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Academic Policies and Procedures

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).

The Unit Academic Grievance Committee has the power to hear all grievances involving academic matters other than substantive grade appeals. “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” (The Redbook, Section 6.8.3). The Unit Academic Grievance Committee may review allegations that a course grade has resulted from an unfair procedure. However, thecommittee should not substitute its judgment on their merits as an evaluation of academic performance. Where the dean concurs that procedural irregularities have occurred, the dean shall consult with an appropriate faculty committee as to the grade to be recorded on the student’s official transcript. To assist the student, a Student Grievance Officer is provided, who 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” (The Redbook, Section 6.8.2).

Students are encouraged to seek the assistance of the Student Grievance Officer at any stage of the grievance process. Each unit shall establish an Academic Grievance Committee to carry out the procedures described below.


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 challengers 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 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 Advocate

The student advocate maintains confidential contacts with students, institutional officers, faculty and staff to offer informal, alternative means to resolve student complaints; to provide a "one-stop" contact for students who need advice and support in navigating through institutional policies, procedures and bureaucracy; and to negotiate institutional barriers so that students can be successful in school. The student advocate investigates and takes action for a timely resolution of complaints brought by students. The student advocate familiarizes students with unit policies and procedures in compliance with FERPA in order to improve student retention.

The student advocate works closely and cooperatively with student affairs offices, academic units, staff and faculty to maintain open lines of communication to promote available student services to students. Questions and concern may be addressed by e-mail to or by phone to (502) 852-8113.

Student Grievance Officer

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

This service is available to all students.  E-mail Professor Brenda Hart at


Code of Student Conduct

The University’s Code of Conduct is the University’s policy regarding  nonacademic discipline of students. The primary purpose for the imposition of non-academic discipline in the University setting is to protect and preserve a quality educational environment in the campus community. The Board of Trustees has the authority to modify the Student of students is not covered by this Code, but rather falls within the jurisdiction of the individual academic units of the University.

The Code is set forth in writing in order to give students general notice on nonacademic prohibited conduct. This Code is on the web at or contact the Dean of Students, SAC W301.


Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities

Section 1. Purpose

The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities is set forth in writing in order to give students general notice of certain of their rights and responsibilities at the University of Louisville. Further rights and responsibilities are set forth in other University rules and policies, including the Code of Student Conduct, Residence Hall contracts, and academic unit bulletins. It is the students’ responsibility to be aware of all University rules and policies; students should check with the Dean of Students Office and with their academic units if they have any questions about the purposes or intent of these policies.

The University is a public educational institution for adults rather than a custodial institution. Consistent with the role of the University to educate its students and to stimulate student autonomy and independence, University regulation and supervision of student life on and off campus is limited. The University does not assume responsibility or liability for the conduct of its students; responsibility and liability for student conduct rests with the student as inherent attributes of his or her adult status, concurrently with the student’s freedom of choice regarding his or her presence at the University and his or her own conduct and associations.

Section 2. Definitions

When used in this Code:

A. The term “academic dishonesty” means obtaining or seeking to obtain an unfair academic advantage for oneself or for any other student; it includes lying, cheating, stealing, or engaging in otherwise dishonest conduct in the course of or related to any academic exercise.

B. The term “academic exercise” means a test, quiz, examination, speech, presentation, paper, field or laboratory work, or any other academic activity on which a student is evaluated.

C. The term “group” means a number of persons who are associated with each other and who have not complied with the University requirements for recognition as an organization.

D. The term “organization” means a number of persons who are associated with each other and who have complied with the University requirements for  recognition.

E. The term “student” means 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.

F. The term “student broadcast” means oral material published on a student operated radio or television station.

G. The term “student press” means either a student publication or a student broadcast.

H. The term “student publication” means written material published by a student organization.

I. The term “teacher” means any person hired by the University to conduct classroom activities. In certain situations, a person may be both “student” and “teacher.”   Determination of the person’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the surrounding circumstances.

