Redbook Chapter Six
Student Governance and Student Affairs Administration
A "student" is any person taking courses at the University, either full time or part time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or extension studies on a regular quarter, semester, or summer-term basis, or a person in a residency program of the School of Medicine or the School of Dentistry.
The faculty of each academic unit shall establish admission requirements based on the objectives of the unit and the course of study offered. For interdisciplinary degree programs and tracks, this academic authority will be shared among the faculties of the participating units as specified in the Bylaws of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. The selection of students shall be made in accordance with University regulations and also in conformity with federal, state, and local laws.
A. Each student has the responsibility to become acquainted with and shall follow all rules and regulations of the University and of the academic unit in which the student is enrolled. The official publications outlining the University rules applicable to students shall be accessible to all students, and the provisions therein shall be uniformly applied to the students affected.
The Office of the President in consultation with the Student, Staff, and Faculty Senates shall establish a Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which shall be transmitted to the Board of Trustees for its approval.
B. Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, all students enrolled in Master’s and Doctoral Programs shall have the rights and privileges of students enrolled in The School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.
Students shall have access to their own student records in accordance with federal, state, and University regulations. Other access to student records shall be limited in accordance with University regulations and with federal and state laws.
- The Student Government Association through the Student Senate is responsible for eliciting and expressing the opinions, suggestions, and recommendations of the student body of the University of Louisville. The Student Senate shall be responsible for continuing review of University policies and documents affecting students and shall make recommendations concerning these matters. The Student Senate shall determine the rules and procedures of the Student Government Association. The Student Government Association and the Student Senate shall operate under a written constitution and bylaws, as adopted by the Student Senate and subject to approval by the President of the University. These documents shall be available for inspection upon request in the Offices of the Student Government Association and the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- The President of the Student Government Association is the President of the Student Body by virtue of a University-wide election.
- The Faculty Senate and Staff Senate shall select from their respective memberships one ex officio member and one ex officio alternate member of the Student Senate. The alternate member shall have the right of the floor, but shall have no vote unless the voting member from that Senate is absent.
The academic authority of the University in all matters involving academic status of each student shall be vested in the academic unit in which the student is enrolled. The authority over an individual course rests with the academic unit in which it is offered.
The authority for the determination of grades in any course shall rest with the faculty of the academic unit offering the course. Each student shall have the right to discuss any grade with the appropriate faculty member or academic dean in accordance with the procedure of the academic unit.
Each academic unit shall be charged with the responsibility and authority to make academic determinations as to continuation in a degree or other program, probation, or permanent or temporary dismissal of students. Such determination shall be made upon evaluation of the student's academic performance and demonstrated fitness to continue in the program in accordance with promulgated standards established by the unit. Academic dishonesty in any form, including plagiarism, forgery, or cheating, reflects detrimentally upon the fitness of a student to continue in a program.
When an academic unit makes a decision recommending action which results in a change of a student's academic status, the appropriate dean shall notify the student. The student shall have the right to discuss this matter with the proper person from that academic unit and follow such procedures as may have been established by that unit. A representative of the unit shall meet informally with the student and shall explain the basis of the academic decision. The academic unit shall keep as a part of the student's record a notation of any academic determination other than promotion or unqualified continuation in a program, with such record to contain a brief statement of the reasons for such action as discussed with the student and a statement of the date of the informal meeting as well as a list of the names of the persons attending that meeting.
The general responsibility for nonacademic discipline of all students at the University of Louisville shall be vested in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Office will promulgate and administer the Code of Student Conduct approved by the President or designee.
If the student is found to have committed conduct prohibited by the Code of Student Conduct, an appropriate sanction(s) shall be imposed by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
In each case where the decision results in separation from the University, or a recommendation to withhold or revoke a degree, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs shall so notify the dean of the academic unit in which the student has been enrolled.
When the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs initially assumes jurisdiction of an alleged offense, that office may deem it necessary to exclude the student from the University campuses immediately while an initial investigation is made. This action shall be taken to: ensure the safety and wellbeing of members of the University community; to preserve University property; to ensure a student’s own physical or emotional wellbeing; or if the student poses an ongoing threat of disruption to the normal operations of the University.
The Code of Student Conduct will provide an appeal process when the decision results in separation from the University, withholding a degree, or revoking a degree.
