The Office of Graduate Studies

TA/RA Resources

TA RA Orientation Information - Fall 2016

Fall 2016 - ALL NEW TA’s & RA’s
Date/Time: Friday, August 26, 2016
8:00-4:00pm for all RA's and 
8:00-6:00pm for all TA's 
Location: ATEC Lecture Hall, Room ATC 1.102

As part of the mandatory TA/RA orientation, you will:

  • Complete employee training as required by UTD and the state law.
  • Arrange for employee benefits.
  • Learn about University-level teaching and course management.
  • Learn about University resources available to you.


Agenda for August 26, 2016

Location: ATEC Lecture Hall
  • 8:00 a.m. Breakfast and Sign in
  • 8:30 a.m. Welcome – Dr.Inga Musselman, Senior Vice Provost
  • 8:45 a.m. Welcome – Dr.Marion Underwood, Dean of Graduate Studies
  • 9:00 a.m. What Every TA/RA Needs to Know about Working at UTD (10-15 minutes each)
    • Welcome – Colleen Dutton, AVP of Human Resources
    • Policies, Procedures & Perks - Ilyce Murray, Director of Employment Services
    • State Benefits - Marita Yancey, Director of Employment Benefits
    • Payroll - Sheretha Measells, Payroll Manager
    • Consensual Relationships Policy Colleen Dutton, AVP of Human Resources
    • Compliance Training - James Dockery, AVP of Institutional Equity & Compliance
    • Title IX and EEO issuesJames Dockery, AVP of Institutional Equity & Compliance
  • 10:45 a.m. Computer Security Issues – Stephanie Edwards, Awareness & Outreach Manager
  • 11:00 a.m. Break
  • 11:15 a.m. Student Issues (approximately 10 minutes each)
    • Student Government Outreach - Akshitha Padigela, President of Student Government
    • Plagiarism. How we deal with it. – Dr. Amanda Smith, Dean of Students
    • Student Disability/Emergency IssuesKerry Tate, Director of Student AccessAbility
    • Counseling Center – Jim Cannici, Director of Counseling
    • Career Office Support Services - Mickey Choate, Assoc. Director of Career Services
  • Noon
    • Issues for International TA's/RA'sJosephine Vitta, Director of Immigration Services
    • International Student Health Insurance -
    • Tax compliance for Foreign Nationals -
    • English Proficiency Testing - Tom Lambert
  • LUNCH (provided by the Graduate Dean)
  • 1:30 p.m. Who are our Students? – Andrew Blanchard, Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • 1:45 p.m. Student Audience – Theresa Towner, Professor of Arts and Humanities
  • 2:30 p.m. What every TA needs to know about student learning outcomes – Gloria Shenoy, Director of Assessment
  • 2:45 p.m. Graduate Teaching Certificates – Paul Diehl, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
  • 3:00 p.m. Student Success Center –Julie Murphy, Director, Student Success Center
  • 3:15 p.m. Faculty Student Panel Discussion – How to Take Charge of Your Graduate Education (Julia Chan, Dinesh Bhatia, Paul Battaglio, Jessica Murphy, Sam Ehrenreich, Brittany Boyer)
  • 4:00 - 6 p.m.School based orientation programs for all TA’s.

    Teaching Assistants should go to the following locations for the afternoon school based continuation of the orientation program. Please note that some may be at a different date and time as indicated below.

    • Arts & Humanities - To be held on August 26, at 4-6 p.m., in JO 4.122
    • Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication -To be held on August 26, at 3:45-5 p.m.
    • Brain & Behavioral Sciences – To be held during Prosem
    • EPPS - To be held on August 26, at 4-6 p.m., in Room GR 3.606 (Hoch Room)
    • Engineering & Computer Science - To be held on August 26, at 4-5 p.m. in TI Auditorium ECSS 2.102
    • Management - To be held on August 27, at 10:00 a.m. in JO 11.210
    • Natural Science & Mathematics:
    • Chemistry - To be held on August 19, at 8am-3:30pm, in SLC 2.303
    • Biology - To be held on August 26, at 4-6pm, in BSB 12.102J
    • Geosciences - To be held on August 26, at 4-6pm, in ROC 2.103
    • Mathematics - To be held on August 18, at 9am-4pm, in GR 3.420
    • Physics - To be held on August 26, at 4-6pm, in PHY 1.606
    • Science/Mathematics Education - To be held on August 26, at 4-6pm, FN 3.218

Teaching and Research Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships (TA’s) and Research Assistantships (RA’s) are different types of graduate assistantships offered to students as a means to receive the financial support necessary to commit to their academic programs. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 hours (in the long semester) and must be in good academic standing each semester they are appointed. TA and RA appointments are meant to provide students with invaluable experiences in teaching, research and other scholarly activities as well as allowing students to engage in an optimal full-time graduate school experience.

Teaching Assistants:

Graduate Student TA’s are employed a maximum of 20 hours per week to help meet the instructional needs of the university. The Graduate TA, under the direction of an assigned faculty member, will aid in the teaching of one or more courses. TA’s are paid from departmental funds, appointments and reappointments are subject to several factors and are on a semester-by-semester basis.

Research Assistants:

Graduate Student RA’s are employed a maximum of 20 hours per week and are focused on assisting the research efforts of their faculty mentor in a way that relates to the student’s educational objectives. Research Assistants are typically paid from individual research awards or from externally funded contracts and grants. The Principal Investigator of the award will direct and supervise the RA’s research activities. Appointments and reappointments are subject to several factors and are on a semester-by- semester basis.

As new TAs and RAs, students take on multiple roles in the university. First, as employees, they are responsible for issues such as compliance, rules of conduct, regulation, and appropriate human resource procedures. Second, as new graduate students, learning about available resources can assist in the challenges of juggling the work of teaching and research with the demands of graduate school. Finally, in new professional roles of teachers and researchers, graduate students will learn about dealing with students, structuring learning experiences, cultural issues in a multi-cultured university, and faculty expectations of TAs/RAs.

If you are interested in obtaining a Teaching or Research Assistantship, contact your school’s program head. For more information see TA/RA responsibilities and policies, and the graduate catalog.

Other Resources

Explore the links below for various internal and external resources related to teaching and research: