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Policies and Procedures


Graduate students in the Department of Animal Sciences may be working on their degrees full- time or part-time. They may also be funded by foreign or domestic fellowships, teaching or research assistantships, work hourly (time-slip) or pay for graduate school themselves. Some students many also receive stipends for service to other departments and programs at WSU. The Department of Animal Sciences strives to provide an environment for all students to succeed regardless of their personal situation. As you read this manual please note that every attempt has been made to reflect current departmental and university policies and procedures. If a question should arise please ask the Department Chair for clarification and visit the Graduate School website for policy information.

Fellowships and Foreign Scholarships

See the Graduate School and the granting agency for information regarding these types of awards. In most cases, this support is handled through the Graduate School. Students who have been awarded Fellowships and Foreign Scholarships should see Alaina McCully (Clark 117) when they arrive at WSU for a list of the information needed to begin their support.

Teaching or Research Assistant Appointments

Graduate assistantships may be grant funded or departmentally funded. Grant-based funding is at the discretion of the faculty mentor’s research program and is dependent on funding availability. Departmentally funded assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis, require at least 50% matching funds from grants in the Agricultural Research Center held by the faculty mentor, and include a requirement to assist in teaching undergraduate courses within the department.

Upon arrival in Pullman, students appointed to grant or AS departmental assistantships (TA or RA) should contact Alaina McCully (Clark 117) to complete required forms such as an I-9 and W-4. Be sure to bring your Social Security card and driver’s license (or birth certificate). International students will need to present a valid passport and a proper visa; other personal data may be needed to complete the appointment. The University requires that TA’s whose native language is not English pass an English proficiency exam prior to beginning their TA duties.

Fall assistantships are from August 15th-December 31st and spring assistantships are from January 1st-May 15th. Your first paycheck will arrive at your home address, if you do not have direct deposit, on September 10th or January 25th.

Assistantships are considered to be taxable income in the state of Washington and Federal tax will be deducted from your paycheck. There is no Washington State income tax. If you are on an assistantship, you will receive tuition and health insurance waivers, but you will be responsible for fees such as service activity and building fees.

The Graduate School usually awards non-resident tuition waivers to domestic students who are on assistantship for two semesters. Graduate students must reside in the state of Washington to qualify for any tuition or residency waivers. Residency waivers are not up to departmental discretion, and the Graduate School will only grant out of state tuition waivers to domestic students for two semesters. Once a student has resided in the State of Washington for 12 months, they must apply for residency with the Graduate School. Because of potential changes in residency requirements, students are encouraged to consult with the Graduate School for current policy.

Graduate students on appointment enter into an agreement with the University that both parties are expected to honor. University policy requires graduate appointees to work 20 hours per week and to be at work each workday during the period of appointment, including periods when the University is not in session (e.g., Spring and Thanksgiving Break), with the exception of legal holidays. Research Assistant responsibilities may include research assigned by the student’s advisor as well as thesis or dissertation research. Most teaching assistants should expect to spend up to 20 hours per week on TA duties; class and research work are in addition to the 20 hours. Work schedules must be arranged with the thesis or dissertation advisor and/or TA supervisors. The length of time a student can expect support is outlined in the letter of offer.

RA and TA positions are for nine months. Summer hourly appointments are for one to three months at a rate that is equivalent to the normal RA or TA appointment rate. Vacation time (a total of 2 weeks per year) is negotiable with the student’s major advisor. Please note that when you are a TA for a course, you are expected to be present the week before classes start until final grades are submitted. Vacation time should be planned accordingly. Absences during normal work hours must also be arranged with a student’s major advisor. Summer support may be available through your advisor. Please consult with your advisor regarding the availability of summer support.

Students who wish to withdraw from their appointment must submit a letter of resignation to the Department Chairman. For details on resignation, contact the Department Chair.

On-campus students on hourly appointments in the department should see Alaina McCully, (Clark 117) and Melissa Whitney (Johnson 205) before the first day of work.

Hourly employment/Time-slip

If you are not on fellowship or assistantship support and your major advisor has hourly wage support funds, see Alaina McCully, (Clark 117) for the paperwork.

