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Standardized Language for Multi-year Appointment Letters

language provided by the Graduate School to Departments and Programs for use in Letters of Commitment


The Graduate School encourages faculty and departments to make multiple-year commitments in the recruitment process. Communicating the intention of the university and hiring department to support a graduate student for the duration of their degree pursuit, subject to reasonable limits and the achievement of performance expectations, can make Virginia Tech a more competitive recruiter of graduate students, while recognizing an existing practice. 

Therefore, the Graduate School recommends that university departments and programs use some version of this standard phrasing in order to properly convey their intention to employ graduate students for multiple-year periods, subject to reasonable constraints (academic progress, job performance). If embedded in offer letter templates and/or graduate contracts, this language can extend confidence to prospective graduate students that their commitment to Virginia Tech will be reciprocated.

Proposed phrasing for letters of commitment:

This is an annual appointment for the 20XX-XX academic year. Your appointment is dependent upon your maintaining full-time graduate student status and continuing satisfactory academic progress toward your degree. You should be assured that as long as you are making satisfactory academic progress, up to a limit of XX years in the program, your funding will be continued.