CULLEN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

Undergraduate Academics Policies

Undergraduate Grievance Procedures for Students

The following procedures for students apply to the redress of grievances concerning academic and instructional matters, and other issues for which there are no existing grievance procedures. Because assigning a grade or evaluating a student's work performance involves the faculty's professional judgment and is an integral part of the faculty's teaching responsibilities, disagreement with an instructor concerning a grade or evaluation may not be a justifiable grievance to be considered under this policy unless explicit violation of university, college, and/or departmental policy, can be shown to have affected that grade or evaluation. A student with a justifiable grievance that can be substantiated should initiate academic grievance proceedings within 90 calendar days of the action in dispute.

Business days for the purposes of this policy, are defined as days the University of Houston business offices is open (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).

  1. Every effort shall be made by the student and faculty member(s) involved to settle their differences amicably and informally to redress the grievance. The Department Director for Undergraduate Studies shall participate in this informal effort to resolve the issue.
  2. If the Department Director for Undergraduate Studies determines that an informal resolution is not possible, he/she will notify the student, in writing, to this effect. Within ten (10) business days of notification that an informal resolution is not possible, the student may submit a formal written grievance to the Department Chair.
    • The formal written grievance should provide details regarding the complaint and redress. The student must state (1) when he/she discovered the issue being grieved, (2) what issue is being grieved and provide evidence to support the grievance, (3) what the desired resolution is. After receipt of the formal written grievance, the Department Chair shall respond in writing with his/her decision within ten (10) business days.
  3. In the event that either the student or the faculty member involved is not satisfied with the decision of the Department Chair, the student or faculty member may appeal in writing the decision within ten (10) business days to the Director of the Division of Engineering Undergraduate Programs and Student Success.
    • In this appeal process, the facts, evidence and information will be as stated in the original written grievance; no new evidence or information will be reviewed at this stage. If such a written appeal is not received within ten (10) business days, the Department Chair’s decision will be final.

    The Director of the Division of Engineering Undergraduate Programs and Student Success may make the decision regarding the complaint, or a formal committee hearing will be scheduled.

  4. The hearing committee (if appointed) would be composed of two faculty members and one student, none of which could be in the department involved in the complaint. The college-level hearing shall within ten (10) business days of receiving the complaint, be scheduled.
    • Three (3) business days prior to the hearing, all parties shall notify in writing, the names of their witnesses. If either party intends to have legal counsel, the college must be notified in writing at least three (3) business days before the hearing. The hearing cannot be held with such counsel in attendance unless a representative from University of Houston legal counsel is also present. Witnesses would not attend the full hearing, but would enter when called upon. The hearing shall have an audio recording.

    The committee would report its findings and its recommendation to the Director of the Division of Engineering Undergraduate Programs and Student Success within five (5) business days of the hearing.

  5. If the Director of the Division of Engineering Undergraduate Programs and Student Success is the decision authority, he/she would make his/her decision regarding the complaint within ten (10) business days of receiving it or, in the event of using a hearing committee, within ten (10) business days of receiving the recommendations of the hearing committee. The decision of the Director of the Division of Engineering Undergraduate Programs and Student Success would be sent to all parties involved in writing.
  6. In the event that either the student or the faculty member involved is not satisfied with the decision of the Director of the Division of Engineering Undergraduate Programs and Student Success, the student or faculty member may make a final appeal in writing the decision within ten (10) business days to the Dean, or his/her designee. The Dean, or his/her designee would make his/her decision regarding the complaint within ten (10) business days of receiving it, and notify all parties involved, in writing.
  7. In the event that either the student or the faculty member involved is not satisfied with the decision of Dean. Within ten (10) business days the student or the faculty member may file a written appeal of the decision made by the Dean to the Provost, or his/her designee. The intent of the Provost’s review is not to modify the outcome or hear new or additional facts on the case. The intent of this review is to ensure that the decision made at the department and college level were not arbitrary, capricious or discriminatory. The Provost’s decision would be final in all cases.

 

Approved:

Dean, Cullen College of Engineering

 

Adopted: 04/26/1999
Revised: 09/24/2001
Revised: 12/07/2004
Revised: 01/24/2018