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L&S Student Assistant Appointment Letter Templates

This document contains templates to help department staff prepare appointment letters for graduate assistants appointed as Teaching and Project Assistants.

Semester Dates:

  • 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

Max Level Appointment Information: 

Domestic Students are limited to 75% and foreign national students are limited to 50% during the follow:

  • Academic Year 2020-21
    • Sunday, August 30, 2020 through Saturday, December 12, 2020
    • Sunday, January 17, 2021 through Saturday, March 27, 2021
    • Sunday, April 4, 2021 through Saturday, May 1, 2021

Additional information can be found here: University of Wisconsin–Madison Maximum Levels of Graduate Assistantship Appointments Policy

Teaching Assistant Letter Templates: 

Spring 2021 TA
Fall 2020 TA
Summer 2020 TA

Project/Program Assistant Letter Templates

Non-exempt PA Letter Templates:

Annual Non-Exempt PA (A-basis Non-Exempt)
Academic Non-Exempt PA (C-basis Non-Exempt)

Exempt PA Letter Templates:

Most PAs are moving to non-exempt FLSA status. If you have a PA that has another appointment (such as TA or LSA) which maintains their status as exempt, please send the appointment details (both appointment UDDS, title, dates, percent etc), along with a draft of the appropriate exempt PA letter to your STS/SA HR Rep BEFORE appointing the student.

Annual Exempt PA(A-basis Exempt)
Academic Exempt PA (C-basis Exempt)

Summer 2020 PA Letter Template:

Summer 2020 PA (Exempt/Non-exempt)

Research Assistant Letter Template:

Use template found in TRE's Recruitment Toolkit

Important Notes about Sample Letters:

  • DO NOT use these letters for Hourly Project Assistant or Grader/Reader appointments or for other types of graduate assistant appointments. For Grader/Reader documents, please go here. For Hourly Project Assistants, please connect with your STS/SA HR Rep
  • MODIFY this letter to suit your department's needs and tone; however, if your format differs from this model it must be sent to your department's STS/SA HR Rep for review.
  • SEND a copy of this document to the TA's or PA's department of graduate study, if different from the employing unit.

Phasing out Teaching Assistant Senior distinction:  

The College of Letters & Science eliminated the Senior/Standard distinction for Teaching Assistants, see L&S Standard Rates for Short-term Staff and Student Assistants for current rates.

  • JEMS still requires payroll representatives to select either senior or standard, so continue to identify as “senior” any TAs who were payrolled as senior as of Spring 2018.
  • Enter any other TA appointments as “standard” moving forward. Use of the title “senior” thus will be phased out as current senior TAs move on from the program.   
  • You are free to maintain the use of a senior/standard distinction (or other terms of your choosing) as a way to identify a hierarchy for non-payroll purposes (e.g., eligibility for awards or other recognition, or eligibility to become a head TA, etc.) but for payroll purposes, TAs who are not “grandfathered in” as senior TAs should be entered as “standard” in JEMS. 
  • TA appointment letters should continue to identify the title as “Teaching Assistant – Standard or Teaching Assistant - Senior” as appropriate.

If you have questions about these documents, please contact your STS/SA HR Rep. For campus policies related to graduate assistants, please visit

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 and   Doc ID:22288
Owner:Cassandra K.Group:L&S Administrative Gateway
Created:2012-01-18 10:15 CDTUpdated:2020-10-19 10:01 CDT
Sites:L&S Administrative Gateway
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