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University Offices of Interest to TAs

Questions or problems relating to your TA-ship should, in general, be discussed with your department before going elsewhere. Problems relating to a specific course should first be discussed with the professor.
Each department has a Graduate Advisor who is available to answer student questions and assist in planning for degrees. The Advisor is nominated by the Department Chairperson to the Dean of the Graduate Division and appointed by the Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs. In addition, each department has a Graduate Program Assistant who handles forms, petitions, and other documents sent to the Graduate Division. The Program Assistant maintains a close link with the Graduate Division and is an excellent resource person for graduate students.

The Graduate Division is the administrative arm of the Graduate Council. In addition to rendering policy and procedure interpretations for the academic departments, the Division provides the following informational, advisory, and support services for students: assistance with application processing; administration of fellowships; processing of tuition waivers; verification of graduate student employment; assistance in fund searches for students seeking extramural grants; tracking of student progress and degree checks; administration of intercampus exchange and in-candidacy fee programs; retention and support services with special attention to minority student needs. Special projects, as funding is available, include such things as dissertation support groups, proposal-writing workshops, and career development workshops. The Graduate Division also encourages the use of its resources for research on graduate education. Students are encouraged to contact the Division with problems and concerns (893-2277) and to refer to The Graduate Handbook published by the Graduate Division.

The Graduate Council is the subcommittee of the Academic Senate which is charged with the broad responsibility for graduate study. The Council establishes policy regarding standards for admission to graduate status, academic progress and requirements, and the awarding of degrees. The Council is composed of ten faculty members, two representatives of the Graduate Students' Association, and the Graduate Dean, who serves exofficio.

The Graduate Students' Association is the only organization at UCSB whose sole concern is the representation and the realization of the interests of the graduate student. All registered graduate students are automatically members. The focus of the GSA can be said to be threefold. First, the GSA has participated, and continues to participate, in several in-depth studies of graduate students and their relationship to the University at large. Second, the GSA seeks to effect communication among graduates and thus create an awareness of problems held in common. Third and most important, the GSA has acted and will continue to act in the interest of the graduate student by engaging those issues which most directly affect them. Finally, both GSA and the Academic Senate offer awards to outstanding TAs. Please check with these offices for more information. The GSA is located in The University Center, room 2502 (893-3824).

TA Union
TAs are covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the University of California and the UAW. The agreement can be retrieved electonically from at the UC Office of the President Website.

UCSB respects and values the contribution of graduate students to its teaching and research mission. This is reflected in the UCSB Graduate Student Bill of Rights adopted by the GSA and supported by the Graduate Council and the Graduate Division in Spring 1995. Rights relating to teaching assistants and teaching associates are outlined in item 11 of this document.

Preamble: To promote a more productive climate between ourselves and our faculty and to define our role in the university as a whole, we, the graduate students of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), claim the rights enumerated below. These are basic rights common to all graduate students. They form a foundation upon which faculty and students can build a genuine intellectual community. (Established Spring 1995)

1. Graduate students are to be considered members of a scholarly community, and as such, they have a right to collegial and respectful treatment by faculty members.

2. Graduate students have a right to study and work in an environment free of exploitation, intimidation, harassment, and discrimination based on characteristics such as gender, race, age, sexual orientation, disability, religious or political beliefs and affiliations.

3. Given that Graduate students have the same rights and obligations as all citizens, they are free as other citizens to express their views and to participate in the political processes of the academic community and the community at large.

4. Graduate students have the right to clear and specific written requirements for achieving an advanced degree.

1. These requirements should be provided to graduate students upon their admission into a graduate program and/or emphasis.
2. no changes in degree requirements should effect students previously accepted into the graduate program and/or emphasis except at their option.
3. Prospective and currently enrolled graduate students have a right to know and should be informed of the "normative time to degree" and "average time to degree" within a specific graduate program and/or emphasis.
4. Prospective and currently enrolled graduate students have a right to know a program's and/or emphasis' attrition rate if available and the predominant reasons for lack of program completion except in instances where confidentiality is threatened. Student access to statistical information on graduate programs should not interfere with the privacy rights of other students.

5. Graduate students have a right to an accurate description of availability and the likelihood of ongoing financial and resource support within their program and/or emphasis.

