Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution

Texas A&M University’s conflict resolution options for graduate and professional students, including the Graduate and Professional Student Ombuds service, help fulfill our commitment to providing an educational and work climate that is conducive to the intellectual, personal, and professional development of every member of our community.

Resolving Civil Rights and Other Academic or Personal Conflicts

Texas A&M University is committed to providing an educational and work climate that is conducive to the intellectual, personal, and professional development of every member of the graduate and professional community. If you feel unfairly treated or discriminated against by faculty, staff or other students, the university provides formal and informal avenues for you to file appeals, report grievances or request assistance. Make sure you understand your options so that you can pursue the best course of action.

BEFORE initiating a grievance or appeal, we strongly encourage you to seek clarification and advice regarding appropriate procedures. The Graduate and Professional Student Ombuds Officer is a valuable resource for answers regarding grievances and appeals. Student Assistance Services also has staff members trained to help students who have grievances.

Student Assistance Services

Violence, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct

Six core values are at the heart of Texas A&M University’s ethical standards: loyalty, integrity, excellence, leadership, respect, and selfless service. Consistent with these values, Texas A&M University prohibits students, employees, and third parties from engaging in discrimination and/or harassment on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. In addition, acting in complicity with another who engages in any of these forms of prohibited conduct, or retaliating against a person who participates in protected activity, is also prohibited.

UNIVERSITY STATMENT ON HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION

REPORTING INCIDENTS

Serious civil rights offenses include violence, discrimination and sexual misconduct and/or related retaliation that prohibits a person from fully participating in a work, educational or campus living environment. If you have experienced any of these offenses, we urge you to file a report with the Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations (CREI).

Title IX at Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University does not tolerate acts of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on a protected class. CREI is committed to protecting equal access to University programs, activities, and services by conducting fair, equitable, and thorough investigations and by supporting Texas A&M’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion.

Title IX at Texas A&M

Are Graduate Employees Who Witness Title IX Violations Required to Report Them?

As stated in University Rule 08.01.01.M1, graduate and professional student employees, including individuals performing instructor or teaching functions, are mandated by Texas law to report all known information about an alleged or suspected incident of discrimination, harassment, retaliation or complicity that is experienced by, observed by or made known to an employee, within the course and scope of their employment, as soon as possible, to the Texas A&M Title IX Office.

Tell Sombody

Use this resource to report concerning behavior and provide additional information that may be helpful in preventing tragic events and initiating assistance to an individual who is in danger.

Tell Somebody

Step in. Stand up.

Learn about how to prevent sexual misconduct and get access to resources to help you best support a friend or colleague who has been involved in an incident of sexual harassment or sexual violence.

Step In. Stand Up.

University Police Department

Report a crime, instance of suspicious activity, or safety concern and get access to resources that can help keep you and your colleagues safe.

Home

Grievances and Appeals procedures for issues of discrimination and harassment

The table below lists issues and/or grievances related to discrimination and harassment, provisions in place for defining and/or prohibiting certain behaviors, and contact information for the University Panel responsible for investigating and/or resolving each. First professional students can pursue disputes over due process.

Type of Grievance/IssueA&M Student RuleUniversity Panel Handling AppealsAppeals Panel Preliminary and Formal Resolution Procedures
Discrimination and Discrimination Appeals45Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations (CREI)56
Disability Accommodations in Academic Programs46Department of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations (CREI)56
Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and/or Stalking47University Disciplinary Appeals Panel58


Grievance procedures:

Civil Rights Compliance

PROHIBITED CONDUCT: DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, COMPLICITY, AND RELATED RETALIATION BASED ON A PROTECTED CHARACTERISTIC

INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION OF ALLEGATIONS OF PROHIBITED CONDUCT AGAINST STUDENTS, EMPLOYEES, AND THIRD PARTIES

Academic, Personal and Interpersonal Conflict

The Graduate and Professional School is committed to fostering a peaceful, inclusive environment that best supports your research, education and personal wellbeing. That being said, we know that problems will arise, whether related to academics, finances, or relationships with faculty, staff, colleagues and fellow students. The following conflict resolution pathways may be appropriate when the incident falls outside of issues covered by University civil rights policy.


