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The policies on this page are specific to Harris Public Policy. All Harris students are also subject to the policies and regulations of the University, as outlined in the University of Chicago Student Manual.
The University of Chicago and the Harris Public Policy take great pride in upholding the highest academic standards. All students are expected to abide by the following academic expectations:
Students are also subject to the University Academic Honesty Policy.
Students who engage in academic misconduct or otherwise violate the standards of Harris' and the University's academic honesty policy may be requested to meet with the Dean of Student's office to discuss the alleged misconduct or referred (as appropriate) to the University-wide Disciplinary system. If students are found responsible for misconduct, disciplinary sanctions may be imposed, including warning, probation, suspension, or expulsion. Additionally, students found responsible for academic misconduct may be subject to additional grade penalties within the pertinent course.
Conduct involving violation of the Policy on Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct should be brought promptly to the attention of the Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity Programs and/or the Associate Dean of Students in the University for Disciplinary Affairs in Campus and Student Life.
Harris follows processes outlined in the University Area Disciplinary Systems.
Note: This policy is meant as a guideline. Individual instructors may make modifications to this policy in the context of their own class. Please see the course syllabus for rules relating to a particular course.
If you commit plagiarism, you may receive an F and be referred to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action.
Every submission begins with "this submission is my work alone and complies with the 30531 integrity policy. Add your initials to indicate your agreement: **___**"
Unsure about some aspect of this policy? Please ask your instructor.
Source: This policy draws heavily on the CS 12100 academic honesty policy
Harris students are expected to stay in good academic standing and to make progress toward the degree. Good academic standing is defined as a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or above and completion of at least 66 percent of the courses for which the student registered. A student who fails to meet these requirements will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation have two quarters to return to good academic standing.
Academic probation is an informal sanction without a notation on the transcript. A student on academic probation must meet with their academic advisor to create a plan to return to good academic standing.
If a student fails to return to good academic standing by the end of the two-quarter period they may be removed from the University.
Students receiving federal student loans should also be aware of the impact of their academic performance on loan eligibility. For Harris students, the loan eligibility GPA threshold is 2.7. Students should also be aware of Harris scholarship eligibility, which is noted in the terms and conditions of your scholarship award letter.
A student who has already taken coursework equivalent to a required core course and wishes to waive the required core course, may take the core course waiver exam prior to Autumn and Winter Quarters. It is important to note that students may only waive the advanced version of the course. Students who have covered the material in the standard version of the course should take the advanced core placement exam to be approved to enroll in the advanced version.
Students who are approved to waive a required core course based on the results of the waiver exam may take an elective course of their choosing during that quarter.
Students in the one-year Master of Arts (MA) program are required to take any 5 of the 6 Core courses, meaning that they can opt out of any 1 Core course if they choose without having to submit a waiver request or demonstrate that they have mastered the concepts in that course through prior coursework. MA students may not use this automatic waiver to waive out of the first course in any the sequence, since the second courses in the Microeconomics, Statistics, and Analytical Politics Core sequences are strongly dependent on material covered in the first course. MA students can only use their automatic opt out in the Winter quarter.
MA students, like other students, can take the core course waiver exam to waive any core course if they have previously covered that material in other degree programs. If the waiver for the first course in the sequence is approved based on the results of the exam, the student can opt to either go on to take the second course in the sequence OR use their one free waiver to opt out of the second course in the sequence.
Students are required to complete all of the requirements for their degree program in order to earn the degree. Each Harris master’s degree program has a minimum number of Harris Public Policy (PPHA-prefix) courses that the student must complete to ensure that they have taken a substantial amount of their coursework within the public policy domain.
In rare cases, a student may wish to substitute another course for one of the required PPHA subject area courses. In these cases, the student must fill out this request form. PPHA subject area substitutions are at the discretion of the Deputy Dean or Dean and generally are only granted in cases where one or more of the following conditions are met:
In addition, the proposed substitute course must be at a level of rigor that meets or exceeds that of similar PPHA courses. No more than one course substitution will be approved for any student, and a course substitution will not reduce the total number of credits a student needs to complete their degree.
Students who receive approval will have a note added to their academic transcript indicating the number of degree credits taken outside the Harris School.