J. The term “University” means the University of Louisville and, collectively, those responsible for its control and operation.


Section 3.

Admission and Financial Aid

All applicants for admission and financial aid to the University shall be considered without regard for race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap not affecting qualification, or political beliefs.


Section 4.

Classroom Rights and Responsibilities

A. A student shall be evaluated on demonstrated knowledge and academic performance, and not on the basis of personal or political beliefs or on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or handicap not affecting academic performance.

B. A student has freedom of inquiry, of legitimate classroom discussion, and of free expression of his or her opinion, subject to the teacher’s responsibilities to maintain order and to complete the course requirements.

C. A student is responsible for fulfilling the stated requirements of all courses in which he or she is enrolled.

D. A student has the right: 1 . to be informed in reasonable detail at the first or second class meeting about the nature of the course and to expect the course to correspond generally to its description in the appropriate University catalog or bulletin; 2. to be informed in writing and in reasonable detail at the first or second class meeting of course requirements and assignments;

3. to be informed in writing and in reasonable detail at the first or second class meeting of standards and methods used in evaluating the student’s academic performance; 4. to be informed in writing Of any necessary changes in assignments, requirements, or methods of grading during the semester with the reasons for such changes.

E. A student has the right to confidentiality in the student/teacher relationship regarding the student’s personal or political beliefs. Disclosures of a student’s personal or political beliefs, expressed in writing or in private conversation, shall not be made public without explicit permission of the student. Charges of violations of these classroom rights and responsibilities shall be handled through the appropriate academic unit level procedures.


Section 5.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is prohibited at the University of Louisville. It is a serious offense because it diminishes the quality of scholarship, makes accurate evaluation of student progress impossible, and defrauds those in society who must ultimately depend upon the knowledge and integrity of the institution and its students and faculty. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:

A. Cheating:

1 . Using or attempting to use books, notes, study aids, calculators, or any other documents, devices, or information in any academic exercise without prior authorization by the teacher.

2. Copying or attempting to copy from another person’s paper, report, laboratory work, computer program, or other work material in any academic exercise.

3. Procuring or using tests or examinations, or any other information regarding the content of a test or examination, before  the scheduled exercise without prior authorization by the teacher.

4. Unauthorized communication during any academic exercise.

5. Discussing the contents of tests or examinations with students who have not yet taken the tests or examinations if the instructor has forbidden such  discussion.

6. Sending a substitute to take one’s examination, test, or quiz, or to perform one’s field or laboratory work; acting as a substitute for another student at any examination, test, or quiz, or at a field or laboratory work assignment.

7. Conducting research or preparing work for another student, or allowing others to conduct one’s research or prepare one’s work, without prior authorization by the teacher. Except when otherwise explicitly stated by the teacher, examination questions shall become public after they have been given.

B. Fabrication:

Inventing or making up data, research results, information, or procedures, such as:

1. Inventing or making up data, research results, information, or procedures.

2. Inventing a record of any portion thereof regarding internship, clinical, or practicum experience.

C. Falsification: Altering or falsifying information, such as:

1 .Changing grade reports or other academic records.

2. Altering the record of experimental procedures, data,

or results.

3. Altering the record of or reporting false information about internship, clinical, or practicum experiences.

4. Forging someone’s signature or identification on an academic record.

5. Altering a returned examination paper in order to claim that the examination was graded erroneously.

6. Falsely citing a source of information.

D. Multiple Submission: The submission of substantial portions of the same academic work, including oral reports, for credit more than once without prior authorization by the teacher involved.

E. Plagiarism:

Representing the words or ideas of someone else as one’s own in any academic exercise, such as:

1. Submitting as one’s own a paper written by another person or by a commercial “ghost writing” service, 2. Exactly reproducing someone else’s words without identifying the words with quotation marks or by appropriate indentation, or without properly citing the quotation in a footnote or reference.

