University Policies and Procedures

Academic Freedom at the University

Academic institutions in a democratic society exist for the pursuit of truth, the development and conservation of knowledge, the transmission of learning, and the enhancement of the general well-being of such society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. The University of Louisville is, therefore, committed to protecting the academic freedom of all members of the University community.

Freedom to learn and freedom to teach are inseparable facets of academic freedom. Students have a right to their own views on matters of opinion, rather than fact, and a right to express those views in appropriate ways without fear of arbitrary reaction or improper disclosure of such opinions outside the classroom.

Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research, publication, academic evaluation, and classroom expression. Academic freedom carries the corresponding responsibilities to be thoroughly prepared and well informed in their fields of knowledge and to be scrupulous in distinguishing between personal and professional judgments and between fact and opinion.

Membership in the academic community imposes on students, faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees of the University an obligation to adhere to standards of academic honesty, to respect the dignity of others, to acknowledge their right to express differing opinions, and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and instruction, and free expression both on and off the campus.

Source:University of Louisville Redbook, Section 2.5.1, approved July 1979.

Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA Policy Statement University of Louisville

The University of Louisville is committed to providing equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504). The University's 504/ADA Coordinator is responsible for all campus activities relevant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The University Affirmative Action Officer will monitor compliance and assist all unit heads in meeting their equal opportunity obligations. The University Disability Resource Center staff will assist the university community in fulfilling its responsibility by serving as an information resource center and coordinating support services for students with disabilities.

ADA and 504 Grievance Procedures University of Louisville

The following grievance procedure is being recommended to provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints concerning ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The University of Louisville ADA Grievance Procedure is an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by the U.S. Department of Justice regulations implementing Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Title II states, in part, that "no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination" in programs or activities sponsored by an agency.

General information regarding ADA or 504 can be addressed to:

Disability Resource Center
Robbins Hall Room 101
Phone: (502)852-6938

Complaints should be addressed to the person who has been designated to coordinate ADA compliance efforts:

Affirmative Action Office
Personnel Services Building
Phone: (502)852-6538

  1. A complaint should be filed in writing, contain the name and address of the person filing it, and briefly describe the alleged violation. Upon receipt of the written notice of complaint, the Director of Affirmative Action/Employee Relations or his/her designee shall acknowledge receipt within five workdays.
  2. A complaint should be filed within 180 days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation.
  3. An investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow a filing of complaint. The investigation shall be conducted by the Affirmative Action Office. This internal Complaint procedure contemplates an informal but thorough investigation, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to a complaint.
  4. A written determination regarding the investigation of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any, shall be issued by the Affirmative Action Office.
  5. Affirmative Action Office and a copy forwarded to the complainant no later than 60 days after its filing.
  6. The Affirmative Action Office shall maintain the files and records relating to the complaints filed.
  7. The complainants may request a reconsideration of the case in instances where he or she is dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for reconsideration should be made within 15 work days after receipt of the determination to the Affirmative Action Office.
  8. The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed hereunder shall not be impaired by the person's pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of an ADA complaint with the responsible federal department or agency. Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies.
  9. These rules shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons, to meet appropriate due process standards, and to assure that the University complies with the ADA and implementing regulations.

Code of Student Conduct

The University’s Code of Student Conduct is the University’s policy regarding non-academic discipline of students and student organizations. Academic discipline of students is not covered by this Code, but rather falls within the authority of the individual academic units of the University.

The Code can be found at or contact the Dean of Students Office, SAC W301, (502)852-5787

Graduate Student Academic Grievance Procedure

Section 1: Introduction. This procedure is designed to provide fair means of dealing with student complaints regarding a specific action or decision made by the faculty or a faculty member. "Students who believe they have been treated unfairly, discriminated against, or have had their rights abridged may initiate a grievance" (The Redbook, Section 6.8.1).

Section 2: Preliminary Steps. To pursue a grievance concerning academic matters within the academic unit, the following steps of the grievance procedure should be observed:

1. The student should first discuss the matter with the person involved and attempt to resolve the grievance through informal discussion.

2. If there is no resolution, the student should discuss the matter with that person's supervisor or the person to whom such person reports, who should attempt to mediate a resolution.

