Office Policies and Procedures

The following policies and procedures have been established to facilitate the use of department resources. It is also available in PDF format. If you have any questions, please ask the staff in Gowen 101 for assistance.

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The following policies and procedures have been established to facilitate the use of department resources. Please refer to this document for information regarding the office. If you have any questions, you may ask the staff in Gowen 101 for assistance.

Main Office (Gowen 101) Hours of Operation

The Main Office in Gowen 101 is staffed on Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 12:00 noon and 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Please note that staff is available to assist you only during these hours of operation.


Department Keys

All campus keys are university property—it is illegal to duplicate them. They are on loan to you and require a deposit. You are required to write a check for your keys.

The keys available to graduate students and the deposit required for each are as follows:

  • Gowen Building Key: $10.00
  • Graduate Student Computer Room (Smith 41) $10.00
  • TA/RA Office: $ 10.00
  • Mail Box: $ 5.00
  • Kitchen: $ 10.00

Lost Keys

If you lose your keys, check your mailbox—if they are turned in, they will be identified against the key list and put in your box. Other places to check are the Lost and Found in the Husky Union Building (HUB) and the Campus Police. (If keys are turned in to the Campus Police, the Lock Shop (an office of the Campus Police) will contact us to notify the student to whom the keys were assigned. You will have to show your ID at the Lock Shop to get your keys back). If the keys are not found or if you can't wait for them to be located, you can get a new set of keys; however, you will lose the deposit on the old set and have to pay a new deposit for the new set. If the lost keys are found, your deposit will be returned.

Office Assignments and Keys

Office assignments are made each quarter by the Lead TA. If you have an office one quarter and are not a TA or RA the next quarter, you must check with the Lead TA to see if there is space for you to retain your desk. If not, you must turn in your key at the end of the current quarter so it may be assigned to the new occupant. As some offices are designated for TAs and others for RAs, you may be asked to move to another office if your status changes.



Every graduate student has either a mailbox or a folder. If we don't have enough mailboxes, we assign folders to those graduate students who are not TAs or RAs.

Outgoing mail is taken to the mailroom at 9:00am. Incoming mail is distributed at 10:30am.

Access to your mailbox is through the locked boxes accessible from the hallway to the left of the Main Office. If you forget your key, you may ask whomever is at the window of the Main Office to hand you your mail. If you are assigned a folder, you may ask the person at the window to check your folder.

In addition to your own mail box, your key opens box #100 for outgoing mail. Personal mail should be put in the blue USPS mail boxes distributed across campus or taken to the post office on University Avenue. Personal mail should not be put in the outgoing mail box.

As your mail box is for academic mail, do not use the department address for personal purposes (bills, magazines, etc.).

If you need to have materials put in the mailbox of an instructor or graduate student, place the materials in the black box at the Main Office window and include the full name of the recipient. The staff will put the items in the appropriate mailboxes.

If you go on-leave for an academic year, you will have to give up your mailbox, return all keys, and make arrangements for your incoming mail (unless there are insufficient mailboxes for registered students, you may keep your box and keys if on-leave status is for less than one year). Once you return to the department, you will be assigned a new mailbox and a new set of keys.


Smith 40A and Gowen 1A and 1B

Smith 40A and Gowen 1A and 1B are departmentally controlled conference rooms. These rooms may be used for review sessions, exam defenses, etc., if scheduled in advance; they may not be used for regular classes or quiz sections. Contact the Main Office to schedule Smith 40A and Gowen 1A or 1B. The key may be picked up just prior to use.



The kitchen is located in Gowen 3 (right outside Gowen 1B) and contains a refrigerator and microwave. DO NOT RUN TWO ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES AT THE SAME TIME—YOU WILL BLOW A FUSE! If you use the microwave, refrigerator, counter, or sink, please be considerate of others and clean them after each use. Graduate students have posted a sign-up schedule for responsibility for a weekly disposal of old food and containers. Your containers are your responsibility—offensive smelling containers will be thrown in the garbage.


Fax and Telephones


The department’s fax number is (206) 685-2146. You may receive faxes at this number but be sure to tell the sender to include your full name on at least the first sheet of the fax.

As a graduate student, you may fax paper proposals but no other items. If you need to fax a proposal, see Ann Buscherfeld for approval.


You may make local calls using the telephones in Smith 41, and the department copy room. If as a TA you need to make a long-distance call (usually only allowed to contact a student in one of your quiz sections), obtain approval from Ann Buscherfeld first.