3. Paraphrasing or summarizing someone else’s work without acknowledging the source with a footnote or reference.

4. Using facts, data, graphs, charts, or other information without acknowledging the source with a footnote or reference. Borrowed facts or information obtained in one’s research or reading must be acknowledged unless they are “common knowledge”. Clear examples of “common knowledge” include the names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, and the meaning of fundamental concepts and principles in a discipline. The specific audience for which a paper is written may determine what can be viewed as “Common knowledge”: for example, the facts commonly known by a group of chemists will differ radically from those known by a more general audience. Students should check with their teachers regarding what can be viewed as “common knowledge” within a specific field or assignment, but often the student will have to make the final judgment. When in doubt, footnotes or references should be used.

F. Complicity in Academic Dishonesty: Helping or attempting to commit an academically dishonest act. The academic units may have additional guidelines regarding academic dishonesty. It is the student’s responsibility to check with their teachers and academic units to obtain those guidelines.

Section 6.

Discipline Procedures for Academic Dishonesty

Charges of academic dishonesty shall be handled through the appropriate academic unit level procedures. An academic unit that determines that a student is guilty of academic dishonesty may impose any academic punishment on the student that it sees fit, including suspension or expulsion from the academic unit. A student has no right to appeal the final decision of an academic unit. However, a student who believes that he or she has been treated unfairly, has been discriminated against, or has had his or her rights abridged by the academic unit may file a grievance with the Unit Academic Grievance Committee, pursuant to the provisions of the Student Academic Grievance Procedure; the Unit Academic Grievance Committee may not substitute its judgment on the merits for the judgment of the academic unit. An academic unit that suspends or expels a student from the academic unit because the student has been found guilty of academic dishonesty may recommend to the University Provost in writing that the student also be suspended or expelled from all other programs and academic units of the University. Within four weeks of  receiving such a recommendation, the Provost shall issue a written decision.

Neither the student nor the academic unit shall have the right to appeal the Provost’s decision. However, a student who believes that he or she has been treated unfairly, has been discriminated against, or has had his or her rights abridged by the issuance of a decision by the Provost may file a grievance with the University Student Grievance Committee, pursuant to the provisions of the Student Academic Grievance Procedure; the University Student Academic Grievance Committee may not substitute its judgment on the merits for the judgment of the Provost.


Section 7. Campus Expression

A. Students have the right of freedom of expression to the extent allowed by law.

B. Students may picket or demonstrate for a cause, subject to the following conditions:

1. The students must act in an orderly and peaceful manner.

2. The students must not in any way interfere with the proper functioning of the University.

3. Where students demonstrate in an area not traditionally used as an open public forum, the University reserves the right to make reasonable restrictions as to time, place, and manner of the student demonstrations.

C. Students may distribute written material on campus without prior approval, providing such distribution does not disrupt the operations of the University or violate University rules.

D. Students may invite to campus and hear on campus speakers of their choice on subjects of their choice; approval will not be withheld by any University official for the purpose of censorship.


Section 8. The Student Press

A. The student press is free to deal openly, fearlessly, and responsibly with issues of interest and importance to the academic community. There shall be no prior approval of student press content by the University.

B. The student press is responsible for adhering to the canons of responsible journalism and for complying with the law. Student publications and broadcasts shall not publish libelous or slanderous matter, or any other content that violates the law.

C. All student publications and broadcasts shall explicitly state that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the University or its student body.

D. Students may not be disciplined by the University for their participation with the student press except for violations of University rules that are not inconsistent with the guarantees contained herein.


Section 9. University Facilities

Appropriate University facilities shall be available to organizations within the University community for regular business meetings, for social programs, and for programs open to the public.

A. Reasonable conditions may be imposed to regulate the timeliness of requests, to determine the appropriateness of the space assigned, to regulate time and use, and to insure proper maintenance.

B. Preference may be given to programs designed for audiences consisting primarily of members of the University community.

