Becoming the instructor of record for a UWS course is a deeply valuable pedagogical experience for our graduate students, and we are committed to continue to provide this opportunity as the University Writing Program evolves. With this transition, there has been some confusion about the hiring of students serving as UWS Teaching Fellows and this led to inconsistencies across departments. Below is the updated and clarified hiring policy and process. Any questions regarding this policy can be sent to Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, Alyssa Canelli (


The departmental funding package for doctoral students includes teaching requirements in return for the stipend in certain program years of study. These requirements may be fulfilled by serving as Teaching Assistant (instructional support for the faculty member) or Teaching Fellow (instructor of record, in the UWS or Math program). Each program determines the number of these requirements and can revise or change them with departmental consultation.

Per the changes in UWP (see September 2019 memo, also attached), programs may no longer require their graduate students to serve as a TF for a UWS course--but students entering in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 will be reserved a TF slot in UWS, if they choose to apply. However, if a student does accept a TF position in UWS, it will count towards their program’s requirements.

Hiring Process

There are two separate hiring processes, depending on whether the student has fulfilled their program’s teaching requirements. In both cases, students who are teaching in fulfillment of their teaching requirements and those beyond teaching requirements, the program is responsible for communicating directly with the Director of UWS, Lisa Rourke and the appropriate hiring office, GSAS or the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

1. If the student serves as a UWS Teaching Fellow to fulfill one of their requirements, then they will receive the appropriate, union negotiated increase ($1800 in AY 20-21) to their base stipend. This also means that the hiring process must be completed through GSAS. Initiating the hire process with GSAS is either 1) including the student’s assignment in their ASFR paperwork or 2) listing the student’s assignment in the Union Request for Data list submitted to GSAS at the beginning of each semester.

To be clear, it is not a student’s choice whether or not a UWS position will fulfill one of their requirements. For all students with remaining teaching requirements, a UWS instructorship will automatically fulfill one of their requirements and the stipend pay will be appropriately adjusted upward to the TF rate.

Discretion over graduate student teaching assignment is currently the right of departments, in consultation with their graduate students. Departments are charged to consider the pedagogical needs of both undergraduates and graduate students as they make assignments. Programs are encouraged to allow students to choose whether or not to apply for and accept a UWS assignment should they have remaining teaching requirements. However, if for any reason the department chooses not to allow a student to accept a UWS appointment to fulfill the teaching requirement, then the student must first fulfill the requirement prior to being hired as a UWS instructor.

2. Once a student has completed their departmental teaching requirements, for any additional teaching assignments they must be hired as an adjunct instructor and fall under the adjunct collective bargaining agreement. All adjunct instructors, including current graduate students, must be hired through the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences. The program is responsible for communicating with the Director of UWS, Lisa Rourke, to confirm the status of the teaching requirements, so she can initiate the hiring process with the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.