Students should first contact the Course Instructor or Research Advisor with the concern depending upon its nature. Every effort shall be made to resolve the issue through this informal procedure.
If the issue is not resolved through the informal process or the issue does not come under the purview of the Course Instructor or Research Advisor, the student may begin the formal department grievance process by completing the Physics Graduate Student Grievance Appeal Form.
Please note that an appeal to change a grade must demonstrate a violation of university, college, or department academic policies or procedures that can be shown to have affected the grade or evaluation. Because assigning a grade for evaluating a student’s work performance involves the faculty’s professional judgment and is an integral part of the faculty’s teaching responsibilities, disagreement with an instructor concerning a grade or evaluation is not a justifiable grievance to be considered under UH policy unless a violation of university, college, or department academic policies or procedures can be shown to have affected the grade or evaluation.
Instructions for Submitting a Grievance Appeal Form
Submissions should be made via email directly to the Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC), Prof. Oomman Varghese (email@example.com), who will send notification of receipt of the appeal packet to the grievant. In case the defendant is the GSC Chair, the submission should be made to the Department Chair, Prof. Kevin Bassler (firstname.lastname@example.org). This notification signals that the appeal process has officially begun.
Please attach to this form a detailed narrative describing the justification for your request; this should open with a brief statement describing the problem and your desired solution. You should then develop a chronological description of events and facts relevant to the case. The narrative should be written and organized well, and any relevant supporting materials (e.g., email chains with the defendant, course syllabus, selected test questions, etc.) should be attached with the critical elements highlighted. If the supporting documentation is complicated or lengthy, please paginate or index so that the relevant bits can be referenced directly as needed in the narrative. Appeals that are poorly written, badly organized, or based on assertions rather than supporting documentation are unlikely to be successful.
Grievance Review Process
The narrative will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the GSC consisting of three members (two faculty members and a student representative) appointed by the GSC/Department Chair. The committee may request a written rebuttal from the defendant. Within 30 days of receipt of the appeal packet, the GSC will rule on the case.
Should the complainant or the defendant disagree with the findings, a written appeal must be made to the NSM Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs within 10 calendar days. That process is outlined on the NSM Graduate Programs Grievance Procedures webpage.