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Department of Theology
Marquette Hall 115
1217 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53233
THEOLOGY ON SOCIAL
Faculty Member Responsibilities
The assistantship program is designed primarily for the benefit not of the faculty but of the graduate students. It is meant to provide students opportunities to observe faculty members teaching varied subjects and employing varied pedagogical methods, to acquire course management and assessment skills, to assist faculty members in their research, and to provide financial support for their graduate studies. The following guidelines pertain principally to teaching assistants. Faculty members working with research assistants are advised to maintain their principles of fairness when setting parameters for their assistants’ work.
The key to a successful relationship between faculty member and assistant is communication. The faculty member should contact his or her assistant to arrange an orientation meeting during the week before classes begin. At that meeting, the faculty member should articulate his or her expectations of his or her assistant, inquire about the assistant’s interests, and discuss and special needs or considerations of which the faculty member should be aware. The faculty member should ask the assistant to set his or her office hours and to reserve time for a weekly meeting in which to discuss the assistant’s recent performance and upcoming tasks.
The faculty member must confirm the willingness of his or her teaching assistant to have his or her email address and/or phone number listed on the course syllabus. The faculty member must furthermore ensure that his or her assistant receives a copy of the course syllabus as soon as possible in advance of the academic term to ensure that all course materials are added to the course website and/or put on reserve in the library by the time they are needed by the students.
In paying their tuition fees, undergraduate students have the right to expect faculty members not only to deliver course content but to assess their progress from the beginning of the academic term to the end. Consequently, even if the faculty member chooses to have his or her teaching assistant grade students’ assignments and take care of other routine tasks, it is the responsibility of the faculty member to supervise the efforts of his or her assistant. The faculty member should be involved in grading major papers and midterm and final examinations. The faculty member alone is responsible for tabulating students’ final course grades and submitting them through the University’s online student information system by the college’s grading deadlines.
Providing his or her teaching assistant the occasional opportunity to teach in an undergraduate course is an excellent way to prepare the assistant for future teaching opportunities. Nevertheless, as excessive class preparation can be unfairly time consuming, the faculty member may assign his or her teaching assistant to teach no more than three sessions in any one undergraduate course during a given academic term. The faculty member must give his or her teaching assistant no less than two weeks’ advanced notice of any such assignment to allow the assistant sufficient time to prepare his or her lesson plan.
Should the faculty member request the aid of his or her assistant creating documents, compiling bibliographies, checking out books from the library, etc., the faculty member must allow the assistant no less than forty-eight hours, or two full days, to begin the task to avoid compromising the assistant’s ability to fulfill the requirements or his or her own curricular requirements in a timely manner. Should the faculty member require the assistant to check out books or other materials from the library for the faculty member’s use, the faculty member and the assistant must complete an authorized assistant form a form enabling the assistant to do so. The assistant must submit the completed form at the circulation desk at Raynor Library upon first carrying out this responsibility. The form is available on the Raynor Memorial Libraries website.
Graduate Assistant Responsibilities
The following guidelines pertain principally to teaching assistants. Students working with research assistants can expect the faculty members they assist to apply their principles of fairness when setting parameters for their assistants’ work.
The assistant may be asked to assist in any of the faculty member’s needs germane to his or her employment by Marquette University. The assistant is not obliged to assist in any task to be carried out in the faculty member’s home or elsewhere off campus.
The assistant is expected to work ten to fifteen hours a week during each academic term of his or her award. For teaching assistants, those hours include time spent observing classes. The assistant is not expected to operate at the upper limit of the stated range on a weekly basis.
The teaching assistant is expected to attend at least one class each week of each of course in to which one is assigned. The assistant is expected to take notes and to keep up with the course’s reading assignments so that he or she may help students with their work, offer review sessions, etc. If the assistant cannot attend a given section of a course to which one is assigned due to a scheduling conflict with the assistant’s own coursework, the assistant nevertheless is expected to visit that section briefly on a date at the beginning of the academic term to introduce himself or herself to the students. The assistant should notify the instructor of his or her graduate course that he or she will not be present for part of that date’s class session.
The teaching assistant must reserve no fewer than three office hours each week in which to meet with students or must make himself or herself available by appointment. The teaching assistant’s office hours do not substitute for the faculty member’s own office hours.
The teaching assistant may be asked to hold evening review sessions, to show films in the evening, or otherwise to be on hand for activities scheduled beyond normal class hours.
The teaching assistant may be asked to carry out occasional research and research-related assignments such as proofreading, line editing, compilation of bibliographies, etc., within his or her weekly allotment of work hours.
Should the assistant be asked to check out books or other materials from the library for the faculty member’s use, the faculty member and the assistant must complete an authorized assistant form a form enabling the assistant to do so. The assistant must submit the completed form at the circulation desk at Raynor Library upon first carrying out this responsibility. The form is available on the Raynor Memorial Libraries website.