Problem Solving


No manual of this kind can address all the problems that confront graduate students in a large department and university. The two main mechanisms for problem solving are petitions and grievance procedures. Petitions are used to request exceptions for good cause from the rules and regulations stated in this manual or in the Graduate College's Graduate College Handbook ( Grievance procedures apply to problems involving academic or research work, assistantship duties, discrimination, and sexual harassment.


Petitions must include a justification for the request, and must be endorsed by the student's adviser. Students should consult with the Graduate Advising Office before submitting a petition. Depending on the nature of the petition, it will either be routed to the ECE Graduate Committee, or to the Graduate College, as appropriate. A petition involving Departmental rules only may be submitted using the online ECE Petition form ( available through the my.ece web portal. However, petitions involving Graduate College regulations must be prepared using the online Graduate College petition form ( In matters involving Departmental rules only, the ECE Graduate Committee acts on the petition and informs the student of the result, while in matters involving Graduate College regulations, the Committee formulates the Departmental recommendation and forwards the petition to the Graduate College for final action. 

Grievance Procedures

Students who feel that they have legitimate grievances with respect to their academic or research work or their assistantship duties, or who feel that they have been the victim of discrimination or sexual harassment, should first discuss the problem with the instructor or supervisor involved. In most cases, the problem can be resolved at this level. However, the student may fail to receive a satisfactory response, or may feel that it is inappropriate to seek a solution from the instructor or supervisor. In such cases, problems relating to academic work should be brought to the attention of the ECE Graduate Advising Office and the ECE Graduate Committee, while problems relating to assistantship duties should be brought to the attention of the Associate Head for Graduate Affairs. If the matter cannot be resolved informally at this level and if the student feels that a formal grievance is warranted, the Department Head should be consulted. The student may also seek advice from the dean in the Graduate College who handles grievances ( Further information about formal grievance procedures is given in the Graduate College Handbook ( and on the Graduate College website: Grievance Policies ( When a grievance involves allegations of capricious grading, discrimination, or sexual harassment, the student also should carefully read and follow the procedures given in the appropriate sections of the Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students (