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Appointment & Reappointment

Q: If I am unsure about funding, or need to spread limited support among several students, am I obligated to offer a full nine-month appointment?

A: No. If sufficient funding is available, appointment offers should be for nine months or longer. If funding is uncertain or must be spread among a number of students greater than the number of 50% FTE appointments available, departments can offer less than a full academic year of support. When offers of less than a full academic year of support are made, however, the department must have a legitimate reason. Appointment and Reappointment Notification and Job Description- Article 4, Section 1

Q: Are non-open hire positions required to be for nine months or longer?

A: No, but if sufficient funding is available, offers of appointment should be for nine months or longer. If funding is uncertain or must be spread among a number of students greater than the number of 50% FTE appointments available, departments can offer less than a full academic year of support. When offers of less than a full academic year of support are made, however, the department must have a legitimate reason. Appointment and Reappointment Notification and Job Description- Article 4, Section 1

Q: Are we required to continue support for the entire appointment period?

A: Yes. If the appointment is eliminated or reduced, the ASE must be given another appointment and compensated at the level of the original appointment, or if that is not possible the ASE must be paid at the same rate for the remainder of the appointment period. If a department is unsure about funding at the time appointments are being offered, it is best to offer appointments only for the duration that known funding is available. Layoff- Article 15, Section 1; Appointment and Reappointment Notification and Job Description- Article 4, Section 1

Q: In the appointment letter, can we make the appointment offer contingent on satisfactory academic progress and job performance?

A: Yes. Typically one promises support for a specific period of time, with continued support dependent on satisfactory academic progress and job performance. Thus, appointment renewal can be made contingent on both academic and job performance.

Q: Can I offer appointments to ASEs if I don't know their exact job descriptions yet?

A: Yes. The department can offer appointments that contain only a general description of the duties to be performed. Its best to provide as many details about the required duties as possible (i.e., TA vs. RA, etc.). The complete job duties of an appointment must be provided to the ASE three weeks before the appointment starts (see the template job descriptions on the forms web page).

Q: What happens if I can't provide an ASE with the detailed job description 3 weeks in advance of an appointment for reasons beyond my control, like having to require an ASE to take a position created by an unexpected vacancy, or late notice of funding?

In exceptional situations, ASEs may be given a job description after the three week deadline as long as as the description is provided as soon as possible, but no later than, the first day of the assignment. Reasons for not providing a detailed job description three weeks before the assignment must be legitimate. Appointment and Reappointment Notification and Job Description- Article 4, Sections 5 and 6.

Q: What if I need to assign, reassign or change the appointment of an ASE after the appointment deadline?

A: Exceptional situations do occur where an ASE needs to be reassigned, and these situations are provided for in the contract. However reassignment cannot result in a reduction in an ASE's pay. Appointment and Reappointment Notification and Job Description- Article 4, Sections 5 and 6.

Q: Sometimes TA appointment notification cannot happen until close to the start of classes, depending on enrollment levels. How should the department handle this?

A: Exceptional situations do occur where the appointment can't be filled by the required notification deadline because class offerings are dependent on enrollment. In these situations, students should be notified of their appointments as soon as possible given the situation. Appointment and Reappointment Notification and Job Description- Article 4, Section 3

Q: Can an ASE be switched between TA & RA appointments?

A: Yes. An ASE can move between job classifications from quarter to quarter, as long as the change in assignment is reflected in the appointment letters, and all other requirements regarding job descriptions and wage progression are followed.

Q: Does a commitment of support have to be in writing, or is email sufficient?

A: Departments must provide ASEs with written appointment or reappointment letters (see forms web page for templates). A copy of the letter should be placed in the ASE's personnel file. Appointment and Reappointment Notification and Job Description- Article 4, Section 2; Personnel Files- Article 21, Section 1

Q:  What is the best way to write an RA reappointment letter for an academic year if you don't know for sure when the ASE will graduate? 

A:  Wording may be used in the reappointment letter indicating that an appointment is offered, "through spring quarter or graduation, whichever is earlier", or something similar.

An overview of the new UW-UAW contract provisions can be found on the UW Graduate School website.