Handbook of Operating Procedures 9-2010

Assistant Instructors

Effective August 01, 2011
Executive Sponsor: Senior Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School
Policy Owner: Assistant Dean of the Graduate School


  1. Policy Statement

It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin ("University") to allow for the appointment of Assistant Instructors at the University to meet the instructional needs of undergraduate students.

  1. Reason for Policy

This policy provides for the administration of employment of individuals appointed to the position of Assistant Instructor.

  1. Scope & Audience

This policy applies to Assistant Instructors at the University and faculty and staff involved with Assistant Instructor employment.

  1. Definitions (specific to this policy)

Assistant Instructor:

A non-faculty, academic position held by an eligible graduate student with the primary duties of teaching undergraduate classes and providing instruction under the supervision of a university faculty member.

Administrative Unit:
An academic department or an academic program that exists outside of the department structure.

Unit Administrator:
Refers to the head of an Administrative Unit which could be the department chair for a department or the director of an academic program that exists outside of the department structure.


  1. Website (for policy)


  1. Contacts




Graduate Student Services

Phone: 512-232-3634



  1. Responsibilities & Procedures


  1. Qualifications

To be eligible for appointment as an Assistant Instructor a nominee must:


  1. Be a degree-seeking graduate student without existing admissions conditions imposed by the senior vice provost and dean of the Graduate School


  1. Hold a Master's degree or have completed a minimum of 30 hours of graduate coursework.


  1. Have satisfactorily completed one term of a course in teaching methods (398T).


  1. Have completed at least one term of service as a teaching assistant or completed at least one year of teaching in an accredited college or school.
  1. Be in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree.


  1. Remain registered in courses that count toward the graduate degree for at least nine semester credit hours during each fall and spring term of employment.


  1. If holding an appointment for one summer term (first term, second term, nine-weeks or summer term) must remain registered in courses that count toward the graduate degree for at least three semester credit hours during any summer term.


  1. Meet the eligibility criteria set forth in Section B.3 below.


  1. Selection and Appointment


  1. Administrative Units, colleges and schools shall evaluate and recommend the appointment or reappointment of Assistant Instructors.


  1. The period of appointment shall not exceed one academic year and shall terminate at the expiration of the stated period of appointment without notification of nonrenewal.


  1. If an Administrative Unit determines that it is to the benefit of the institution, it may nominate an Assistant Instructor for reappointment.


  1. Notification to candidates for appointment/reappointment should be provided in accordance with the form referred to as "Appointment Information". (Refer to Section VIII below.)


  1. All appointments of Assistant Instructors are subject to approval of the dean of the college or school in which they will deliver instruction, and the senior vice provost and dean of the Graduate School.


  1. The executive vice president and provost, the senior vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, and the dean of each college or school in which Assistant Instructors are employed shall periodically review the instructional role of Assistant Instructors and conditions relating to their appointment.


  1. Appointments shall not exceed an average of twenty hours per week during the first two long terms of graduate study at the university and an average of thirty hours per week during subsequent long terms. Exceptions may be permitted only upon approval of the senior vice provost and dean of the Graduate School.


  1. Duties of Assistant Instructors


  1. Assistant instructors may serve as the instructor of record for assigned instructional duties including teaching lecture classes at the lower-division level, providing laboratory instruction, leading instruction of recitation and discussion sections of classes, and other similar instructional activities. Approval for an Assistant Instructor to teach an upper-division course must be obtained from the senior vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. Assistant Instructors may not teach or provide instructional support for graduate-level courses.


  1. In addition to instructional duties, Assistant Instructors may be assigned to hold office hours to evaluate student work, and to perform other common academic duties.
  1. Instructional service of an Assistant Instructor shall be carried out in accordance with a syllabus and other guidelines that have been prepared by and approved by the hiring unit. All other duties of Assistant Instructors shall be carried out in accordance with established practices and policies of the Administrative Unit and college/school in which they are appointed. The duties assigned to an Assistant Instructor and the syllabus and guidelines relating to an Assistant Instructor's instructional duties may be changed at any time deemed appropriate by the hiring Administrative Unit, college or school. 


  1. All Assistant Instructors shall be under assigned supervision of a regular member of the faculty. The supervising faculty member shall at the close of each semester file with the hiring Unit Administrator a written evaluation of the performance of the Assistant Instructor. This evaluation shall become a permanent part of the Assistant Instructor's personnel file.


  1. Other Employment Information


  1. Assistant Instructors are subject to The University of Texas System Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations and the rules of the University, the Graduate School, the college/school, and the Administrative Unit in which they hold employment. In the performance of their duties, they must abide by and adhere to the academic and instructional criteria and policies established by the Administrative Unit in which they render service.


  1. The Responsibilities, Rights, and Welfare of Graduate Student Academic Employees Committee (a standing committee of the General Faculty) serves in an advisory capacity for institutional policy and governance relating to the affairs of Assistant Instructors.


  1. Assistant Instructors, as student academic employees, are eligible:


  1. to participate in the University Group Insurance Program in accordance with the current eligibility criteria for the program;


  1. to purchase parking permits in designated areas;


  1. to participate in certain other benefits in accordance with existing policy criteria;


  1. and may be eligible for tuition reduction benefits. (Refer to Section X below)


  1. Although they are not members of the faculty, Assistant Instructors will be expected to conform to the same standard of conduct in the performance of their academic duties as are members of the faculty and shall respect the rights and opinions of students and uphold the academic standards of the university.


  1. Assistant Instructors are not eligible to accrue vacation or sick leave or participate in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Time off due to illness or during academic breaks will be arranged in accordance with established practices of the hiring department.


  1. Reappointment


An Administrative unit, college or school may reappoint an Assistant Instructor if it is determined that reappointment is to the benefit of the institution. Prior service does not guarantee reappointment to an Assistant Instructor position. An Assistant Instructor may be considered for reappointment if:


  1. they have, in the opinion of the head of the employing Administrative Unit, college or school, provided satisfactory service;
  1. and they have met the qualifications set forth in Section A above.


  1. Termination of Appointment


  1. Termination of an Assistant Instructor before the expiration of the stated period of appointment will only be for good cause shown.


  1. An Assistant Instructor may seek redress of any grievance related to the terms and conditions of employment as provided for in HOP 9-2050.


  1. Forms & Tools

 Appointment Information Form.pdf

  1. Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Related Information

 HOP 9-2050 - Teaching Assistant and Assistant Instructor Grievance Procedures


 HOP 9-1120 - Request for Exemption From Non-resident Tuition on the Basis of Employment or Military Assignment


 Student Employee Compensation

  1. History

Modified: August 01, 2011
     Editorial revisions: December 7, 2023 
Next scheduled review date: December 2026


Original issue date: September 1, 1984

Previously HOP 12.C.2