This process is for all graduate students who hold any type of Graduate Assistantship (i.e., TA, RA, general GA). For convenience, all types will be referred to as GA in this process.
The GA shall attempt, insofar as possible, to resolve the problem with the faculty/staff member involved as it affects their responsibilities as a GA. In the attempt to resolve the matter with the faculty/staff member involved, the student may wish to consult, in the following suggested order: 1) their GA supervisor and/or their Graduate Chair, if the GA supervisor is involved; 2) the Department Chair; 3) the Dean or Associate Dean of the unit in which the GA has an appointment; and/or 4) the Dean or Associate Dean of Graduate Division. Please note, the individuals in #s 2 and 3 may be different from your graduate program and college/school. Any combination of the above individuals or others in which the GA would like to consult, may be approached to assist in an informal resolution.
If dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal resolution, the GA may file a formal grievance by following the procedure below. A grievance may be filed at any time following an unsatisfactory outcome of an informal resolution but must be filed no later than the end of the third week of the semester following the semester in which the conflict occurred. Since the Graduate Grievance Committee (GGC) does not convene during the summer or winter break, grievances submitted after week 10 in a fall or spring semester, or from either summer session, will be reviewed during the subsequent 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.
Step 1. File grievance with Department Chair or Director of unit of GA appointment
Having not resolved the matter with the faculty/staff member(s) as indicated above, the GA may file a grievance with the Department Chair or Director with a copy sent to their Graduate Chair within 14 working days after an unsatisfactory outcome of an informal resolution. If the grievance is against the Department Chair or Director, the GA may start this process at Step 2.
The written grievance submitted at Step 1 shall indicate:
- the facts from the graduate assistant’s perspective, citing specific date, time, place and concern/issue where possible;
- the remedy sought by the grievant;
- evidence and witness(es), if any;
- the solution proposed by the faculty/staff, if any.
Submitted information should be concisely written, yet be informative enough to provide a clear description of the situation(s) being reported. Key facts in written form (e.g., email) should be clearly summarized in the written statement with references made to the source in an appendix.
If the Department Chair/Director becomes aware of a situation that involves other offices on campus, the Department Chair/Director will consult or report, as necessary, the situation to the appropriate office. The Department Chair/Director should also refer the student to resources available on campus for them. A select list of resources is found here. Notwithstanding this notification, the procedures for a grievance shall continue as stated below, as appropriate.
The Department Chair/Director (or designee, if necessary) 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 Department Chair/Director (or designee) shall complete all investigations and provide a written decision to the parties involved.
Step 2. Appeal with Dean of the College/School of GA appointment
Having not resolved the matter with the Department Chair/Director (or designee), the GA may file an appeal in writing with the Dean of the College/School of their GA appointment within 14 working days after receipt of the written decision of the Department Chair/Director (or designee). The appeal shall include complete copies of all materials associated with Step 1, including the written decision from the Department Chair/Director (or designee) as well as justification for the Step 2 appeal. The dean (or designee) will review all materials submitted from Step 1. 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 Department Chair/Director.
Step 3. Final Appeal with Graduate Dean
Having not resolved the matter at Step 2, the GA may file an appeal in writing with the Graduate Dean. Such filing must be done within 14 working days after the grievant has been notified of the decision reached at Step 2. The appeal shall include complete copies of all materials associated with Steps 1 and 2, including decision letters from both steps as well as specific justification for the Step 3 appeal. If the Step 3 Appeal is submitted after the 10th week of the semester, the Graduate Grievance Committee (GGC) will be convened in the subsequent semester (refer to Formal Grievance Procedures as indicated above).