UT Dallas Policy Navigator

Student Grievances - UTDSP5005

Policy Statement

Subchapter A. Grievances Procedures

Section 51.01: Statement of Equal Educational Opportunity

It is the policy of the university that, to the extent provided by applicable law, no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity sponsored or conducted by the university on the basis of race, age, color, national origin, religion, sex, veteran status, or disability.

Section 51.02: Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. Such harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Suggestions that academic or employment reprisals or rewards will follow the refusal or granting of sexual favors, also constitute sexual harassment.

A brochure describing the university's policies and procedures on sexual harassment is available in the Office of the Dean of Students in the Student Union and at numerous distribution sites throughout the campus. The full text of the university "Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure" may be found in the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, Section D, D11-115.0.

Section 51.03: Complaint Procedures

Any student who perceives that he or she has been subject to any form of discrimination as defined in Section 51.01 and 51.02 may file a complaint with the dean or other official identified in the specific policy.

The complaint must contain the nature of the alleged discrimination, including a detailed statement of the events, including dates, places, names and phone numbers of witnesses.

The dean will refer all complaints that name an employee of the university (including graduate assistants and other student employees) as the offender to the Office of Human Resources, which will investigate and process the complaint under the university's "Nondiscrimination Policy." When the nature of the complaint is discrimination on the basis of disability, the dean will investigate pursuant to D11-195.0 of the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual.

With the exceptions noted in subsection (c) above, the student discipline procedure outlined in this chapter will be utilized for complaints that name a student as an alleged offender. Such complaints will be investigated by the dean.

As a result of the investigation, the dean will, on the basis of the information presented, determine: 1) that the charges of discrimination are without basis, 2) that further investigation is required, 3) that campus action shall be initiated to alleviate a discriminatory situation, or 4) that a hearing will be held.

Subchapter B. Appeals of Academic Decisions

Section 51.06: Appeal Procedures

The appeal procedures defined in this section apply to an unresolved grievance concerning some aspect of the student's academic standing at UT Dallas. The intent is to address the grievance of the student in a prompt and orderly fashion. A grievance means a dispute concerning some aspect of the student's academic standing arising from an administrative or faculty decision that the student regards as incorrect or unjust. Grievances include, but are not limited to, disputes over grades, application of degree plan, graduation/degree program requirements, and thesis and dissertation committee and/or adviser actions or decisions. Grievances, as defined in this section, do not include the right to appeal the termination of employment of a teaching assistant or research assistant during the term of the student's appointment. That appeal process is defined and described in UT Dallas Policy UTDPP1075 - University Policies Related to Graduate Student Teaching Assistants and Graduate Student Research Assistants.

A grievance regarding academic concerns will be considered in the following manner:

  1. Initial Consideration of Grievance: In attempting to resolve any student grievance falling within the scope of this policy, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious and prompt effort to resolve the matter through discussion with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or committee chair with whom the grievance originated (hereafter called "the respondent.") within sixty (60) calendar days after the date on which the decision was first rendered.
  2. Appeal to the Department/Program Head: If the matter cannot be resolved in discussions between the student and the respondent, the student grievant can submit a written appeal to the respondent's department/program head with a copy to the respondent clearly specifying the basis of the appeal and stating the remedies the student is seeking. This written appeal MUST be submitted no later than the sixty-fifth day after the date on which the decision in dispute was first rendered by the respondent. Within ten business days while classes are in session, the respondent will provide both the student and the department/program head with a written response. The department/program head will have 10 business days to review all submissions and provide a written response to the student and respondent (an extension to this timeline may be granted by the School Dean for good cause). In determining the validity of the grievance, the department head should be guided by the principle that the burden is on the grievant to show that the decision is arbitrary and capricious. If the department/program head decides that the grievance be granted, he/she will also provide a decision on how to resolve the dispute.
  3. Academic Appeals Panel: If the student is dissatisfied with the decision of the department/program head, the student may submit a written appeal via email or hard copy, within ten business days of the date the decision was sent, to the dean of the school hosting the course, comprehensive or oral examination with a copy to the department/program head (an extension to this timeline may be granted by the dean for good cause). The written appeal by the student to the school dean must clearly state the reasons for the appeal and remedy sought. The dean will appoint an appeals panel. The appeals panel composition will consist of an associate dean of the school in which the grievance originated, acting as chair, two faculty members from the school in which the grievance originated, an associate dean from another school, and a student. The student selected to serve on the panel will be an undergraduate when the grievance is from an undergraduate student and will be a graduate student when the grievance is from a graduate student. The academic panel will review all submissions, obtain additional information and opinions if desired, and provide the student with a written response within twenty business days while classes are in session of the receipt of the student's appeal to the school dean. The appropriate dean of graduate or undergraduate studies will receive a copy of the panel's response. The findings and recommendation of the appeals panel are final.

All parties involved in an academic appeal will be informed about the final disposition of the appeal.

Policy History

  • Issued: April 7, 2005
  • Revised: September 12, 2011