3. If the student has not been able to obtain a resolution, he or she may request the Student Grievance Officer (S. G. O.) to attempt informal mediation of the problem.

4. If the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved through the informal process, the student shall submit a written statement of the grievance to the Unit Academic Grievance Committee through the Office of the Dean. The statement shall contain:

a. A brief narrative of the condition giving rise to the grievance;

b. designation of the parties involved; and

c. statement of the remedy requested.

Section 3: Committee Action. Upon receipt of the written statement, the Unit Academic Grievance Committee, or its representatives, shall:

1. Contact the student and the Student Grievance Officer to obtain assurance that all steps of the above informal process were completed and that those issues in the statement were discussed at all levels.

2. Notify the parties named in the statement of the grievance naming them; and send a copy of the statement to the named parties and to all committee members.

3. Notify the grievant and the respondent of the right to challenge committee members for cause, and request early notification of challenge(s) to expedite the grievance procedure. Included in this notification will be a list of the names of all current, regular committee members.

4. Meet within twenty working days after receiving the written statement of any grievance and recommend to the dean of the unit whether sufficient grounds exist to accept a case for hearing. The committee shall hear the case when the dean concurs. The committee shall notify, in writing, all persons directly involved as to the reasons for its recommendation.

5. 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 condition of appeal.

6. If a hearing will be held, notify in writing all the parties involved, including any witnesses, of the date, time and place of the hearing at least ten days prior to the hearing date (which shall be within 30 working days of receipt of the written grievance).

7. Request in writing from all parties involved any pertinent material deemed necessary for review by the committee prior to the hearing. These materials, and any additional materials either party chooses to submit, must be submitted to the committee not later than four days prior to the hearing. Any person named in a grievance may submit a written statement to the committee outlining issues from that person's perspective.

8. Maintain confidentiality throughout the entire grievance process. All communications among the committee, the grievant(s), and the person(s) named in the statement of grievance will be confidential.

Section 4: Hearing Process. All hearings conducted by the Unit Academic Grievance Committee shall be conducted confidentially in the following manner:

1. The grievant(s) and the respondent(s) must be present during the information-gathering portion of the hearing. Witnesses will be available and will be called when needed. The committee reserves the right to allow the presence of a secretary or a technical assistant.

2. All statements during the information-exchange phase of the hearing will be tape-recorded. This record will be preserved in the University Archives for a minimum of five years and shall be confidential.

3. Any committee member may question any of the participants at the hearing.

4. The grievant will present his or her statements and/or witnesses to the committee.

5. The respondent will have the opportunity to question the grievant(s) and the witnesses about their statements.

6. The respondent will present his or her statements and/or witnesses to the committee.

7. The grievant will have the opportunity to question the respondent(s) about their statements.

8. After all information is exchanged, all persons except the committee members and the recording secretary will leave the committee room. The grievant(s), the respondent(s), and the witnesses will continue to be available to the committee should further information be needed.

9. The committee will meet in closed session to decide upon its recommendation(s) to the dean.

10. The committee shall submit its report with recommendation(s) and reasons for the recommendation(s), to the grievant(s), the respondent(s), and the dean. If the grievance directly involves the dean, the report and recommendation(s) of the Unit Academic Grievance Committee shall be referred for decision to the appropriate academic vice president (now referred to as the University Provost).

11. The student's grievance will not be included as part of the student's record, unless it results in a change in student status or the student voluntarily inserts the information.

12. Until the grievance is resolved, the student may continue the natural academic progression through the academic unit, subject to the requirements of Article 6.6, "Academic Review, Advancement, Probation, and Dismissal of Students," and Article 6.7, "Nonacademic Disciplinary Procedures," of The Redbook.

Section 5: Decision. The dean shall approve or reject the committee's recommendation(s) within 28 days after receiving it (them). If the decision of the dean is not in accord with the committee's recommendation(s), the dean shall state the reasons for that decision, in writing, to all persons directly involved in the grievance and to the committee. The dean shall then take appropriate action to implement his or her decision after the time for appeal has elapsed.

Section 6: Rehearing. A grievance committee, within 21 days after delivery of its report, may be petitioned to reconsider its decision upon the basis of evidence of misrepresentation of materials, facts, or upon the basis of newly discovered evidence clearly not available at the original hearing.

