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 student who believes they have been treated unfairly, discriminated against, or have had their rights abridged may initiate a complaint or grievance within one year from the event. The student will first seek to have the matter resolved through informal discussion and through administrative channels.
- A complaint is defined as a written expression of an academic or non-academic issue that a student has with a faculty member/instructor, staff member, administrator, department, program, or contracted agent regarding a decision made, service provided, or process applied. For complaints against another student, refer to the University of Louisville Code of Conduct. 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. All other matters are non-academic.
- A grievance is defined as a student initiated formal escalation of an unresolved academic complaint.
- In grievance matters, the student filing the grievance is referred to as the grievant. 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 will be a Student Grievance Officer appointed by the President from a list of three faculty/staff members nominated by the Student Government Association. The representatives of the Student Government Association will 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 will seek to resolve informally as many grievances as possible.
The Student Advocate is a staff member in the Dean of Students Office. The Student Advocate manages the student complaint process and will assist students in resolving individual complaints or forwarding complaints to the appropriate unit, department or program contact.
The student complaint process is the initiating step for both academic and non-academic related matters. For academic matters, the student complaint process serves as an informal resolution process through which the Student Advocate pursues a mediated resolution with the student and the Unit person, department, or program involved, prior to the initiation of the Grievance Hearing process. For non-academic matters, where the final appeals decision rests with the Dean of Students, the student complaint is the initiating step in the determination process.
A complaint must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Dean of Students. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Student Advocate or designee will contact the student within 3 (three) business days. For purposes of Section 6.8, “business days” shall exclude all University-observed holidays. The Student Advocate will notify the student as to whether the matter is academic or non-academic based upon the issues identified by the student. The Student Advocate or designee may assist the student in resolving the complaint, or forward the complaint to the appropriate division, unit, or department contact. In all cases, the student should first attempt to discuss the matter at issue with the person, department, or program directly involved.
In all cases, the Student Advocate and the appropriate contact will attempt to resolve the complaint within 21 (twenty-one) business days.
If the complaint involves an academic matter, and a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, the student will be referred to the Student Grievance Officer. The student may then initiate the Academic Grievance Procedure.
If the complaint involves a non-academic matter, and informal means or mediation has not resulted in a resolution of the complaint, the unit, department, or program head (or designee) will issue a written determination on the underlying issue in dispute no later than 21 (twenty-one) business days following initiation of the complaint, unless a reasonable extension of time is required.
If the student is not satisfied with the written determination of the non-academic complaint, the student may submit a written appeal to the Dean of Students or designee within 10 (ten) business days. The appeal may be for one or more of the following reasons:
- The information presented during the review was not sufficient to justify the decision reached.
- The review of the complaint was conducted in a way that did not permit the student the opportunity to present the relevant facts.
- Additional information was not presented that would likely change the outcome.
The appeal must be in writing and contain:
- Student name and student identification number, and contact information, including email address.
- A detailed description of the nature of the appeal.
- A copy of the original complaint, the written determination which the appeal seeks to overturn/reverse, and supporting documents including any materials regarding the findings or proposed resolution from the initial case.
- The specific grounds supporting the appeal. This documentation must meet at least one of the reasons for appeal listed above.
- A statement of the remedy requested.
Within 21 (twenty-one) business days, the Dean of Students or designee will render a final decision on behalf of the University.
In all cases, a record of the complaint and steps taken in the complaint process will be documented and a copy maintained by the Student Advocate. The document will be maintained in accordance with applicable University recordkeeping policies.
With the exception of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, the faculty of each academic unit specified in The Redbook will, in consultation with the Student Council of that unit, establish a unit Academic Grievance Committee and procedures for processing student grievances concerning academic matters. Each unit's academic grievance committee will receive and make recommendations on formal grievances to its dean.
The Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee will be considered the unit academic grievance committee for students enrolled in the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS). The Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee will have original jurisdiction over grievances brought forth by students enrolled in SIGS. The composition of the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee will be defined within the Bylaws of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.
Only after attempting a resolution of the issue(s) in dispute through the Student Complaint process, a student may request a grievance hearing by providing a written statement to the unit grievance committee that includes the following:
- A brief narrative of the condition giving rise to the grievance.
- A designation of the parties involved.
- A statement of the remedy requested.
The Student Grievance Officer will provide contact information for the specific unit grievance committee.
Each grievance committee will recommend to the dean of the unit, within 21 (twenty-one) business days of receipt of a written statement of grievance, whether there are sufficient grounds to accept a case for hearing. If the grievance directly involves the dean, the recommendation as to whether there are sufficient grounds to accept a case for hearing will be referred for decision to the University Provost or designee.