This process is distinct from the process of requesting to waive a Core course, which is outlined here.
Courses dropped before the quarter’s add/drop deadline will not appear on a student's transcript and no tuition will be charged for the course. See the Harris academic calendar. for the add/drop deadline.
Occasionally, a student may need to drop a course after the add/drop deadline, either because of a health or personal emergency or because the student is struggling in the course and is unlikely to be able to pass. If you need to drop a course for any reason after the add/drop deadline, you must consult your academic advisor. The percentage of tuition you are charged for a dropped course depends upon when in the quarter the course was dropped. See the University tuition refund schedule. In the case of an illness or other serious emergency, the student's advisor can assist with backdating the drop so that the student will not be charged tuition.
In cases where a student takes more courses than are required to complete the degree, the student may wish not to count some of the extra courses toward degree requirements, either because the student may want to count the courses toward another degree program at the University of Chicago or because the student do not wish to have the grade for the course(s) count into their GPA. Harris courses, courses taken as substitutes for core courses, and any course in which a student earned an “F” must be counted toward the degree and into a student’s GPA. Requests to not count a course toward the degree should be submitted in writing to the student’s assigned academic advisor.
To take a Harris course Pass/Fail, you’ll need to submit a request online before the beginning of the 6th week of the quarter. (See the webform for current quarter time-specific deadline.) Faculty will be notified of the request and may contact students regarding their request. The webform provides additional details on Pass/Fail policies and procedures.
The pass/fail option is intended to allow students to stretch themselves to take a course that they find really challenging. The pass/fail option doesn't mean that you'll need to do less work for the class, but it can relieve some of the pressure of worrying about what grade you'll get.
Each degree program has a maximum number of pass/fail options you can take each term. Please see your degree requirements. In general, the limit for most two-year programs is two pass/fail courses. This includes all for-credit courses that have mandatory pass/fails. This limit does not include non-credit courses which offer pass/fail grading. Students in the Evening Master's Program cannot take their courses Pass/Fail, with the exception of Current Topics.
Note that other divisions have different pass/fail deadlines and procedures. If you’re taking a course outside of Harris, check in with your instructor early in the quarter. Here are a few procedures we’re aware of (but things change, so still talk to your instructor):
If you are taking a course that is offered by another college or division within UChicago but is cross-listed with Harris, you should follow the policy of the parent department. Inquire with your academic advisor if you are unsure.
Students are able to get course credit for non-traditional courses by taking a Harris Reading/Research course (PPHA 52000), an Internship course (PPHA 50000), or, less commonly, an independent study course from another division at the University of Chicago. There is a limit to how many of these non-traditional courses can be counted toward the degree. See the degree requirements for your program. Details about each appear below.
Reading/research courses allow students to pursue individual research or learn about a topic not covered by regular course work. Students interested in pursuing a reading/research course should ask a full-time Harris faculty member to be the instructor for the course. Instructors are under no obligation to accept a student’s request to take a reading/research course with them. Often instructors choose to lead a reading/research course because the topic of the student’s research aligns with their own research interests.
Requirements of the reading/research course include an initial meeting with the instructor to discuss the paper topic; regular contact with the instructor throughout the quarter; and an agreed-upon deadline for paper submission. Reading/Research courses must be taken for a grade and cannot be taken Pass/Fail.
Students interested in enrolling in a reading/research course must do the following:
Taking an internship for credit is a lot like taking a reading/research course (see above). When a student takes an internship credit, a faculty member structures the course work around the topic of the internship. The instructor for the internship course must be a full-time Harris faculty member. The student should identify a faculty member whose research interests and expertise align with the internship. Internship courses must be taken for a grade and cannot be taken Pass/Fail. To enroll in the internship course, do the following:
Students cannot count the same course multiple times toward their degree. In some cases, a student may need to retake a course in order to complete degree requirements. Students can retake non-core courses in which they earned a passing grade, but can only count the credits of one instance of the course toward degree requirements.
Students also cannot take a course for credit that they have previously informally audited.
If a student earns below a C- in a core course, the student must retake the course. In these cases, the credits from the first attempt of the course will not count toward the total credits required for the degree. The grades from all instances of the course will count toward the student's GPA.
If a student receives an F in a non-core course, the student has the option to retake the same course. Credits in courses in which the student received an F can never be counted toward degree requirements. The grades from all instances of the course will count toward the student's GPA.
Students who have previously taken graduate courses at the University of Chicago that were not counted toward any other completed degree may request to transfer up to three courses (300 units of credit) for credit to a Harris degree program. Students must make the request to count previous course work in writing to their academic advisor. Courses taken outside of the University of Chicago cannot be used as transfer credits.
Students who have taken Harris core courses required for their degree prior to enrolling as a Harris student (for example, a student who was enrolled in a different University of Chicago degree program but then transferred to Harris) will not be required to repeat that core course but will have to replace the course with an elective in order to fulfill the minimum number of credits required for the degree. This policy also pertains to courses counted toward Harris certificates.
In general, Harris students are not allowed to count undergraduate courses (course numbers starting with 1 or 2) toward their graduate degree. There are some exceptions to this policy, including:
If a student wants to have a new undergraduate course considered for graduate credit they must get the permission of the Deputy Dean in charge of curriculum (Ryan Kellogg). The criteria for approving an undergraduate course to be counted toward the graduate degree are:
To start the approval process for an undergraduate course you should reach out to your academic advisor, who will check to see if any past student has made inquiries about the same course. If not, you or your advisor should reach out to the course instructor to request a syllabus, explain that you are attempting to get the course counted for graduate credit, and ask the course instructor whether they believe the course is rigorous enough to warrant graduate credit. You should then fill out the Request to Count an Undergraduate Course Toward the Graduate Degree form, which will be forwarded to the Deputy Dean for review.
Even if an undergraduate course is not approved for graduate credit you can still take the course, it just will not count as one of the courses toward your degree. Please note that the regular Harris tuition rates will apply whether or not the course is being counted toward the degree. You must follow the undergraduate registration procedures, which means that you’ll need to wait to register until after College bidding has resolved and you will generally also need instructor permission. You can also ask the instructor for permission to sit in on the course (informally audit), which would give you the benefit of the content of the course without being charged tuition or earning a grade.
Generally, undergraduate language classes cannot be taken toward the graduate degree. As with other undergraduate courses, you can request approval through the process detailed below.
In some cases, if a language course would be directly related to the work a student plans to do post-graduation that course may be approved to be counted for credit for that individual student, but not for all Harris students. To have a language class considered to be counted toward your graduate degree, please fill out the Request to Count an Undergraduate Course Toward the Graduate Degree form and choose “undergraduate language course.” You’ll need to provide a syllabus and an explanation of how the course relates to your career plans. The request will be forwarded to faculty leadership for review. Summer undergraduate language courses worth 300 credits are not allowed to be taken for graduate credit.
Some language departments on campus will allow Harris students to sit in on language classes (informally audit), which allows you to get the benefit of the content of the course without being charged tuition for the course. Below are some details about the policies of language departments that Harris students have sought out in the past:
Cumulative GPAs are not posted to students’ transcripts. Transcripts do contain a key on the back to allow for the cumulative GPA to be calculated. A student can also ask their academic advisor for the student's cumulative GPA. Information about the GPA weight for each grade can be found on the Registrar’s website. University of Chicago policy prohibits any University employee from releasing class ranking information.
Students must make arrangements with their instructors if they cannot complete their course work within the deadlines for the quarter. Instructors are allowed to deny a student’s request to take an incomplete. Generally, instructors will accept requests to take an incomplete only in cases where a student is seriously ill or has a family emergency. We strongly recommend that students and instructor agree upon the deadline for the student to complete the course work when the request for the incomplete is made. Generally, resolving the incomplete before the beginning of the next academic term is advisable.
Once the student turns in all necessary work and the instructor enters a final grade, the letter “I” will continue to appear beside the final grade on the student's transcript permanently. So, for example, if a student requests an incomplete and later receives a grade of “B,” the student’s transcript will show the grade as “IB.”
Any master's student who has a 3.75 or better final cumulative GPA will earn honors.
Harris students are expected to be continuously enrolled from the time they begin taking courses at Harris until they graduate. However, it is sometimes necessary for a student to disrupt enrollment because of a health, family, or other issue.
If a student fails to enroll in a quarter and has not been granted a leave of absence, the student's status may be terminated and the student will need to re-apply for admission to resume studies at Harris.
Students must contact their academic advisor to request a leave of absence. The student must submit the following information in writing to the advisor when requesting the leave:
Students may only take a Leave of Absence of up to one academic year. The student’s advisor will submit the formal leave of absence request to the University. If the student is taking a medical leave of absence, the student needs to complete the Medical Leave of Absence form. The leave also serves as a safeguard to ensure that the student’s enrollment status remains active during the leave period.
In addition to the Harris policies outlined here, students must also comply with University polices related to leaves of absence.
International students need to be enrolled full time in every quarter in order to maintain the student's visa. If an international student needs to take a leave of absence, the student must follow both the process to request the leave from Harris (outlined above) and the process to request the leave from the Office of International Affairs. (OIA).
Please review the information on this site carefully while considering whether you want to try to take a leave of absence. Depending on the length of your leave, you may have to pay the $200 SEVIS fee again, you may lose eligibility for CPT/OPT, and you may need to submit a new financial review form.
Please also note that if your leave of absence is approved you will need to contact OIA at least one month before you return (three months before if your leave was five months or more). Harris will not remind you of this deadline, and we have had students miss the deadline and be unable to return to the United States to resume courses in that quarter, which delayed their graduation date.
Please note that while on a personal leave of absence you will not have access to many university resources like, University buildings, Library online services, University health insurance, UChicago Student Wellness, and other services covered by the graduate student services fee.
Students are also not eligible to audit classes and are not eligible to serve as a TA or hold other student employment positions at the University during a leave of absence.
Students on a medical leave of absence will also not have access to many university resources but can have University health insurance (UShip) if they are otherwise eligible.
Students receiving federal student loans should contact Graduate Financial Aid to adjust their aid for the duration of their leave.
When a student is ready to return to studies, that student must contact their advisor to declare the intention to return.
Depending on the reason for the leave, the Dean of Students may request additional documentation to help assess whether the student is ready to resume their studies and successfully continue in the degree program. Students who have taken a medical leave of absence will need a letter from their doctor indicating that they are cleared to return to their academic work and are following recommended ongoing treatment.
Requests to return from a leave of absence should be made at least 30 days before the beginning of the quarter in which the student wishes to resume studies. Please also see the University policy on returning from a leave of absence.
An administrative leave of absence will be applied to students who do not register for classes during a quarter or who are restricted from registering and who do not clear their restrictions by the end of the third week of the quarter. Please see the University policy on administrative leaves of absence.
All Harris master’s students must pass a math exam in order to fulfill the mathematics requirements for the degree. All entering students take the exam at the beginning of new student orientation.
If a student does not pass the exam, the student is required to enroll in the non-credit course PPHA 30101 Math Methods for Public Policy during their first Autumn Quarter. At the conclusion of PPHA 30101, students will again take the math exam.
If the student still has not passed the exam at the conclusion of the Math Methods course, the student must take the exam again when they are administered during new student orientation the next year. The student has the option to repeat Math Camp if desired. If the student still does not pass the exam, the student must repeat the Math Methods course and re-take the exam in the Autumn Quarter of their second year. Students cannot graduate with a Harris degree without having passed the exam.
*Students who entered in Autumn 2019 have satisfied their degree requirement and do not have to sit for the new math exam
If you need to miss an exam due to an illness or other reason you need to get permission.
Students who are unable to take an exam or produce your final deliverable for a Harris course due to a sudden illness or emergency should reach out to the Dean of Students, Kate Shannon Biddle as soon as possible. To ensure fairness and consistency, there is a list of reasons that are/are not acceptable reasons for an exam to be rescheduled or otherwise missed. Please note that these accommodations are only for emergency or unavoidable circumstances.
If your situation qualifies for an exam exception we will work with the course instructor(s) to determine alternatives, such as taking the exam at another time, submitting a different deliverable in place of the exam, or re-weighting other elements of the grade. This request must be made before taking the exam.
A student who does not file a leave of absence (as described above) may be withdrawn from their academic program on a voluntary or involuntary basis.
Once a student is withdrawn from the University, they are no longer considered an active student. Access to all University systems and facilities, including University email accounts, will be revoked. If the student wishes to resume studies at any point in the future, the student must re-apply for admission to Harris. If admitted, the student is subject to the degree requirements as they stand at the time of their re-entry, not the degree requirements that were in place when the student originally began their studies. Courses taken before withdrawing can be counted toward the degree so long as they are in line with the current degree requirements.
The Harris Dean of Students can administratively withdraw students for a number of reasons. The most common appear below. Students who are administratively withdrawn from Harris may be required to apply for readmission.
If an administratively withdrawn student does re-enter they will be subject to the degree requirements in place at the point of re-entry, not those in place when they originally enrolled. Courses taken prior to administrative withdrawal will count toward the degree. Harris is not required to honor a student’s initial scholarship award if they withdraw from the University and later re-enter.
Please also see the University policy on administrative withdrawals.
Students who are not registered for courses by 5:00 p.m. on Friday of the 2nd week of the quarter and who have not applied for a leave of absence may be subject to administrative withdrawal and should immediately consult with the Dean of Students office.
Students who are on a leave of absence or otherwise not enrolled for 4 consecutive quarters will be subject to administrative withdrawal. There are cases in which a leave of absence of longer than one year may be permitted, including medical leaves of absence.
Occasionally, a student’s academic interests may change during the time that they are at Harris. In these cases, students can request to transfer to a degree program, but the policies and procedures differ depending on which degree programs the student is transferring to (information below.) Regardless of which degree program students wish to transfer from or to, they should fill out this Degree Transfer Request Form.
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The University’s policies regarding students with disabilities are available here. The University of Chicago is committed to ensuring equitable access to our academic programs and services. Students with disabilities who have been approved for the use of academic accommodations by Student Disability Services (SDS) and need a reasonable accommodation(s) to participate fully in this course must follow the procedures established by the Harris School of Public Policy.
For the convenience of students, Harris offers liaison support to notify instructors and implement accommodations each quarter. Students with documented SDS accommodations will receive an email through HarrisDeanofStudents@uchicago.edu from the Disability Liaison, Marley Mandelaro, with detailed steps for accommodation implementation. The Harris Disability Liaison will work with the student, instructor, and TA’s to coordinate the implementation of accommodations. Students from other divisions in the University must submit their accommodations letter directly to Marley Mandelaro (email@example.com) in the Harris Dean of Students Office.
Students who are facing extenuating circumstances at any point during the quarter should reach out to their Academic Advisor in the Dean of Students Office for support. If you feel you need accommodations on an ongoing basis, contact Student Disability Services. To contact SDS: website: disabilities.uchicago.edu phone: (773) 702-6000 email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student use of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy name, logo, or other graphic elements (including colors and fonts) must be in accordance with Harris Public Policy’s brand identity as prescribed in the Harris graphic identity guidelines manual. This document is available for consultation and reference through the Marketing office.
These guidelines apply to all materials, whether print (including but not limited to letterhead, stationery, invitations, and brochures), electronic (websites and email), or three-dimensional/promotional (such as t-shirts, pens, etc.).
1. HARRIS STATEMENT OF STANDARDS
All University faculty, instructors, academic appointees, and student support staff are responsible for creating a learning environment in which every student has the opportunity to learn and to maximize their potential. Abuse of authority is unacceptable at the University. Respect, civility, and professionalism are essential to the University’s mission and are crucial to ensuring that the University’s commitment to free expression principles and academic freedom can be realized by all.
Self-advocacy is crucial to preventing abuse of authority. Harris strives to create a learning environment where handling difficult situations is seen as important training and professionalization for faculty, other academic appointees, postdocs, and students. Everyone is responsible for building this environment.
Formal and informal processes are both important for resolving grievances. The formal grievance processes will be available for more serious cases or cases in which the informal process has been ineffective, but because abuse of authority is a complicated concept to define and there is potential for misunderstanding, informal processes should be the starting point. Most issues can and should be addressed informally through collaborative dialogue and problem solving. This is essential to capturing the pedagogical value of self-advocacy while maintaining a vibrant and collegial learning environment that both students and faculty are responsible to create and maintain.