Section 7: Appeal. Any party to the grievance may appeal to the University Student Grievance Committee within 21 days from the date of the final decision of the dean if the dean's decision does not concur with the recommendation of the grievance committee.

Student Grievance Officer

The University of Louisville Student Grievance Officer is a tenured faculty member who is responsible for informing students of their rights and obligations under the University Student Grievance procedure and especially the deadlines that have been established.

The Grievance Officer will assist the student in efforts to achieve informal resolution in as many academic or non-academic complaints possible.

One of the main goals of the Student Grievance Officer is to establish an understanding among students, faculty, staff and administration when there is conflict.

Problems pertaining to grades, financial aid, University parking, housing, food services, registration, etc., may all be discussed with the Student Grievance Officer as a means of seeking direction for the pursuit of a resolution. Any aspect of the University that creates a problem for students is a matter of concern for the Student Grievance Officer.

This service is available to all students. Voice mail is available (502)852-6293 but e-mail ( is the preferred method of contact.

Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989

On December 12, 1989, President Bush signed into law the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. These Amendments require that higher education institutions receiving any federal funding must notify each student and employee annually of its program to prevent the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees.

We at the University of Louisville have begun programs in the past few years to combat the misuse and abuse of alcohol and other chemical substances. We realize; however, that only through a concerted effort by all, can we make any major strides in preventing substance abuse. The following is the University of Louisville's Drug-Free Schools Notice:

Drug-Free Schools Notice

As required by the Federal Drug- Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, you are hereby notified by the University of Louisville that on University premises or at University-sponsored activities the following acts are prohibited:

  1. distribution, possession, or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance without legal authorization;
  2. providing alcoholic beverages to individuals under 21 years of age, or possession of alcoholic beverages by individuals under 21 years of age; or
  3. illegal possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage, public intoxication, driving while intoxicated, and drinking alcoholic beverages in an unlicensed public place.

In addition to imposition of disciplinary sanctions under University procedures including suspension or separation from the University for such acts, students or employees may face prosecution and imprisonment under Federal and Kentucky laws which make such acts felony and misdemeanor crimes.

The Code of Student Conduct lists details of offenses and disciplines for students. Staff may be disciplined under Section 11.1 of the Staff Handbook. Faculty may be disciplined by Deans per Redbook Sections 4.5.3 or 3.2.2 with review per 4.4 for sanctions less than dismissal or suspension for one year.

The health risks associated with the misuse and abuse of mind-altering drugs, including controlled substances and alcohol, include but are not limited to: physical and psychological dependence; damage to the brain, pancreas, kidneys and lungs; high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes; ulcers; birth defects; a diminished immune system; and, death.

The Counseling Center and Student Health Services provide assessment and referral services to University students, as well as serving as an alcohol and other drug information/education resource. For further information, call (502)852-6585. Service for faculty and staff are available through the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program. For further information call (502)852-6543.

Policy on Work-Restricted Religious Holy Days

Federal law and University policy prohibit discrimination on the basis of religious belief. It is the policy of the University of Louisville to accommodate students, faculty, and staff who observe religious work-restricted holy days. Students who observe work-restricted religious holy days must be allowed to do so without jeopardizing their academic standing in any course. Faculty are obliged to accommodate students’ request(s) for adjustments in course work on the grounds of religious observance, provided that the student(s) make such request(s) in writing during the first two (2)weeks of term.

Deans and department chairs must investigate and resolve student complaints arising from alleged faculty failure to make reasonable accommodation under these guidelines.

A calendar of typical work-restricted holy days is available through the Office of Diversity.

Information about specific holidays is also available by phone from the Office of the Provost at (502) 852-6153.

Privacy of Student Records

The University of Louisville hereby notifies students concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). This Act, with which the institution intends to comply fully, was designed to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading information. Students also have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office, Department of Education, concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act.

The University has adopted a policy which explains in detail the procedures to be used by the University for compliance with the provisions of the Act and the regulations adopted pursuant thereto. Copies of the policy can be obtained from the University Archives and Records Center, Ekstrom Library. Questions concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be referred to the Director, University Archives and Records Center or visit the Website at: