Grievance Procedure

Grievance Procedure

All students in the Thomas Jefferson University community have the right to express a grievance when they allege they have been treated in a manner not consistent with the community standards at the university. A grievance may involve a violation of university policy or procedure or improper, unfair, or arbitrary treatment. Students wishing to file a grievance against a faculty member, staff member, or administrator should seek counsel from the Grievance Officer.

There are a number of University policies for which the Grievance Policy does not apply. See the links provided below:

Policy/Topic Links & Information
Academic Issues  Academic grievances are managed within the student’s college. Please review the academic catalogs for information on specific policies or grievances.

Title IX – Sexual Harassment or Assault East Falls Campus (

Center City Campus (
Grade Appeals  East Falls Campus
Center City Campus (Please see the Grade Appeal Policy in your college’s handbook)
Community Standards For East Falls Campus and Center City Campus, view the Community Standards page

Grievance Officers

The table below indicates the Grievance Officers for the University:

College(s) Contact Person
Colleges of Nursing, Health Professions, Pharmacy, Population Health, Rehabilitation Sciences, or Life Sciences Office of Student Affairs
College of Architecture & The Build Environment, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering & Commerce, College of Humanities & Sciences, School of Continuing & Professional Studies Dean of Students Office
Sidney Kimmel Medical College Office of Student Affairs &
Career Counseling


Grievance Procedure

If a student believes a university policy or procedure has been violated or he or she has been treated in a manner not consistent with the expectations at the University the following procedure should be followed:

A.      Level 1: Informal Grievance

A Level 1 grievance is expressed either verbally or in writing to a Thomas Jefferson University employee or faculty member, and it may involve a discussion with relevant parties in order to receive information and explore options on resolving the matter.

B.      Level 1: Informal Resolution Process

  1. Students should first speak directly with the person with whom the grievance is about.
  2. If this communication does not lead to a resolution, the student may contact the person’s supervisor or the individual above the supervisor.
  3. If the complaint is still not resolved, the student may choose to file a Level 2 (formal) grievance. Note: If at any point during the informal resolution process, the student determines that informal resolution is not possible, the student may proceed to the formal complaint resolution process.

C.      Level 2: Formal Grievance

If unresolved after attempting the informal resolution, a student may file a Level 2 (formal) grievance.

D.      Level 2: Formal Grievance Resolution Process

  1. The enrolled student submits a written grievance on the form provided by the University (see link below). The grievance form includes a description, the policy or procedure violated, the desired resolution with attached documentation, if applicable.
  2. The Grievance Officer will review the matter, and may request additional information from the student submitting the grievance, as well as from any other individuals identified with relevance to the issue.

    a. The Grievance Officer is strictly impartial; staff work to create a constructive dialogue among all parties in order to facilitate a resolution.  If at any time a student feels threatened or intimidated s/he is encouraged to come directly to a senior member of Student Affairs.

    b. If deemed necessary, the Grievance Officer may refer the matter to the Office of Human Resources or other University offices.

    c. The University will make every reasonable effort to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information it receives in connection with a grievance. The information will be shared only with individuals who assist or are otherwise involved in the investigation and/or resolution of the grievance, or who otherwise have a need to know about the grievance and/or its resolution.
  3. After careful consideration, the Grievance Officer, and other parties as appropriate, will meet with the student to discuss the final decision, including any proposed resolution.
  4. A complete record of Level 2 grievances and final outcomes will be stored in the Grievance database.
College Grievance Form
All Colleges All Colleges Grievance Form (

Appeal Process

If the decision and resolution of the Level 2 grievance is unsatisfactory to the student, an appeal may be filed to the Provost of Thomas Jefferson University within a maximum of five (5) business days (excluding University holidays) of when the Level 2 grievance resolution was sent to the student from the Grievance Officer.   Appeals may only be submitted for procedural errors in the Grievance Resolution Process. Upon such appeal, the Provost or designee may:

a. affirm the decision, or

b. require the Grievance Officer to reconsider the decision

All decisions of the Provost or designee are final. In reaching his or her decision, the Provost may discuss the case with any participant in the process.

Thomas Jefferson University makes every effort to respond to student grievances in a fair and equitable manner.  In the event that an issue cannot be resolved by the University, unresolved grievances may be filed with the state of Pennsylvania, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (the University's regional accrediting agency), Pennsylvania SARA (for online education) or the Federal Department of Education. The links below provide contact information for each of these entities.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Education

333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: (267) 284-5000

Pennsylvania SARA (Distance Education) State Portal Contact

Gina Wetten
Higher Education Associate II
Department of Education
Division of Higher and Career Education
333 Market Street 
Harrisburg, PA 17126
Telephone: (717) 265-7723

Website: Pennsylvania SARA

Federal Department of Education