each week over the course of the academic year. Teaching Assistantships carry a stipend and a full tuition scholarship at the Graduate College graduate assistant rate. Teaching Assistants are responsible for 75% of their fees. New contracts are negotiated every other year by Campaign to Organize Graduate Students (COGS). For more information, see http://www.grad.uiowa.edu/cogs-contract.

Half-time funding packages of any combination of TAships, RAships, and/or fellowships are offered with the understanding that recipients will engage in no external employment during the semester. In the case of needed exception, a student should notify the Head of Art History in writing, and a waiver will be considered. This policy is based on the necessity of conforming to Graduate College expectations about progress to degree.

T.A. or R.A. appointment for one term is no guarantee of re-appointment for a subsequent term. Every year each applicant is considered in the context of the entire pool of applicants for that year. A student holding an assistantship must be a candidate for an advanced degree, must be making acceptable progress toward that degree, and must be registered for the following minimum and maximum course loads for fall or spring semesters:

Course loads for fall or spring semesters:
Time Minimum Maximum
½ time 4 s.h. 12 s.h.
¼ time 6 s.h. 15 s.h.

A.B.D. (all but dissertation) students registered on continuous enrollment are exempt from the minimum course load.

Guidelines for Appointment of Teaching Assistants:
The assignment and assessment of T.A.s are reviewed each Spring Semester before appointments are recommended to the Director by the Art History Faculty.

Qualified art history graduate students who wish to apply for T.A. positions must submit the "Graduate Teaching Assistant Application" form along with a current curriculum vitae, emphasizing the applicant's earlier teaching experience and/or relevant course experience by January 15th.  The Application may be also be obtained from the Director's Administrative Assistant in the Main Office (150 Art Building West).  .

Deadline: January 15. The teaching assistant application may also be found under Art History Graduate Program Forms.

The Director, with the advice of the Art History Faculty, ensures that teaching assistantships are awarded to students who demonstrate excellent qualifications and that the appointments are made according to procedures which would guarantee equal opportunities to all who are qualified. T.A.s whose native language is not English must be certified by taking and passing the English Proficiency Examination administered by the University and by a personal interview with the art history faculty. Non-English speakers should contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for information about certification and testing.

T.A. appointments for the Fall semester are announced by April 15th while T.A. appointments for the Spring semester are announced by November 1st for the Spring semester. However, a number of appointments that depend upon enrollment, budgetary, and other contingencies may not be announced until they are financially guaranteed. All definite positions are announced by letter as soon as decisions have been made. Art history graduate students enrolled in a degree program must maintain at least a 3.50 grade-point average and have demonstrated excellence in their course of study. Students must be registered during the semester(s) of appointment. First consideration is given to students who are working on the Ph.D. degree. Next consideration is given to exceptional M.A. students. A graduate student who has an Incomplete grade in any of his or her courses is not considered favorably for teaching assistant appointments.

All teaching assistantship recipients are notified by email. All appointments are normally for the academic year that begins three business days before the first day of classes and terminates on the last day of final exam week, or until final grades are submitted.

T.A. Responsibilities:

  1. Each T.A. must attend every lecture given by the Course Supervisor and arrive promptly, regardless of his/her familiarity with the subject treated.
  2. Each T.A. must attend the weekly meeting designed to prepare material for discussion sections and be responsible for whatever tasks have been assigned by the Course Supervisor.
  3. If, for unforeseen and serious reasons, a T.A. must miss a discussion section, the T.A. must inform the Course Supervisor as soon as possible so that other arrangements may be made. Under no circumstances may a discussion section be canceled or a teacher substituted without the knowledge and approval of the Course Supervisor.
  4. T.A.s are responsible for the grading of examinations and papers and should do so expeditiously. In some courses, T.A.s may be responsible for preparation of examinations and other assignments, with the assistance of the Course Supervisor. Uniform grading policies and standards are to be determined by the Course Supervisor and must be followed by T.A.s to ensure fairness and consistency. All final examinations must be saved and returned to the instructor after grading. Final examinations must be saved by the Course Supervisor for two years after the final examination.
  5. T.A.s should establish and maintain office hours when they are available for student consultation. A quarter-time T.A. is required to have published office hours for two hours each week. A half-time T.A. is required to have three hours of office hours each week.
  6. Student complaints about individual T.A.s or any aspect of the course should be referred to the Course Supervisor or the Head of Art History.
  7. ACE Evaluations should be administered in each discussion section by the T.A. at or near the end of the course.

