Office of General Counsel

Grievances

Clemson University students, faculty and permanent staff have informal and formal methods available for resolving concerns and complaints whether academic or employment-related. The information below is a summary of the available procedures and is not intended to replace or amend the actual policies and procedures.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students are encouraged to seek the assistance of the ombudsman to resolve complaints and conflicts informally. For more information about the services of the student ombudsman or to request assistance, contact Dr. R. Gordon Halfacre at 864-656-4353 or by e-mailing rhlfcr@clemson.edu.

For those matters that cannot be resolved informally or with the assistance of the student ombudsman, the Academic Grievance Committee may hear grievances regarding:

  • complaints of discrimination in academics (excluding student employment) against a faculty or staff member based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or other legally protected status;
  • complaints of a personal or professional nature involving an individual undergraduate student and a faculty member;
  • claims of inequitable final grades; and
  • claims of unfair treatment in an attendance-related issue.

Detailed rules and procedures for filing an academic grievance, including important time periods and appeal rights, are set forth in the Undergraduate Announcements.

Graduate Students

Graduate students are encouraged to seek the assistance of the faculty and student ombudsman as an informal method for resolving complaints, problems and conflicts. For more information about the Faculty and Student Ombudsman or to request assistance, call 864-656-4353 or e-mail ombudsman@clemson.edu.

For matters that cannot be resolved informally or with the assistance of the faculty and student ombudsman, the Graduate Student Academic Grievance Committee may hear grievances regarding:

  • complaints of a personal or professional nature involving an individual graduate student and a faculty member;
  • claims of inequitable final grades;
  • cases involving graduate student employment; and
  • cases involving graduate student academic dishonesty.

Detailed rules and procedures for filing an academic grievance, including important time periods and appeal rights, are set forth in the Graduate Announcements.

Faculty

The Faculty Senate, through the provost, provides an ombudsman to help resolve disagreements or faculty issues before they reach the formal grievance process. The faculty and student ombudsman, a professor knowledgeable about the grievance process, may be reached at 864-656-4353 or at ombudsman@clemson.edu.

For those matters that cannot be resolved through informal methods or with the assistance of the faculty and student ombudsman, there are two grievance procedures available to faculty members and academic administrators with faculty rank — Faculty Grievance Procedure I (GP-I) and Faculty Grievance Procedure II (GP-II). GP-I is reserved for grievances regarding:

  • the dismissal or termination of tenured faculty;
  • the dismissal or termination of non-tenured faculty prior to the expiration of their “employment” contract;
  • complaints of discrimination based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or other legally protected status; and
  • complaints by non-tenured faculty that violations of academic freedom significantly contributed to a decision to cease, in any manner, his/her appointment with the University.

GP-II is available for grievances not covered by GP-I, such as complaints of inequitable work assignments, unfair performance reviews or improper implementation of policies and procedures.

Grievance counselors appointed by the Faculty Senate advisory committee are available to assist faculty in understanding which grievance procedure to use; however, they do not have the authority to render a decision on the merits of the grievance. For more detailed information regarding the Faculty Grievance Procedures, including important deadlines and the right to appeal, please refer to the Part V of the Faculty Manual.

Staff

Employees are encouraged to meet with their immediate supervisor in an effort to resolve any complaint informally. Alternatively, staff may wish to work with the staff ombudsman at http://www.clemson.edu/ombudsman to resolve complaints and conflicts informally. For more information about the staff ombudsman or to request assistance, call 864-656-5353 or e-mail tomward@clemson.edu.

When informal resolution is not possible, permanent, non-faculty employees may seek resolution for adverse employment actions through the University's Employee Grievance Procedure.  An "adverse employment action" means a demotion, including involuntary reassignment, salary decrease based on performance, suspension or termination. For more detailed information regarding the Employee Grievance Procedure, including important deadlines and the right to appeal, please refer to the Clemson University Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual.

Athletic coaches and employees in temporary, temporary grant and time-limited positions do not have grievance rights.