introductions

Register for Graduate Hiring Training Sessions

Effective Sept. 19, Student Employment will begin to facilitate academic hiring for graduate students. This transition will impact hiring for the following areas:

A Graduate Assistant Exempt must meet eligibility requirements and be supervised by a faculty member, administrator or other appropriate university employee who is responsible for monitoring and evaluating their performance at least on an annual basis.

A Graduate Assistant Exempt is provided with an educational experience aligned with or related to their program of study whereby they apply the specific functional knowledge, skills and abilities gained from their overall educational program. There may be duties other than teaching, research or extension, and the following guidelines must be adhered to:

  • At least 60% of the student’s primary duties and responsibilities are directly related their program of study.

  • No more than 25% of the student’s duties and responsibilities are administrative/clerical in nature. (i.e. event setup and takedown, filing, copying, etc.)

* The position description form must accompany all Graduate Assistantships. It is included within the posting form inside of PeopleAdmin.

A Graduate Teaching Assistant must meet eligibility requirements and be supervised by an appropriate graduate faculty member. Their primary responsibility is to support the instructional mission of the University.

  • At least 60% of the student’s responsibility as a GTA must be devoted to the direct instruction of students, typically in a classroom or laboratory setting. Responsibilities may also include, for example:
    • Advising or mentoring of students

    • Proctoring exams

    • Grading papers, homework, and/or projects

    • Preparing instructional materials

    • Providing other general assistance in the instructional process

  • They may not be given duties to support faculty research or duties that are primarily clerical in nature.

  • Regardless of their instructional responsibilities, they must be supervised by a faculty member who is responsible for monitoring and evaluating their performance at least annually. GRADTs who have no prior teaching experience must be given some form of training before being allowed to teach.

  • Any GRADT with primary responsibility for a course must have a minimum of 18 semester hours of graduate course credit in that field of instruction.

* GRADTs are not permitted to serve as an instructor of record for courses numbered 6000 or above, although they may assist with laboratories for such courses. They may not teach or assist with a course in which they are enrolled.

A Graduate Research Assistant must meet eligibility requirements and be supervised by an appropriate graduate faculty member.

The primary duty is to engage in original, professional-level research under a faculty member’s supervision in the course of obtaining a graduate degree. The faculty supervisor determines the student's specific duties and is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the student's performance at least on an annual basis.

A Graduate Assistant Nonexempt must meet eligibility requirements and be supervised by a faculty member, administrator or other appropriate university employee who is responsible for monitoring and evaluating their performance at least on an annual basis.

The student's primary responsibilities are not aligned with, or related to, their program of study.

The graduate student with a GRADN position is eligible for tuition support under the tuition fellowship program. However, as the primary assistantship work is not aligned with the graduate student’s overall educational program, the student is responsible for the taxation and withholding requirements for the received fellowship benefit exceeding the Internal Revenue Service defined threshold.

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In the past, the Graduate School facilitated academic hiring for graduate students. However, Student Employment and the Graduate School are partnering on this transition to make the hiring process more efficient for our students and campus.

The new process will be fully automated and paperless. Redundancies will be reduced or eliminated, and workflows will be optimized. 

PeopleAdmin 7 (PA7) a fully-automated talent management system that is already used for most on-campus hiring will be utilized for academic hiring. Graduate hiring has been taking place through PA7 with some of the process still taking place outside of the system. This new process will enable the entire process to be automated.

Additional information is included below. 

What Do I Need to Know?

Job Postings

Since the GRADA position form is now automated, GA postings are no longer multi-filled within PeopleAdmin 7 (PA7).

A new posting will be required for each GA to ensure exemption status compliance. Any open positions will be filled by implementation of the automated process. All new forms submitted after Sept. 9 must be completed electronically.

GTA and GRA positions within PA7 will remain multi-filled if the department chooses.

See workflows for additional information.

Position Descriptions

Position descriptions are required for all GA positions. (This does not include GRAs or GTAs.) 

Position descriptions ensure that the work activities align with the overall program of study. This requirement is now included in PA7, making it easier for approvers to edit and approve a form.

