Formal Grievance

Filing Deadline

If dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal conflict resolution, the student may file a formal grievance by following the procedure below. A grievance must be filed no later than the end of the semester following the semester in which the conflict occurred. The Graduate Grievance Committee (GGC) does not convene during the summer, therefore any grievance that occurs late in the spring semester or either summer session will be heard during the subsequent fall semester. Under extenuating circumstances, the Graduate Dean retains the authority to extend any deadline, however, if a grievance is not submitted within the permitted time frame, the matter will be considered closed.

Filing Procedure

Step 1. Filing of Grievance with Graduate Chair

If dissatisfied with the outcome from informal conflict resolution, the student may file a grievance with the graduate chair and provide a copy for the department chair, within 14 working days after receiving the response of the faculty. The student shall submit a written grievance that provides the info listed below:

  1. the facts from the student’s perspective, citing specific date, time, place and violation where possible;
  2. the remedy sought;
  3. evidence and witness(es), if any;
  4. the solution proposed by the faculty.

The graduate chair (or designee) shall meet with the parties separately or jointly (if both parties agree) to discuss the grievance. Within 14 working days of receipt of the grievance, the graduate chair (or designee) shall complete all investigations and provide a written decision to the parties involved.

Step 2. Appeal with Dean of Academic Unit in which graduate student is enrolled

If dissatisfied with the outcome in Step 1, the student may file an appeal in writing with the dean, within 14 working days after receiving the decision of the graduate chair. The dean (or designee) will review all written testimonies supplied by the parties involved and the graduate chair. Within 14 working days of receipt of the appeal, the dean (or designee) shall complete all investigations and provide a written decision to the parties and the graduate chair.

Step 3. Appeal with Graduate Dean

If dissatisfied with the outcome in Step 2, the student may file an appeal in writing with the Graduate Dean who will convene the Graduate Grievance Committee (GGC). The GGC is to be comprised of six members, three of whom are members of the Graduate Council and three graduate students. Once convened and in receipt of the grievance, the GGC will have 14 working days to complete an investigation and provide a written recommendation to the Graduate Dean who will render a decision. The decision of the Graduate Dean is final.

Redress Beyond the University

Any party to the grievance may seek redress through a court of competent jurisdiction or an outside enforcement agency. Nothing in the university’s Statement of Responsibilities of Faculty and Students and Academic Grievance Procedures for Graduate Students shall preclude any party from redress beyond the university.