Graduate Employees (GEs) Assisting Instructor-of-Record GEs

Departments must notify the Division of Graduate Studies when they appoint a GE as an assistant to a GE who has been assigned as the instructor of record for a course. This notification should take place as soon as these assignments are made.

Notification to the Division must be submitted via Qualtrics.

In most cases, the general principle that "conflicts of interest" should be avoided provides the primary basis for the policy that graduate students should not be placed in positions of supervision or evaluation over other graduate students.

Typically, a graduate student who is the instructor of record for a course would not be able to have a fellow graduate student assigned as a grader, discussion section leader, or lab assistant.

In addition to the issue of conflict of interest, some GEs with sufficient academic experience to warrant being the instructor of record may not have the additional skills necessary to serve as a guide, mentor, or supervisor of a less experienced graduate student assigned as an assistant.

However, there may be some circumstances where it is appropriate for a GE to be assisted by another GE.

Guidelines for such appointments include:

  1. Maximize the experience of the instructor-of-record GE in delivering the specific course.

    The instructor-of-record GE should have already taught the course, or at the very least, should have served as an assistant for the course.

    If the course is "new" (perhaps being offered because of the graduate student's own specialized knowledge), then there should be some evidence of past success as an instructor of record for a similar or related course.

  2. The instructor-of-record GE and the assisting GE cannot be in the same cohort.

    If the instructor-of-record GE is an advanced doctoral student who is ABD and the assisting GE is a first- or second-year master's student, the conflict of interest issue would be minimized.

  3. Evaluation of the assisting GE is to be done by a regular faculty member.

    Graduate students should not be evaluated by fellow graduate students, a regular faculty member must take responsibility for evaluating the assisting GE. Whatever evaluation measures a department normally uses for GEs will determine the specific steps to be taken.

  4. Additional evaluation of the supervisory role of the instructor GE.

    This entails adding a supervisory component to the regular evaluation measures used by the department.

It is mandatory to make sure that both the instructor-of-record GE and the assisting GE have a clear understanding of who will do these evaluations and of the roles and responsibilities for each person involved in the evaluation process.

For more information, please contact the Division of Graduate Studies at or 541-346-5129.