2.6 The Graduate School

All regulations in the orange pages apply to graduate students, with the exception of the sections that treat the “Honor Committee.”

2.6.1 Jurisdiction over Graduate Students for Violations of Academic Rules and Regulations

Jurisdiction over all violations of academic rules and regulations rests with the dean of the Graduate School. A more detailed explanation of the regulations and the procedures follows below.

2.6.2 The Graduate Student Government

The Graduate Student Government (GSG) plays an important role in areas pertaining to graduate students. It is the main entity responsible for representing their concerns and considers questions relating to graduate student life; it seeks to enhance the quality of their lives, participates in the formulation of various University policies, and is the body that should be approached when graduate student opinion is required by the administration.

Graduate students can get in touch with the GSG by email at gsg@princeton.edu. The GSG holds monthly meetings that are open to the public; graduate students interested in specific issues or in getting involved are encouraged to attend.

Purpose

The purposes of the Graduate Student Government are:

To represent and advocate for the interests of graduate students at Princeton University;

To provide a forum for free and open discussion of matters affecting this community; and

To provide financial and organizational support for social events within this community.

The full text of the constitution of the GSG can be found online at
http://gsg.princeton.edu.

Structure

The GSG consists of an Assembly, an Executive Committee, and four standing committees (Academic Affairs, Facilities and Transportation, Health and Life, and Social). The Assembly of the GSG consists of representatives elected from each academic department or other recognized academic program (e.g., applied and computational mathematics), of delegates chosen by residential communities, or special interest groups and of councilors who represent the GSG to outside bodies (e.g., CPUC). The standing committees are composed of volunteers both from within Assembly and from the graduate student body more generally.

The Executive Committee is composed of 13 members who, are elected annually by the graduate student body.

Getting Involved

Graduate students are encouraged to get involved at any level of the GSG starting with attendance at the monthly meetings of the Assembly.

Election procedures for the representatives to the Assembly and for delegates are set within each group represented. Officers of the Executive Committee are elected annually per the constitution, typically around March. More information about running for office can be obtained through email at gsg@princeton.edu.

The GSG Assembly elects the graduate U-Councilors of the Council of the Princeton University Community each year no later than April 30.

The GSG has standing committees and can form task forces that work on specific issues.

The GSG social chair organizes social events open to the entire graduate student population.

2.6.3 Dormitory Regulations

Dormitory and apartment regulations for graduate students are established and administered by the Housing Office in conjunction with the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School. Students violating these regulations will be subject to University disciplinary action, which may include the imposition of fines by the Housing Office. These regulations can be found in the orange pages as well as the Graduate College/Annex Residential Living Policies Guide and Apartment Life Guide for Graduate Students on the Housing and Real Estate Services website (http://hres.princeton.edu/graduates).

2.6.4 Alcohol Policy

Refer to section 2.2.9. Those who are of legal drinking age and who wish to sponsor campus events with alcohol must comply with the guidelines established by and obtainable from the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.

2.6.5 Dining Regulations

All individuals living in the Graduate College are required to sign a Campus Dining contract for one of the specified meal plans unless excused by the assistant/associate dean of the Graduate School. Detailed terms of dining contracts are available at https://dining.princeton.edu/meal-plans.

2.6.6 Financial Regulations

Students are responsible for satisfying all student account obligations by the due date on the student bill. A student who fails to meet all financial obligations may be subject to one or more of the following: (a) prohibited from course selection and/or course changes, (b) placed on leave of absence or withdrawn until all financial obligations are met, (c) prohibited from enrolling or being readmitted to the University, (d) prohibited from standing for the Final Public Oral examination (e) denied a diploma document at graduation, and (f) payment of all collection agency fees, attorney charges, and legal fees necessary for the collection of outstanding indebtedness. If a balance remains due after graduation or separation from the University, the student’s account will be considered in default and may be immediately assigned to an external party for collections. Princeton reserves the right to return any payment made in excess of the balance due on a student’s account. Additional financial information regarding tuition and terms of payment is available online at www.princeton.edu/studentaccounts.

2.6.7 The Graduate School Judicial System

As members of the University community, graduate students are bound by the rules and procedures described in the sections “1. University-Wide Regulations” and “2. Students and the University.” All dormitory regulations are applicable to graduate students who reside in the undergraduate residential colleges, and the Graduate College and Annexes.

