Appeals Procedures for Graduate Students

28 Appeals Procedures for Graduate Students

28.1 Appeals Procedure for Graduate Students ConcerningEmployment Status

Graduate appointments are made to post baccalaureate students who have been admitted to the Graduate School and who have been recommended by the appropriate department or program and approved for appointment by the Graduate School. Appointments are normally for one academic year.

Reappointment A graduate student who holds a working appointment directly connected with their graduate studies may be reappointed for an additional period, provided that funds are available and that the stu­dent’s academic performance, as well as performance in carrying out the responsibilities of the appointment is satisfactory, and the student’s status as a graduate student is maintained.

Non-reappointment The University, for any reason, may elect not to renew a graduate student’s working appointment at the end of the appointment period. No advance notice nor any reason need be given to the graduate student in the case of non-reappointment, and the appeal procedure is not available.

Termination A hiring unit may recommend to the Graduate School that a graduate student be terminated from a working appointment prior to the end of the appointment. The Associate Dean of the Graduate School will act on this recommendation. A student who is terminated is entitled to a written statement of the reasons for the termination from the hiring unit. A student who is terminated may initiate an appeal except when:

1.                    The termination is due to the loss of funding for the position;

2.                    The termination is due to either a voluntary or involuntary loss of gradu­ate student status.

If the graduate student is eligible, and does initiate an appeal using the fol­lowing procedure, they may be placed on leave of absence without pay dur­ing the period of time involved in processing the appeal. If the case is found in favor of the student, “back pay” will be awarded.

Step 1 The student should request that the hiring unit making the original recommendation reconsider the decision. The student’s request should be written and should contain any information that the student feels war­rants a reconsideration of the decision. A copy of the request should be sent to the Graduate Dean. As soon as possible after receiving this request, the hiring unit will reconsider the decision and notify the student and the Graduate Dean of the results of the deliberations in writing.

Step 2 If the student is not satisfied with the decision reached in Step 1, they may request that the Graduate Dean review the decision. The student’s request should be in writing and must stipulate the reasons for their dissatisfaction with the decision reached in Step 1. The Step 2 appeal will be heard by the Student Affairs Committee of the Graduate Council, unless the student requests that the Dean or the Dean’s designee hear the appeal. When the appeal is heard by the Dean’s designee or the Stu­dent Affairs Committee, a recommendation is made to the Dean, who will render a decision.

The Dean’s decision will be communicated in writing to the student, the hiring unit and the hiring unit’s College Dean, Director or Vice-President.

28.2 Policy and Appeals Procedure for Graduate Students Dismissed for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress or Professional, Ethical, or Behavioral Misconduct.

The process by which a student can be dismissed for violations of academic standards or violations of professional, ethical, and/or behavioral expecta­tions of the program is outlined below along with the process by which such decisions can be appealed.

Dismissal for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress

(Note: This procedure is not available to graduate students who have received failing grades in 9 or more credits).

A department chairperson or a graduate program coordinator, upon the recommendation of the appropriate faculty committee, may recommend dismissal for a student who is failing to make satisfactory academic prog­ress in their program. This recommendation shall be forwarded in writing to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School with a copy to the affected student. The Associate Dean of the Graduate School will act on the faculty recommendation and inform the student and the graduate program coor­dinator or department chair of the action taken. A student disagreeing with the action taken should make every effort to resolve the situation through informal discussions with the individuals involved in the decision. If the recommendation to dismiss is changed at this point, the Associate Dean will be notified and after review will notify the student of the decision. If the decision to dismiss stands, a student wishing to enter a formal appeal shall follow the procedure outlined below. A student who has been dis­missed for failure to make satisfactory academic progress may, with the permission of the Dean of the Graduate School, enroll as a special student in courses in their program pending a final decision on the appeal.

Dismissal for Professional, Ethical, or Behavioral Misconduct

Graduate students shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the norms and practices of their program and/or discipline.

A department chairperson or graduate program coordinator, upon the recommendation of the appropriate faculty committee at the department/ program level, may recommend dismissal for a student who is failing to meet the professional, ethical, and behavioral expectations of the program or otherwise fails to act in ways that are consistent with the norms and standards of the profession or discipline. This recommendation shall be forwarded in writing to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School with a copy to the affected student. The Associate Dean of the Graduate School shall act on the faculty recommendation and inform the student and the graduate program coordinator or department chair of the action taken. A student disagreeing with the action taken should make every effort to resolve the situation through informal discussions with the individuals involved in the decision. If the recommendation to dismiss is changed at this point, the Associate Dean will be notified and after review will notify the student of the decision. If the decision to dismiss stands, a student wishing to enter a formal appeal shall follow the procedure outlined below. A student who has been dismissed for professional, ethical, or behavioral misconduct may, with the permission of the Dean of the Graduate School, enroll as a special student in courses in their program pending a final decision on the appeal.

Appeals Process for Graduate Students Dismissed for Failure to Make Satisfactory Academic Progress or Professional, Ethical, or Behavioral Misconduct.

Step 1: The student shall request that the faculty member or committee mak­ing the original recommendation reconsider their decision, generally within 10 working days after the receipt of the official decision from the Graduate School. The student’s request shall be written and shall contain any information which the student feels warrants a reconsideration of the decision. A copy of the request shall be sent to the dean of the Gradu­ate School. As soon as possible after receiving this request, the faculty member or committee group will reconsider their decision and notify the student and the dean of the Graduate School of the result of their delibera­tions in writing. If the original recommendation is reversed at Step 1, the Associate Dean will review the new material and act on the recommenda­tion and inform all parties involved.

Step 2: If the student is not satisfied with the decision reached in Step 1, they may request that the chairperson of the appropriate department or pro­gram convene a meeting of all graduate faculty members in the depart­ment or program to review the decision. The student’s request shall be in writing, and a copy shall be sent to the dean of the Graduate School. After the meeting, the chairperson will provide the student and the dean of the Graduate School with written notification of the decision of the faculty. If the recommendation to dismiss is reversed by the graduate faculty, the Associate Dean will again review the case, act on the recommendation and inform all parties involved.

Step 3: If the student is dissatisfied with the decision reached in Step 2, they may request that the dean of the Graduate School review the decision. The student must request such a review in writing and stipulate the reasons for their dissatisfaction with the decisions reached in the earlier steps in the review procedure. Within a reasonable period of time, the dean of the Graduate School will hold separate meetings with the student and the appropriate faculty and the Associate Dean to discuss the case. After these meetings and after reviewing any other information they deem appro­priate, the dean of the Graduate School will inform the college dean about the appeal process to date. In consultation with the Graduate Council, the dean of the Graduate School will then arrive at a final decision, which they will communicate in writing to the student, the department or pro­gram faculty, and the college dean.

In Steps 1 and 2, the student may, at the discretion of the faculty body involved in hearing the appeal, be present to state their case during the review of their appeal. A member of the University community may appear with the student, as an adviser, before the dean of the Graduate School and before any faculty meeting, which the student is permitted to attend. An adviser may be present, but may not directly participate, in any of these proceedings. Students shall not be present during deliberations.

Approved by Graduate Council April 6, 2010