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

All graduate students must pass the “Responsible Conduct of Research” training module. We prefer you take this on-line course prior to arriving on campus or immediately thereafter. Go to myResearch for instructions.

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Prevention

All students must complete the on-line and Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Prevention training. Please print the certificate of completion and turn it in to the main office.

English Proficiency

All international students who will be teaching must complete and pass the English language assessment test given by the Intensive American Language Center.


Paychecks are mailed or direct deposited on the 10th and 25th day of the month. Paychecks cannot be forwarded, so make sure that all address changes are dealt with immediately. Address changes can be done through WSU’s home page We highly recommend that all TA/RA’s sign up for automatic payroll deposit. This can be done at the Payroll Office (room 236 French Administration).

Health Insurance

Students on a graduate student assistantship or fellowship are provided health insurance at no charge. Dependent/Spouse coverage is not automatically provided, but is available for a fee. For complete information regarding coverage, please visit the Health and Wellness Services website. Once your assistantship has ended you are not eligible for COBRA. Students not on assistantship can purchase the same insurance as the undergraduate students.


Arrangements for housing should be made prior to arriving at WSU. University apartment reservations for single students and families may be obtained at Housing Reservations in Streit- Perham. Go to Housing and Residence Life to make residence hall reservations. For off-campus housing, you may wish to go to the Chamber of Commerce website, local real estate agencies, or local newspapers (Moscow-Pullman Daily News). You can also visit which has links to rental websites. Recent students have found craigslist to be a valuable source as well.


To obtain keys for your office, labs, etc., see the office staff in Clark 116. There is no initial charge for the keys, but, in the event that they are lost or you leave the University without returning them a $30.00 replacement fee per key will be charged, or a bill will be sent to you. If the keys are not returned or replaced, your transcripts will be held by the Registrar’s Office. Security is the responsibility of everyone, so please assume responsibility for locking your office and lab doors after regular hours and ensure the building door is locked when you leave outside “building open” hours.

Offices and Desks

The Department of Animal Sciences will provide office space and desks for students as space allows. Contact the Department Chair for a desk and space assignment.


Students must read and sign the AS Computer Policy (see Appendix). The policy describes appropriate use, inappropriate use, network conductivity, and other important information. For questions see Jeremy Heiss.


Your address for outside mailing will be:

PO Box 646310, XXX Clark Hall or PO Box 646310, XXX ASLB (depending on your office location) Dept. of Animal Sciences

Washington State University Pullman, WA 99164-6310

Your campus address for internal mailing is: 6310

Note: personal mail will not be accepted by WSU mail services. There are mailboxes in front of French Administration for the deposit of personal mail.

Staff Assistance

Graduate students may request secretarial assistance only in limited situations. Administrative Assistants will not type personal letters, class reports or similar materials for students. Typing of your thesis or dissertation is considered personal work. You may request assistance with ordering, mailing or shipping packages if they are clearly related to faculty led research or teaching work. The staff may also assist you in meeting room, departmental vehicles and AV equipment reservations if you cannot access the on-line reservation system.

Animal and other Centers

The Beef Center, Dairy Center, Cattle Lab, Meats Laboratory and Feed Mill are among the areas in which you may conduct research or teach. Prior to any animal work, you must have attended the “Animal Awareness Seminar” and have all of your protocols approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). All scheduling must be done with the appropriate manager ahead of time and all work conducted at the Center is overseen by that manager. For access to the facilities, please contact the manager.

Research Supplies

No student purchases can be made without approval from your advisor. Most research supervisors maintain “blanket” purchase orders at WSU facilities (Central Stores, Chemical Stores, Surplus Stores, Technical Stores, etc.) and service centers (Physical Plant, Technical Services, etc.).

To purchase supplies, an authorization number must be obtained from your supervisor. If unforeseen needs arise in the field, contact your advisor and/or the main office for authorization of an emergency purchase order. You will not receive reimbursement for items purchased from outside vendors without advance authorization.

Departmental vehicles

The department owns several vehicles available for department business. They are only intended to provide transportation to local sites and businesses for authorized university personnel. Vehicles are checked out on-line and specific policies are available at the front desk. Departmental vehicles are only to be used for teaching and local research functions. They are not to be used to travel to UI classes, are not for personal use, and should be kept fueled and clean enough for the President to borrow them.

