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Complaint/Grievance Procedures

Grievances are handled by the Office of the Dean of Students, by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences if the student is employed as a teaching assistant, or by the Graduate College if the student is a research assistant. Copies of the grievance procedures are available from the Graduate College.

In addition, graduate assistants employed by the University of Iowa are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

A student who has a complaint is responsible for following the procedures described below. Complaints may concern inappropriate faculty conduct (including inappropriate course materials), incompetence in oral communication, inequities in assignments, scheduling of examinations at other than authorized and published times; failure to provide disability accommodations, or grading grievances. For complaints involving the assignment of grades, it is College policy that grades cannot be changed without the permission of the department concerned.

The student ordinarily should attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor first. If the complaint is not resolved to the student's satisfaction, the student should consult the course supervisor (if the instructor is a teaching assistant). In the School of Music, if the matter remains unresolved after consultation with the course supervisor, the student should address the Director of Graduate Studies. 

If the complaint remains unsolved, the student submits a written complaint to the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs through the Graduate College.

A graduate student who elects to pursue a complaint or grievance through the Graduate College AGP is first advised by the Associate Dean of the different possible ways to proceed. The student then elects whether to first pursue a complaint using an informal process or whether to file a grievance and to proceed by a more formal process. Details about these processes are available from the Graduate College Administrative Office.

If the complaint involves sexual harassment, these procedures need not be followed. The University policy on sexual harassment and consensual relationships in the instructional context can be found in "Policies and Regulations Affecting Students," available at the Campus Information Center, in the Office of Affirmative Action, and in September as a supplement to The Daily Iowan.

The Office of the University Ombudsperson responds to problems and disputes brought forward by all members of the University community -- students, staff and faculty -- that appear irresolvable through existing channels. Before consulting the ombudsperson, an attempt should be made to resolve problems by following the procedures described above.