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2013–14 A Look at Graduate Teaching Assistants as Teachers of Record

October 2014

By Jessica Brown, Senior Manager, Knowledge Services, AACSB International

Business schools are in a multifaceted position when it comes to their teaching faculty. Often, a student's first line of contact with a business school is with its educators—professors, instructors, adjunct instructors, graduate teaching assistants, and expert industry professionals. These are the people who are sharing their years of knowledge and expertise to assist the next class of management professionals, business educators, entrepreneurs, and many other business specializations in which those students will have the potential to shape the business world.

Each school finds the right balance of types of faculty and instruction to meet the educational goals of their students. What works great for one school may not be the best fit for another, but each school works to find its own mix. In some cases, part of that mix includes have some graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) who are listed as official teachers of record for classes. This practice offers some upper-level graduate students the opportunity to experience teaching and working within an academic setting as well as a chance delve into subjects from a different perspective. It also both frees up more senior faculty for other teaching and administrative duties. However, that approach is not always the best fit for every institution or program, and some schools may not offer positions as teachers of record to graduate assistants.

In the 2013–14 Business School Questionnaire (BSQ), GTAs who are listed as teachers of record are counted in terms of their full-time equivalence, or FTE. An FTE of 1.0 is the time equivalent of one full-time faculty member. While more than 735 schools provided data in the 2013–14 BSQ, only 163 of those schools reported any FTE for GTAs at teachers of record.


For the 163 schools that reported any GTAs currently working as teachers of record, the cumulative total FTE of these part-time teaching assistants ranged from 0.17 (equivalent to 17% of one full-time faculty member) to 123.0 (equivalent of 123 full-time faculty members). With overall total FTE (full-time faculty FTE plus part-time faculty FTE plus GTA FTE), the full-time faculty equivalent count at these schools ranged from 23.05 to 593.4, depending on the overall size of the business school. Looking at the GTA as a percentage of overall FTE for each school also shows a wide range, from 0.3% to 65.1%, of FTE at a single school being composed of GTAs.

2013–14 Business School Questionnaire—Graduate Teaching Assistants as Teachers of Record

Distribution of Schools—Graduate Teaching Assistant FTE Percent of Total Faculty FTE