Misunderstanding can often be avoided by ensuring that all members of a research group are well informed of their rights and obligations. However disputes among researchers do arise and the University accepts responsibility for assisting students, faculty, and staff to resolve their disagreements. If a dispute arises, there is a logical progression of consultation to follow:
- The parties to the dispute should document their discussions
- Then they should discuss the problem:
- first with Graduate Advisors responsible for the graduate student's program
- if necessary with the Head or Director of the Department or School
- lastly with the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Consultation with staff in the UILO may also help clarify your understanding of rights, responsibilities and University policies. The University also has legal counsel available through the University Counsel in the President's Office. In addition, students may wish to seek outside legal advice.
“Knowing your rights and responsibilities, combined with ongoing and effective communication with your supervisor, are key to enjoying a productive academic career. I and my staff are pleased to assist students and faculty members alike to maintain problem-free relationships by being informed members of the academic community.” — Hubert Lai, University Counsel.