Copy Machine Use

The copy machines in Clark 116 and ASLB 101 are to be used only for copying materials that are clearly related to a faculty research project, or to copy course materials for the course in which the student is a TA. Graduate students may not use an AS copy machine to copy any personal material such as classroom notes, term papers, books, theses, etc. When in doubt, consult your advisor. Copy machines available for copy card and personal use are located at Copy Centers, French Administration Building, and at all libraries on campus.


For liability and reimbursement purposes, all students must complete a Travel Authority form for any business-related trip taken that is outside of Pullman (or any other station for off-campus students). At least 14 working days before a trip, this form must be submitted, and signed by the department chair. If you need reimbursement, you must complete a Travel Expense Voucher within one week of your return. An approved Travel Authority does not imply expenses will be covered or reimbursed. You should clarify if, how and what expenses will be covered with your advisor prior to requesting a Travel Authority form. Additionally, per diems are limited and you should find out what the limit is for your destination.

You are strongly urged to attend professional meetings. However, the department does not pay travel expenses of graduate students. Advisors may use grant or project monies to pay full or partial travel expenses for graduate students attending meetings. The Graduate School disburses some grant-in-aid travel funds, which can be used for travel to professional meetings. Application forms for student travel grants may be obtained from the Graduate School, French Administration Building, Room 324. It is advisable to apply for a travel grant if you are presenting a quality paper at a professional meeting. The Animal Sciences Graduate Student Association (ASGSA) raises funds to support graduate student travel for members active in the organization. Contact the President of the ASGSA for details. In addition, space may be available in a University vehicle being taken to a meeting, or faculty members may share travel expenses.

Graduate Student Representatives

All graduate students in the university who are currently enrolled in 10 or more hours are members of the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA). GPSA represents the concerns of graduate students within the university and nationally. The AS graduate program elects one representative to the GPSA Senate (the governing body for GPSA). Many of the important advisory committees within the university also have voting positions for graduate students. Students are encouraged to become involved in positions of interest. Visit the GPSA website or go to 308 Compton Union Building, or call (509) 335-9545.

Courses at the University of Idaho

You may register for WSU course(s) taught at UI via “myWSU” along with your other courses. The end of the semesters at UI and WSU do not coincide. Therefore, after the WSU grade submission deadline, you will not receive a grade for the UI course(s) on your initial grade report but it will be updated later to include your grade. There currently is no public transportation to the U of I campus and departmental vehicles are not available for this purpose.


The Graduate School requires an annual review of each graduate student (see Appendix). In Animal Sciences this review includes academic performance, research accomplishments and, when applicable, performance as a TA. These reviews are conducted by the advisor in consultation with the student’s guidance committee and discussed with the student. If your progress is unsatisfactory, your thesis or dissertation committee will be consulted to determine if graduate student status should be continued. The Department Chair will notify the student in writing of the committee’s recommendation and forward a copy of the report to the Graduate School.

Teaching Assistants are also evaluated at the end of the semester by their students and the faculty member in charge of the course. If your teaching performance is unsatisfactory, your thesis or dissertation committee will be consulted to determine if your TA appointment should be discontinued. The Department Chair will notify the student in writing of the committee’s recommendation and forward a copy of the report to the Graduate School.

Unethical and inappropriate behavior

Plagiarism, harassment and research misconduct will NOT be tolerated. Students failing to follow guidelines dictated by the Office of Student Conduct may face dismissal from Washington State University. Please see the following websites for more information on appropriate conduct go to the website of the Office of Student Accountability and Conduct. The Washington State University Policy on Faculty-Student and Supervisor-Subordinate Relationships is available on the Executive Policy Manual webpage.


If grievances arise, the student should discuss the problem with their thesis advisor and/or the Department Chair, or as a final resort, the WSU Ombudsman. The WSU Ombudsman Office is in Wilson Hall, Room 2 and may be contacted by calling (509) 335-1195. Grievance procedures through the Graduate School are available on their website.