Any students who believe they have been treated unfairly, discriminated against, or have had their rights abridged may initiate a grievance within one year from the event giving rise to the complaint. The students shall first seek to have the matter resolved through informal discussion and through administrative channels.
As used herein the phrase "persons directly involved" means the grievant and those who are alleged to have brought about the condition upon which the grievance is based.
There shall be a Student Grievance Officer nominated from a list of three persons other than students by the Student Senate and appointed by the President. The representatives of the Student Senate shall meet with the Office of the President to establish and review the duties and functions, the term and structure of the office, and budgetary arrangements necessary for the effective functioning of the Student Grievance Officer.
The Student Grievance Officer is responsible for informing students of their rights and obligations under the grievance procedure and especially the deadlines that have been established. The Student Grievance Officer shall seek to resolve informally as many grievances as possible.
Except as otherwise provided for the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, the faculty of each academic unit specified in The Redbook shall, in consultation with the Student Council of that unit, establish a unit Academic Grievance Committee and procedures for processing student grievances concerning academic matters. Academic matters are defined as those concerning instructional activities, research activities, activities closely related to either of these functions, or decisions involving instruction or affecting academic freedom. Each unit's student grievance committee shall receive and make recommendations on formal grievances to its dean.
The Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee shall be considered the unit academic grievance committee for and shall have original jurisdiction over grievances brought by students enrolled in the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.
The Vice President for Student Affairs, in consultation with the Student Senate, shall establish the Nonacademic Grievance Committee to hear and make recommendations to the Vice President on formal student grievances concerning nonacademic matters which include all matters not covered by 6.8.3. A student may not file a grievance under this procedure involving matters arising in University housing. A student may not file a grievance which affects students as a class. On each grievance filed under the nonacademic procedures, the Student Grievance Officer shall recommend to the committee whether sufficient grounds exist to justify a hearing. Student disciplinary appeals are covered by Section 6.7.3 and may not be the subject of student grievances filed under this section.
Each grievance committee shall recommend to the dean of the unit within twenty working days of receipt of a written statement of any grievance whether to accept a case for hearing. The committee shall hear the case when the dean concurs. The written statement shall contain the following:
- A brief narrative of the condition giving rise to the grievance;
- A designation of the parties involved; and
- A statement of the remedy requested.
The grievant or any person directly involved shall have the right to challenge any member of the committee for cause. In the event of challenge, the committee shall consider and rule on the challenge. The challenged member shall not vote on the challenge. In the case of disqualification, absence, or other inability to serve, alternates shall serve when possible.
The grievance committee shall recommend to the dean of the unit whether there are sufficient grounds to accept a case for hearing. The committee shall notify, in writing, all persons directly involved as to the reason for its recommendation. The action of the grievance committee as to whether to grant a hearing when accepted by the dean of the unit shall be final and binding on all parties except when subject to the conditions of appeal. If a case is to be heard, such hearing shall be granted within thirty working days of receipt of the written statement of grievance, although such hearing may be subject to reasonable delay caused by availability of parties, or vacations, unless the grievance committee determines that delay would cause hardship to one or more of the parties to the grievance.
- Each Unit Academic Grievance Committee shall make its report, with recommendations for settlement of the case, to the dean of the unit with copies to the persons directly involved in the grievance. In the event that the final decision of the dean is not in accord with the grievance committee's recommendation, the reasons for that decision shall be stated in writing to all persons directly involved and to the grievance committee.
- If the grievance directly involves the dean, the report of the grievance committee shall be referred for decision to the University Provost. The dean shall also receive a copy of the report.
- The Nonacademic Grievance Committee shall make its report, with recommendations for settlement of the case, to the Vice President for Student Affairs with copies to the persons directly involved in the grievance and to the proper administrative officer. In the event that the final decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs or of the proper administrative officer is not in accord with the grievance committee's recommendation, the reasons for that decision shall be stated in writing to all persons directly involved and to the grievance committee.
- If the grievance directly involves the Vice President for Student Affairs, the report of the grievance committee shall be referred to the President or his designee. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall also receive a copy of the report.
- When the desired remedy lies outside the jurisdiction of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the vice president shall forward the decision to the appropriate vice president or an administrator designated by the President as having a role comparable to that of a vice president for appropriate action. If the recommended remedy is not implemented, the responsible administrator shall state the reasons in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs and all persons directly involved in the grievance.
