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Performance Evaluations for Graduate Teaching Assistants


In order to assist Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) in developing their instructional skills, academic units are required to provide GTAs with regular, written performance evaluations. This policy outlines the University’s expectations and requirements for academic units in managing GTA performance evaluations and describes the processes associated with those evaluations.

Applies to: 

Graduate Teaching Assistants with active appointments during the academic year.

Policy Statement: 

In order to mentor GTAs in the acquisition of instructional skills, the appointing department must conduct a written performance evaluation of every GTA at least once every academic year during the GTA’s appointment.

Duties as basis for performance evaluations

The assessment of performance will be based on job duties assigned to the GTA as articulated in a position description or on the GTA Appointment form. The GTA Position Description template provides a general position description that can be modified to include specific duty assignments; this form and several others regarding GTAs and GRAs can be found on the Grad and Student Hourly Evaluations page.

Performance evaluations deadlines

GTA evaluations for current academic-year appointments (academic year, fall semester, or spring semester) must be finalized by May 31st of each year. Departments are encouraged to set earlier internal dates as necessary so that evaluations are completed before decisions about reappointments for the following year are made. Performance evaluations are optional for GTAs teaching summer sessions.

Required components of performance evaluations

Performance evaluations for GTAs must include a minimum of two components: classroom observations (or its equivalent for field placements) documented in writing and a written performance evaluation from the evaluator. The evaluation must include the name and teaching department of the GTA being evaluated, the period covered by the evaluation (academic year, fall semester, or spring semester), an overall rating, and signatures of the evaluator and the GTA. Departments are encouraged to use the GTA CLAS Evaluation template provided on the Grad and Student Hourly Evaluations page.

During the first year of a GTA’s appointment, a documented classroom observation must be conducted at least once during each semester of the academic year. For continuing GTAs, a documented classroom observation must be conducted at least once during the academic year. A sample Classroom Observation Template is provided on the Grad and Student Hourly Evaluations page. Departments will identify the appropriate individuals to conduct the classroom observations.

Unsatisfactory performance must be clearly stated on the evaluation form as an overall rating of “unsatisfactory.” An evaluation with an overall rating of “unsatisfactory” must include supporting documentation to substantiate the rating, e.g., letters/emails of counseling, documentation of unmet performance improvement goals.

Recommended components of performance evaluations

Recommended components include a self-assessment from the GTA and performance goals. Written feedback from course evaluations should be used in the evaluation process whenever possible, though the timing of the course evaluation process may delay the use of the information until the next semester.

Conducting the performance evaluation

As deemed appropriate by the academic unit, performance evaluations may be conducted by the instructor of record, the dean/chairperson, or designee. The evaluator should schedule a meeting to discuss the performance evaluation with the GTA; providing advance notice is recommended. The evaluator should take into consideration input from the GTA when finalizing the performance evaluation.

Special evaluations and disciplinary actions

If performance deficiencies exist, performance improvement goals should be established and counseling should occur and be documented. A special evaluation may be conducted at any time to address performance inadequacies. Performance deficiencies may affect a merit-based salary increase or may result in a recommendation for suspension without pay or termination of an appointment. Disciplinary actions will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the University of Kansas and the Graduate Teaching Assistants Coalition (GTAC), American Federation of Teachers - Kansas and in consultation with Human Resource Management.

Retention and submission of the performance evaluation

Departments are required to retain a copy of the performance evaluation and supporting documents and to provide a signed copy to the GTA. The evaluation is a part of the GTA’s official work record. If the overall rating is “unsatisfactory,” the evaluation and any supporting documents (e.g., counseling letters, goals, etc.) must be submitted to Human Resource Management.

Departments have two options for submission of performance evaluations with overall ratings other than “unsatisfactory.”

  • Departments may submit to Human Resource Management a listing of all GTAs evaluated, including name, department, evaluation dates, and overall rating; or
  • Departments may submit to Human Resource Management a copy of the completed evaluation form.

Completed evaluations must be retained in departmental records in accordance with the University’s Records Retention Schedule.

Appeal avenues

A GTA may grieve the results of an evaluation if the GTA asserts that the evaluation was based on factors other than job performance and adherence to University and Kansas Board of Regents policies or if the GTA receives an overall evaluation rating of “unsatisfactory.” The grievance will be handled in accordance with the grievance procedures described in the MOA and in consultation with Human Resource Management.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

This policy does not apply to GTAs with summer session appointments.

Failure to complete required GTA performance evaluations may jeopardize the department’s continued GTA appointment lines. Academic units that fail to conduct regular performance evaluations as required by this policy will be held accountable by the appropriate administrative office.


(For professional schools)
Office Graduate Studies
213 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Dean’s Office
200 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045

Department of Human Resource Management
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Monday, January 10, 2011
Effective on: 
Monday, August 15, 2011
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Performance evaluation, evaluations, performance appraisal, appraisal
Change History: 

10/05/2022: Added links to the Related Forms section.
09/30/2022: Updated broken links.
10/05/2018: Updated to correct names of labor union and HRM. Changes approved by Vice Provost for Operations. 
07/11/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
06/21/2016: Updated DLR.
11/24/2015: Technical edits (broken link).
12/15/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
07/09/2014: Technical edits - updated formatting; updated title for Office of Graduate Studies for accuracy; selected 'Lawrence' for Campus; moved some links from Related Other to Related Forms for accuracy; updated title of official listed in Approved by to ensure consistency.
01/10/2011: Approved by Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor; effective for the 2011-2012 academic year and for all subsequent years.

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