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Student Conduct and Student Grievances: Rights and Responsibilities addresses the rights and conduct standards for all students at SIUE. In addition, the Graduate Assistant Employment (Non-Academic) Grievance Procedure addresses matters of concern to teaching, research and general administrative graduate assistants at SIUE. However, because of their special place in the academic community, an additional statement of graduate student rights and responsibilities in regard to matriculation, academic advisement, instruction, evaluation and assistantships is needed.

The relationship between graduate students and the academic professorate is distinctly different from that of the undergraduate student and the professorate in that graduate education has different academic goals and occurs at a time when students are much closer to realizing their own professional goals. Since graduate student/faculty relationships are often close and sometimes approach peer status, the specification of the rights and responsibilities of each is necessary. This document is a statement of graduate student rights and responsibilities in regard to matriculation, academic advisement, instruction, evaluation and assistantships, and lists existing practices and procedures that affect graduate students.

By providing a set of University-wide procedures and guidelines, this document (1) defines the multiple roles, relationships, and expectations which exist between graduate students and the various units of the University, and (2) identifies the fundamental principles of equity that should govern these relationships.


The policy statements in this document, in Student Conduct and Student Grievances: Rights and Responsibilities, in the Graduate Assistant Employment (Non-Academic) Grievance Procedure, in the Graduate Assistant Handbook, and in the Graduate Catalog shall govern all graduate student rights and responsibilities. It is the responsibility of each student to be aware of the contents of all of these documents.


1. In admission to graduate education there shall be no discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, or ethnic origin. In addition, there shall be no discrimination on the basis of physical disability provided that the disability does not prevent the student from completing her/his program.

2. Students are responsible for completing Graduate School admission requirements no later than the end of the first regular academic term of their enrollment.

3. Any criteria beyond the general Graduate School requirements for admission, terminations, or withdrawal of students from a graduate program shall be approved by the Graduate School and published in the Graduate Catalog.

Academic Advisement

1. Each graduate program shall make known in writing to each student at the time of admission to graduate study its degree requirements including research, residence, time limitations, and any applicable code of professional conduct or academic standards which are beyond Graduate School requirements.

2. Requirements for the satisfactory completion of a degree program shall be those in effect at the time the student is admitted to the program. In the event the program requirements are altered during the student's course of study, the student shall have the choice, insofar as possible, of adhering to the original requirements or meeting the new requirements. An academic unit is not responsible for offering all courses described in the Graduate Catalog.

3. Within the student's first term of study, an advisory committee of at least three members of the graduate faculty (a chairperson and two others) shall be formed in consultation with the student to oversee and direct the student's program. An advisory committee report, listing all degree requirements, shall be filed with the unit's Graduate Program Director and a copy shall be provided to the student. The program will not be considered binding unless signed by the student's advisory committee chairperson and the student. This report, as amended in writing and in full consultation between the student and the advisory committee, shall be regarded as the statement of program requirements. Changes in this program may be initiated by either the student or the committee.

4. Once designated, the advisory committee shall oversee the student's progress. Changes in the membership of an advisory committee may be initiated by the student or committee members and are to be reported to all parties concerned. Committee members on leave are responsible, in consultation with the student, for securing substitutes.

Instruction and Evaluation

1. Graduate students and faculty have a shared responsibility to maintain a classroom atmosphere that is beneficial to learning. Instructors shall discharge their responsibilities in accordance with the guidelines established in the Faculty Code of Ethics and Conduct and the Ethics of Instruction.

2. Any evaluation placed in a student's official record or file shall be made available to the student in accordance with University guidelines and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-380).

3. As soon as it is determined that a student's performance or progress does not meet Graduate School standards, she/he and the unit's Graduate Program Director shall be notified by the Graduate School according to the retention policy stated in the Graduate Catalog, and appropriate action shall be taken.

4. As soon as it is determined that a student's performance or progress does not meet criteria for the graduate program in which the student is enrolled (see section 3 under "Matriculation," above), she/he and the Graduate School shall be notified in writing by the Graduate Program Director or designated representative. Recommendations for making up the deficiencies shall be included in the written notification.

5. The faculty of each graduate program shall establish a policy governing the passing of the Final Examination, oral and/or written, and a procedure whereby students may appeal an unfavorable decision. Copies of such policy and appeal procedures shall be filed in the Graduate School.

6. The nature and scope of the thesis (or its equivalent) shall be defined by the faculty of the graduate program and the advisory committee according to the professional and scholarly research standards of the discipline. The faculty of the g raduate program shall specify the acceptable style and form of the thesis in accordance with University guidelines for the preparation of theses. The Graduate School establishes and publishes standards for typing and reproduction and deadlines for acceptance.

7. All information regarding students' academic progress and performance shall be held confidential between the student and any faculty and academic units involved. It shall be released only with the consent of the student. If this information becomes relevant in a grievance proceeding, such information shall be released to the appropriate grievance committee(s) or agencies in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-380) and the applicable University grievance policies and procedures. The same privacy shall be accorded the reasons for a student's temporary or permanent withdrawal from the University.


1. Departments shall establish training programs for all new teaching assistants. For teaching assistants who are engaged in classroom or laboratory instruction, such programs shall include (a) an introduction to instructional responsibilities, (b) student rights and responsibilities, (c) course goals, (d) grading criteria and practices and (e) classroom procedures. The program shall also include prearranged classroom visits by supervising faculty. The teaching assistant shall be responsible for full and active participation in the training program.

2. Other policies and regulations pertaining to graduate assistants and assistantships are described in the Graduate Assistant Handbook available in the Graduate School. This booklet defines the three assistant classifications and specifies th eir respective assignments, compensation schedules, work load and class load restrictions, appointments, privileges and grievance procedures.


1. No regulations from graduate student advisory committees, department or comparable units, or schools or comparable units, shall supersede or be in conflict with the regulations stated herein, except as specifically authorized by the Graduate Dean.

2. No regulations herein contained or added to this document shall supersede or be in conflict with the Statutes, By-laws, and Policies of the Board of Trustees, regulations contained in Student Conduct and Student Grievances: Rights and Responsibilities, Procedures Governing Student Work Grievance and Appeals, Graduate Assistant Employment (Non- Academic) Grievance Procedure or any other pertinent University policies.

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