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Graduate Assistant Contract Regulations

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Graduate assistants may be considered for supplemental non-recurring contracts for work that is related to a specific area of expertise. The combined hours of work required for the assistantship and the supplemental contract must remain at or below an average of 20 clock hours per week and the supplemental duties may not be part of the assistant's regularly assigned assistantship duties.

A department/unit offering a supplemental assistantship contract forwards the contract to the assistant's home department/unit for approval. The home department/unit forwards the contract to The Graduate School. The Graduate School will forward the contract to the other university offices. Requests for supplemental contracts must be approved with required signatures prior to performance of the work. Requests for approval and compensation after the work is completed will not be approved. Agents or supervisors are responsible for ensuring completion of paperwork prior to completion of work.

Criteria for Supplemental Assistantship Contract

  • The work is not part of the assistant's assigned duties.
    • Graduate assistants hold contracts for academic terms or academic years; they earn a stipend and tuition waiver in compensation for assigned teaching, research or university service directly supporting the university's mission. Supplemental contracts compensate assistants for work that is not part of the assistant's regularly assigned duties.
    • For example, an assistant in the Department of Music may hold an assistantship to provide teaching assistance for several courses in the music department. A supplemental contract may be offered to compensate this assistant to play the piano at a university-scheduled event. Providing music is not part of the assistants regularly assigned duties; therefore, a supplemental contract may be offered.
  • The work is related to the assistant's specialized area expertise.
    • Frequently, graduate assistants have unique expertise that a department/unit may need for a special project. Unique expertise may be related to computer competencies, competencies in the arts, teaching experience, business knowledge, or other specialized skills related to the assistant's professional training and background. Supplemental contracts may be offered to compensate the assistant for work associated with this expertise.
  • The work is non-recurring.
    • Supplemental assistant contracts are for work associated with non-recurring demand such as an offer to provide music required at several campus events or an offer to provide several workshops related to teaching the application of software. Supplemental contracts are not approved for general non-specialized weekly duties associated with recurring student employment. Those positions are for students who do not hold assistantships.
  • The combined supplemental contract and regular assistantship hours remain at or below 20 hours per week.
    • Assistantship contracts are normally for 15 to 18 clock hours per week.
    • A student holding an 18-hour-per-week assistantship who is offered a supplemental contract to provide two four-hour workshops during the 15-week fall term remains in compliance because the eight hours averaged over the 15 weeks ensures that the assistant's weekly average remains below 20 hours per week.
  • The contract is approved prior to completion of the work.
    • Supplemental contracting and payment are available only with prior approval. Verbal promises for payment without prior approval will not be honored. University staff who make offers but fail to secure prior approval are responsible for any promises of payment. Supplemental contracts are paid only through student payroll.
  • Approval by the home department/unit and the graduate dean.
    • Home department/units must support any supplemental contracts because an assistant's first responsibility is to the home department/unit. The graduate dean will serve as the final authority for determining if the supplemental contract meets the criteria specified for supplemental contract meets the criteria specified for supplemental employment of graduate assistants.
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