Grievance - University of Houston
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Grievance Procedures

Below are the steps for grievance procedures for the graduate student regarding academic and instructional matters.

Step 1: Informal Procedure

Students may first contact the instructor with the appropriate concern or the grieving student may seek advice from the department by consulting with the Faculty Graduate Advisors. In the case the grievance involves the advisors themselves, the Department Chair shall be contacted instead. Every effort shall be made to resolve the issue between the student and instructor through this informal procedure.

If the issue is not resolved through the informal process, the student may begin the formal department grievance process.

Step 2: Formal Department Grievance Procedure

To begin the formal process, the student must submit a grievance in writing/email that includes the following:

Description of the grievance

List of informal steps already taken and the outcome of the informal process

Desired resolution to the grievance

Optionally, students may include supporting documentation

The department will notify the faculty member, if appropriate, through the Department Chairperson or another faculty member designated by the Department and a copy of the grievance letter/email will be given to the faculty member.

The designee of the Department may form an ad-hoc committee to hear the complaint. This ad-hoc committee will be composed of two faculty members and one student from the Department. The ad-hoc committee will review the evidence presented and meet with the grievant and the faculty member as needed to seek additional information and evidence. In addition, the ad-hoc committee may seek 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 needs to be kept. Typically, the ad-hoc committee shall complete its work within thirty calendar days of filing a grievance 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 Department Chair upon completion of the committee’s work. The Department Chair will make a final decision that 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.

Step 3: Formal College Grievance Procedure

Graduate Students: If the departmental grievance procedures do not resolve the grievance, the graduate student may petition the college for a redress of the grievance. The student must file written notice of a formal grievance with the NSM Associate Dean for Graduate Studies within ten calendar days from the receipt of the departmental decision regarding the grievance. Details of the NSM procedures can be found in the Graduate section of the Graduate Catalog and NSM website.

Step 4: University Grievance Procedure

Graduate Students: if the student is unsatisfied with the college-level decision, the student may appeal for a university-level review which is under the purview of the Vice Provost/Dean of The Graduate School. This appeal must be in writing explaining the party’s position and filed with The Graduate School within 30 calendar days of the final disposition at the college level. Details of the university-level grievance procedures can be found in the Policies section of the Graduate Catalog.