Course Supervisor’s Responsibilities to T.A.s:

  1. The Course Supervisor may be thought of as the “captain” in what is essentially a “team effort” to teach art history to a large number of undergraduates, most of whom have had little or no exposure to the subject. The Course Supervisor should be accessible to T.A.s and students, and should co-ordinate all activities connected with the course in a fair and expeditious manner.
  2. The Course Supervisor should direct the weekly preparation meetings and make clear, at the outset, any special T.A. responsibilities (e.g., preparing the lecture room) and/or assignments (e.g., preparing discussion section lectures, examinations) and grading policies.
  3. The Course Supervisor must make every effort to be consistent and fair in his/her treatment of T.A.s and students enrolled in the course. Particular attention must be given to requests for make- up exams, late papers or other assignments. Policies should be established, with the T.A.s, to ensure that all of these matters are treated in a consistent manner.
  4. The Course Supervisor will attend at least one discussion section for each T.A. during the semester. Afterwards, the Course Supervisor should offer a frank and candid constructive evaluation of the positive and negative features of the T.A.’s performance, in a private meeting. The Course Supervisor produces a written report which is signed by the T.A. and returned to the Course Supervisor, who will submit it to the School Administrator.
  5. The Course Supervisor will administer ACE Evaluations for the lecture portion of the course and may review the ACE forms of the discussion sections with the relevant T.A. after the course ends.

For additional information, T.A.s should consult the Handbook for Teaching Assistants at the University of Iowa.

Guidelines for Appointment of Research Assistants:
The assignment and number of research assistantships is reviewed each Spring Semester before appointments are recommended to the Director by the Art History Faculty.

Art History graduate students enrolled in a degree program must maintain at least a 3.50 grade-point average and have demonstrated excellence in their course of study. Students must be registered during the semester(s) of appointment.

First consideration is given to students who are working on their Ph.D. degrees; exceptional M.A. degree candidates are considered next.

To insure the general satisfaction of faculty and students in the appointment of qualified graduate students as research assistants the following procedures are followed:

The assignment of research assistants to any area is reviewed each Spring Semester before appointments are recommended to the Director by the Art History Faculty.

The Director, with the advice of the Art History Faculty, makes certain that research assistantships are awarded to students who demonstrate excellent qualifications and that the appointments are made according to procedures that guarantee equal opportunities to all qualified applicants. Faculty members primarily responsible for the direction and duties of R.A.s select graduate students who are qualified for the positions.

Appointments of R.A.s are announced as soon as possible before the end of the Spring Semester. Some appointments that depend upon budgetary and other contingencies may not be announced until they are financially guaranteed. All definite positions are announced by letter as soon as decisions have been made.

Retention, Review, and Dismissal Procedures for T.A.s and R.A.s:
Members of the art history faculty assist, advise, and oversee teaching and research assistants in the performance of their duties. The mechanics of this oversight and the criteria of performance are left to the discretion of the individual faculty member who is directly responsible for the student. Graduate student TA and RA standards of performance and retention are also governed by regulations of The University of Iowa, by the Graduate College, and by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Documentation of satisfactory performance is necessary for the re-appointment of a graduate student as a teaching assistant or a research assistant.

If a student's performance as teaching assistant or research assistant warrants dismissal from the appointment, the Graduate Assistant Dismissal Policy procedures as published in the University of Iowa Operations Manual will be followed.