A multi-level procedure for redress of a grievance concerning academic and instructional* matters as well as university related employment problems within the college is available to any graduate student. Prior to initiating the grievance process at the departmental level, the grieving student has the opportunity to seek advice from the College, by requesting an appointment with the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. The Associate Dean may recommend that the student meet with one or two members of the College Graduate Committee, who are not in the same department as the student, to discuss the issues at hand. Every effort shall be made by the student, faculty member, and chair to resolve the grievance within the departmental structure. If the departmental grievance procedures do not resolve the grievance, the graduate student may petition the college for redress of the grievance. The student must file written notice of a formal grievance with the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies within ten calendar days from the receipt of the departmental decision regarding the grievance. In this notice, the grievant must state:
- The issue being grieved and provide evidence to support the grievance
- The desired resolution
The Associate Dean will form an ad-hoc committee to hear the complaint. This ad-hoc committee will be composed of two faculty members and one graduate student from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. One of the two faculty members will be from the department concerned, and the second faculty member will chair the committee. A student from the department concerned shall not be appointed.
The ad hoc committee is empowered to know the department’s proposed solutions and, if deemed appropriate, to take testimony from individuals involved in the case. Such individuals will be contacted to set a time, place, and date for their testimony to be given. No formal record of the proceedings need be kept. Normally, the ad-hoc committee shall complete its work within thirty calendar days of the request for a hearing unless extenuating circumstances make this deadline impossible to meet.
A brief, written summary of the findings of the ad hoc committee and their recommendations will be provided to the Dean of the college upon completion of the committee’s work. The Dean will make a final decision which shall be binding on both the department and the student, and shall notify the grievant and the department in writing within ten calendar days from the receipt of the committee’s report.
If the student does not find the Dean’s decision acceptable, the student may, within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the Dean’s decision, appeal their case to the Vice Provost/Dean of the Graduate School, and follow the instructions given in the Grievance Policy section of the Graduate Catalog.
* Because assigning a grade or evaluating a student’s academic 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 under this policy. In cases where such is in question, the faculty member shall be responsible for the assignment of grades.