In all academic and research matters, graduate students are governed by the presumption that their work is held to the highest standards of scholarship and professional conduct. Such standards are set forth herewith in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities, as well as in orientations, handbooks, websites, course materials, and individual adviser-advisee interactions in laboratory, classroom, and other educational settings.

Definitions of academic violations in work submitted in fulfillment of an official academic requirement may be found in section 2.4.7.

For graduate students, scholarly and research activity that is subject to the University’s standards may go beyond the work submitted in fulfillment of an official academic requirement for the degree. Academic and research integrity is an expectation that extends to all professional activities undertaken by graduate students on or off campus. Examples of scholarly activities related to graduate students’ academic or research training and development may include teaching activities, relevant internships, and submitted or published work, especially but not only when such work cites their affiliation with the University.

All forms of academic fraud, including plagiarism, multiple submission, false citation, and data falsification, are regarded as serious violations and will be subject to disciplinary action. Additionally, failure to abide by standards related to the responsible conduct of research when students ought reasonably to understand those standards will also be considered a serious violation and will be subject to disciplinary action. Allegations concerning academic or research integrity violations should not be handled informally or at the department level but must be brought as soon as possible, as a complaint either by a graduate student or against a graduate student, to the attention of the dean of the Graduate School.

Academic and Nonacademic Disciplinary Procedures

When the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School has been informed of an academic or nonacademic (behavioral) charge against a graduate student, the student is immediately notified by a deputy, associate, or assistant dean of an impending investigation.

Alleged infractions of a less serious nature, other than Title IX sexual harassment and University sexual misconduct (which follow procedures outlined in section 1.3), for which precedents exist and for which separation from the University is not a possible outcome, are normally investigated and resolved by a deputy, associate, or assistant dean. A deputy, associate, or assistant dean for academic affairs will handle academic infractions and the associate or assistant dean for student life will handle nonacademic infractions. Other representatives of the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School may assist in the investigation of such matters. All complaints will be investigated promptly. The student may read all statements, reports, or other information relevant to the allegation. The deputy, associate, or assistant dean conducting the investigation will discuss the facts of the case with the student and the student will be given ample opportunity to present the student’s own account of the incident in question, including a written account, witnesses, or other relevant information, or to request clarification of any relevant information submitted by other parties. The student will be provided a written statement concerning the charge and the procedures governing the investigation. The student will be given an opportunity to provide a written response to the charge before any finding of responsibility is made. For academic matters, the hearing dean will encourage the student to seek the advice of a resident faculty member or academic administrator. The hearing dean will determine appropriate action, up to and including disciplinary probation (including housing and/or campus service sanctions or other restrictions on access to space, resources, or activities).

If the complaint is of a more serious nature, other than Title IX sexual harassment and University sexual misconduct  (which follow procedures outlined in section 1.3), for which separation from the University is a possible outcome, a deputy, associate, or assistant dean will request all parties and witnesses to prepare written accounts of the event(s) in question. If appropriate, the matter will then be referred to the dean of the Graduate School who is advised, in accordance with the Rules and Procedures of the Faculty, by the Subcommittee on Student Life and Discipline of the Faculty Committee of the Graduate School. The subcommittee consists of the dean of the Graduate School, ex officio, as chair; a deputy, associate, or assistant dean as secretary (without vote; a deputy, associate, or assistant dean for academic affairs will serve for academic infractions, and the associate or assistant dean for student life will serve for nonacademic infractions); and four members of the Graduate School Faculty Committee, at least two of whom must be present at a hearing and at least one of whom must be appointed in the same division as the student’s home department. The subcommittee may be enlarged, at the student’s request, by up to four graduate students, selected by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School at random. The subcommittee will: (a) conduct a fact-finding inquiry that may include written statements and interviews (the graduate student may submit to the subcommittee a list of witnesses that the student seeks to have testify); (b) conduct a closed hearing, which the charged student may attend, along with an adviser (who must be a current resident member of the University community), if the student chooses to invite one; and (c) make recommendations—including suggested penalties, if appropriate—to the dean of the Graduate School. While the length of the process will depend on a variety of factors, including the nature and scope of the allegations, the number of parties and witnesses, and the availability of parties and witnesses, an effort will be made to conclude the process within 45 working days of receipt of the complaint.

