Complaint Procedures

The following statements are designed to provide guidance to graduate students in protesting an actual or supposed circumstance in which they feel they have been wronged.

Conflicts eligible for resolution under these procedures are restricted to academic matters other than grades. Disputes about grades are resolved through the Court of Student Academic Appeals.

These procedures do not include conflicts covered by other policies in the university. This may be initiated for circumstances which are within one year from the time of occurrence.

Steps in the Process

  1. The student should first consult with the faculty member or administrator perceived to be causing the circumstance which has resulted in the feeling of being wronged and attempt to resolve the conflict at that level.
  2. If the first step is not applicable or does not resolve the problem, the student should attempt to resolve the issue with the department chairperson, college dean or through the use of department/program structures which may exist for this purpose.
  3. If the student has exhausted the remedies provided in steps one and two without success, the student should schedule a meeting with the dean of the Graduate School or the dean’s designee (see Role of the Graduate Dean below). All requests must be in writing.

Role of the Graduate Dean

The dean of the Graduate School or the dean’s designee receives complaints or protests and decides whether to take direct administrative action to resolve the conflict or refer the complaint to the Graduate Council. A decision of the graduate dean may be appealed to the Graduate Council. If the student wishes to appeal the decision to the Graduate Council, he or she must notify the graduate dean in writing within 30 calendar days of the decision. The graduate dean will then, in writing, provide the student the standard appeal processes that will be followed.

The decision of the dean of the Graduate School on recommendations received from the Graduate Council is final.

Role of the Graduate Council

In addition to being the elected representative of the graduate faculty, the Graduate Council serves as the Committee on Exceptions in an advisory capacity to the dean of the Graduate School. This responsibility may be discharged by the council acting as a committee of the whole, through subcommittees, or ad hoc committees consisting of selected members of the graduate faculty and graduate student body. Conclusions reached by the Graduate Council will be transmitted as recommendations to the dean of the Graduate School.

The Graduate Council also serves as a committee on appeals if the student is dissatisfied with direct administrative action taken by the graduate dean. In such cases, the judgment of the council is final.