Michael and I spoke with Margaret Towell about how she pays students. The payments concerned cover TAs, RAs, and scholarships.

Payroll for TAs has to be done before the final assignments are made. Typically the number of units a student is doing is more firm than which specific courses they are working. Payment is scheduled based on the TA commitment list.

Payment is done by submitting a form 712 to Payroll. This is signed by Margaret. All TAs are paid out of a small (2) number of Finance accounts (different "object" based upon residency).

RAs are paid using the same form, but signed by the appropriate faculty member. Sometimes only part of the payment can be authorized at the beginning of the term since they have to wait for funds to be made available. RAs are much more complicated.

Margaret prepares the RA forms and sorts them by faculty member for signature.

TAs are assigned in "Units" of 80 hours work each. Occasionally there are 1/2 units, etc. RAs are simply paid a specific amount; there is no standard "unit". Total TA amounts are designed to make up the difference between TA combined with other sources and the total promised amount.

About 25% of students get top-up RAs in addition to their promised amount.

NSERC/OGS students don't get RA funds.

Scholarships are paid out of lots of pots of money. Margaret creates a nomination form, which goes to the UW GSO or to the Faculty. Eventually all scholarship payments end up at GSO which causes Finance to issue the actual money. GSO sends back spreadsheets of all the requests for verification. Typically this is a printout along with each stack of scholarship letters; the Excel file is frequently too big to print locally.

Karen Zehr in the GSO is responsible for NSERC/OGS and is probably best for more information.

I also got a copy of the GSO office structure document which will be helpful in finding out more.

-- Main.ijmorlan - 20 Jun 2005

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