A grievance committee, within twenty-one working days after the delivery of its report, may be petitioned to reconsider its decision upon the basis of evidence of misrepresentation of material facts or upon the basis of newly discovered evidence clearly not available at the original hearing.
The University Student Grievance Committee shall consist of four faculty members and three student members. The President of the University shall select one of the committee's faculty members to serve as chair of the committee. The chair shall vote only in the case of a tie in the voting by the other members of the committee. The committee shall also have three alternate faculty members and three alternate student members. The faculty members shall be elected for staggered three-year terms by the Faculty Senate. The student members shall be elected for one-year terms by the Student Senate. Insofar as possible, the faculty and student members shall be selected in such a manner as to be representative of the broad range of academic units at the University of Louisville.
The University Student Grievance Committee shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction over grievances which involve two or more academic units or involve issues which either the Unit Academic Grievance Committee or Nonacademic Grievance Committee can show that it is unable to consider, or are outside its jurisdiction, or involve disagreement among two or more student grievance committees.
- In any non-academic grievance or in an academic grievance, except as otherwise provided in 6.8.11.B., any party directly involved in a grievance may appeal the decision to the University Student Grievance Committee, if the final decision of a dean, vice president, or an administrator designated by the President as having a role comparable to that of a vice president is not in concurrence with the recommendation of the grievance committee. The appeal shall be made to the University Student Grievance Committee within twenty-one working days from the date of the final decision of the responsible administrator.
- In an academic grievance in post-baccalaureate programs, other than J.D., M.D., D.M.D. programs and School of Medicine and School of Dentistry residency programs, any party directly involved in a grievance may appeal the final decision of a dean, or the Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs to the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee. The appeal shall be made in writing to the Graduate Student Grievance Committee within twenty-one working days from the date of the final decision of the dean or Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs.
- An appeal to or a hearing by the University Student Grievance Committee or to the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee shall be based upon the record established by the Unit Academic Grievance Committee or the Nonacademic Grievance Committee. The committee then may request additional information.
Both the appellate and the original jurisdiction of the University Student Grievance Committee shall be initiated through a written grievance to the chair of the University Student Grievance Committee with a copy sent to the Office of the President. The University Student Grievance Committee shall decide whether there are sufficient grounds for a hearing and in doing so it shall consult with the Student Grievance Officer.
If a grievance is to be heard involving original jurisdiction, the University Student Grievance Committee shall first hear evidence presented by the grievant. The committee shall not be bound by strict rules of evidence and may admit any evidence of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort shall be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available. All parties in a grievance shall have the right of one peremptory challenge with reference to the membership of the committee.
- In a case involving original jurisdiction the University Student Grievance Committee shall render a finding of fact and, where appropriate, recommend a remedy after hearing all of the evidence.
- In a case involving appellate jurisdiction the University Student Grievance Committee or the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee must not substitute its judgment on the merits for that of any faculty body or administrator whose decision is being considered. The committee may affirm the decision of a faculty body or administrator whose decision is the subject of the grievance, but should the committee find that the decision being appealed was not based on proper consideration, it may direct that a reconsideration be made, indicating specifically the errors it believes have been committed. After such reconsideration, the committee shall recommend affirmation, modification, or reversal of the decision as reconsidered, and shall submit same as the committee report.
- Reports of the University Student Grievance Committee involving grievances concerned with academic matters and reports of the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee shall be sent to the vice president responsible for the academic unit involved. Reports of the University Student Grievance Committee involving a grievance against a vice president or involving a grievance of a nonacademic nature shall be sent to the Office of the President. The vice president and the Office of the President shall act upon the committee's report in the following manner:
- The appropriate vice president or the Office of the President may accept the remedy recommended by the University Student Grievance Committee or the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee within twenty-eight working days, in which case the appropriate vice president or the Office of the President shall take action to implement the remedy.
- The appropriate vice president or the Office of the President may remand the case once if in its judgment the finding of facts was clearly contrary to the weight of the credible evidence.
- The appropriate vice president or the Office of the President may disagree with the recommendation in whole or in part, and in so doing it shall state its recommendations and reasons therefore, in writing, to the University Student Grievance Committee or the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee and to all persons directly involved, and shall provide an opportunity for response before taking final action. The appropriate vice president or the Office of the President is responsible for taking final action.