Grievance Procedures

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. 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 dean (or his designated associate) for redress of the grievance. The student must file written notice of a formal grievance within fifteen class days from the receipt of the departmental decision regarding the grievance. In this notice, the grievant must state:

  1. The issue being grieved and provide evidence to support the grievance.
  2. The desired resolution

The dean may propose a solution that will be binding on the department but not on the student. Should the proposed solution not be satisfactory to the student, the aggrieved may, within fifteen class days from the receipt of the dean’s decision, request that the college Graduate Studies Committee appoint 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 and dean’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 class 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 shall notify the grievant in writing of these findings.

* 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.