Removal of Graduate Faculty Status
(approved by the Graduate Council, April 20, 2005)
A member of the Graduate Faculty of the University of Georgia may have their graduate faculty status removed before the end of their current appointment or reappointment period, provided that the Institution has complied with procedural due process for requirements. Graduate faculty status may be removed when a faculty member fails to fulfill the responsibilities of a member of the Graduate Faculty to teach graduate student(s) effectively, in a civil, professionally appropriate manner, to do scholarly research and creative work of high quality, and to direct the research of graduate student(s) so that they progress toward graduation in a timely manner appropriate to the field. Failure to teach graduate students effectively and/or to direct the research of graduate student(s) also includes, but is not limited to, abuse of power, intimidation and harassment, and violation of work place violence policies.
Graduate School criteria indicative of the ability to fulfill these responsibilities can be found in the Rationale section of the Graduate Faculty Procedures.
- When a graduate student or faculty member has a complaint about the performance or behavior of a member of faculty directly related to their responsibilities as a member of the Graduate Faculty the first course of action should be to try to resolve the complaint directly with the faculty member.
- If the student/faculty member is unable to resolve the complaint with the member of graduate faculty then an oral or written complaint should be delivered to the Unit Head(*) and/or the Department Graduate Coordinator(*).
- The Unit Head and/or Graduate Coordinator must investigate the complaint and work with the student/faculty member making the complaint (complainant) and the member of Graduate Faculty to attempt to resolve the issue.
- The Unit Head and/or Graduate Coordinator must provide a written summary to the complainant and to the graduate faculty member against whom the complaint was made of the outcome of their investigation of the complaint and of the recommendations made to resolve the issue. A copy of this letter will be placed in the personnel file of the Graduate Faculty member.
- If the Unit Head and/or Graduate Coordinator are unable to resolve the issue then they must appoint a committee to investigate the complaint. The committee will consist of at least three members of the Graduate Faculty from the same department.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the resolutions provided by the Unit Head and/or the Graduate Coordinator then they can make a written request to the Unit Head and/or Graduate Coordinator for the formation of a Departmental Committee to investigate the complaint. A committee consisting of at least three members of the Graduate Faculty must be appointed in response to this request.
- The appointed committee must convene to review the complaint and to meet with all affected parties and provide a written assessment to the Unit Head and/or Graduate Coordinator with recommendations for necessary action. A copy of this letter will also be provided to the complainant and the graduate faculty member against whom the complaint has been made and a copy will be placed in the personnel file of the Graduate Faculty member.
- In response to the recommendation from the Committee the Unit Head and/or Graduate Coordinator may initiate procedures for re-evaluation of the graduate faculty status of the faculty member against whom the complaint has been made.
- Departmental Graduate Faculty will review and vote on the graduate faculty status of the faculty member and shall follow Appointment and Reappointment procedures for recommendation to the Graduate Faculty including consideration of all documentation associated with the complaint.
- The outcome of the faculty vote together with a letter from the Unit Head and/or Graduate Coordinator and all documentation associated with the complaint will be forwarded to the Dean of the Unit.
- The Dean of the Unit will forward this information together with a letter of recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School.
- The Dean of the Graduate School will forward the information for review by the Appointment and Reappointment Committee of Graduate Council. The committee will provide a recommendation to the Dean who will render a final decision and notify all parties as to the resolution of the matter. If the decision results in removal of Graduate Faculty status then the Dean of the Graduate School will work with the academic unit to develop a plan of action that will allow the faculty member to reapply for Graduate Faculty status.
- If Graduate Faculty status is removed, the faculty member has the right to make an appeal against the decision to the Provost. This appeal must be made in writing within 14 days of the Dean of the Graduate School providing notification of the removal of Graduate Faculty status.
All investigations into complaints against Graduate Faculty must be dealt with expeditiously and normally there should be no more than 30 days between the presentation of the complaint and resolution of a complaint or, if necessary, a vote by the departmental Graduate Faculty on the graduate faculty status of the faculty member against whom the complaint was made. If efforts are ongoing to informally resolve the complaint, the Unit Head and/or Graduate Coordinator may extend the time for formal review of the complaint.
Both the faculty member and the complainant have the right to seek the advice of an attorney but attorneys are not authorized to participate in the dispute resolution process.
Students and faculty members who, in good faith, report what they believe to be a valid complaint, or who cooperate in any investigation, will not be subjected to retaliation. Any student or faculty member who believes he or she has been the victim of retaliation for making a complaint or cooperating in an investigation should immediately contact the Unit Head and/or Graduate Coordinator. Any person found to have retaliated against a person who has cooperated in an investigation will be in violation of this policy and will be subject to disciplinary action.