Students can trust that Harris’s grievance policies and procedures provide them protection, that they will not be retaliated against for bringing forward conflicts, concerns, and possible grievances, and that Harris staff and leadership will listen to and advocate for them. Faculty and others in positions of authority can trust that those who are in charge of investigating student grievances will treat them fairly and conduct their investigation with integrity.
This policy establishes a process by which currently enrolled graduate students in the Harris School of Public Policy and those on an approved leave of absence can file a formal grievance alleging abuse of authority by faculty, other academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, or staff.
In the case where a Harris student has a potential grievance alleging abuse of authority by someone outside of Harris, students should follow the Harris grievance policy.
In extraordinary circumstances, students may request that a grievance case be handled by the Office of the Provost. If a student wishes to submit a grievance case to be handled by the Provost’s Office, they must provide supporting rationale for why their case cannot be fairly heard within the Harris School. Please consult the University Grievance Policy for Graduate Students for more information.
2. Related University Policies
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 always be brought to the attention of the Dean of Students. For more information, please see University Disciplinary Systems and Disciplinary System for Disruptive Conduct.
Allegations of academic fraud (e.g. plagiarism; fabrication or falsification of evidence, data, or results; the suppression of relevant evidence or data; the conscious misrepresentation of sources; the theft of ideas; or the intentional misappropriation of the research work or data of others) should also be brought forward in accordance with procedures established in the University’s Policy on Academic Fraud.
Issues related to the conduct of members of the University of Chicago Police Department should always be directed to the University’s Safety & Security Complaint Process.
2.1 Complaints or Disputes about Grades and Academic Evaluations
Faculty have the authority and the responsibility to assess the academic performance of their students. Only the instructor who gave the course, examination, or evaluation has the authority to change the assessment of the students' performance. Similarly, the evaluation of students' academic progress and standing in the program is the prerogative of the department faculty.
Learning how to communicate with instructors and other faculty about confusion or concern around fairness in grading and evaluation is an important skill, and students may respectfully request explanations of grading decisions and feedback about how performance can be improved. If a student feels that a grade has been assigned unfairly or improperly, they should discuss their concerns with the instructor directly, consult with their academic advisor, or bring concerns to and seek advice from the Harris Dean of Students. The Dean of Students does not have the authority to require an instructor to change a grade but can discuss the issue with the instructor and/or faculty leadership.
A grade dispute or complaints about other academic evaluations may be evidence in support of a formal grievance but these complaints cannot constitute a formal grievance on their own.
3. Abuse of Authority
Abuse of authority is the arbitrary or capricious exercise of authority for purposes inconsistent with the University’s educational and research mission. Expression occurring in an academic, educational or research context is considered a special case and is broadly protected by academic freedom. Such expression will not constitute abuse of authority unless (in addition to satisfying the above definition) it is targeted at a specific person or persons and serves no bona fide academic purpose.
Identifying abuse of authority can be challenging. The examples below are intended to provide a general guide to understand and identify this behavior. The examples are by no means exhaustive or able to encompass the nuance and complexity of challenging interpersonal situations. Student can seek out the help of individuals noted in the Informal Resolution section to discuss their individual situation and options for resolution.
4. Time Limits
There is no time limit on filing a grievance, though a grievance may only be filed by a current student or a student on an approved leave of absence. Students are encouraged to file a grievance as soon as is practicable as it maximizes the University’s ability to respond promptly and effectively. Delayed reporting often results in the loss of relevant information or documentation, and/or in faded and unreliable memories; it also impairs the University’s ability to interview individuals with knowledge of the case, assess information, and, if appropriate, review and resolve complaints.
5. Statement of Non-Retaliation
All members of the community should be able to bring forward conflicts, concerns, and possible grievances in a respectful environment and are expected to do so in good faith. The University prohibits retaliation against any person who exercises any rights or responsibilities under this policy. Any act of retaliation may be a separate violation of this policy.
6. Informal Resolution
Recognizing that all situations are unique, the Harris School seeks to present students with a number of options and approaches towards addressing conflict and reporting concerns. While formal grievance resolution is only applicable to cases involving an allegation of abuse of authority, the options presented in this section are available to all students regardless of the specific nature of their complaint or concern.
