UICB Graduate Assistant Policies and Expectations
UI Center for the Book Graduate Assistantships are appointed through the Graduate College and will receive letters of appointment from the UICB. These letters briefly outline the award and the work responsibilities.
Graduate Assistants at the UI are union employees and are represented on campus by COGS (Campaign to Organize Graduate Students): http://cogs.org/. Contractual rights and expectations are outlined on the COGS web page. The following is the link to the basic contract: https://cogs.org/about-cogs/current-contract-3
The language of the contract is general in order to allow for the variation in appointment types and work situations across campus. This can cause some confusion. What follows is UICB interpretation of GA responsibilities based on the COGS contracts, conversations with our representative in the Graduate College and conversation with the COGS campus representative.
The duration of the GA contract is framed by the academic year as outlined by COGS and university documents; further specifics are due to the nature of the UICB environment. In brief, a 9-month, 25% GA (the usual appt. at the UICB) works an average of 10 hours a week throughout the academic year, starting the week prior to fall semester. A 9-month, 50% GA would thus work an average of 20 hours a week. Officially designated time-off includes Thanksgiving week-off (this is UICB policy, not COGS policy, which only designates the Thursday and Friday as days off) and Winter Break. If available, GA’s may be asked to work hours during one of the breaks, like Thanksgiving week, in exchange for time off at another time. At times, GAs may be asked to work a day or two prior to the opening of Spring classes and may have Spring Break off in exchange for hours worked outside of normal expected routine (for example, pre-spring break hours, open house, exhibits, other special events).
Craig Kelchen, the UICB Studio Coordinator, has oversight over and responsibility for assigning specific tasks to the GAs, including group work sessions and meetings. Certain positions will have responsibilities in which they report directly to faculty or other supervisors for all or part of their appointment. GAs with split positions will report to their assigned faculty supervisor for the designated hours and to the Studio Coordinator for the rest of their hours. ‘Floaters,’ those with hours that are flexible both in schedule and duties, will check with the Lab Coordinator regarding that work. If faculty want a ‘floater’ to work with them on a project, they will arrange with the Lab Coordinator prior to asking the GA for assistance.