Smith 220

The Political Science Collaboratory is a combination computer classroom and general access drop-in lab, with Political Science students receiving priority. There are twenty-five workstations, each with Microsoft Office, SPSS, and STATA,. All have access to the Internet.

Graduate students have a limited amount of free printing.  Once this is exhausted for the quarter, graduate students can bring in more paper and their print count will be adjusted. For example, a ream of paper will give you 500 more pages of printing.

Hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm, when the quarter is in session, or by appointment.

Smith 41

The Graduate Computer Lab consists of seven Dell computers and one network printer. This room is locked so you need to pay a $10 deposit for a key. The software on these computers is the same as on the computers in the Collaboratory.


Student Papers and Grades


If your students bring final papers or take-home final exams to the Main Office, they must bring them to the Gowen 101 window before 4:30pm with the TA’s name clearly written on the front.

It is a violation of university policy and federal law to post student grades or leave final exams, papers, etc., outside your office door.

Students who request their papers or final exams after the end of the quarter have the following options:

  1. Provide you with a self-addressed stamped envelope (the department will not pay the postage to mail papers to students).
  2. Make arrangements to pick up their papers/exams from you between quarters.
  3. Wait until the next quarter to contact you for return of their papers/exams.

If students do not pick up their graded assignments (student papers, projects, exams and answer sheets, etc.) by the end of the quarter in which they were graded, instructors/TAs are responsible for retaining these documents for one additional quarter (for example, assignments for an autumn quarter class must be held until the end of winter quarter; note that an assignment for a spring class must be held until the end of the following autumn quarter). Once the retention deadline passes, assignments can be brought to the main office for shredding.

Department Stationery

Some of your letters may need to be printed on department letterhead (letters of recommendation for students, letters to guest speakers, etc.). Department stationery and envelopes are located in Gowen 101. Ask a receptionist for assistance.


File Cabinet for Syllabi

A file of syllabi is located in the green filing cabinet in Gowen 101 and is maintained for all classes taught by Political Science instructors. You are welcome to review these syllabi, but DO NOT remove them from the Main Office. If you are preparing to teach a class and need copies of previous syllabi to assist you with composing your own syllabus, use the copy machine in Gowen 109 to make a photocopy, then refile the syllabi.


Teaching Supplies

Among the staff's numerous duties is the ordering and distributing supplies for the department. If you need supplies for your TA duties, fill out a pink supply request form in the copy room. Only request what you need and will use. Be sure to include your full name on the form and leave it in the envelope marked for supplies. Requests are typically filled within 24 hours.

Because budgets are tight, the department can provide only TAs with supplies. Supplies that may be requested are:

White Note Pads:

Post-It Notes:

Lined Tablets:

Manila File Folders

Index Cards:



Transparency Pens

UW pencils

White Board Markers

3”x5”, 4”x6”, and 5”x8”

1”x1-1/2”, 3”x3”, and 3”x5”



plain or ruled 3”x5”, 4”x6”, and 5”x8”

red, blue, black

1 package (25 sheets) per quarter (for use with overhead projectors only)


medium (2-1/2) hardness

Normally available in the classroom. If not, ask at the Main Office or fill out a pink supply slip.


Work Box and Photocopy Requests

The Work Box is located in the copy room. You may access the Work Box through Gowen 109, not Gowen 101. There are pink order forms on the counter that must be completed for each project. If you have any questions, ask the staff in the Main Office.

There is a minimum 24-hour turn-around for requests left in the Work Box, so plan accordingly. Although rush jobs are sometimes necessary, they should be rare. DO NOT let chronic lateness become your routine.

As staff do all photocopying (neither faculty nor graduate students have access to the large photocopier), you must fill out a work order form for all requests. Check with the staff in the Main Office regarding use of the small copier in Gowen 109. All materials except transparencies have to be copied on the large photocopier. Transparencies can be made on the small Canon copier in GWN 109. Check with Main Office Staff for instructions on how to do this and to pick up the transparencies.

Notes for TAs

The staff will photocopy syllabi, exams, information sheets, review sheets, paper assignments, newspaper and magazine articles (although requests for photocopies of these items should be limited to those that are essential), needed for students in your classes. Be sure to submit your photocopying requests at least 24 hours in advance.

