Our graduate students are a valuable part of our department, and we urge any who experience hostile or intimidating behavior or an otherwise negative work or study environment to reach out for help. Some of the reporting options available are described below.
Students with a grievance related to their work as TAs may make a report internally to the Department Chair (Tonghai Yang), Associate Chair (Benedek Valkó), Chair of the Committee on TA Policies and Procedures (Daniel Erman) or the TA supervisor (Bobby Grizzard). Graduate students may also report TA-related grievances externally to the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration (Shirin Malekpour). The Employee Assistance and OMBUDS Offices are places where university employees can seek confidential guidance regarding workplace concerns at any time.
Graduate students with a grievance relating to their interactions with a faculty/staff member or fellow student may make a report internally to the Department Chair (Tonghai Yang), Director of Graduate Studies (Betsy Stovall), the Associate Chair (Benedek Valkó), or the Department Manager (Heidi Udelhoven). Students wishing to make a report to someone outside the department may contact the Associate Dean (Gloria Mari-Beffa), the Dean of the College (Eric Wilcots), the Dean of Students office (Elaine Goetz-Berman), or the Title IX office. In addition, the Graduate School has a formal grievance process (described here).
Retaliation for the filing of a grievance is generally prohibited by university policy on Hostile and Intimidating Behavior.
For routine issues, a response might start with an attempt to informally resolve matters, either by facilitating a discussion between the parties involved or by clarifying what are the relevant university/departmental policies and expectations. If an informal resolution is inappropriate or unsuccessful, the department might facilitate a change in offices, a change in teaching assignment, or a change in advisor. More serious disciplinary issues are governed by specific university policies.
When a grievance has an impact on a student’s academic performance, it can be taken into account by the DGS, Chair, or GPC as part of our academic exception policy (linked here).
General, non-confidential concerns about graduate student or department policies can also be relayed to any member of the GPC, including the graduate student members (Benjamin Bruce and Soumya Sankar), GRAMS, or the Climate Committee.
We are working to develop a formal departmental grievance policy.