A written complaint must include information regarding the action being complained of and the date it occurred, the grounds upon which the appeal is based and the relief requested. The complaint must be based on one or more of the following grounds:
- Procedural error or violation of official policy by the academic or administrative personnel.
- Judgments improperly based upon non-academic criteria including, but not limited to, discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, national origin, color, age, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
- Specific mitigating circumstances beyond the student's control not properly taken into account in a decision affecting the student's academic program.
A written complaint must be received by the Vice Chair of Graduate Study within thirty (30) days from the time the student knew or could reasonably be expected to have known of the action that is the subject of the complaint. The department should complete its investigation and notify the student of the outcome of the complaint within sixty (60) days of the date received.
The time frame for filing a written complaint may be extended by the department if the student has been involved in continuing efforts toward informal resolution, and the informal resolution process was initiated within thirty (30) days of the time the student know or could reasonably be expected to have known of the action that is the subject of the complaint. All time frames referred to in the procedure refer to calendar days. Summer and inter-semester recesses are not included within these time frames.
Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Vice Chair of Graduate Study will assign an individual to investigate the complaint and make a recommendation to the Vice Chair of Graduate Study regarding the outcome of the complaint. Generally, the investigation will include an interview with the complainant, review of any relevant written materials, and an effort to obtain information from available witnesses (e.g., interviews or written statements or documents). The Head Graduate Advisor will notify the student in writing of the outcome of the complaint. A written complaint under the procedure satisfies the requirement of a unit level resolution process pursuant to the Graduate Appeals Procedure.