Attempt To Resolve Directly

In some cases, resolving academic and non-academic issues is best achieved by direct communication. For academic issues, students should almost always contact the instructor, academic unit head, and college dean before taking other action. For non-academic issues, clear communication and understanding others’ perspectives can generally lead to resolution.


When is it beneficial to pursue direct resolution?

Direct conversations enable both parties to articulate their issues to each other and can be the most efficient way to resolve conflict. If you are uncomfortable pursuing action with the individual(s) involved, you should contact the supervisor of the individual(s) involved (program or department head, director, lab manager, etc.).

If you do not feel comfortable with either of these options, or have attempted direct resolution and still feel that your grievance/issue/appeal has not been adequately addressed, you may need to pursue different action.


Work With Ombuds

The Ombuds Office provides safe, non-judgmental space where you can share complaints or concerns confidentially and off-the-record. Ombuds Officers are available to assist graduate and professional students as well as staff, faculty, and administrators in the following:

  • Addressing communication challenges.
  • Navigating difficult situations.
  • Handling abrasive behavior or unfair treatment.
  • Navigating academic red tape or roadblocks.
  • Funding issues (e.g., assistantships, etc.).
  • Immigration-related issues.
  • Other questions and concerns related to graduate education.


What are the benefits of working with the Ombuds?

The Ombuds Officer will walk you through a range of options and strategies for moving forward. By applying an unbiased approach to your issue or conflict, the Ombuds may achieve satisfactory resolution or provide guidance while protecting the rights and interests of everyone involved.

Graduate and Professional Student Ombuds

For more information about the role of the Ombuds or to schedule a confidential phone or Zoom appointment, visit the Ombuds page.

Ombuds

Student Conduct Office

The Student Conduct Office offers educational workshops in addition to responding to cases of alleged student rule violations and referring students to appropriate resources. The staff in the Student Conduct Office are available for consultation on conflict resolution and student behavioral concerns.

Student Conduct Office

Mediation

Student Legal Services offers free mediation to all Texas A&M students as an option to help resolve conflicts and disagreements. Mediation is a problem solving process facilitated by a neutral third party who promotes understanding and settlement in a safe and confidential environment.

MEDIATION | STUDENT LEGAL SERVICES

Stop Hate

Use this resource to report an incidence of hate and/or bias. Filing a report allows the university the opportunity to meet the goals of creating a safe environment that supports the educational mission of the institution and to support TAMU students, faculty, and staff impacted by a hate/bias related event.

Stop Hate

File an offical grievance or academic appeal


Type of Grievance/IssueA&M Student RuleUniversity Panel Handling AppealsAppeals Panel Preliminary and Formal Resolution Procedures
ACADEMIC ISSUES
Grade Disputes48Graduate Academic Appeals Panel Process (Instructions)59
Unexcused Absences49Graduate Academic Appeals Panel Process (Instructions)59
Academic Suspension and Blocks50Graduate Academic Appeals Panel Process (Instructions)
59
Academic Misconduct52Aggie Honor System OfficeReporting and Adjudication
Graduate Student Examination Evaluation Disputes53Graduate Academic Appeals Panel Process (Instructions)59
Disputes over Due Process (First Professional Students Only)62First Professional Appeals Panel Process (Instructions)62
FINANCIAL & WORK-RELATED ISSUES
Financial Assessments by the University54Head of Department or Unit InvolvedN/A
Parking Citations55Student Parking Appeals Board60
Student/Employer ConflictsN/AHead of Department or Unit Involved OR Student Employment Office33
STUDENT MISCONDUCT
Student Conduct Separation and Appeal51University Disciplinary Appeals Panel58

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