The position description should include:

  • The specific functional knowledge, skills and abilities learned in the student’s overall educational program to be applied in the work of the Assistantship (Examples of inappropriate GA duties may include, but are not limited to, personal services for a supervisor and other duties that do not advance the student’s professional development.)

  • The benefits added to the student’s educational experience

As a reminder:

  • At least 60% of the student’s duties and responsibilities must be directly related to the program of study.

  • No greater than 25% of the student’s duties and responsibilities must administrative/clerical in nature. (i.e. event setup and takedown, filing, copying)

Important to Note

  • Position description approvers include the Supervisor, Graduate Program Officer (GPO), Dean (only required if the GA is working outside of their academic school/college) and Graduate School. 

  • Graduate assistantships that are added via EPAF will also have position descriptions processed in PA7 with the student completing the application portion. The EPAF will be utilized in place of the hiring proposal. EPAF’s will continue to be processed by the Graduate School.

  • All new assignments added via EPAF for GAs (GA or GRADA) must have a position description completed through PA7.

Assistantship Alignment with Overall Educational Program by Major (Essential Functions)

The list of alignment statements is a framework to assist departments in aligning assistantships with the overall educational program.

Each Graduate Assistantship (GRADA) position description must contain specific functional knowledge, skills and abilities learned in the student’s educational program that will be applied in the work during assistantship.

Hiring Proposals

Hiring proposals will now be required on all GAs to ensure compliance with the university’s background check policy. This includes students who have an Active PEAEMPL in Banner 9 and are receiving a new assistantship or added assistantship.

Graduate School Dean approval is required for all assistantships receiving a tuition waiver if the position starts after the eighth day of class (during fall and spring semesters) and the fifth day of class (during summer semester). Approvals must be included as an upload within the hiring proposal to ensure there is no delay in processing.

In the past, offer letters were not a requirement within the hiring proposal. Moving forward, offer letters are required. Departments can choose to utilize the template within PA7, or complete outside of the system and upload to the hiring proposal.

Workflows

Instructions/Transactional Verbiage

  1. The Initiator creates the posting and selects Submit for Review (move to HRL) from the Take Action on Posting dropdown. (Note: The Initiator and HRL user are responsible for ensuring appropriate users are selected for Supervisor, Graduate Program Officer -- GPO -- and Dean approval.)

  2. The HRL-Student creates the posting and selects GA Supervisor Review (move to Supervisor) from the Take Action on Posting dropdown.

  3. The Supervisor reviews and selects GA GPO Review (move to Graduate Program Officer) from the Take Action on Posting dropdown, enters the appropriate text to notate approval and selects Submit. (Note: The Supervisor must notate review and approval within the submission box prior to submitting forward.)

  4. The GPO reviews and selects GA Position Description Review (move to Academic Dean) from the Take Action on Posting dropdown, enters the appropriate text to notate approval and selects Submit(Note: The GPO must notate review and approval within the submission box prior to submitting forward.)

  5. The Academic Dean reviews and selects GA Position Description Review (move to Graduate School) from the Take Action on Posting dropdown, enters the appropriate text to notate approval and selects Submit. (Note: Dean's approval is only required if the graduate assistant is working outside of their Academic School/ College.)

  6. The Graduate School reviews and selects GA Position Description Approved (move to Student Employment) from the Take Action on Posting dropdown, then enters appropriate text to notate approval and selects Submit.

  7. Student Employment reviews and selects Open, Not Posted for direct hire or Posted for recruitment positions from the Take Action on Posting dropdown.

Note about recruitment postings: If the GA position needs additional edits once a candidate is selected, HR will move the status to editable for users. 

  1. The Initiator creates the posting and selects Submit for Review (move to HRL) from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.

  2. The HRL-Student creates the posting and selects Submit for Review (move to Student Employment) from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.

  3. Student Employment reviews and selects Posted (move to Posted) for direct hire or Open, Not Posted (move to Open, Not Posted) for recruitment from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.

Note: Users will receive a notification once the posting is in a posted workflow state. 

Instructions/Transactional Verbiage

  1. The Initiator creates the hiring proposal and selects Background Check Request (move to Background Check) from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.

