Grievance Resolution: Pathway, the Role of the Graduate School, and Relevant Policies (From the Graduate School)
(taken from http://gradschool.psu.edu/graduate-funding/infoga/)
Effective policies, a clear pathway, and delegated responsibility for assuring fair, expeditious and effective resolution of problems for graduate students are a priority for the Graduate School. For example, occasionally, problems arise between a graduate student and their adviser or committee member outside of the classroom. Whenever possible, disagreements between the student and adviser should be addressed within the department or program. If the problem is not resolved at this level, the student may file a written grievance with the college administrator for graduate education (generally an associate or assistant dean or director for academic affairs) of their college. In response to this grievance, the college administrator (or Associate Dean for Graduate Student Affairs of the Graduate School, in the case of a student in an intercollege graduate degree program housed in the Graduate School) will meet with the student, as well as with the faculty member(s) involved, in an effort to resolve the situation. If the problem cannot be resolved at the college level, the student may file a written grievance with the Associate Dean for Graduate Student Affairs of the Graduate School, who serves as a University–wide ombudsperson for all graduate students at Penn State. The Associate Dean will work with all parties involved, or who need to be consulted, in order to resolve the issue. This process includes consultation with the Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School as needed. Additional details regarding steps in this grievance protocol are in GCAC-802 Procedures for Resolution of Problems.
Other relevant policies on the Graduate School web site include Guiding Principles for Good Practice in Graduate Education, and Grade Mediation and Adjudication and those in the University Policy Manual, especially RP02 (Addressing Allegations of Research Misconduct) and IP02 (Co-authorship of Scholarly Reports, Papers, and Publications).
Graduate Student Due Process
Graduate students should also be aware of additional conduct-related policies in the Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin that delineate due process afforded to graduate students/assistants. These include: GCAC-801 Conduct, GCAC-803 Procedures for Termination of the Degree Program of a Graduate Student for Unsatisfactory Scholarship, and GCAC-804 Procedures for Termination of Assistantships due to Inadequate Performance.