Appendix E--Conduct of Graduate Students Serving as Faculty

Graduate students appointed as Graduate Part-time Instructors, Teaching Assistants, or Research Assistants serve in a limited role as faculty of Texas Tech University. As faculty employees, OP 32.04, "Conduct of University Faculty," and OP 32.33 "Faculty, Staff, and Student Conflict of Interest" apply fully. This policy prohibits actions by a faculty employee which are a breach of the public trust. Penalties for such actions range from an oral reprimand to separation from the University. The classes of actions prohibited are as follows.

1.Academic dishonesty of any form, including but not limited to academic plagiarism or giving improper aid to a student on an examination or grade. Acceptance of money, gifts, or favors from students, or solicitation thereof, which would compromise integrity, are similarly prohibited.

2.Forgery, alteration, or unauthorized use of University documents or records.

3.Knowingly furnishing false information to the University.

4.Use of force or violence or other methods of obstructing the teaching, research, administration, or public service functions of the University.

5.Physical abuse, threats, or conduct dangerous to the health and safety of any person on University property or University-sponsored or supervised functions.

6.Sexual harassment connected in any way to the performance of University duties.

7.Theft or damage to the property of the University or to the property of a member of or visitor to the University.

8.Unauthorized entry to or use of University facilities.

9.Use, possession, or distribution of narcotics or other substances controlled by Federal and State law, except in strict compliance with such regulations.

10.Lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct on University-owned or controlled property or at a University-sponsored or supervised function.

11.Failure to comply with the lawful directions of University officials acting in the performance of their duties.

12.Violation of other promulgated University policies or rules. This prohibition includes failure to meet regularly scheduled classes or to administer scheduled examinations.

The foregoing are to be understood as illustrative, but not exhaustive, of the possible infractions of academic ethics.

I. Definition of Student Employment

A student employee performs part-time work incidental to academic training in an occupational category that requires all incumbents to be students as a condition of employment. These include:

A. Graduate AssistantA graduate student in an institution of higher education employed to perform work which utilizes knowledge beyond undergraduate academic studies. The position of Graduate Assistant is intended for graduate students employed in capacities other than teaching or research.

B. Research AssistantA graduate student in an institution of higher education employed in support of the research mission of the unit, its director or faculty, in laboratory, library, field, or computer, or such other activities as may assist the unit's research effort. The position of Research Assistant is intended for graduate students employed in research activities on research accounts.

C. Teaching Assistant--A graduate student in an institution of higher education employed in support of the teaching mission of the unit who has not completed at least 18 graduate hours in the discipline and is not responsible for, or in charge of, a class or class section.

D. Graduate Part-time Instructor--Differs from T.A. in that the Graduate Part-time Instructor has completed 18 graduate hours in the discipline and may be solely responsible for a class section.

II.Limits of Employment

A. A student employee may not be employed more than twenty (20) hours per week (50 percent of time) in school weeks, or more than forty (40) hours per week (100 percent of time) in nonschool weeks.

B. Care must be taken to avoid inadvertently working an individual in excess of the maximum hourly limits who is employed in more than one part-time capacity. All time work for TTU and/or TTUHSC must be combined and must not exceed the established limits. The student has an obligation to inform the supervisor any time there is a change in overall work commitments to ensure that inadvertently the student is not exceeding the maximum limits.


A. All student employee appointments are considered to be temporary appointments.

B. Student employees are eligible for participation in the regular employee group insurance programs made available to regular employees.

IV.Graduate Student Status

Graduate students employed as Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, or Graduate Assistants are expected to be enrolled in Graduate School full-time.


A. Graduate Assistant, Research Assistant, and Teaching Assistant appointments are considered temporary faculty and are not continuing appointments. These student employees are usually employed for a specific term such as September 1 through May 31, or January 15 through May 31, or some other specific period.

B. Since the appointments are not continuing appointments, the procedures must be followed for reappointing Graduate Students in each new fiscal year or budgetary period.

VI.Available Instructional Resources

A. International students may obtain assistance through the Intensive English Program, located in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures.

B. Colleges typically hold workshops for teaching assistants; a number of departments have formal classes for the teaching of particular subjects. Information is available in the departmental offices.


A. OP 70.27 entitled "Employment of Student Employees" sets out the procedures for the appointment process and for change in the appointment status of student employees.

B. Graduate Assistant, Research Assistant, and Teaching Assistant appointments are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. As a result, they are exempt from minimum wage and overtime provisions of the law and are covered by the equal pay for equal work provisions and other provisions of the act as are regular faculty employees.

C. OP 64.03 entitled "Graduate Students Employed as Teaching Assistants and Graduate Part-time Instructors" sets forth a number of guidelines important for both graduate students and their employing units within the University. This OP should be reviewed for details of the Teaching Assistant­University relationship.

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Apr 27, 2017