Handbook of Operating Procedures 9-2010

Assistant Instructors

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


  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 Instructors:

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.

  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 Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.


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


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


  1. Have completed at least one semester of service as a teaching assistant, or completed at least one year of teaching experience 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 hours during each long session semester of employment.


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


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


  1. Selection and Appointment


  1. Departments 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 a department 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 Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.


  1. The Executive Vice President and Provost, the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, 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. No person may be appointed as an assistant instructor for more than fourteen long-session academic semesters. Additionally, the total combined period of service as a teaching assistant, graduate research assistant, academic assistant, assistant (graduate), and assistant instructor shall not exceed fourteen long session academic semesters. Appointments shall not exceed twenty hours per week during the first two long-session semesters of graduate study at the University and thirty hours per week during subsequent long-session semesters. Exceptions may be permitted only upon approval of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.


  1. Duties of Assistant Instructors


  1. Assistant instructors may serve as the instructor of record for assigned instructional duties including lecture classes (primarily at the lower-division level), laboratory instruction, 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 Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.


  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 department. All other duties of assistant instructors shall be carried out in accordance with established practices and policies of the department 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 department.


  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 department chair 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 department 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 department 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 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


A department 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. he or she has, in the opinion of the chair of the employing department, provided satisfactory service;
  1. and he or she meets 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

Last reviewed: July 2011

Original issue date: September 1, 1984
Next scheduled review date: July 2014
Previously HOP 12.C.2