In general, the procedures of the subcommittee are analogous to the “General Procedures” of the Judicial Committee of the CPUC (see section 1.9), with the exception that the subcommittee always holds closed hearings. Moreover, since cases vary widely, their disposition will inevitably depend upon the nature of the alleged infraction. For instance, since cases often involve students who are not currently, or are no longer, in residence, the student’s presence at the proceedings is not an absolute requirement as long as the student has personally received adequate notification and been given reasonable opportunity to submit a written response to the charges. (In such cases, students who are unable to be present may, at their request, be represented by an adviser who is a current member of the resident University community, and who may participate in the same manner as the student in the hearing. The subcommittee does not deal with outside counsel.) The student always has the right to appear before the subcommittee with or without an adviser as defined above. In every case, the subcommittee proceeds with an appropriate regard for fair process, deliberate speed, and satisfactory records. The student may read all statements, reports, or other information relevant to the allegation. In order to find that a student has violated a University rule, the subcommittee must be persuaded that the charges against the student are supported by clear and persuasive evidence.

Following its investigation and hearing, the subcommittee presents its advice in the form of a recommendation to the dean, who, observing fair process and deliberate speed, then determines what action to take. The student is notified by the dean in writing of the subcommittee’s recommendation and the dean’s action, and is also informed of the rights of appeal and the appropriate procedures.

Confidential records for matters that result in a finding of responsibility are maintained by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School. The use of these documents is restricted, according to the rules and procedures concerning the confidential nature of student records.

The dean of the Graduate School may, in some instances, refer an academic case back to the academic department for resolution if the dean deems it appropriate or upon the advice of the deputy, associate, or assistant dean involved in the investigation, or the subcommittee, if the case falls under the jurisdiction of the subcommittee.

In the event that one or more undergraduate students and one or more graduate students are alleged to have violated University policy jointly, where the facts and circumstances of the case are inextricably intertwined, special procedures apply, as detailed in section 2.5.7.

A student whose case falls under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Student Life and Discipline may request that the dean of the Graduate School alone adjudicate the matter, waiving the right to a hearing by the subcommittee. If the dean agrees to hear the case, the student retains the right to appeal the decision except on procedural grounds. There are no procedural appeals in such cases.

Complaints of harassment or discrimination where the alleged behaviors are those of a graduate student are normally investigated and resolved through the student disciplinary process, administered by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School and described in this section. (Information relating to the University’s Nondiscrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedures, including available resources and how to file a complaint under the policy, can be found at https://inclusive.princeton.edu/addressing-concerns/bias-discrimination….) A report or written complaint of harassment or discrimination against a graduate student should be filed with the associate or assistant dean responsible for nonacademic (behavioral) disciplinary matters in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School. The graduate student will be notified by the associate or assistant dean of the impending investigation and provided a written statement concerning the charge and the procedures governing the investigation. The student will be given an opportunity to provide a written response to the charge before any finding of responsibility is made. If the complaint is one for which separation from the University is not a possible outcome, the associate or assistant dean will investigate, issue findings, and take remedial action as necessary. If separation from the University is a possible outcome, the matter will be referred to the dean of the Graduate School who is advised, in accordance with the Rules and Procedures of the Faculty, by the Subcommittee on Student Life and Discipline of the Faculty Committee of the Graduate School. Disciplinary cases involving allegations of Title IX sexual harassment and University sexual misconduct by a graduate student are investigated and adjudicated in accordance with the procedures outlined in section 1.3.

Under no circumstances will a student whose disciplinary matter is pending be permitted to stand for the Final Public Oral examination or receive a degree. In the case of unenrolled students whose degree candidacy continues, the procedures of this section are applicable in all academic cases and in the appropriate behavioral cases.

Appeal on Academic and Nonacademic Disciplinary Matters

The purpose of an appeal is to seek a review of a decision or penalty on the grounds that (1) there exists substantial relevant information that was not presented, and reasonably could not have been presented, in the original deliberations; (2) the imposed penalty does not fall within the range of penalties imposed for similar misconduct; or (3) a procedural irregularity occurred in the adjudication of the incident in question. The purpose of such an appeal is not to initiate a review of substantive issues of fact, or a new determination of whether a violation of rules has occurred.

