Hiring a Graduate Employee (GE) vs. a Student Hourly Employee

The GTFF contract requires that graduate students should be hired as GEs if the work is graduate level, and if the hours per term equal or exceed .20 FTE.

If you are considering hiring a graduate student as a student hourly employee, walk through the decision matrix, to determine whether the graduate student can be hired as a student hourly employee or must be hired as a GE.


What are the specific duties?

Are the duties are considered GE work?

  • Academic research—research supporting a professor
  • Teaching or teaching-related work affiliated with UO courses
  • Autonomous administrative work
    • Supervising students
    • Advising students
    • Leading a mentor program
    • Counseling
    • Any administrative work in which that the unit would not be willing to hire an undergrad for

If NO, you may hire a STUDENT HOURLY. Technical work like proofreading, IT support, etc., and clerical work are in this category.

If YES, go on to next question.

Why are you choosing this specific graduate student or why are you interested in a grad student and not an undergrad student?

If you have targeted graduate students in the hiring process for this work, it is possibly a GE position? See duration.

How much do they want to pay?

If you are wanting to pay $18-20 per hour (or more) this could signal complexity and therefore be GE work. Go on to next question.

Has this work been done by a GE before?

If YES, go to duration.


How many hours, altogether, will the person be working during the term?

If YES to “Are the duties are considered GE work?” AND the answer here is that the work will take place all in one term AND the work is going to reach, or come very close to .20 FTE (or 88 hours) = GE APPOINTMENT

If YES to “Are the duties are considered GE work?” BUT the work is in a single term is not going to come close (or has no chance of coming close to) .20 FTE = STUDENT HOURLY

"Article 17, Section 4. Departments and programs will give priority to GE appointments. All graduate students employed by the university at .2 FTE or above for research, teaching (e.g., grading, lab assistant, discussion leader) or administrative duties will be awarded a graduate employment appointment, except in emergency situations that cannot be accommodated by an increase in the FTE of current GTFs and/or the creation of new GE position. This section also applies to the hiring of undergraduate students or other non-salaried hourly workers to positions appropriate for GEs. Nothing in this article is intended to limit appropriate educational opportunities for undergraduates.”