6.1 Seek Advice
The individuals and offices listed below are available to assist students and discuss options for approaching informal resolution. Students should be supported when confronting challenges, and we seek to create an environment that encourages asking for help and providing support. Seeking advice for resolving concerns or complaints is the first step towards constructively addressing an issue of concern.
6.2 Finding Support in Challenging Situations
Any conflict or difficulty in a student’s academic life can have an adverse effect on mental health and wellbeing. In addition to seeking advice and assistance from the offices and individuals above, the Harris School strongly encourages students to seek support from the following university resources:
6.3 Methods for Approaching Resolution
As students seek out advice and support for approaching conflict and concerns, they should consider the following methods for addressing their situation. This is not a complete list of strategies, rather it can be a starting point in thinking through ways to approach resolution depending on the individual situation and needs of the student.
Faculty and administrators can assist in resolution by speaking with the individual or individuals with whom there is conflict. They can convey concerns on the student’s behalf and report back about the conversation to the student.
Students experiencing conflict or any challenging interpersonal situation may benefit from requesting a facilitated conversation. An administrator or faculty member can arrange a meeting to be attended by both the student and the individual or individuals with whom there is conflict in order to discuss the source of the conflict and collectively address possible solutions.
A student may find themselves in a situation where they want to report a complaint or concern but do not wish to have their individual case acted upon. Reports of this kind can be made either directly to the Harris School or to the Office of the Provost. These reports can be used to identify potential instances of abuse or recurrent concerns.
Students wishing to make an informational report to the Harris School should reach out to the Harris Dean of Students to discuss the concern or complaint. Students should be aware that information about these reports may be shared with the student’s department and other university officials without prior consent in the following situations:
Anonymous reports may be made directly to the Office of the Provost through this form. Anonymous reports will be reviewed by the Office of the Provost and shared with academic units and other university officials as appropriate.
7. Formal Grievance Process
While informal resolution is available for students to address many conflicts and complaints, the formal resolution process is applicable to instances where there is an allegation of abuse of authority and where attempts at informal resolution have been ineffective.
Timelines are specified for all stages in the formal grievance process. If necessary, specific deadlines may be extended with notice to the student and respondent[s].
7.1 Role of Support Person
Both the student and respondent(s) may bring a support person of their choice to any meeting conducted as part of the formal grievance process. However, they must notify the individual or individuals with whom they are meeting of the identity of their support person in advance. If the support person is a lawyer, a representative of the University’s Office of Legal Counsel may also attend the meeting. The support person does not function as an advocate or participate directly in any way during the meeting. Both the student and respondent(s) are expected to speak for themselves and submit their own written statements.
7.2 Submitting a Formal Grievance
Students wishing to file a formal grievance are required to submit a complaint using this online form.
7.3 Initial Review
The form and any provided written documentation will be reviewed by the Dean or an individual designated by the Dean to determine if:
The Dean or designee will receive and review the complaint to determine if it meets the above stated criteria for formal resolution. As part of this initial review, the Dean or designee may request a meeting with the student to discuss the complaint. At this meeting there will discussion of any supportive resources that the student may find helpful.
The student will receive written notification of whether the case meets the criteria for formal resolution within 30 calendar days of submitting the formal grievance complaint.
If the Dean or designee decides the complaint is appropriate for resolution, the respondent(s) will be provided with written notice and a copy of the complaint within seven calendar days of the notice to the student.
7.4 Harris Grievance Committee
The Dean will convene a Grievance Committee to consider the case. The Committee is charged with reviewing all information about the case and making a recommendation to the Dean.
The Committee will generally be composed of three faculty members, one student, and the Dean of Students.
All members of the Committee are expected to maintain independent judgment and open-mindedness about the alleged grievance, free from material bias and conflicts of interest, or they should recuse themselves.
The student and respondent(s) will be notified of the composition of the Committee as soon as practicable before the Committee begins their review. Either party may request a substitution if the participation of any individual on the Committee poses a conflict of interest. Such requests must be made to the Dean within two business days of receiving notice of the members of the Committee. Requests must identify with specificity the alleged nature of the conflict of interest. Using reasoned judgment, the Dean will decide whether the alleged conflict is genuine and material and, if so, whether it compels the Committee member’s replacement.
