- Equal Opportunity Policy
- I. University-wide Regulations
- University Principles of General Conduct and Regulations
- Health and Safety Policies
- Resolution of Complaints and Grievances
- The Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC)
- II. Students and the University
- III. The University and the Community
I. University-wide Regulations (cont.)
Resolution of Complaints and Grievances
The University encourages open and honest communication between members of the community. Most conflict and differences of opinion can be resolved by the individuals directly confronting issues and jointly exploring alternatives. In addition, there are a variety of resources available to individuals who may be called upon to assist in informal conflict resolution. These are, in the case of students and faculty: The Dean of the Faculty, Dean of Undergraduate Students, and Dean of the Graduate School and, in the case of staff: the supervisor’s supervisor or department head; the Human Resources Representative, the Employee Assistance Program counselor. Additional resources include: the SHARE counselor for cases relating to sexual harassment; the Associate Provost, who is the University Affirmative Action Officer, for problems relating to discrimination; and the University Ombudsperson.
In cases where conflicts cannot be mutually resolved, the University has established formal grievance procedures. For further information, students should consult the Orange Pages. Faculty, administrators, and staff should consult their relevant policy manuals.
An undergraduate student with a grievance should first bring it to the attention of the faculty member(s) involved. If the grievance cannot be resolved in this way, the student should discuss the matter with the chairperson of the relevant department. If the student feels that a satisfactory resolution has not been found, he or she may present the grievance to the Dean of the College. The Dean of the College resolves all aspects of the complaint unless he or she determines that the grievance raises issues of faculty misconduct, in which case he or she should refer those portions of the complaint to the Dean of the Faculty. The Dean of the Faculty renders a decision about issues of faculty misconduct and may, in his or her discretion, choose to appoint a special committee of faculty to advise with regard to resolution of those issues. (A graduate student with a grievance should consult the procedures on pages 71–72.)
Nonacademic Matters Involving Students
Normally, an alleged infringement upon the rights or sensibilities of an individual, including complaints of discrimination, by an undergraduate or graduate student should first be discussed with that student. If this is not possible, or does not lead to a satisfactory resolution, the matter should be brought to the attention of the Dean or an Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students or the Dean of the Graduate School. If the matter is not resolved through discussion or through formal action by a dean, a complaint can be made in accordance with the normal disciplinary procedures (see page 64), or, in cases of alleged infringement by graduate students, to the Dean of the Graduate School (see page 69).
Nonacademic Matters Involving Undergraduate Student Organizations
A grievance should first be brought to the attention of the Dean or an Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students. If the grievance cannot be settled in this way, appeal may be made to the Faculty Committee on Undergraduate Life in accordance with procedures set out in Rules and Procedures of the Faculty, and to the appropriate Faculty Advisory Committee.
Nonacademic Matters Regarding Faculty, Staff, or Administration
Normally, an individual who has any concern about, or complaint against, a member of the faculty, staff, or administration regarding nonacademic matters, including complaints of discrimination, should first discuss the concern or complaint with the individual involved. If this is not possible, or does not lead to a satisfactory resolution, the person should, in the case of a faculty member, appeal to the department chair and, in the case of a member of the University staff or administration, to the head of the office. Further appeal, if necessary, may then be made to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty for matters pertaining to faculty, professional library staff, and professional research and technical staff, or to the Human Resources region manager or to the Ombudsperson for all other staffs. All complaints will be investigated promptly.
If the matter is such that a direct discussion of it with the individual involved and/or with his or her department chair or office head does not seem appropriate (because, for example, the concern or complaint is of a personal or private nature), an initial discussion may be sought directly with the Dean of the Faculty or the Human Resources regional manager as appropriate.
Concerns or complaints about nonacademic matters can often be resolved on an informal basis. Whenever an individual wishes to make a formal complaint, however, he or she should review the appropriate staff rules or handbook and then contact the Office of the Dean of the Faculty or Human Resources to implement the formal review process.
Matters Involving Sexual Harassment or Assault or Racial or Ethnic Bias or Harassment
In cases of alleged sexual harassment or assault—defined on page 4—the complainant may wish to discuss the problem, in confidence, with a member of the Sexual Harassment and Assault Advising Resources and Education (SHARE) Office. In cases of alleged racial or ethnic bias or harassment—defined on page 4—the complainant may wish first to discuss the problem with the University Ombudsperson. In addition, other administrators, specifically designated to handle these matters, are available in such offices as: Dean of the Faculty, Dean of the Graduate School, Dean of the College, Dean of Undergraduate Students and Human Resources. A list of the names, campus addresses and telephone numbers of these administrators is distributed in the beginning of each academic year to all members of the University community by the SHARE Office and the University Ombuds Office. These administrators have been selected for their sensitivity to the needs of the diverse population of the University community. They are prepared to offer support and advice about established policies and procedures for dealing with matters of sexual or racial harassment. Other resources available to members of the University community who wish to discuss their concerns about sexual or racial harassment include: the staff of the Counseling Center at University Health Services, any member of the offices of the Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life, the directors of the Women’s Center, the Fields Center, the International Center, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Center, and the masters and directors of studies of the residential colleges. For more information, consult the brochures distributed by the SHARE office or the Ombuds Office.
If a matter involving alleged racial or ethnic harassment or sexual harassment or assault by an undergraduate or graduate student is not resolved through discussion, then a complaint may be made to the Dean of Undergraduate Students or the Dean of the Graduate School who may refer the matter to the appropriate disciplinary committee or person for action. In cases of alleged infringement by members of the faculty or other academic staff members (professional library staff, professional research staff or professional technical staff), complaints may be made to the Dean of the Faculty; in cases of alleged infringement by members of the administrative and support staff, complaints may be made to the Vice President for Human Resources. The Vice President for Human Resources or the Dean of the Faculty may forward matters involving sexual harassment to the Secretary of the Faculty/Staff Sexual Harassment Panel for action.
Protection Against Retaliation
Since community members are encouraged to use University grievance procedures when they believe that they have been unfairly treated or harassed, it is critical that there be no retaliation against an individual who gives information or appears before a formal review panel. Retaliation will not be tolerated and will be subject to University disciplinary procedures.
Appeals Regarding Procedural Unfairness in Initial Proceedings
The Judicial Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community may, in accordance with the Charter of the Council, hear procedural appeals from the Committee on Discipline and nonacademic decisions of the Dean of the Graduate School. Rules and Procedures of the Faculty provides that the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy may hear appeals from decisions of faculty committees made on academic grounds which directly affect a student’s academic standing and for which appeal is not otherwise provided.