FAQ: GTA 30-Day Return of Student Course Materials


The following are university guidelines for interpreting a new requirement agreed during the 2018 renegotiation of the Memorandum of Agreement | MOA between the University of Kansas and the Graduate Teaching Assistants Coalition at KU (GTAC). KU must facilitate the return of student course materials (hereafter referred to as “documents”) no later than 30 days after the deadline to turn in grades.

MOA statement:

  • Section 2b: …Work requirements for each semester (not including summer session) shall end on the deadline date for turning in course grades. Student work, including assignments and exams, will be returned to the department within thirty (30) days of the deadline.

Frequently Asked Questions


The MOA is a grievable document that governs, among other things, the working conditions for all GTAs at KU. All units that hire GTAs must establish an internal procedure that:

1. Complies with the requirements of the MOA statement above

2. Includes a specific site or sites for GTAs to deposit the documents

3. Includes a notification to GTAs in writing regarding the process and deadline

KU’s Records Retention Schedule policy requires the following:

Series TitleDescriptionOfficial CopyRetentionDisposition
Coursework - StudentsStudent quizzes, tests, exams, papers, homework, and projectsDepartment or OfficeIf not returned to student, retain 1 calendar year after grades assigned, then destroy.Secure destruction



Departments should store the documents in a secure (locked) location within a centrally managed office or space that is used primarily for department administration or storage. Documents should be accessible if requested; however, a system for archiving or filing (e.g. alphabetically, by course, etc.) is not necessary. HRM advises that documents not be stored in unit offices used primarily by GTAs.

GTAs have 30 calendar days after the instructor grade deadline to turn in student documents. The instructor grade deadline can be found on the KU Academic Calendar for each semester.

GTAs may be instructed to return documents during office business hours. If your office will be closed for an extended period of time during the 30-day return period, GTAs should be notified of those closures via email in advance.

The department may also, as a matter of practice, establish a specific week to turn in the materials that falls within the 30-day window. If that is the established process, GTAs should be notified of the deadline well in advance as a part of your “general instructions” (Article 5, Section 7) that are supposed to be provided to GTAs in your unit “at least 5 week days in advance of the first meeting of the assigned class, or given orally, then reduced to writing & provided to the GTA within a reasonable time thereafter.”

No. The MOA says “WILL”. It is not discretionary.

Student documents should only be returned after the 30-day return deadline in cases where there is a specific, documented (e.g., email) request from the GTA to do so. The GTA’s request should state the academic reasons for the request and provide detail about the documentation being retained (i.e. student names, types of documents kept, etc.). The department chair should review the request and, if approved, convey approval in writing. The approval should include a new submission deadline for the materials. Both the student’s request and the chair’s approval should be retained by the department for documentation.

Departments should establish a clear procedure for return of documents, make the procedure and deadline clear in writing, send reminders, and retain all notifications and reminders for documentation. However, it is not necessary to log the return of every document by each GTA or to follow up individually with those who have not returned documents by the deadline. If you notice a pattern of GTAs failing to return their documents by the deadline or at all, please contact central HRM for guidance at hrdept@ku.edu.