Notes for Graduate Students

As the department operates with limited funds, it will not copy personal projects, including papers assigned to you by your instructors. If an instructor requires that you provide copies of papers for other students in your seminars, you need to pay for the copies yourself. There are the copy centers on campus (e.g. the Suzzalo Library Copy Center and Odegaard Undergraduate Library Copy Center), card/coin/currency self-service copiers in the libraries and elsewhere on campus, and local copying businesses (Kinko’s and Professional Copy ‘n Print are on University Way). Note that the campus copy centers will include a surcharge for every copying job you submit.

Conference Papers: If you are presenting a paper at a conference, the department will make 25 copies, back-to-back, of your paper. See Ann for assistance.


Payroll Information

Payroll Schedule

University payroll schedules run in three month cycles as follows:

  • Autumn Quarter: 9/16 to 12/15
  • Winter Quarter 12/16 to 3/15
  • Spring Quarter 3/16 to 6/15
  • Summer Quarter 6/16 to 8/15 (a two month cycle since instruction is shorter. RA appointments usually are from 6/16 – 9/15)

You will be paid twice a month, on the 10th and 25th of each month (or the work day closest to these calendar dates) for which you are employed. Each paycheck you receive will compensate you for a two-week period of work. Note that there is a lag time between the date that you go on payroll and when you receive your first check. For work performed between the 16th and the 30th/31st of the month, your paycheck will be issued on the 10th of the following month. For work performed between the 1st and the 15th of the month, your paycheck will be issued on the 25th of the same month. For the first pay period from 9/16 to 9/30, then, your check will be issued on 10/10.

Direct Deposit

Instructions for Direct Deposit should have been included with your payroll packet forms (they are also available from Ann Buscherfeld). The department highly recommends that you set up direct deposit. Your pay will be deposited in your bank by 8:00am the morning of payday. It usually takes two pay cycles (about four weeks) before your direct deposit will go into effect. Click on the “Employee Self Service” link in MyUW to track your earnings.

Until your direct deposit goes into effect, or if you elect not to use direct deposit, you may pick up your paycheck after 10:30am on pay day from the Main Office. Note that you must sign for your check.


There are three pay scales for teaching and research assistants. The categories and gross salaries for the 2013-14 academic year are as follows:

Teaching Assistant $1846 per month
(Pre-UW Political Science MA)

Predoctoral TA I $1983 per month
(Post-UW Political Science MA and at least one year of financial support from the department)

Predoctoral TA II $2131 per month
(PhC status—attained after successful completion of General Exam (defense of dissertation prospectus))

ALL FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ARE PAID AT THE TEACHING ASSISTANT LEVEL. Students are promoted to the Predoctoral TA I pay level after an MA from the UW Political Science Department has been earned. Because degrees/certificates are awarded on the last day of the quarter, pay increases go into effect the quarter after advancement.

See Ann Buscherfeld if you have additional questions about payroll.

Travel Policy for Graduate Students

Students who are presenting papers at conferences may request departmental support for their travel. Only airfare (or possibly mileage reimbursement if travel is by personal automobile) will be paid.

As the department has limited funds available for graduate student and faculty travel, guidelines for travel funding requests are as follows:

  • Students who are presenting papers must submit a Travel Application form for funding to the Chair at least two weeks in advance of the anticipated travel.
  • Each graduate student is limited to three trips that will be funded by the department. If funds are available, the department will try to add an additional placement trip for students who have used the three allotted trips and are on the job market.
  • No trips will be funded during the student’s first year.
  • Students must be post-MA in our department.
  • The department may or may not fund international travel. This will depend on available funds.
  • Students should give priority to prominent national conferences and the main conferences in interdisciplinary fields (note that you can generally travel inexpensively and without using department resources to the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association meetings which are often a good “first conference” experience).
  • Exceptions to the above will be considered by the Chair on a case-by-case basis.
  • Funding will not normally be provided to students who have been on extended leave and/or are pursuing activities unrelated to their dissertation work. Requests by other students who are on leave will be addressed on a case-by-case basis with no guarantees of departmental funding for travel.

Travel Application form can be downloaded on the Political Science Administrative Forms page. Though the form is for all travel expenses, the department only pays for airfare.  Effective June 7, 2012, the use of state airfare contracts are no longer required. You can book travel arrangements using the most economical means possible. So, you can use internet service providers such as,, etc.

Once the form is completed, return it to Ann Buscherfeld for submission to the Chair. You will receive a confirmation or rejection notification within a few days. Once you receive an approval notification, you will submit your itinerary and receipt to Ann for reimbursement.