Academic appeals include those appeals related to grades and academic programs or degree requirements. Specific instructions are provided below for each type of academic appeal. In all instances, the School of Health Professions requires that every attempt be made to resolve such disputes informally though discussion among all relevant parties prior to initiating formal procedures.
All appeals relating to specific course grades require that students first seek a satisfactory solution with their primary course instructor. The student should request a conference with the program director within 14 days after the posting of grades on UTLINK. If this is not possible or the program director cannot be reached, the student must send a written statement to the Dean of the School of Health Professions detailing the grounds for the appeal. The Dean must receive this written request within 21 days from the calendar date that the grade was posted.
If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student after meeting with the program director, he or she may submit a written appeal to the Dean within seven calendar days of the conference. The Dean will then initiate the appropriate procedures to review the appeal. The student will be notified in writing of the decision. The Dean's decision is final on all grade appeals.
Appeals of Academic Program or Degree Requirements
All appeals relating to a specific program require that students first seek a satisfactory solution with their Program Director. In the event that a satisfactory solution cannot be reached with the Program Director, the student must submit a written petition to the Dean of the School of Health Professions detailing the grounds for the appeal. Following are examples of student appeals:
- Petitions pertaining to the general education requirements and/or general university requirements.
- Petitions requesting that transferred elective credit be accepted for degree requirements. These petitions must be accompanied by a catalog copy of the course description(s).
The Dean's response to the petition will be communicated to the student in writing. The student may appeal this decision by writing to the Dean within 15 working days of notification. The Dean's decision after considering the appeal is final.
Any student who has a nonacademic grievance concerning the interpretation, application or claimed violation of his or her rights as a University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center School of Health Professions student or who feels that he or she has been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of age, color, disability, family status, gender, national origin, race, religion, veteran status, or sexual orientation has the opportunity to seek resolution of such grievance.
This policy also may include any official publication of the School of Health Professions that may be perceived to be misleading or a misrepresentation of the facts. In cases where the complaint is related to official publications, the complaints may be submitted to the Dean in writing at any time. If the complaint cannot be resolved by the Dean, appeals may be made to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (SVPAA). If there is still no resolution to the complaint, final appeal may be made to the Provost and Executive Vice President (Provost and EVP) of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The student nonacademic grievance procedure may be handled through the mediation of designated officers of the school or through other grievance procedures specific to various acts or issues.
- Student program and student activity-related grievances should be submitted in writing to the director or coordinator of the specific program. Appeals must be in writing and may be directed to the Dean and then to the SVPAA for final disposition.
- In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) the grievance procedures described in this document should be followed for complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability. No qualified student shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any academic program or activity at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center School of Health Professions.
- Complaints alleging sexual assault and/or sexual harassment should be addressed in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth in the Health Professions Student Catalog.
Procedure for Informal Resolution
A student who feels that he or she is a victim of harassment or discrimination or who feels that his or her rights as a student have been violated may attempt to resolve the matter informally through a conference with the Dean or through the MD Anderson Ombuds Office, 713-792-4896.
The informal discussion(s) or conference(s) should be conducted not more than 30 calendar days from the date the student knew or should have known of the offensive act or issue. If an informal resolution is not forthcoming, the student must file a formal written grievance not more than 30 calendar days from the date that he or she knew or should have known of the offensive act or issue.
Procedure for Formal Resolution
This procedure is intended to provide students with an opportunity to formally grieve any perceived act, omission, or issue of a nonacademic nature which adversely affects the grieving student and for which no other grievance or appeals procedure is provided in The University of Texas System or in the policies or procedures of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center School of Health Professions.
- The formal written grievance should be initiated as soon as possible.
If the student chooses not to attempt informal resolution of a grievance, he or she must file a formal written grievance not more than 30 calendar days from the date that he or she knew or should have known of the offensive act or issue.
If the student attempts informal resolution and then chooses to file a formal written grievance, he or she must file the written grievance within five working days from the last informal attempt at resolution. If the student does not use the informal resolution, then the formal written grievance must be filed not more than 30 calendar days from the date the student knew or should have known of the offensive act or issue.
- The student may file the written grievance, setting out a complete description of the grievance and the proposed remedy.
If the accused individual is a School of Health Professions employee, the employee’s immediate supervisor receives the written grievance. The Dean can assist students in identifying the accused individual’s supervisor so that the written grievance may be filed with the appropriate person.
If the accused individual is a student, the written grievance is given to the appropriate Program Director of the student.
Where the grievance does not involve an individual, the grievance may be filed with the administrator responsible for the program issue or issues involved. Copies of the grievance will be made available to the student who has filed the grievance, the director of his or her program, the individual accused of the act or omission that is the subject of the grievance, and the accused individual’s supervisor and the administrator to whom the grievance is presented.
- The administrator hearing the grievance may, at his or her discretion, hold discussions with or without the accused to hear and resolve the grievance, schedule a meeting between the student and the party accused, and/or involve other parties in facilitating a resolution of the grievance. The administrator has 10 working days from receipt of the written grievance to resolve the grievance, after which time the student, if not satisfied, may appeal to the Dean of the school. If the student wishes to have an alternate hearing officer, his or her request must be submitted in writing to the Dean or to the SVPAA not more than five calendar days from notification of the hearing.
- If the decision of the grievance officer is to affirm the grievance, any resulting directive to the accused must be presented in writing and must be pursuant to a meeting between the accused and his or her supervisor. Denial of the grievance must also be in presented in writing.
- Within five working days of the student's receipt of the decision of the Dean, the student may appeal the Dean's decision to the SVPAA. If no decision is rendered by the Dean within 14 working days from the delivery of the written grievance to the Dean, the written grievance and grievance record may be sent by the student to the SVPAA. The SVPAA may take whatever action is deemed appropriate.
- Within five working days of the student's receipt of the decision of the SVPAA, the student may appeal the SVPAA decision to the Provost and EVP of MD Anderson. The Provost and EVP may take whatever action is deemed appropriate.
- The decision of the Provost and EVP of MD Anderson is final.