Appeals Procedure

Purpose & Scope

The purpose of this procedure is to afford graduate students in the Department of Classics an opportunity to resolve complaints about dismissal from graduate standing, placement on probationary status, denial of readmission, and other administrative or academic decisions that terminate or otherwise impede progress toward academic or professional degree goals.

The scope of this procedure is limited to the matters listed above, and excludes complaints regarding denial of admission, student records, grades in courses of instruction, student employment, student discipline, and auxiliary student services (such as housing, child care, etc.). This procedure may not be used for complaints regarding actions based solely on faculty evaluation of the academic quality of a student's performance, or decanal evaluations of a student's appropriate academic progress, unless the complaint alleges that the actions may have been influenced by non-academic criteria.

Procedure

I. Informal Resolution Procedures

A student may pursue informal resolution of a complaint by scheduling a meeting with the Head Graduate Advisor to discuss the complaint and explore possible avenues of resolution. (If the complaint is about an action taken by the Head Graduate Advisor, the complainant may instead take the complaint to the Department Chair.) Attempts to resolve a complaint informally should be completed within thirty days. At any point in this process, if a satisfactory solution cannot be reached, the student may initiate formal resolution by putting the complaint in writing.

II. Formal Resolution

A written complaint must include information regarding the action being complained of and the date it occurred, the grounds upon which the appeal is based, and the relief requested. The complaint must be based on one or more of the following grounds:

1. Procedural error or violation of official policy by academic or administrative personnel;
2. Judgments improperly based upon non-academic criteria including, but not limited to, discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, national origin, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, or disability;
3. Specific mitigating circumstances beyond the student's control not properly taken into account in a decision affecting the student's academic progress.

A written complaint must be received by the Head Graduate Advisor within thirty days from the time the student knew or could reasonably be expected to have known of the action that is the subject of the complaint. (If the complaint is about an action taken by the Head Graduate Advisor, the complainant should instead direct the complaint to the Department Chair.) The department should complete its investigation and notify the student of the outcome of the complaint within sixty days of the date it was received.

The time frame for filing a written complaint may be extended by the department if the student has been involved in continuing efforts toward informal resolution, and the informal resolution process was initiated within thirty days of the time the student knew or could reasonably be expected to have known of the action that is the subject of the complaint. All time frames referred to in this procedure refer to calendar days. Summer and inter-semester recesses are not included within these time frames.

Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Head Graduate Advisor (or the Department Chair, if the complaint is against the Head Graduate Advisor and addressed to the Chair) will assign an individual who is to investigate the complaint and to make a recommendation to the Department Chair regarding the outcome of the complaint. Generally, the investigation will include an interview with the complainant, a review of any relevant written materials, and an effort to obtain information from available witnesses (i.e., interviews or written statements or documents). The Head Graduate Advisor (or Department Chair) will notify the student in writing of the outcome of the complaint. A written complaint under this procedure satisfies the requirement of a unit level resolution process pursuant to the Graduate Appeals Procedure.

III. Appeal to Graduate Division

If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint under the department procedure, he or she may bring the complaint to the Formal Appeal Procedure of the Graduate Appeals Procedure. The formal appeal must be received in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate Division, 424 Sproul Hall, within fifteen days of the date of the written notification of the result of the department level procedure. The Graduate Appeals Procedure is downloadable (http://www.grad.berkeley.edu/policies/pdf/gradappeal.pdf), as is the Graduate Appeal Form (http://www.grad.berkeley.edu/policies/pdf/appealform.pdf).

IV. Complaints Involving Discrimination

If the complaint involves allegations of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, race, national origin, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, the Department should consult the appropriate campus compliance officers prior to commencing informal or formal resolution. For more information contact the Campus Climate and Compliance Office (510-642-2795; http://ccac.berkeley.edu/).

V. Other Complaint Procedures

Graduate students may contact the Office of the Ombudsman for Students, the Title IX Compliance Officer, or the 504/ADA Compliance Officer for assistance with complaint resolution. There also are other complaint resolution procedures available to graduate students for complaints that do not fall under this procedure; these other procedures are listed in the Graduate Appeals Procedure.