Section 1. Hours of Work/Percentage of Appointment as Employees

  1. Employees' hours of work are reflected in their percentage of appointment. Such hours of work are separate and distinct from the academic requirements imposed by academic programs in which employees are enrolled as students.
  2. It is understood that graduate assistant employees are engaged in professional activities of such a nature that the output produced, or the result accomplished, cannot be precisely standardized or measured in relation to a given period of time and that the time necessary to accomplish an assignment will vary.
  3. The appointment level shall be based on the appointing department's determination of the amount of time it should normally take to perform the assigned duties including orientation and training. Satisfactory performance of these duties shall not ordinarily require an effort exceeding the amounts listed below for standard appointments. However, the average number of hours per week over the course of a full appointment period as described herein, is an estimate rather than an exact time specification as illustrated below:

Half (50%)


Three-eighths (37.5%)


One-third (33%)


Quarter (25%)


Section 2. Off-Standard Appointments

The Employer may designate additional "off-standard" percentage appointments in which the hours of effort are proportionately consistent with the percentages listed in Section 1(c) above.

Section 3. Departmental Review of Appointments

Department chairs shall review each graduate assistant assignment to assure consistency and that appointment percentages accurately reflect the weekly hours of work averaged over the period of appointment described in this Article. Departments shall identify the task areas of the appointment and the approximate time expected to be dedicated to each of the task areas assigned over the term of the appointment, as either a weekly average or as a cumulative amount over the term of the appointment. This information will then be provided in writing to the employee at the beginning of their appointment.

If at any time over the course of an appointment, a graduate employee reasonably believes that the duties routinely require hours which will cumulatively exceed the hours of effort required by the appointment percentage over its full term, the employee may raise the matter with the Departmental Executive Officer (DEO), the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), and/or their local human resources representative. If no satisfactory resolution is achieved, the matter may be raised at Level 2 of the grievance procedure. In the event that an employee's claim is sustained informally or at any step of the grievance procedure, the Employer shall increase such employee's salary proportionately to the extra hours of effort required, or at the Employer's option if there is enough remaining time in the appointment, shall make an adjustment for the remainder of the appointment so that hours of effort are decreased proportionally.

Section 4. Graduate Assistant Overload Appointments

Overload graduate assistantship appointments (those more than 20 hours/week) will be granted only when there is a clear case to be made beyond the student's monetary gain or the benefit to the department. Before making an appointment of any type (e.g., additional assistantship or hourly) that brings a student's total appointment at the University of Iowa beyond 50%, the DEO or DGS of the program in which the student is enrolled (in consultation with the student's advisor) must receive permission from the associate dean for administrative affairs of the Graduate College. The associate dean for administrative affairs will consult with the student’s program (e.g., advisor, DGS) and the associate dean for graduate education in the student’s college. All overload requests must address:

  • the potential academic benefit to the student from the additional appointment;
  • the student's current progress towards degree completion;
  • the effect of the additional appointment on the student's future progress.

A total appointment of more than 62.5% and up to a maximum of 75% should be seen as an exceptional situation and will be granted only for one semester during the entire time of a student's graduate studies. Upon approval, international students must contact the Office of International Students and Scholars to gain permission for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Colleges and/or particular graduate programs may have overload policies that are stricter than the Graduate College’s policy. It is always advisable to consult with the associate dean for graduate education if there is any uncertainty regarding additional hours/appointments.