Website Navigation for Screen Readers

Academic Grievance Policy: Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

Policy Statement

Johns Hopkins University seeks to provide a supportive educational, training, and professional environment. The University provides several avenues of redress for students and postdoctoral fellows who believe they have been adversely affected in their professional or educational activities as a result of an arbitrary or capricious act, or failure to act, or a violation of a University, division, school, or center procedure or regulation by their supervisor, department chair, center director, or other administrator or administrative body. The University encourages individuals involved in such disputes to resolve the matter informally. This Policy is only to be used to resolve serious matters which meet the definition of a “grievable” matter and cannot be resolved through informal discussions or processes, and is only to be applied after reasonable efforts have been made to settle the dispute informally.

Review the full policy in the JHU Policy and Document Library.

What is a Grievable Matter

  • A “grievable” matter is a complaint that a Grievant has been directly and adversely affected in his/ her education, training, or professional activities as a result of an arbitrary and capricious act, or failure to act, or a violation of University or School policy or procedure by the University, School, or anyone acting officially on behalf of the University or School, other than the matters exempted below.
  • A matter is considered grievable under this policy only if the nature of the complaint is not covered by any other established University or Division policy or procedure.

What is Not a Grievable Matter

The following matters are not grievable and are specifically excluded from consideration under this Policy:

  • Complaints alleging discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or other legally protected characteristic; sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking; or that are otherwise within the purview of the University’s Office of Institutional Equity (“OIE”). Grievants with such complaints are to be referred to OIE.
  • Complaints pertaining to general levels of salary, fringe benefits, or other broad areas of financial management and staffing.
  • Complaints pertaining to subject matter within the purview of another University or School policy or procedure. For example, disputes involving grades, promotions, disciplinary action, and matters covered by other Johns Hopkins University policies are not grievable.
  • Complaints, whose resolution or remedy would conflict with a University, division, school, or center policy, a policy of The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation (or its subsidiaries), federal, state, or local law or regulation, or any contract to which the University or the School is a party.
  • Complaints outside the scope of a Grievant’s educational, training, or professional activities or institutional activities or responsibilities.

Submit an Academic Grievance Here

Frequently Asked Questions

I think my professor graded my assignment unfairly. I have appealed my grade. Can I file a grievance too?

No. Grade appeals are covered by another University or School policy or procedure. Therefore, they are not “grievable matters” under this policy. The exception would be if your grade appeal is completed and you believe that the University or School did not follow its grade appeal policy correctly. You may file a grievance regarding the potential violation of policy but not about the grade.

My lab supervisor made a statement about my race that made me uncomfortable. I don’t want to work with him anymore. Should I file a grievance?

No. Complaints alleging discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex, gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or other legally protected characteristic; sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, are within the purview of the University’s Office of Institutional Equity (OIE). Your complaint should be directed to OIE.

Should I contact the Institutional Grievance Officer (IGO) or School Grievance Officer (SGO) before filing?

There is no need to contact the IGO or SGO before you file your grievance unless you have specific questions about the process. All grievances submitted through this site are reviewed by the IGO and/or SGO within 30 days of submission. The IGO or SGO will contact you regarding the submission within 120 days to inform you of next steps. If you have general questions about the Grievance Policy or process, you can also email us at academicgrievance@jhu.edu.

Can  I appeal the decision made about my grievance?

Typically, no. The Dean’s decision, informed by the Grievance Committee’s recommendation, is final and binding. You can only appeal the finding on one of the following grounds:

  • Procedural error that could have substantially affected the determination of responsibility;
  • New information that was not available at the time of the hearing and that could reasonably have affected the determination of responsibility.

What if I am unsatisfied with the grievance process or the decision of the Dean?

If you are unsatisfied with the grievance process, you can submit a complaint to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Your complaint must be related to the institution’s compliance with Commission Requirements of Affiliation, standards, or policies or regarding the institution’s compliance with its own policies or procedures.

Please note that matters outside of the Commission’s purview include disputes between individuals and affiliated institutions about admission, grades, granting or transferability of credits, application of academic policies, fees or other financial matters, disciplinary matters, contractual rights and obligations, personnel decisions, or similar matters. In addition, the Commission does not involve itself in collective bargaining disputes.

For more details on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education process, review the full policy for complaints involving member and candidate institutions.

All complaints must be submitted online using the Commission’s official Complaints and Third Party Comment Form. Complaints submitted without this form completed in its entirety will not be reviewed.

Questions about the Grievance Policy?  Please email us at academicgrievance@jhu.edu.

Contact

Office of the Provost

265 Garland Hall
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218
Phone: (410) 516-8070
Fax: (410) 516-8035
provost@jhu.edu

Social

  • Contact Us

  • Website Footer Navigation