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Filing a Formal Complaint

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Students who believe they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination on the basis of disability, or have been denied access to services or accommodations required by law have a right to use the Student ADA/Section 504 & Discrimination Grievance Procedure. Prior to initiating a formal complaint, students should first discuss the matter with the individual(s) most directly responsible. If there is no resolution, or if direct contact is inappropriate under the circumstances, the student should consult with the Diversity and Access Office (D&A). If D&A is unable to facilitate a resoultion, the student has a right to file a formal complaint. A formal complaint should be filed no later than thirty days after the end of the quarter in which the concern arose. A complaint must be in writing and include the following information: the student's name, address, email address, and phone number; a full description of the problem; a description of what efforts have been made to resolve the issue informally; and a statement of the remedy requested. 

Students who believe they have been treated unfairly (including discrimination and harassment) may follow the Student Non-Academic Grievance Procedure. This procedure provides a process for students to follow to seek resolution of disputes and grievances that may not fall within the scope of other grievance processes (i.e. academic, ADA/Section 504). If the student is not able to find resolution informally, the student should file a complaint in writing with the Diversity and Access Office. The document should include the grounds for the grievance and the evidence on which it is based and the effforts taken to date to resolve the matter. This should be submitted no later than thirty days after the end of the academic quarter in which the action occurred. 

The Stanford University Acts of Intolerance Protocol establishes a mechanism for addressing situations involving a real or perceived act of intolerance. Anyone who witnesses or views evidence of an act of intolerance is encouraged to report the incident. A person need not be the direct target to report. 


Faculty members whose reappointment or promotion has initially been denied by the department or school may file a written appeal with the provost and a faculty member whose reappointment or promotion has initially been denied by the Provost may file a written appeal with the Present, who will perform the functions assigned to the Provost for other matters, following the guidelines detailed in the Stanford Faculty Handbook Section 4.1.2. After making a preliminary review of the matter, which includes consultations with appropriate parties, the Provost may grant the appeal, remand the matter to a lower administrative level, or refer the matter directly to the Advisory Board. The Provost is responsible for informing the faculty member of this decision. If received by the Provost, the Advisory Board will make a preliminary review and decide whether to consider the case, and whether to call a hearing. If a hearing is called, faculty members will be invited to appear before the Advisory Board. After a determination has been made faculty members may also file a written appeal of the determination with the President. 

Faculty members who wish to appeal an administrative decision, i.e. one that does not involve reappointment or promotion, may file a written appeal with the Provost following the guildelines detailed in the Stanford Faculty Handbook Section 4.1.3


The Stanford University Cardinal at Work website details processes and provides staff with links to resources for addressing a workplace concern. 

Post-Doctoral Scholars

Any Stanford postdoctoral scholar who believes they have been subjected to an improper decision by Stanford University, or by anyone acting officially on behalf of Stanford University, may file a grievance using the procedure outlined in the Grievance Resolution Procedure for Postdoctoral Scholars. If postdoctoral scholars are unable to come to an informal resolution to their complaint, they may file a formal grievance in writing to the dean of the relevant school, or to the Dean of Research for those programs not within a school. The grivance should be submitted within 90 days of the decision that is the subject of the grievance. The written document should include a description of the decision in dispute, and the reasons why the grievant believes the decision was improper. The document should also include a description of the remedy sought and the informal efforts that have been pursued. If the grievant feels the decision was inapproriate, they may file a written appeal with the Provost, specifying the reasons for this disagreement. 

Community Members

Community members and applicants who experience discrimination and wish to report a concern should contact the Diversity and Access Office.