  • Note: Graduate hiring proposals must be started using the Initiator user group to ensure the student goes through a background check. A system generated email is sent to the applicant at this stage with instructions on how to enter the background check portal.

  1. Once the background check is complete, Student Employment reviews and selects Background Check Completed (move to HRL/Dean Review) from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.

  2. The HRL-Student user reviews and selects Submit for Review (move to Student Employment) from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.

  1. Student Employment reviews and finalizes the hiring proposal and then assigns Onboarding Events for the new hire to complete required documents prior to the hire date.

  • Note: Records enters the position into Banner after onboarding has been completed.

Instructions/Transactional Verbiage 

  1. The Initiator creates the hiring proposal and selects Background Check Request (move to Background Check) from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.

  • Note: Graduate hiring proposals must be started using the Initiator user group to ensure the student goes through a background check.

  • Note: A system generated email is sent to the applicant at this stage with instructions on how to enter the background check portal.

IMPORTANT: The Graduate Teaching Assistant - Teaching Assistant Certification of Eligibility for Employment should be uploaded. (International only) Documents need to be uploaded prior to taking action on the hiring proposal.

  1. Once the background check is complete, Student Employment reviews  and selects Background Check Completed (move to HRL/Dean Review) from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.

  2. The HRL-Student user reviews and selects Submit for Review (move to Graduate Admin) from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.

  3. The Graduate Admin reviews the hiring proposal for international GTA requirements and selects Submit for Approval (move to Student Employment) from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.                                                                    

  1. Student Employment reviews and finalizes the hiring proposal and then assigns Onboarding Events for the new hire to complete required documents prior to the hire date.                                                                                         

Note: Records enters the position into Banner after onboarding has been completed.

Instructions/Transactional Verbiage

  1. The Initiator creates the hiring proposal and selects Background Check Request (move to Background Check) from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.

  • Note: A system generated email is sent to the applicant at this stage with instructions on how to enter the background check portal.

  1. Once the background check is complete, Student Employment reviews and selects Background Check Completed (move to Hiring Proposal Finalized) from the Take Action on Hiring Proposal dropdown.

  • Note: The department is still responsible for submitting an EPAF on Active student employees once the background check is complete. 

Background Checks

Background checks for graduate student employees are conducted in accordance with the University’s Policy on Conducting Background Checks and applicable law, including nondiscrimination laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

While background checks are intended for use for employment purposes, if a Graduate School applicant indicated on their application for admission that they have not been convicted of, pled guilty to, or pled no contest to a felony or sexual offense, and the background check indicates otherwise, the Graduate School may use this information to determine whether the applicant provided false or misleading information on their application, which may result in the individual being ineligible for admission or enrollment or subject to suspension or expulsion, in accordance with applicable policies and procedures.

Admission to the Graduate School based on truthful and accurate information is a pre-requisite to graduate student employment. Consequently, verification of admission disclosures may affect a graduate student’s employment eligibility and student status.

Background checks are required for all hourly paid graduate student positions and all temporary short-term appointments (to include monthly-paid assistantships) but are not required for those students on monthly-paid fellowships or scholarships.

Auburn University Human Resources (AUHR) is responsible for reviewing all completed graduate student employee background check reports. AUHR will collaborate with the Dean of the Graduate School on discrepancies that require additional review. The Dean of the Graduate School has final authority to accept or to reject a graduate student for employment based on information contained in their background check.

The background check report is confidential and will only be disclosed in accordance with the University’s Policy on Conducting Background Checks, these procedures, or as otherwise required or permitted by law. To maintain confidentiality and privacy for all applicants, the hiring department is notified only of whether an applicant’s background check has been approved and will not receive the details of the report.

Only students who have been admitted to the Graduate School for study in a degree-seeking program and who satisfy the general qualifying requirements to hold a graduate student employee position may be extended a conditional offer of employment in a graduate student position.

Departments must make prospective graduate student employees aware that a background check is required and that the student must complete their portion of the background check process through the Auburn University authorized vendor by the communicated due date.

The hiring department must issue a conditional offer of employment letter to the graduate student. The offer letter must include the appropriate paragraph that advises the student that their appointment is contingent upon completion of a satisfactory background check. Except when pre-approved by AUHR based on department or operational needs, departments must allow sufficient time for the background check report to be completed before an appointment can be made and a graduate student employee can begin working.