7.5 Harris Grievance Committee Process
The Committee will designate a member or members to:
The complainant and respondent(s) will be given the opportunity to provide relevant documentation, provide names of relevant individuals, and meet with the committee or a designated representative of the committee.
The Committee will apply a preponderance of evidence standard in making its recommendation to the Dean. Namely, the Committee will decide whether, in consideration of all the information before it, it is more likely than not that an abuse of authority occurred.
7.6 Potential Outcomes
Grievance processes and outcomes are intended to create a more respectful and inclusive university environment in which every student has the opportunity to maximize their potential, to provide remedies for students in need of support, and to facilitate productive conversations about challenging issues. In considering appropriate resolutions to grievance cases, the Harris School Grievance Committee will be guided by the principle that outcomes should focus on addressing harm to the student and preventing its recurrence.
The range of possible outcomes will vary according to the role of the individual found responsible for violating the policy and the severity of the violation. If any individual is found to have abused their authority as defined in this policy, at minimum the Dean and/or other supervisor will meet with the respondent to discuss the finding and expectations regarding future conduct, and a notation regarding the finding and expectations may be made in the personnel record. Other possible outcomes include, but are not limited to, required trainings, amendments to teaching and advising assignments, removal from leadership positions or committee assignments, ineligibility for annual pay increases, and referral to applicable processes if further action is recommended. Outcomes will be based on the specific nature of the conduct, the particulars of the situation, and a pattern of violations if such exists.
7.7 Notification of Outcome
The student and the respondent(s) shall be notified formally, in writing, of the Dean’s decision no more than 90 calendar days after the case was initially submitted.
Notifications will also provide both parties with information about how to request a review of the outcome by the Office of the Provost under the Graduate Student Grievance Review Process.
Harris Public Policy has a new home in the Keller Center. This Welcome Guide provides a breadth of information including available amenities, detailed maps, and tips for working in an open building environment.
Fliers are only allowed on the designated bulletin boards above the student mail folders in the Keller Center.
First priority for all Harris classrooms and meeting spaces is given to academic courses and administration sponsored programs and events. Individual students are not allowed to reserve classrooms and meeting spaces unless approved in advance by Student Affairs. Harris student organizations (HSOs) have the ability to request classroom and meeting spaces and must follow the guidelines outlined in the Harris Student Organization Room Reservation Policy.
As a professional student who is part of the Harris community, every student must meet the following expectations, established by Harris’s faculty and staff:
All Harris students should be aware of and abide by the University of Chicago Alcohol Policy outlined in the Student Manual of University Policies and Regulations. All members of the Harris community are responsible for full awareness of federal, state, and city laws and policies and requirements concerning the consumption, possession, and sale of alcohol. Harris expects each member of the community to be responsible for their own conduct and the consequences of that conduct. Illinois law prohibits the consumption or possession of alcohol by persons under the age of 21 and the supplying of alcohol to any person under the age of 21.
Alcoholic beverages may only be served at events that are sponsored by a Harris student organization (HSO), Harris staff, or faculty. Harris student organizations (HSOs) must follow the guidelines outlined in the Harris Student Organization Alcohol Policy. Harris staff and faculty, and University officials or agents of the University have the authority to prohibit individuals from bringing alcoholic beverages to a function or into a building, including events held in outdoor areas such as the courtyard or backyard. Any outside alcoholic beverages may be confiscated by Harris staff or faculty.
Harris is strongly committed to supporting pregnant students and students who become parents or add to their families while they are students. The University of Chicago Graduate Student Parent Policy outlines the rights guaranteed to students who are parents. This policy represents the minimum rights and protections afforded to students. Depending on a student's individual needs and situation the Harris Student Affairs team can also offer other supports. We encourage students to contact their academic advisor for assistance and support. See the University of Chicago Graduate Student Parent Policy.
The University, including the Harris School, send all official communications to students' UChicago email addresses. You are expected to check your UChicago email account daily and are responsible for information sent to that account. Students can choose whether their UChicago email runs through Gmail or Microsoft Exchange.
The Student Manual is the official statement of University policies and regulations, and expected standards of conduct that are applicable to all students. Students are expected to be familiar with these policies. Students should familiarize themselves with the University Student Manual. Policies of particular importance include: