Can someone advise on the grievances and complaints procedure?
Date: July 2023
To whom it may concern,
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing regarding a concern that I have with a faculty member. I have previously discussed my challenge with the DGS but wasn’t able to make much progress with resolving the issue. I came across resources about Grievances and Complaints on the Graduate School website, but I am not sure if I should take the step to escalate this to the Dean’s office. So, I am writing to see if I can discuss the proper procedure I should take to resolve this issue. Could you please advise?
Thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon!
Where Do I Go?
Dear Where Do I Go,
Thank you so much for reaching out about the grievance and complaints process at the Graduate School. And I commend you on your efforts to resolve the situation locally. I trust that your actions have also included reaching out to the source of your grievance, the faculty mentor, about which you are concerned (although I recognize that this can be challenging for many reasons). The procedure is complete in writing as to what the grievance policy entails, but it can be challenging for students to judge what to do and how to implement it. View the procedure.
I believe you are asking if you can get some help understanding the Grievance Policy as it fits your situation, primarily as you determine if you want to advance this to the Dean’s office (or step 3 of the policy). Yes, you can get some help with this! First, please know that I am always happy to meet with students, learn about your situation, and give you guidance or advice as you determine the next best steps for you.
Depending on your goals or preferences, you could also seek confidential help; the designated confidential resources are found on the list of confidential resources. Related, as a confidential, independent, impartial, and informal resource available to the university community that addresses conflicts, concerns, and other issues impacting our community, you could seek support through the University Ombuds Office.
There are different options for assistance and support based on the nature of the conflict. The Graduate School grievance policy is available specifically to help resolve issues such as the enforcement of program requirements, assistantships, or authorship disputes, for example. The grievance procedure is not a mechanism for appealing academic decisions such as decisions made by graduate faculty about a student’s academic or research performance; decisions about removing funding as a result of insufficient academic progress; or a decision by a graduate faculty member to resign as special committee chair. Since you wrote to the Graduate School, I assume you may be stuck about what to do next. You have choices, and I can help connect you with the resource that best meets your needs.
Most importantly, I don’t want you to feel alone and like you don’t have a place to help you address your concerns. Please reach out until you get the information and support that you need.
Let me know how I can help or if you have any questions or concerns.
Janna Shine Lamey
Senior Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life