AUHR is responsible for coordinating the background check process. AUHR is responsible for reviewing the completed background report(s) and advancing the student forward within the applicant tracking system (ATS). AUHR will collaborate with the Dean of the Graduate School on discrepancies requiring additional review.

AUHR notates complete reports (for departmental view) within the Employee Record Verification section within Self-Service Banner.

Motor Vehicle Reports (MVR) are obtained as part of the background check process for graduate student employees where driving a motor vehicle is an essential job function. MVRs that return discrepancies are reported to the Office of Risk Management & Safety for review. Risk Management facilitates approval, disapproval, restrictions and the need for additional reports in compliance with the university’s Fleet Safety Policy.

The student or the hiring department is responsible for paying the cost of a background check. A hiring department may require that an applicant incur the cost of their background check, but if a hiring department does pass this cost along to the applicant, it must do so for all applicants. The cost of a standard background check is $33.50, while the cost of an expanded background check, which includes an MVR, is $46.

If an applicant has held residence internationally within the last seven years, an International Criminal Search must also be conducted for their countr(ies) of residence during that time period. The cost for an International Criminal Search varies and is dependent upon the country of residence. The cost of the International Criminal Search must be billed to the hiring department and not the applicant.

New background codes have been created with the university’s new vendor, Truescreen. Each department with background codes will have two codes for standard search and for expanded search: one for student pay and one for department pay. These codes will be shared with HR Liaisons for further distribution.

In the case international background charges apply and the student pay option is selected, students will only be charged the applicable package rate. Any additional charges will be charged directly to the department.

Employee Record Verification

In an effort to better serve campus, positions responsible for facilitating the hiring process for students will have an additional option added to the Employees tab within Self-Service Banner.

This verification page gives the ability to look up a student by Banner ID or GID and confirms basic academic information, the last three terms of enrollment, general background confirmation, employment status, active jobs and FTE. 

How to Access:

  1. Log into AU Access and click on the Employees tab.

  2. Click on the Self Service icon.

  3. Select the "Employee Record Verification" option.

  4. Enter Banner ID or User name/GID and click search.

  5. Verify student information.

Banner Resources

Hiring Process Overview

  • If you are a new hire or rehire, you must complete an application for the position you are being hired for.

  • Direct hires are emailed a direct link to complete the application.

  • If applying to a posted position, you will complete an application per the position posting on the AU Employment website.

  • Departments complete a hiring request after the application is completed.

  • An email notification is sent with instructions to complete the background check.

  • An offer letter is extended.

  • An onboarding task list is assigned.

  • There is an email notification with next steps once the internal request has been approved.

Additional Information

  • When hiring an international GTA, the Graduate Teaching Assistant Certification of Eligibility for Employment form must be completed and submitted on the documents portion of the hiring proposal. This form can be found in the Forms Directory. Duolingo English scores are not accepted by the Graduate School.

  • For foreign national hires who have an active Employee record in Banner, all work authorization dates must be reviewed to ensure that a work status reverification is not required.

EPAFs

When adding a biweekly job for Graduate Students who have an active Employee record in Banner, please use the appropriate EPAF.

  • The ADJGA / ADJGB ‘approval category’ should be utilized if the individual already has another primary job.

  • The NJGA / NJGB ‘approval category’ should be utilized if the job being entered will be the primary.

Position numbers for bi-weekly graduate student employees must start with GB and not ST. See the Approval Category list for further EPAF details.

Formula for Monthly Hours Per Pay (HPP)

The HPP formula can be used on the Hiring Proposal as well as the EPAF for “hours per pay.” Please use the following formula to calculate HPP.

173.33 * FTE = HPP

Example: 173.33 x .333 = 57.72

Hiring Scale

FTE

Minimum/Monthly Pay

Minimum/Yearly Pay

.25

$612

$7,344

.33

$808

$9,696

.50

$1,224

$14,688

IMPORTANT: Please note the minimum monthly pay as stated in the second column of the chart above. For example, a GA with an FTE of .25 must make a minimum of $612 per month.

Last updated: 10/04/2022