The dean will agree or disagree with the committee’s recommendation within ten (10) business days. The dean will notify all persons directly involved of the committee’s recommendation, whether the dean agrees or disagrees, the reason(s) supporting his or her decision, and the appropriate course of action as detailed below:
- If the committee recommends a hearing and the dean agrees, the case will be heard.
- If the committee does not recommend a hearing and the dean agrees, the case will not be heard.
- If the committee does not recommend a hearing and the dean disagrees, the case will be heard.
- If the committee recommends a hearing and the dean disagrees, the case will not be heard. However, the student will have 21 (twenty-one) business days to submit to the dean a written petition that outlines reasons why the dean should reconsider. The dean shall render his or her decision within ten (10) business days of receipt of the petition.
If a case is to be heard, such hearing will be granted within 21 (twenty-one) business days the dean’s response, although such hearing may be subject to reasonable delay caused by availability of parties unless the grievance committee determines that delay would cause hardship to one or more of the parties to the grievance. The hearing shall follow the rules and procedures outlined by each Unit’s Academic Grievance Procedure.
The grievant or any person directly involved will have the right to challenge any individual 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.
Each Unit Academic Grievance Committee will 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 within five (5) business days of the hearing. The dean shall render his or her final decision on the matter within five (5) business days of receipt of the report. 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 will 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 will be referred for decision to the University Provost or designee. The dean will also receive a copy of the report.
After a final decision has been rendered by the dean of the academic unit, any party directly involved has the right to file an appeal with the University Student Grievance Committee in accordance with section 6.8.10.
The University Student Grievance Committee will have original but not exclusive jurisdiction over grievances which involve two or more academic units or involve issues which the Unit Academic Grievance Committee can show that it is unable to consider, or are outside its jurisdiction.
The University Student Grievance Committee will consist of four faculty members and three student members. The President or designee will select one of the committee's faculty members to serve as chair of the committee. The chair will vote only in the case of a tie in the voting by the other members of the committee. The committee will also have three alternate faculty members and three alternate student members. The faculty members will be elected for staggered three-year terms by the Faculty Senate. The student members will be selected for one-year terms by the Student Government Association. Insofar as possible, the faculty and student members will be selected in such a manner as to be representative of the broad range of academic units at the University of Louisville.
Any party directly involved in a grievance hearing has the right to appeal the final decision of a grievance under one or more of the following conditions:
- If the final decision of the dean or provost is not in concurrence with the recommendation of the unit academic grievance committee.
- There was misrepresentation of material facts at the original hearing.
- There is newly discovered information not available at the time of the original hearing that, if presented at the hearing, may have altered the hearing decision.
The appeal will be made within 21 (twenty-one) business 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, the appeal should be directed to the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee. In any other academic grievance considered by a Unit Academic Grievance Committee, the appeal should be directed to the University Student Grievance Committee.
An appeal to or a hearing by the University Student Grievance Committee or to the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee will be based upon the record established by the Unit Academic Grievance Committee. The committee then may request additional information.
Both the appellate and the original jurisdiction of the University Student Grievance Committee will be initiated through a written grievance document sent to the chair of the University Student Grievance Committee with a copy sent to the Office of the President. The University Student Grievance Committee will decide whether there are sufficient grounds for a hearing and in doing so it will consult with the Student Grievance Officer.
If a grievance is to be heard involving original jurisdiction, the University Student Grievance Committee will first hear information presented by the grievant. The committee will not be bound by strict rules of evidence and may admit any information of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable information available. All parties in a grievance will have the opportunity to make of one (1) peremptory challenge with reference to the membership of the committee.
In a case involving original jurisdiction, the University Student Grievance Committee will 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 of the evidence, it may direct that a reconsideration be made, indicating specifically the errors it believes have been committed. After such reconsideration, the committee will recommend affirmation, modification, or reversal of the decision as reconsidered, and will submit same as the committee report.
Reports of the University Student Grievance Committee and reports of the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee in cases of appeal will be sent to the University Provost. Reports of the University Student Grievance Committee involving a grievance against the University Provost will be sent to the Office of the President. The University Provost or the Office of the President will act upon the committee's report in the following manner:
- The University Provost or President may accept the remedy recommended by the University Student Grievance Committee or the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee within 28 business days, in which case the University Provost or the President will take action to implement the remedy.
- The University Provost or 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 University Provost or the President may disagree with the recommendation in whole or in part, and in so doing it will state 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 will provide an opportunity for response before taking final action. The University Provost or the President is responsible for taking final action.