1. Prospective and currently enrolled graduate students should be provided a thorough description of the requirements and qualifications necessary for academic employment, training, and financial support within their departments and/or emphases at the university.
2. All graduate programs and/or emphases should have clearly written policies regarding the distribution of financial support and academic employment.
3. All policies concerning support of graduate students should be implemented in a consistent and understandable way.
4. Graduate students should be provided with appropriate office, study, and lab space.

6. Graduate students have a right to be judged by the faculty of their department in accordance with fair procedures, in matters of employment and promotion, solely on the basis of the graduate students' professional qualifications and professional conduct.

7. Graduate students have a right to respectful mentorship.

1. Graduate students should have their progress toward achieving an advanced degree be evaluated in an objective manner and based on criteria that are understood by the graduate advisor and students.
2. Evaluations should be factual, specific, and should be shared with the students within a reasonable period of time. Annual progress reports should be in writing.
3. A written evaluation of performance on qualifying and comprehensive examinations should be provided to students.
4. Graduate students should receive regular feedback and guidance concerning their academic performance through a mutually agreeable schedule of conferences with their advisor/chair/mentor.
5. Graduate students should be given a fair opportunity to correct or remedy deficiencies in their academic performance with agreed upon time-tables for remedy.
6. Any intent to dismiss a student from a graduate program and/or emphasis for academic reasons must be preceded by a warning, which includes special performance information, well in advance of actual dismissal.
7. Any intent to discontinue an advisor/chair/mentor relationship with a graduate students must be preceded by a warning within a reasonable period of time.

8. Graduate student have a right to co-authorship in publications involving significant contribution of ideas or research work from the student. The student should receive "first authorship" for publications which are composed primarily of the creative research and writing of the student when consistent with the conventions of the field.

9. Graduate students have a right to reasonable confidentiality in their communication with professors.

10. Graduate students have a right to refuse to perform tasks that are not closely related to their academic programs or professional development.

11. Teaching assistants and teaching associates have a right to appropriate teacher training.

1. All graduate programs and/or emphases should implement a structured training program for their teaching assistants and teaching associates.
2. All graduate programs and/or emphases should outline the expectations of a graduate student teacher, and the ways in which those expectations can be achieved, for their teaching assistants and teaching associates.

12. Graduate students have a right to professional training. This should include, but not be limited to, information about professional associations and conferences, mock interviews, job opportunities, and publishing articles in journals.

13. Graduate students have a right to share in the governance of the University.

1. All departments, graduate programs and/or emphases should include graduate student representatives in the decision-making process where appropriate.
2. Graduate students should have representatives on all campus-wide committees, with voting privileges where appropriate according to the guidelines of shared governance.

14. Graduate students have a right to clearly defined grievance procedures and informal complaint procedures at the department and campus-wide levels. Each department should have grievance procedures.

1. Consistent with this right, graduate students have a right to procedures appropriate to the nature of the case and the severity of the potential discipline.
2. When a formal hearing is required, a graduate student has a right to the following minimum procedural standards to assure a fair hearing.
1. The opportunity for a prompt and fair hearing, upon the request of the student at which the University shall bear the burden of proof, and at which the student shall have the opportunity to present documents and witnesses and to confront and cross-examine witnesses presented by the University. No inference, however, shall be drawn from the silence of the accused.
2. A record of the hearing; an expeditious written decision based upon the preponderance of evidence, which shall be accompanied by a written summary of the findings of fact.
3. An appeal.

15. Graduate students have a right to challenge their term grades if those grades are based upon criteria other than course performance.

16. Graduate students have a right to be free of reprisals for exercising these rights.

The Graduate Council supports the spirit and content of the Bill of Rights adopted by the Graduate Students Association (GSA). We know that many of the rights claimed by the GSA for its members in this document correspond to rights already established in the law of the University of California, or UCSB codes, policies, and regulations. Council regards those rights claimed but not previously existing as expressions of desirable goals. To the extent that the faculty and administration implements these goals, our university will be improved.

consultation contacts

George Michaelsexecutive director2130 Kerr Hall
lisa berrysenior instructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
mindy colininstructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
Mary Lou Ramos database and ESCI administrator1130 Kerr Hall
Aisha Wedlaw ESCI assistant1124 Kerr Hall
Breana Barakoffice manager 1130 Kerr Hall
faxfax: 805-893-5915