University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Presidential Orders

Executive Order

No. 58

Student Academic Grievance Procedures

1.  Policy

To provide internal mechanisms whereby graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Washington may address problems or grievances which are academic in nature, in an equitable and timely manner, it is the policy of the University that each of the schools and colleges shall develop and provide Student Academic Grievance Procedures.

The Dean of the Graduate School shall implement a grievance procedure applicable to all graduate students enrolled at the University; the deans of the individual schools and colleges shall develop and implement such procedures applicable to undergraduate and professional students in their respective units.

2.  General Provisions

Because of the diverse structure and conditions that exist in various schools and colleges, the development of a single University-wide grievance procedure is not appropriate. Rather, it is preferable that matters that are to be addressed within each unit shall follow procedural steps that are functionally related to the internal practices within the unit. However, to afford consistent safeguards to apply uniform standards of treatment for all students, regardless of schools or colleges, the following provisions shall be included in the procedure for each unit:

  A. An informal conciliation stage, where assistance will be provided to the student by the appropriate departmental personnel, or when requested, through the Office of the University Ombud.

  B. The appointment of a college or school Student Academic Grievance Committee, composed of both faculty and students.

  C. The establishment of hearing procedures, under which the Grievance Committee will proceed to arrive at advisory recommendations for submission to the dean.

  D. The inclusion of an appeal process, by which decisions of the dean will be referred to the Provost as an assurance of procedural uniformity.

3.  Relation to Other Procedures

The procedures to be established hereunder are not intended to provide alternatives to the more general campus-wide procedures which serve for consideration of such matters as student conduct (see Chapter 478-121 WAC) or grievances based upon allegations of discrimination (see Administrative Policy Statement 46.3). The separate college or school academic grievance procedures may, however, consolidate existing processes on a college or school level that deal with academic matters in a manner consistent with the above general objectives.

Information concerning the availability of grievance procedures shall be provided to students; copies of regulations shall be on file in the principal administrative offices of each college or school and shall be made available to students upon request.

4.  Coordination

The coordination of policies relating to academic grievance procedures is a responsibility of the Provost, who shall be provided with copies of all regulations and proposed modifications for review. The Faculty Council on Student Affairs shall assist the Provost by providing recommendations concerning operational effectiveness and suggestions regarding changes in policy.

April 30, 1979; RC, March 5, 2013.

For related information, see:

  • Chapter 478-121 WAC, "Student Conduct Code for the University of Washington"
  • Administrative Policy Statement 46.3, "Resolution of Complaints Against University Employees"