The Health Science Center provides the opportunity for students to file a grievance for academic and non-academic type complaints. Both academic and non-academic grievance processes are managed by the Dean of the school in which the student is enrolled.
The student grievance policy is based on authority delegated by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Grievance policies for academic and non-academic matters are administered by each school. The student appeal process for academic and non-academic matters resides in the school of student enrollment. The Dean of the school in which the student is enrolled has the responsibility to hear final appeals and to make the final decision.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
For purposes of this policy the terms Complaint and Grievance may be used synonymously.
The Executive Director, Academic, Faculty, and Student Ombudsperson and ADA Compliance is the designated ombudsperson and can provide unofficial, confidential consultation about a student’s rights, responsibilities, and options.
The Assistant or Associate Dean is the position that oversees student affairs in each school.
An Informal Grievance allows a student to pursue a resolution on an unofficial basis with the guidance of his/her Assistant or Associate Dean.
The Formal Grievance procedure is intended to provide a student with an opportunity to formally grieve any perceived act, omission, or issue of a nonacademic nature which adversely affects a student.
An Academic Grievance is a complaint regarding an academic decision or action that affects a student’s academic record.
A student may file a Non-Academic Grievance against another student, faculty or staff of the Health Science Center concerning the interpretation, application, or claimed violation of his/her rights.
Nonacademic Grievances for Distance Education Students
The Health Science Center desires to resolve student grievances, complaints and concerns in an expeditious, fair and amicable manner. Students enrolled in the Health Science Center who desire to resolve a grievance should follow the Health Science Center’s Student Grievance Procedure as stated in our catalog. However, if an issue cannot be resolved internally, a complaint may be filed with the appropriate state regulatory agency where the instruction is provided and/or the accrediting agency for the Health Science Center. Students attending the Health Science Center in face-to-face classes should file complaints with the appropriate state of Texas agency and not with the regulatory agency of their state of residency.
The University of Texas System provides to its students and prospective students contact information for filing complaints with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, its accrediting agency, and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student’s instruction and/or residence state. Student Grievance Contact Information for individual States including phone numbers, emails and/or links to state regulatory agencies can be found by visiting the University of Texas System Online Consortium, Contacts for Student Complaints.
Student Academic Grievance Procedures
Each school at the Health Science Center has a defined academic and non-academic grievance policy to meet the needs of its students. Please refer to the school specific section information:
- School of Nursing: nursing.uthscsa.edu
- School of Medicine: som.uthscsa.edu
- School of Health Professions: uthscsa.edu/shp
- School of Dentistry: uthscsa.edu/academics/dental
- Graduate School Biomedical Sciences: gsbs.uthscsa.edu
Student Nonacademic Grievance Procedure
A student filing a nonacademic grievance should provide the following information: relevant names, locations, dates, witnesses and description of the incident(s) that occurred. If the accused individual is a Health Science Center employee, the employee’s immediate supervisor receives the written grievance.
Procedure for Nonacademic Grievance
A grievance, formal or informal, must be filed with the school of enrollment, within 10 business days of the alleged incident.
If an informal grievance is not resolved, the student has an additional five business days to file a formal written grievance.
In both a formal and informal grievance process, the pertinent school’s assistant or associate dean has 30 days to investigate, research, and attempt to resolve the issue.
If the student is not satisfied with the results of the investigation, an appeal to the dean of her/his school within five business days after official notice is given.
The Dean has an additional seven business days to make a decision. The decision of the Dean is final for the institution.
The Vice President of Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs will only hear appeals based on procedural violations.
In certain circumstances, The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) will investigate student complaints. Please see the THECB section below for more information.
Americans with Disabilities Act
In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the grievance procedures described in this document should be followed for complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability.
No qualified student shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any academic program or activity at the Health Science Center. If a student feels he/she has been subject to discrimination a complaint should be filed with the Executive Director, Academic, Faculty, and Student Ombudsperson and ADA Compliance.
Sexual Misconduct and Civil Rights Violations
Complaints alleging sexual assault and/or sexual harassment should be addressed in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth in the Handbook of Operating Procedures Section 4.2.2. For all other Title VII complaints refer to the Handbook of Operating Procedures Section 4.2.1: “Nondiscrimination Policy and Complaint Procedure.”
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
If a student exhausts the Health Science Center grievance process, a complaint may be filed to The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. More information on the types of complaints it investigates, processes, and the complaint form can be accessed on The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website.