C. Allocation of space shall be made based on priority of requests and the demonstrated needs of the organization.

D. Charges may be imposed for any unusual costs for use of facilities.

E. Physical abuse of assigned facilities may result in reasonable limitations on future allocation of space to offending parties and will require restitution of damages.

F. The organization requesting space must inform the University of the general purpose of any meeting open to persons other than members and the names of outside speakers.


Section 10. Use of University Name and Insignia

No individual, group, or organization may use the University name or insignia without the express authorization of the University except to identify the University affiliation. University approval or disapproval of any policy or issue may not be stated or implied by any individual, group, or organization.


Section 11. Campus Residence Facilities

Students have the right of privacy in campus residence facilities.

A. Nothing in the University relationship or residence hall contract may expressly or implicitly give the institution or residence hall officials authority to consent to search of a student’s room or residence by police or other law enforcement officials unless they have obtained a search warrant.

B. The University reserves the right to enter a student’s room in a residence hall or a student’s apartment in a campus residence:

1. in emergencies where imminent danger to life, safety, health, or property is reasonably feared;

2. to make necessary repairs, improvements, or alterations in the facility;

3. to provide necessary pest control services;

4. to inspect the facility as deemed necessary by the University.


Section 12. Student Records

The privacy and confidentiality of all student records shall be preserved in accordance with applicable laws. The University shall establish and adhere to a clear and definitive records policy.


Section 13. Campus Organizations

Organizations and groups may be established within the University for any legal purpose. Affiliation with an extramural organization shall not, in itself, disqualify the University branch or chapter from University privileges. A group shall become a formally recognized organization through procedures established by the Student Government Association, upon approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

A. Groups of a continuing nature must institute proceedings for formal recognition if they are to receive benefits from the University.

B. Recognition of an organization by the University infers neither approval nor disapproval of the aims, objectives, and policies of the organization, nor liability for the actions of the organization.

C. Membership in all University related organizations shall be open to any member of the University community who is willing to subscribe to the stated aims and meet the stated obligations of the organization, provided such aims and obligations are lawful.

D. Membership lists are confidential and solely for the use of the organization, except that names and addresses of current organization officers shall be reported to the University as a condition of continuing University recognition.

E. Any organization that engages in activities either on or off campus that are illegal or contrary to any University policy may have sanctions imposed against it, including withdrawal of University recognition.


Section 14. Promulgation of University Rules Affecting Students

Rules and Policies affecting the students shall be published in Student Handbook, in the appropriate University bulletins, or in any other appropriate publication prior to their enforcement. Included in the Student Handbook are the following: Academic Grievance Procedure, Code of Student Conduct, Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Policy on Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages for Recognized Student Organizations, Hazing and Initiation Activities Policy, Non-academic Grievance Policy and the Sexual Harassment Policy. Copies of the Student Handbook are available from the Dean of Students Office.

Plagiarism Prevention 

Instructors may use a range of strategies (including plagiarism-prevention software at the university) to compare student works with private and public information resources in order to identify possible plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Comparisons of student works may require submitting a copy of the original work to the plagiarism-prevention service. The service may retain that copy in some circumstances.  Academic units or programs may establish a more rigorous standard of review or consent, which will be noted in the relevant guidelines.

Student Handbook

Other polices and information for students can be found in the Student Handbook.


Privacy of Student Records

The University of Louisville hereby notifies students concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. 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 and other FERPA information can be obtained from the University Archives and Records Center,

Ekstrom Library and at

Questions concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be referred to the Director, University Archives and Records Center.


Drug-Free Schools and Campuses

The Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations (commonly called Part 86 of EDGAR) 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.

The following is the University of Louisville’s Drug-Free Schools Notice: 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.


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:

(i) distribution, possession, or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance without legal authorization;

(ii) providing alcoholic beverages to individuals under 21 years of age, or possession of alcoholic beverages by individuals under 21 years of age; or

(iii) 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 1 1.1 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 resources center. For further information, call 852-6585. Services for faculty and staff are available through the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program. For further information, call (502) 852-6543.


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