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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. Payment will be accepted via Husky Card. Cash and checks are no longer accepted.

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 and if they are found, they may be turned into the front office (check your mailbox). Other places to check are the Lost and Found in the Husky Union Building (HUB) and the Campus Police. New keys can be issued but there is a replacement fee and new deposit fee for all lost keys.

Office Assignments and Keys

Office assignments are made each quarter by Ann Buscherfeld. If you have an office one quarter and are not a TA or RA the next quarter, you must check with Ann 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. If you go on-leave for more than one quarter, you are required to return your keys.


Every graduate student has a locked mailbox, accessible from the hallway to the left of the Main Office. If you forget your key, you may ask a front office administrator to hand you your mail.

Outgoing mail is taken to the mailroom at 9:00am. Incoming mail is distributed at 11:00am.

Your mailbox key also opens box #100 for outgoing mail. Only academic mail please. Personal mail should be taken to the post office and 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.

If you go on-leave for an academic year, you will give up your mailbox, return all keys, and make arrangements for your incoming mail. If your leave is for less than a year we will try to keep your box assignment.

Smith 40A, The Olson Room and 1B

Smith 40A and The Olson Room (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 003 (Ground Floor). If you use the microwave, refrigerator, counter, or sink, please be considerate of others and clean them after each use. No one cleans the kitchen so everyone is responsible for keeping it clean.

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 three 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 (Smith Hall 220).

Student Papers and Grades

Students should hand in assignments in your quiz sections or the main lecture. With the exception of final papers and take-home exams, do not have your students hand in any assignments to the main office.

If your students bring final papers or take-home final exams to the Main Office during finals week, 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, exams, etc.) by the end of the quarter in which they were graded, instructors/TAs are responsible for retaining these documents for one additional 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 for assistance.

File Cabinet for Syllabi

A file of syllabi for all classes taught by Political Science instructors is maintained through the main office. Please submit them at the front desk and inquire here should you wish to review any syllabi. You are welcome to photo copy a syllabus using the machine in Gowen 109 but do not remove them from the Main Office. Please remember to return the syllabus for refiling.

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 blue 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:


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

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/Scanning 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 class materials  have to be copied on the large photocopier.

Notes for TAs

The staff will photocopy 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

The department will not copy personal projects, including papers assigned to you by your instructors or copies of your paper for distribution to other seminar participants. There are copy centers on campus (e.g. the Suzzalo Library Copy Center and Odegaard Undergraduate Library Copy Center), self-service copiers in the libraries and local copying businesses on University Way. Note that the campus copy centers will include a surcharge for every copying job you submit. 

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 (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; the paycheck for work performed between the 1st and the 15th will be issued on the 25th of the same month. 

Direct Deposit

Direct deposit is highly recommended. If you do not set it up, ISC will mail your check to the local address on file in Workday. With 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.

You set up Direct Deposit as part of your on-boarding tasks when you are hired.


There are three pay scales for teaching and research assistants. The categories and gross salaries for the 2018-19 academic year are as follows:

Teaching Assistant $2388 per month
(Pre-UW Political Science MA)

Predoctoral TA I $2567 per month
(Post Political Science MA or other approved MA degree earned before admission to the program)

Predoctoral TA II $2758 per month
(PhC status—attained after successful completion of dissertation prospectus and the General Exam)

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 post MA and presenting papers at conferences may request departmental support for their travel. Only airfare (or possibly mileage reimbursement if travel is by personal automobile) and up to $200 in conference registration fees 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 three 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.
  • Student must have earned their UW Political Science MA.
  • The department may or may not fund international travel. This will depend on available funds. If international travel is approved, registration with UW Global Travel Securities is required before travel starts. Travel insurance is required with this registration for graduate students. As long as the department has approved covering the airfare, we will cover the cost of this insurance.
  • 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.

  • Each graduate student is limited to three reimbursements for conference registration fees. Maximum amount per request is $200. Association membership dues can also be reimbursed in cases where purchasing a membership substantially reduces the conference registration fee. Documents needed for reimbursement: 1) receipt, 2) proof membership dues reduces cost of conference fees (if applicable), and 3) copy of your conference registration form.

The 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 and registration fee. 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.

Submit completed form to Ann Buscherfeld at least three weeks before anticipated travel. You will receive a confirmation or rejection notification within a few days. Once you receive an approval notification, submit your itinerary and receipt to Ann for reimbursement.

Job Market Candidate Support

Ph.D. candidates who indicate that they are on the job market are listed on the department’s website. The department will reimburse the annual Interfolio subscription fee for a maximum of 50 applications annually  until job applicants have secured their first tenure track position.

Please click here for graduates presently on the job market