Rights and Responsibilities
Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities for Campus Membership
Expectations for Graduate Student Progress and Performance
Graduate students are also expected to meet the academic standards of the University, including:
- Maintaining graduate degree status (full-time enrollment is required for employment, fellowships, and financial aid)
- Achieving satisfactory performance as evaluated by faculty
- Making timely progress through required program milestones
Students registered in the University of California have an obligation to act in a manner compatible with the University's
function as an educational institution. Graduate students are responsible for meeting not only the academic standards
outlined above, but also standards for personal conduct and responsibility outlined in the
General Catalog and
Schedule of Classes.
More information about polices and regulations is available from the Office of Student Life,
Campus Regulations Applying to Campus Activities,
Organizations, and Students.
Instances of possible misconduct on campus should be reported immediately to the Office of Judicial Affairs located
within the Office of Student Life, Student Resource Building 2260,
(805) 893-4569, and to the UC Santa Barbara Campus
Police (emergency from on-campus phone: 9-911) particularly if violent or threatening actions are involved. Questions
about matters involving personal conduct and responsibility should be directed to the
Assistant Dean of Students,n Office of Judicial Affairs.
Alleged violations of University regulations are investigated by appropriate officials. Charges of student
misconduct are investigated by the Office of Student Life and may result in the convening of a disciplinary
hearing by the student-faculty committee responsible for such matters.
Procedures for Graduate Student Disputes
While it is the goal of the University that all individuals are treated fairly, there are times when a graduate
student may feel that s/he has been treated unfairly or that his/her rights have been violated.
University policy strongly encourages students to use all appropriate avenues for informal resolution before
initiating a formal grievance. If a grievance occurs, first talk to the individual concerned. If it is not
possible to meet with that person, or you feel uncomfortable:
- Start within your department with faculty, the Department Faculty Graduate Advisor, or the Chair
- If department resources have been exhausted, contact staff members at the Graduate Division
or the Office of the Ombuds
Students often feel uncomfortable raising these issues and wait until it is too late. It is best to raise your
concerns as soon as you have them so that they can be addressed early.
Informal Grievance Resolution
Be Clear About Your Grievance
Your grievance should be about a specific action or actions or a
specific decision or decisions. If possible, collect written evidence to support your case.
Address the Issue Early
Despite potential discomfort discussing issues of conflict or concern, it is best to
address any concerns early. Many grievances that started out small tend to grow out of
proportion and become far more complicated because they were not quickly addressed. An early
discussion can help you understand expectations and clarify any miscommunication.
Many staff and faculty within the University are available to provide information and advice
that can help clarify which procedure to use for any particular issue. It is a good idea to talk
to someone before going ahead with a grievance, even informally. Knowing the right process will
help to resolve it quickly. Talking to someone who is not involved in the issue can also help you
to clarify what the grievance is and how you would like it resolved. An uninvolved person may also
help you to gather any relevant information, and in some cases will be able to go with you to any
meetings you have to discuss your concern with the people involved.
Be Clear About What You Want
Your desired resolution should be reasonable and appropriate. Knowing what you need for the issue
to be resolved will help you frame the conversation.
Take a Support Person
Many of the University's procedures include the right to have a support person with you at meetings
and hearings, and it is generally accepted as good practice. You should clarify before any meetings
just what role a support person is able to play. You are usually expected to present your own case,
but the support person can be helpful in clarifying issues and in summarizing what has been agreed.
Get Things in Writing
Though most student grievances can be resolved informally, it is a good idea to put agreements
and/or resolutions in writing at the end of the informal process. If the issue has been resolved,
for example, exchange emails with the person concerned to confirm that you are in agreement.
Attempts to resolve the dispute should be completed within 60 days. If the student decides to
pursue a formal grievance, this must generally be done within 60 days regardless of the progress
of informal processes.
Formal Stages of Appeals
When it is not possible to solve a problem through informal means, a formal grievance process
is available to guide an orderly resolution. Refer to the relevant section below for information
about initiating formal complaints. It is important to note that these procedures may have different
time frames within which the complaint must be filed.
Student Appeals Procedures
Refer to the
Academic Senate Bylaws and Regulations, Appendix 5,
for the following:
Problems (Conduct) with Faculty Advisors or Committee Members
For grievances involving professional misconduct on the part of Academic Senate faculty
(tenured professors, associate professors and assistant professors), complaints may be filed
under the University Policy on Faculty Conduct and the Administration of Discipline
(Academic Personnel Manual APM-016). Copies of this policy are available in the Academic Senate Office,
Girvetz Hall 1230.
You may consult with Stephanie Smagala, Analyst for Faculty Matters in the Academic Senate Office, (805) 893-5233.
Issues of intellectual property, problems specific to research, conflict of interest, conflict of
commitment, any other research integrity matter.
After consulting with your mentor, Graduate Advisor, or Department Chair, you may consult with
Assistant Dean Christian Villaseñor in the Graduate Division, (805) 893-2013.
Teaching Assistant or Associate Employment
After consulting with your mentor, Graduate Advisor, or Department Chair, you may consult
with Assistant Dean Christian Villaseñor in the Graduate Division, (805) 893-2013.
Research Assistant Employment
After consulting with your mentor, Graduate Advisor, or Department Chair, you may
consult with Assistant Dean Christian Villaseñor in the Graduate Division, (805) 893-2013.
UC Santa Barbara does not tolerate sexual harassment, which is prohibited by University
policy and state and federal law. Contact the
Office of Equal Opportunity & Sexual
Harassment/Title IX Compliance (OEOSH/TC) for assistance in preventing, resolving, and
investigating complaints of sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
UC Santa Barbara is in compliance with all legislation which seeks to eliminate
discrimination toward students. Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, and religion.
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of
sex. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990 prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Policy action by the
Regents of the University of California prohibits discrimination on the basis of age
and sexual orientation.
Any student who wishes to file a grievance arising from alleged discrimination (other
than a contested grade) must do so at the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student
Affairs, (805) 893-3651, Cheadle Hall 5203.