The Grievance Committee allows students to seek resolution of complaints about faculty actions or policies, which could not be resolved by direct methods.  Under most circumstances, appeal to this committee is not an appropriate initial step in dealing with problems in the program.  Before filing a grievance, students are encouraged to express their concerns and dissatisfactions to the faculty members involved.  An issue involving possible sexual harassment, however, can be brought directly to the committee.  All committee matters will be treated as confidential to the extent possible and all parties to the action will be so advised.  Please note, however, that such matters may not be privileged communication in the eyes of a court of law.

When a complaint is filed, the committee will gather information from the relevant student(s) and faculty member(s), and will present written findings of its investigation and its recommendation(s) to the program directors.  If the grievance is filed against one or both of the directors, the Steering Committee will appoint a replacement(s) for the director(s) to administer the grievance process.  In all other instances, the program directors will respond to the findings and recommendations of the Grievance Committee.  If a majority of the members are not satisfied with this response, the committee will notify the directors that it plans to appeal to the appropriate dean(s).  The directors will not prevent such an appeal, but can request a brief delay while they make a second effort to resolve the problem.  If a majority of members remain dissatisfied, the committee will appeal in writing to the graduate school dean(s), and their decision will be binding.

The committee will be composed of three permanent members, including one faculty member from each university appointed by the program directors, and one student elected by the student body.  In addition, the student(s) filing the grievance may appoint a fourth ad hoc committee member (from program faculty or students) as an advocate during the proceedings.  All four members will have full voting rights.  The program directors, and members of the Steering Committee may not serve on the Grievance Committee.  If a committee member is named in a complaint, s/he will be replaced on the committee by the appropriate director until final disposition of the matter is made.  Membership on the committee is for an indefinite term.  All participants in a grievance procedure are required to maintain confidentiality regarding matters before the committee. Records of formal written complaints will be kept in the locked student file room, in a locked filing cabinet.  Both the student file room and the filing cabinet have extremely limited key access.

Note:  The grievance procedures of the Joint Doctoral Program may not supersede grievance procedures of the university that students may choose to exercise.

Current membership includes:

  • Gregory Aarons (UC San Diego)
  • Joseph Price (SDSU)
  • Shadi Gholizadeh (Student)