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University of California Santa Barbara

Procedures for Appeal for Graduate Student Disputes with Graduate Committees

From time to time disagreements about decisions, deadlines, policies, procedures, and issues of academic judgment may arise between a student and member of a thesis or dissertation committee. As in all such disputes, involved parties should, in the spirit of collegiality, attempt to resolve these issues internally.

  1. A student should, therefore, first meet with the chair of the committee (usually her or his advisor) in an effort to resolve the dispute. If the student feels that she or he is unable to do this or if areas of disagreement still remain after this meeting, a written appeal describing the situation and requesting involvement should be addressed within 14 days to the department chair. If the chair is a member of the committee, appeal should be made to the Graduate Advisor, or if a conflict of interest is also present there, to the chair of the committee responsible for departmental graduate affairs.
  2. The department should act to resolve the issue, or declare it unresolvable, and inform the student in writing within 30 days.
  3. If the dispute cannot be resolved within the department, or if the student finds the department's resolution unacceptable, the student may appeal to the Graduate Division Dean, who will attempt further resolution. This appeal must be made in writing within 14 days of the department's decision.
  4. If the Graduate Division Dean is unable to resolve the dispute to the parties' satisfaction within 30 days, the graduate student has 14 days to submit a written appeal to Graduate Council. Graduate Council must inform the student of its decision within 30 days. In this area, decisions of the Graduate Council are final.