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A student with a graduate assistantship may appeal a decision regarding an assistantship in the following circumstances:

  • Unfair dismissal.
  • Prejudiced or capricious academic program evaluation.
  • Stipend not commensurate with that of other graduate students with the same status in the same academic program.

If you are a graduate student and believe one of the above situations applies to you, you may begin the appeals process.

Step 1: Work toward a resolution.

First attempt to resolve the matter with the faculty/staff member or appropriate administrative leader of the school, college or unit responsible for your assistantship.

Step 2: File a written appeal within your unit.

If your attempt at resolution is unsuccessful, you may then file a written appeal to the director of graduate studies for consideration by the appropriate graduate committee. This appeal must be filed within 60 days of the evaluation or dismissal. A written determination of the appeal will be presented to you and your supervisor. If the assistantship is not in an academic program, the Associate Dean of the Graduate School will consider the appeal.

Step 3: Present the appeal to the Graduate School.

If no action is taken on the appeal within 30 days of its filing or if the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may present the original appeal and documentation to the MU Dean of the Graduate School.

If the dean determines that the appeal might have merit, they will request a review by an ad hoc Appeal Committee of the Graduate Faculty Senate consisting of five senators who are not members of the academic program involved in the appeal. The Graduate School will provide information to the student, the department/program and members of the ad hoc GFS Appeal Committee regarding the content, process and regulations/policies pertaining to the appeal. Upon compilation of the appeal file, the Dean of the Graduate School will send a copy of file materials to the members of the Appeal Committee and to the department/program. If the program/department wishes to respond in writing, its statement will be distributed to the Appeal Committee, the student and representatives from the Graduate School.

A hearing will be scheduled as soon as all parties can meet: the student (and an advisor from the university community, if desired), representatives from the department/program, the Appeal Committee and the Graduate School. At this hearing, the department or program will first invite the student making the appeal to present the case discussed in the written statement. The Appeal Committee may ask questions at this point, and once its questions have been answered, will give the program/department the opportunity to defend its dismissal of the student. Following further questions from the Appeal Committee, the hearing will be adjourned.

The Appeal Committee will meet to make a recommendation to the full Graduate Faculty Senate. Upon subcommittee recommendation, the full Graduate Faculty Senate will meet and serve as the final level of appeal. This decision will be conveyed in writing to the student, the director of graduate studies and chairperson of the department or program, the dean of the graduate school, and any other appropriate party named in the appeal.

During the appeal process, if an assistantship evaluation, renewal, or dismissal is overturned, the supervisor has the right to appeal this decision in writing to the Graduate Faculty Senate.

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