In Autumn 2022, all graduate divisions and schools implemented new grievance policies that align with the University Grievance Policy for Graduate Students. These policies arise from recommendations made by the Committee on Graduate Education and the subsequent Graduate Grievance Policies and Process Committee.

Grievance policies place a strong emphasis on resolving conflicts through informal methods such as collaborative dialogue and reporting. Each unit’s policy provides options for informal resolution and information about individuals and offices that can support students as they work to address complaints and concerns.

In addition to informal options for resolution, all policies establish formal grievance procedures. Formal resolution can be pursued should informal resolution be ineffective and the student’s concern involves a question of abuse of authority by UChicago faculty, other academic appointee, postdoctoral researcher, or staff member. Please review your division or school’s policy for more information.

The Associate Director of Graduate Student Affairs, Amanda Young, serves as a campus-wide resource for students on issues related to grievance policy and procedures. Please email or to make an appointment for individual advising or to ask any questions.

The Associate Director can:

  • Listen to student concerns
  • Collaborate with students to think about options for resolution
  • Address questions and concerns about privacy, confidentiality, and retaliation
  • Review campus resources that can provide support
  • Discuss and answer questions about abuse of authority
  • Explain options for reporting
  • Answer questions about grievance policy and formal grievance procedures
  • Provide referrals to other campus offices if the concern or complaint is outside the purview of grievance policy

Common student concerns include:

  • Navigating challenges in advising relationships
  • Handling difficult conversations with faculty
  • Concerns about academic programs
  • Questions about policies and resources

Grievance policy does not cover all types of student concerns. If you have a question about the following issues, please consult with the appropriate office:

Allegation of sexual harassment, misconduct and unlawful discrimination are addressed exclusively under the University’s Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct and Policy on Title IX Sexual Harassment. More information about these policies and options for reporting and support are available through the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs.

Complaints about student conduct involving possible violation of University policies and regulations and other breaches of standards of behavior should be brought to the attention of the student’s Dean of Students. For more information, please see University Disciplinary Systems and Disciplinary System for Disruptive Conduct.

Issues related to the conduct of members of the University of Chicago Police Department should be directed to the University’s Safety & Security Complaint Process.

Additional Resources for Conflict Resolution

The individuals and offices listed below are available to assist students and discuss options for approaching informal resolution.

The Dean of Students in each division and school can meet with students to discuss their individual situation, provide an overview of grievance procedures, and offer guidance on options for informal resolution.

Student Ombuds Office serves as a peer resource to assist students in the resolution of conflicts, concerns, and other problems that they may encounter through the course of University life. The Student Ombuds Office provides individual consultation and write reports to the campus community identifying recurring student concerns.

Students can seek guidance on resolution from individuals within their departments, including a Director of Graduate Studies, Department Chair, Program Director, faculty adviser, or Graduate Program Administrator.

Some departments may also have local peer resources such as departmental ombudspersons, student-faculty committees, or other student representatives who can bring concerns to area leadership.

Sounding Board is a UChicagoGRAD resource for helping graduate students negotiate work/life balance issues, navigate relationships, and create strategies for having difficult conversations with peers, faculty, and others.

Confidential Resources

The Student Ombuds Office is a neutral party who can give informal and confidential assistance in resolving University-related concerns. The only exception to confidentiality is in the case of imminent risk of serious harm as determined by the student ombuds, where mandated by law, and in situations of Title IX or sexual misconduct/gender-based harassment matters.

Counselors at Student Wellness can provide critical, confidential support services to students navigating all manner of academic and personal challenges.

Members of the clergy can offer confidentiality in their support of students seeking help with conflict resolution and other challenging situations.

Please note that students who would like to speak with a confidential resource about an issue related to sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking are encouraged to review information about such resources available through the Office of the Provost Equal Opportunity Programs.