L&S Student Assistant Appointment Letters

This KB provides important information about Student Assistant (also called “Graduate Assistant”) appointment letters at L&S including maximum allowable levels for appointments and when student assistants are limited in their appointments. If you have questions, please contact your STS/SA HR Rep or HR Manager Laura Fisk. For campus policies related to graduate assistants, please visit GAPP-Graduate Assistant Policies and Procedures at https://hr.wisc.edu/policies/gapp/.

Appointment Letter Details

MODIFY these template letters to suit your department's needs and tone; however, if your format differs from the template it must be sent to your department's STS/SA HR Rep for review and preapproval. 

  • DO NOT use these templates for Undergraduate TAs and Undergraduate Grader/Readers; instead, see L&S Undergraduate Assistants 
  • SEND a copy of the student assistant letter to the department of graduate study, if different from the employing unit
  • Semester Dates
    • 2020-21:
      • Fall 2020:
        • Payroll Start Date: August 17, 2020
        • Payroll End Date: December 31, 2020
      • Spring 2021:
        • Payroll Start Date: January 1, 2021
        • Payroll End Date: May 16, 2021
      • Summer 2021: See Summer Course Guidance in L&S
    • 2021-22:
      • Fall 2021:
        • Payroll Start Date: August 23, 2021
        • Payroll End Date: January 5, 2022
      • Spring 2022:
        • Payroll Start Date: January 6, 2022 
        • Payroll End Date: May 22, 2022
      • Summer 2022: Coming soon to Summer Course Guidance in L&S

Appointment Letter Templates


    Project Assistant (PA)

    • Fall 2021 and later PA Appointment Letter Template
    • Salary Conversion Calculator
    • H-Basis (Hourly) Project Assistants require special pre-approval. DO NOT use the PA Appointment Letter Template for H-Basis PAs; instead, please contact HR Manager Laura Fisk or your STS/SA HR Rep
    • Exempt PAs: Most PAs are FLSA non-exempt. If hiring a PA who holds a concurrent exempt appointment (such as TA or LSA), it may be necessary to make the PA appointment FLSA exempt  BEFORE appointing, please send the appointment details (both appointment UDDS, title, dates, FTE etc.), along with a draft of the appropriate exempt PA letter, to your STS/SA HR Rep

    Project Assistant Grader/Reader

    Research Assistant (RA)

    Teaching Assistant (TA)

    • Fall 2021 and later TA Appointment Letter Template
    • Phasing out Teaching Assistant Senior distinction:
      • L&S eliminated the Senior/Standard distinction for Teaching Assistants. See L&S Standard Rates for Short-term Staff and Student Assistants for current rates 
      • TA appointment letters should continue to identify the title as “Teaching Assistant – Standard or Teaching Assistant - Senior” as appropriate  
      • For non-payroll purposes, feel free to use a senior/standard (or other terms) to identify a hierarchy (e.g., eligibility for awards or other recognition, or to become a head TA, etc.)
      • For payroll, JEMS still requires selecting senior or standard, so continue to identify as “senior” any TAs who were payrolled as senior as of Spring 2018. Enter any others as “standard” . Use of the title “senior” thus will be phased out as senior TAs move on from the program


    • COVID Attachment: Latest copy can be downloaded from https://hr.wisc.edu/hr-professionals/recruitment/, under "Applicant Communications and Offer Letter Templates" header, titled: "Health and Safety Guidelines Regarding COVID-19 - New Employee Information"

    Maximum Level Appointment Information: 

    When are students limited in when they can work? Students are limited in the number of hours per week that they can work during any week in which classes are in session. Domestic Students are limited to 75%-time (30 hours per week) and foreign national students are limited to 50%-time (20 hours per week) during the following periods: 


    • Sunday, August 30, 2020 through Saturday, December 12, 2020 
    • Sunday, January 24, 2021 through Saturday, May 1, 2021 
    • Sunday, September 5, 2021 through Saturday, December 18, 2021 
    • Sunday, January 23, 2022 through Saturday, March 12, 2022 
    • Sunday, March 20, 2022 through Saturday, May 7, 2022 

    Additional information regarding limitations to appointments is found in these Graduate School policies:  

      See Also:

      Keywords:TA, PA, appointment letter, graduate student employment, graduate student employment ls, Project Assistant, Program Assistant, Teaching Assistant, template letters, template, letters, student assistant, SA, SA letter, SA letter template, RA, Research Assistant and templates   Doc ID:22288
      Owner:Cassandra K.Group:L&S Administrative Gateway
      Created:2012-01-18 09:15 CSTUpdated:2021-12-13 13:34 CST
      Sites:L&S Administrative Gateway
      Feedback:  7   1