Policies and Procedures

Review Policy: 12.05 Graduate Assistantship Grievance

THIS REVIEW VERSION HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED FOR FINAL RELEASE.
COMMENTS MAY BE SUBMITTED VIA THE POLICY FEEDBACK FORM BELOW UNTIL 5 p.m. ON:

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Revisions to the policy have been made to more closely align with policy 12.04 Student Employee Grievance.

Any graduate assistant who holds or has held a graduate assistantship and who has a complaint or disagreement concerning his or her assistantship has the right to try to resolve it using the grievance procedure as outlined below. Such grievances are restricted to only interpretation or application of established policies and procedures governing assistantships; the grievance procedure does not apply to tuition remission and stipend adjustments. For a complete statement of policies governing assistantships, refer to the Graduate Assistantship Handbook, available on the Graduate College website at www.grad.uni.edu/assistantships.

To help the graduate assistant through the entire grievance procedure, two means of support are available at all times: 1) the Associate Dean of the Graduate College is available for consultation, and 2) the graduate assistant may be accompanied by one representative of his or her choice. The Graduate College Office is responsible for monitoring the grievance procedures, both informal and formal; it is that office's role, in part, to make sure a written grievance is received by the right person at each of the various steps throughout the formal grievance procedure.

This policy applies to issues such as workload, treatment, and reasonable expectations related to the Graduate Assistant assignment. It does not cover issues related to coursework. 

INFORMAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

The graduate assistant must seek initially to resolve the complaint or disagreement by informal means. This would mean contacting the immediate supervisor directly. Remember that the Associate Dean of the Graduate College is available for consultation, not only with you but also with your supervisor to help resolve any problems. Resolutions of complaints and disagreements at the informal level are strongly encouraged.

Due to time constraints on the overall grievance procedure, the informal procedure should be pursued promptly. To leave enough time, should a formal grievance be deemed necessary, the informal procedure should be limited to no more than ten (10) calendar days from when the occurrence of the grievance is first noted.

FORMAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

If resolution by informal means fails, the graduate assistant may then initiate the formal grievance procedure. The formal grievance must be filed within thirty (30) calendar days of the date when the occurrence of such grievance is first noted by the graduate assistant. 

Initial Action

The Grievant will document the complaint via written and dated communication. 
Note: Once the formal grievance is filed, subsequent responses from all parties involved must be recorded in writing.

Level I

The Grievant will submit the documentation to the academic Department Head or Director (if this person is the grievant's immediate supervisor, the grievant's academic College Dean fills this role). Upon receipt of the form, the academic Department Head conducts an investigation during which the grievant is given the opportunity to present his or her case. The academic Department Head indicates his or her resulting disposition and reasons for same in a written communication within five (5) calendar days, copying the Graduate Dean. 

The Grievant responds in writing to Department Head's or Director's decision within five calendar days with a response of either “Accept” or “Decline”.  The Graduate Dean is copied on all communication. 

Level II

If a resolution is not reached at the Department head or director level, the grievant forwards the grievance, in writing, to the Dean of the Graduate College. At that time, the grievant is given the opportunity to present his or her case. The Dean of the Graduate College indicates his or her resulting disposition and reasons for same in writing to all parties within ten (10) calendar days.

The grievant can respond to Graduate Dean's decision by accepting the decision or declining the decision. The response is in writing and must be completed within five (5) calendar days. 

Level III

If a resolution is not reached at the Graduate Dean level, the grievant forwards the grievance, in writing, to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.  At that time, the grievant is given the opportunity to present his or her case. The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost indicates his or her resulting disposition and reasons for same in writing. The Graduate College Office should also be notified. The communication should be completed within ten (10) calendar days. 

A decision at Level IV is considered the final internal remedy. For any subsequent action, refer to a copy of the Board of Regents Policy Manual under section 1.7 titled "Appeals to the Board of Regents" (available at https://www.iowaregents.edu/plans-and-policies/board-policy-manual/17-appeals-to-the-board).

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Review Policy: 12.05 Graduate Assistantship Grievance