The University of Chicago is a community of scholars dedicated to research, academic excellence, and the pursuit and cultivation of learning.
Every member of the University - student, faculty, and staff - makes a commitment to strive for personal and academic integrity; to treat others with dignity and respect; to honor the rights and property of others; to take responsibility for individual and group behavior; and to act as a responsible citizen in a free academic community and in the larger society.
The Divinity School aspires to be a community in which the commitments of a free academic community are upheld and in which students and faculty cultivate excellent relations. Students should bring concerns about an academic matter forward in a timely manner, and the concern should be responded to as expeditiously as is feasible. Academic matters include but are not limited to such matters as course grades, teaching assignments, publication rights, timely feedback on academic work, timeliness of letters of recommendation, and application of policies and practices.
Students with a question about a grade received in a course should consult with the instructor first. All other questions may be brought to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will consult with the student about the various policies and procedures that exist to address his/her concern. Students should realize that faculty members have the authority to assess the academic performance of their students. Under normal circumstances, only the instructor who gave the course, examination or evaluation has the authority to change the assessment of the student’s performance. Similarly, the evaluation of students’ academic progress and standing in the program is the prerogative of the Divinity School faculty. Students should consult the Divinity School’s Announcements, for policies regarding requirements, standards for satisfactory academic progress, and applicable area guidelines that apply to PhD students in a given area of study.
Based on the conversation with the relevant faculty member, the student may have a grievance: a real or imagined wrong or other cause for complaint or protest, especially unfair treatment.
Students with a grievance should bring it to the attention of the Dean of Students. If the grievance concerns the Dean of Students, the student should bring it to the attention of the Dean. In case of a grievance related to academic assessment brought by a student about an instructor for a course grade or the area faculty for academic progress, the resolution process addresses whether the assessment was made impartially, solely based on academic performance and conducted using standard procedures. For grievances related to other academic matters, the resolution process addresses whether the established policies and practices were appropriately applied.
The Dean of Students will meet with the student to discuss the grievance. If the student wishes to file a formal grievance, the Dean of Students will ask the student to submit the grievance in writing. The Dean of Students will consult as appropriate with other faculty and/or the Dean to review the student grievance. The student should submit the grievance, along with any supporting materials to the Dean of Students. The dean of students will review the written materials, and may ask the student for clarification. As part of the initial review, the Dean of Students may consult with the course instructor, student academic advisor, area chair or program director (Director of Ministry Studies or Director of MA Studies), and the academic dean. The Dean may delegate resolution of the matter to the Dean of Students based on existing Divinity School policies or the authority placed with the Dean of Students per University and Divinity School policy.
Based on the outcome of this review, the Dean of Students may recommend that the Dean convene a Grievance Review Committee, comprised of Divinity School faculty, the members of which are appointed by the Dean. The Dean of Students attends the Review Committee meeting as a non-voting member. The Dean of Students will discuss the outcome of the Committee’s review in a meeting with the student and follow up in writing.
Students with questions about the procedures may contact the Dean of Students.
Students may also avail themselves of the Office of the Student Ombudsperson to resolve a concern.
Complaints about sexual harassment or discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law are addressed under the University’s unlawful discrimination and harassment policy. For more information, please see http://studentmanual.uchicago.edu/unlawful.
Complaints about student conduct involving possible violation of University policies and regulations and other breaches of standards of behavior expected of University students should be brought promptly to the attention of the Dean of Students of the academic area of the accused student. For more information on these policies, please see: http://studentmanual.uchicago.edu/university.
The policies below govern academics and student life both at the Divinity School and the wider University of Chicago. Questions on these policies should be directed to the Dean of Students in the Divinity School.
The Divinity School's annual policy manual, The Announcements, can be accessed in full online at http://divinityannouncements.uchicago.edu/.
The University of Chicago's Student Manual can be accessed in full online at http://studentmanual.uchicago.edu.