Graduate assistants (GTAs and GRAs) serve as temporary employees of the University and may be subject to dismissal during the term of their employment as outlined below:
- Enrollment in a graduate program is a requirement to hold a graduate assistantship. Graduate assistants may be dismissed during the term of their employment for failure to register for classes or otherwise maintain enrollment in a graduate program. Exceptions to this requirement may be made:
- if a leave of absence from the academic program has been approved by the graduate college
- for summer assistantships without registration for summer classes
- Graduate assistants may be dismissed during the term of their appointment for failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress in a degree or professional program, which may be evidenced by the failure to maintain a minimum grade point average or other requirements of the academic program.
- Graduate assistants may be dismissed during the term of their appointment as the result of sanctions arising from violations of the Student Code of Conduct: https://studentconduct.unl.edu/student-codeconduct
- Graduate assistants may be dismissed during the term of their appointment due to an unanticipated loss of funding following a notice of 30 calendar days.
- Graduate assistants may be dismissed during the term of their appointment for proper cause related to job performance. Job performance is determined by GTA and GRA department evaluations and assessment by supervisor during the semester. Proper cause exists when the graduate assistant has failed to meet a duty, obligation, or stated expectation of performance established by his or her immediate supervisor, or the graduate assistant has violated a University, collegiate, or departmental policy. Graduate assistants may be subject to immediate dismissal for serious or repeated actions creating proper cause. Lesser offenses may result initially in progressive disciplinary action, including probation, but also may lead to dismissal for proper cause.
- Graduate assistants may be dismissed from their appointment for failure to return to duty following an approved leave from their assistantship.
- If a student is terminated from the assistantship before completing four full months (or 120 continuous days) of employment in the semester, all tuition and health benefits will be forfeited. The student will be held responsible for the entire cost of those benefits, retroactive to the beginning of the semester, which will post to their student account.
- Before any decision is made to dismiss a graduate assistant from his or her appointment, the supervisor shall meet with the graduate assistant and inform him or her in writing of the grounds for potential dismissal. The graduate assistant will be given an opportunity to respond in person or in writing. If the potential for dismissal arises from the graduate assistant's lack of satisfactory job performance, the graduate assistant may have a witness observer be present at any meeting held to discuss the basis for potential dismissal. Graduate assistants may be placed on paid suspension pending a final determination regarding the graduate assistant's employment.
- The department Graduate Committee, or department committee appointed by the graduate chair, shall review the facts and circumstances, including the department's recommendation and the graduate assistant's response, using any necessary and appropriate fact-finding methods, and shall decide regarding dismissal or other disciplinary action, including probation. The department graduate committee shall write a letter of determination to the graduate assistant with a copy to the employing department. Copies of all dismissal or disciplinary actions also shall be provided to the Dean of the Graduate College.
- Graduate assistants may appeal dismissals during the term of their employment under the terms of this policy using the following procedure.
- The graduate assistant must initiate the appeal within 15 working days of the date of dismissal by the department Graduate Committee.
- The appeal shall commence by the graduate assistant presenting the appeal in writing to the CEHS Graduate Education Committee. The graduate assistant also may request a meeting to discuss the basis of the appeal. The CEHS Graduate Education Committee shall respond to the appeal in writing. Copies of the response shall be sent to the department and to the Dean of the Graduate College. Resignation If a graduate assistant decides to resign from the assistantship, they must give 30 days’ written notice. If a student resigns from the assistantship before completing four full months (or 120 continuous days) of employment in the semester, all tuition and health benefits will be forfeited. The student will be held responsible for the entire cost of those benefits, retroactive to the beginning of the semester, which will post to their student account.