Teaching Assistantships and the Chancellor’s Tuition Account Policy

UAF Policy 09.05.011

Original Adoption: March 8, 2013

Revised: March 31, 2023

Responsible Chancellor’s Cabinet Member: Provost

Responsible Department/Office: Graduate School

Download signed policy (PDF)


Graduate Teaching Assistants who have predominantly instructional or instructional support roles are eligible for tuition and graduate student health insurance payment from the Chancellor’s Tuition Account (FGTA). Graduate Assistants whose duties are not predominantly instructional will not be termed “Teaching Assistants'' and their tuition/health insurance will not be paid from the Chancellor’s Tuition Account unless that is specifically authorized by the Chancellor.


This policy does not change the existing policy (http://www.uaf.edu/gradsch/grants-and fellowships/assistantships-teaching-and-research/) that teaching assistantships include a tuition and health insurance payment: 

Teaching assistantships involve duties such as teaching courses, leading a discussion section,  supervising a laboratory, grading papers, and meeting with students. The typical appointment involves working up to 20 hours per week during the academic semester. A teaching assistant receives a stipend, health  insurance, and tuition payment (see below) from the university: 

  • For no more than 10 credits if the workload is 15 to 20 hours per week.
  • No tuition payment is awarded if the workload is 9 hours or less per week.
  • For no more than 5 credits if the workload is 10 to 14 hours per week. 
  • If the assistantship appointment begins on or before the first day of instruction and ends on or after the last day of final examinations for that semester (15 or more weeks). 

Tuition and health insurance are part of the financial support provided to graduate teaching assistants (TAs), graduate research assistants (RAs), and engagement assistants (EAs). For RAs the tuition and insurance are traditionally paid by the grant or contract that pays the stipend of the RA, although occasionally it is paid by a unit from unrestricted funds, especially if a particular agency will not provide tuition funding. TA tuition and health insurance are paid from a central tuition account (overseen by Financial Services); this is commonly referred to as the Chancellor’s Tuition Account. The Chancellor’s Tuition Account also pays other types of tuition (e.g., the tuition discount afforded WUE and WRGP students), but the TA tuition is its largest single expenditure.

This policy should not be construed to forbid occasional non-instructional but related tasks that constitute a  small fraction of the TA assignment. An example would be participating in “open house” events.


This policy specifies the duties that teaching assistants can be required to carry out: 

(a) Supervised instruction, either of course sections or laboratory sections. 

(b) Preparation, setup, and/or removal and clean-up of equipment and materials for laboratories, art/music studios, theater venues, or classroom demonstrations, provided that studio/theater work is to support classes rather than faculty creative work or community events. 

(c) Leading study sessions and/or meeting with students outside of class to assist them with understanding coursework, homework assignments, or other class-related issues. 

(d) Grading of student work.

(e) Staffing the Math Lab, Writing Center, or similar units assisting students. 

(f) Instructional support, such as preparing handouts for a class, helping to prepare or proctor an exam, posting materials to a course website, Canvas or Blackboard, and  similar tasks.

(g) Completing appropriate training for their instructional duties, for example, safety  training, FERPA, instruction in pedagogy, and departmental policies and practices. 

(h) Other duties commonly understood to be instructional or instructional support.


UAF Graduate School & Interdisciplinary Studies Website:


Schools and colleges are responsible for ensuring that this policy is followed, and should institute appropriate procedures to track the major duties assigned to TAs.

Schools and colleges are responsible for issuing teaching assistant contracts, signed by the graduate student, no later than the semester prior to the assistantship being active.


Schools and colleges that fail to issue assistantship contracts in the timeframe specified in section “5.0 Responsibilities” risk losing the assistantship support from the FGTA.


Exceptions must be approved by the responsible dean, the Provost, and the Chancellor. They will be approved only if the Graduate Assistant serves a general University purpose, rather than one specific to a School or College.


Each school or college should have a policy governing the duties of teaching assistants,  consistent with this policy but specific to the needs of that unit.

Each school or college should establish processes that ensure that TA duties are consistent with UAF and the school/college policies. 



Daniel M. White, Chancellor
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Signed:  03/31/2023