Section 12: Petitions and Grievance Procedures

Body

12.1 PETITIONS

A student may petition for relaxation of or modification to any rules in the Handbook by first submitting a written petition to the NGP Committee.  Such a petition should contain at least the signature of the advisor; a letter of support from the advisor would strengthen the petition.  If the NGP Committee does not approve the petition, the student may make use of the petition procedures of the Graduate School.

12.2 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

Should any graduate student or advisor have a complaint, a thorough attempt should be made to resolve the problem through informal discussions.  If these discussions fail to resolve the problem, the NGP student and/or advisor may contact the designated NGP Ombudsperson.  Thereafter, the following grievance procedure should be implemented:

  • If a problem remains after exhausting the informal process between the parties involved, the person having the unresolved complaint may file a grievance by submitting a statement to the Director(s) of the NGP Committee.  The NGP Committee will then serve as the Grievance Committee to be chaired by the NGP Director(s).  If the Director(s) is involved he/she will be excluded from all deliberations on the matter and the Committee will select a chair from among its remaining faculty members.  Similarly, members of the NGP Committee directly involved in the case will be disqualified from sitting on the panel for that specific case.  In such circumstances, the Director(s) of the NGP will designate an alternate, when possible from the same area of expertise as the disqualified member.  Student members will continue to serve as voting members of any grievance hearing and vote as proscribed for student members of the NGP Committee.

The chair of the Grievance Committee will set a hearing date no later than two weeks after the grievance statement is received.  All parties involved will be notified in writing of both the nature of the grievance and the date of the hearing.

At least 72 hours prior to a hearing, the chair of the Grievance Committee will provide the following to all parties involved:

  • a written statement of the particular grievance,
  • a written notification of the time and place of the hearing, and
  • a copy of documents relevant to the grievance hearing.

Each party will appear in person to present her/his case.  Each party is entitled to active representation by counsel and may call witnesses in his or her behalf.

All parties will be entitled to an expeditious hearing.  In emergencies, as agreed upon after case review by the NGP Committee, hearings will be as immediate as possible.

12.3 GRADUATE PROGRAM GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE DECISIONS AND ACTIONS

The final decision of the Grievance Committee shall be reported in writing to the parties involved not later than two weeks after the hearing.  This report will detail the grievance and the subsequent findings, including a finding either:

  • No Probable Cause: There having been established no probable cause to credit the grievance, or
     
  • Probable Cause: There having been established probable cause to credit the grievance.

If Probably Cause is found, the Grievance Committee will recommend a course of action.  The Director(s) of the NGP will direct the implementation of the course of action stipulated by the Grievance Committee.

12.4 APPEAL OF DECISIONS

Any appeal statement should be filed with the Director(s) of the NGP and the Dean of the Graduate School no later than two weeks following the issuance of the decision of the Grievance Committee.  The appeal hearing will then be conducted in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Graduate School.  The Graduate School becomes involved in such matters only after all reasonable local efforts to resolve the problem have failed.  Under the rules of the graduate faculty, the Graduate School is authorized to review two specific kinds of grievances, Graduate Examination and Graduate Associate Appointments.  Specific information about Graduate School grievance policies may be found in the Graduate School Handbook.

12.5 SCHOLARLY AND ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

  • Scholarly Misconduct: Falsification of research, deliberate misuse of facilities and data, plagiarism, and abuse of confidentiality within the context of research are examples of scholarly misconduct.  The context is understood to include, but is not limited to, dissertation research and research pursued as part of a fellowship while employed as a Graduate Associate or while funded on any grant or contract.

The University Research Committee has developed rules covering scholarly misconduct by graduate students in coordination with the Graduate Council. The Dean of the Graduate School is responsible for reviewing charges of scholarly misconduct against graduate students.  Accusations of “scholarly misconduct” by graduate students will be resolved according to the Guidelines for Review of Scholarly Misconduct by Graduate Students, which are available from the Graduate School.

  • Academic Misconduct: Includes but is not limited to cheating in a course(s) and/or on examinations, plagiarism in course work, violation of course rules, and/or the altering of course grades within the context of classroom and course work activities.  Academic misconduct may occur in the following contexts: enrollment in required classes as a student or while completing the written section of Candidacy Examinations.  Graduate Associates are obligated to report formally all incidents of academic misconduct in accordance with established University procedures.  It is against the rules of the University faculty for anyone to issue failing grades for academic misconduct or to impose any other sanction before the full review process as required by Faculty Rules has been followed to completion.  Accusations of academic misconduct by graduate students will be resolved according to rules of the Committee on Academic Misconduct.

The University Committee on Academic Misconduct is responsible for reviewing charges of academic misconduct against students, including graduate students.  The Code of Student Conduct defines the expectations of students in the area of academic honesty.  A copy of the Code is available in the Ohio State University Student Handbook.

There is some overlap between these two areas of misconduct.  The student is advised to consult the Guidelines for Review of Scholarly Misconduct by Graduate Students and/or rules of the University faculty as noted.  In cases not fitting the definitions of the two areas and their contexts or in cases where there is a question of jurisdiction, the Dean of the Graduate School and the chair of the University Committee on Academic Misconduct will consult to determine the appropriate body to hear the case.