• Home
  • Out-of-Field GTA Appointments Policy and Procedures

Out-of-Field GTA Appointments Policy and Procedures


To describe the conditions under which graduate students can be appointed to graduate teaching assistantships outside their academic departments and to describe the procedures for such appointments.

Applies to: 

Academic department chairs, academic program directors, academic deans, graduate teaching assistants.

Policy Statement: 

General Policy on GTA Appointments, Training, and Mentoring

[Note: to read footnotes on-line, click on the numeral]


University policy[1] stipulates that the graduate teaching assistantship must be an integral part of the graduate student’s academic endeavor, serving as a logical complement to the graduate student’s program of study. While the GTA experience is often part of the student’s preparation to assume a full-time role in a specific field in academia, the GTA experience also provides valuable training in the science and art of teaching. Accordingly, departments or schools are expected to offer quality teaching-related experiences for GTAs and to designate faculty who will work closely with GTAs to advise them and to help improve teaching skills. Teaching-related training is integral to the GTA experience.


Guidelines and Criteria for Out-of-Field Appointments


It is assumed that the majority of GTAs have appointments within their home departments. However, undergraduate teaching needs frequently arise in departments and programs that do not have a specific and circumscribed pool of graduate students from which GTAs can be drawn. Recognizing that graduate students can make significant contributions to the undergraduate teaching mission of the University by teaching out of their field and that there is great value in this teaching experience as they learn the science and art of teaching undergraduate students, the University will allow out-of-field GTA appointments with the following stipulations:


· A request for an out-of-field appointment has to be approved by the student’s home department or program as well as the department or program offering the teaching appointment.

· The out-of-field appointment has to be approved by the Schools or College of the home department or program as well as the Schools or College of the department or program offering the teaching appointment.

· Because it is University policy to waive some or all of the differential tuition for GTAs who are enrolled in schools that charge differential tuition,[2] a unit wishing to extend an out-of-field GTA appointment to a graduate student who is enrolled in a school that charges differential tuition must notify the dean of the school in which the student is enrolled and obtain that dean’s approval of the out-of-field appointment.

· The Schools and the College must annually send a list of all out-of-field appointments to the Office of Graduate Studies.

· The home department or program must certify at the time of approving the out-of-field appointment that the student is making acceptable progress toward completion of her or his terminal degree.

· Any out-of-field GTA appointments must include a pedagogical/mentoring component offered by the hiring department, with assigned faculty supervisors or mentors. When the hiring department offers courses or seminars that are required of home department GTAs, out-of-field GTAs will be required to enroll in such courses or seminars.

· Students pursuing graduate degrees that are not generally intended to prepare a student for a career that involves teaching cannot be appointed as an out-of-field GTA. These students should be appointed as lecturers if their service as teachers is desired.


Procedures for Requesting Out-of-Field GTA Appointments


Individual Schools or the College will review all requests for out-of-field GTA appointments. Units requesting the out-of-field appointment must provide documentation that the student has been admitted to Graduate Studies and is in good academic standing.[3] No offer of an out-of-field GTA appointment, either written or verbal, may be made until the School or College has completed its review.


Procedure: A department that wishes to offer a GTA appointment to a graduate student in another academic unit must consult with the student's home department to develop a rationale describing how the appointment is consistent with the guidelines stated here and how it will benefit the student's educational program. The rationale should include information about the student’s background and qualifications to teach the course(s) in question and how the experience gained will contribute the student’s graduate training. An out-of-field appointment will not be approved without the explicit endorsement of the student’s home department.


Timeline: Requests for out-of-field GTA placements normally should be submitted to the Schools or College involved as soon as possible and at least four weeks before the department expects to make an appointment offer. The four-week requirement may be waived when a proposed appointment is related to a staffing emergency such as the late resignation of a GTA or the unanticipated illness of a faculty member who was scheduled to teach a course.


[1] “General Guidelines” section, # 2, of University of Kansas Policies and Guidelines for GTA and GRA appointments, originally issued on June 1, 1998. The General Guidelines have been updated and are available in the “Resources for GRAs/GTAs” section of the Provost Office website (http://www.provost.ku.edu/).

[2] The percentage waived depends on the level of appointment and is reflected in the table that appears in Article 7, Section 3 of the Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Kansas and the Board of Regents and the Kansas Association of Public Employees (Representing Graduate Teaching Assistants at the University of Kansas, Lawrence).

[3] Graduate Studies Policy on Academic Good Standing: Each graduate teaching assistant shall be evaluated at the end of each semester to determine whether he/she is in good standing. If a department judges that a student who falls below the required 3.0 GPA after one semester is still making satisfactory progress towards the degree, the department may recommend to the Provost that the student be allowed to keep his/her assistantship for one additional semester. Students who are admitted on probationary or provisional status are not considered to be in good standing for the purpose of GTA appointments.


Office of Graduate Studies


Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Friday, June 17, 2005
Effective on: 
Friday, June 17, 2005
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Graduate Teaching Assistants, Out-of-Field GTA Appointment, academic good standing, differential tuition.
Change History: 

6/17/05: Approved by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor; revisions approved by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor on July 6, 2007.

Personnel: Student Employees Categories: 

Can't Find What You're Looking For?
Policy Library Search
KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times