Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures Workgroup

A campus workgroup has been charged to transition policy from the former Teaching Assistants Association (TAA) contract to a Graduate Assistant Policies and Procedures (GAPP) resource. This webpage is intended to inform campus about the project and answer frequently asked questions.


Graduate assistant policies and procedures were previously included in the labor contract between the TAA and the State of Wisconsin. This contract expired in 2011 as a result of Act 10 and the subsequent decertification of the TAA labor union.

UW–Madison continues to honor the terms outlined within the contract with limited exceptions. However, the contract does not adequately address the policy needs or for graduate assistants or the other groups not covered by the former TAA contract.

About the project

The workgroup was charged in early 2017 by Laurent Heller, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration; Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; and William J. Karpus, Dean of the Graduate School.

Workgroup members are staff whose responsibilities include interaction with graduate assistants and graduate students selected by the Associated Students of Madison (ASM). This includes staff from the College of Letters and Sciences, Office of Human Resources, Graduate School, College of Engineering, and four graduate students appointed by ASM.

The workgroup’s primary purpose is to develop a policy and procedures resource that will guide graduate assistants and supervisors on employment-related matters. The project will memorialize much of the language found in the previous TAA contract, expanding policy to pertain to all graduate assistant appointments – Teaching Assistant (TA), Project Assistant (PA), Research Assistant (RA), Lecturer (SA) and Project Assistant reader.

The project as originally defined was intended to be completed by the end of fall semester 2017. This timeline is dependent on progress as the new GAPP resource develops.

To view the full project charter, please click here.

Workgroup meetings, held from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm on the days listed below, are open to the public.

  • August 16th 1:30-3:00pm, 53 Bascom

  • August 30th 1:30-3:00pm, 334 Bascom

  • September 13th 1:30-3:00pm, 334 Bascom

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What types of topics will be covered in the new Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures?

Examples of the types of topics found in the previous TAA contract include: benefits, health insurance, lodging and meals when traveling,– many of which are governed by UW System policies. Click here to review the TAA contract.

What topics will not be covered?

Although significant portions of the current policy will transition with little or no impact to current practice, several areas will require more substantive language modification, e.g. grievance policy and policies surrounding time and leave reporting. Due to the employment nature of the policies, the Office of Human Resources (OHR) and Graduate School manage the resulting policies.

Will others have a chance to review and comment on the new policies and procedures resource?

Yes, the workgroup will seek input from campus through an open forum near completion of the project. When the date, time, and location for this forum is known, it will be posted on this website and advertised in GradConnections Weekly and Working at UW.

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