For infractions for which separation from the University is not a possible outcome, the student may appeal the decision of the deputy, associate, or assistant dean to the dean of the Graduate School. The deadline for filing such an appeal is one week from the date of written notification of the original decision. The student should understand that, in hearing the appeal, the dean of the Graduate School is not bound in any way by the prior decision of the hearing dean and that, after reviewing the facts, the dean of the Graduate School may impose a greater or lesser penalty than that originally imposed by the hearing dean. The appeal should be submitted in writing. The decision of the dean of the Graduate School shall be final.

For infractions for which separation from the University is a possible outcome, a student wishing to appeal decisions of the dean of the Graduate School should notify the dean of the faculty in writing to that effect, specifying the grounds of the appeal, not later than one week (during which the University is in session) after receipt of the written notice of the decision which the student wishes to appeal. The dean of the faculty shall transmit the student’s written statement and any other relevant material directly to the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy and report the transmittal to the faculty at its next meeting. The Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy shall determine whether or not the grounds of appeal are sufficient to warrant a hearing. If it decides that a hearing is warranted, the committee may appoint a special panel to consider the individual case and make a report with recommendations to the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy, or it may itself hear the appeal. In all cases, the decision of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy shall be final.

Penalties

The range of possible penalties available to the dean of the Graduate School includes the seven penalties specified in section 1.1.7. It may also include revocation of the degree in cases involving students who have already left the University. Should the recommended penalty interrupt the student’s academic career, the dean of the Graduate School will consult with the student’s department before reaching a final decision in all academic disciplinary matters. Minor offenses adjudicated by a deputy, associate, or assistant dean may result in a warning, disciplinary probation, or disciplinary probation with censure. Campus service, University housing restrictions, or restrictions on access to space, resources, or activities may be added to any penalty.

Enrollment and Resident Status

Normally, pending action on the charges by the dean of the Graduate School, or pending an appeal, the student will be permitted to remain in residence on campus, attend classes, and make use of all University facilities, except when the dean believes that circumstances are present that seriously affect the health or well-being of any person, or where physical safety is seriously threatened, or where the ability of the University to carry out its essential operations is seriously threatened or impaired. In such circumstances, the dean normally will bar the student from campus. This decision will be subject to review in accordance with section 1.1.8, and without prejudice to the eventual adjudication of the charges. If the decision of the dean proves adverse, or if an appeal proves unsuccessful, the decision of the dean will normally be considered effective as of the date of the original decision. Tuition and fees continue to accrue while an appeal is pending.

Pending a hearing or the student’s decision about whether to appeal a separation from the University or the withholding of the degree, and/or while an appeal is in process, an administrative hold will be placed on the student’s University transcript. Should the student decide not to appeal a separation or the withholding of the degree, or should an appeal not result in an alteration of the committee’s decision to dismiss the student or withhold the degree, the registrar will record the fact of the penalty on the student’s transcript.

Graduate Student Grievances

The Office of the Dean of the Graduate School normally handles in the first instance all grievances of graduate students. The deputy, associate, or assistant dean of the Graduate School advises graduate students as to where their grievances may be addressed, e.g., against an undergraduate, to the dean of undergraduate students; against a faculty member, to the dean of faculty; or against a staff member, to the Office of Human Resources.

A graduate student with a grievance concerning academic standing (e.g., early termination from the program but excluding academic disciplinary matters, as defined above) should first attempt to resolve the grievance at the departmental level through discussions with the faculty member(s) concerned and/or the department chair and director of graduate studies. This procedure applies also to graduate students serving as assistants in instruction or assistants in research. If the student feels that a satisfactory resolution has not been found, the student should consult the deputy, associate, or assistant dean of the Graduate School for academic affairs for further review. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be found through this review, the student may request a final review by the dean of the Graduate School. If the dean determines that the grievance raises issues of faculty misconduct, the dean will refer those portions of it to the dean of the faculty, who may choose to appoint a special committee of faculty to advise with regard to those issues. If no issues of faculty misconduct are involved, the dean of the Graduate School will render a decision as expeditiously as possible on all aspects of the complaint. When considering the grievance, the dean of the Graduate School may proceed in consultation with, or upon the advice of, the appropriate subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School (the Subcommittee on Policy or the Subcommittee on Student Life and Discipline).

Students are also afforded certain protections under federal and state laws, and may elect to file a harassment or discrimination complaint with a federal or state agency authorized to investigate such claims. The appropriate agency will depend on the nature of the complaint and the status of the parties involved. One such agency is the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Information concerning grievance procedures is available under section 1.7.