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Policies & Procedures

Student Grievance Procedure

(available in PDF format: Grievance Procedure)

Cornell University prohibits its faculty, staff, and students from engaging in any form of prohibited discrimination or protected status harassment, and expects these individuals to refrain from committing acts of bias within the university’s jurisdiction. The university has processes to provide redress and remediation to individuals who believe they have been the victims of these acts. If you believe that you have experienced discrimination on the basis of disability, you have the right to seek a resolution through informal or formal processes.

Informal Processes:

  • A student who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in violation of University Policy 6.4 is encouraged to first resolve the issue through a discussion with the person(s) directly involved in the situation. The office of Student Disability Services will work with students to resolve concerns with classroom accommodations, disparate or disparaging treatment related to disability, or access issues on campus. Addressing an issue when it arises can lead to an effective and timely resolution.
  • The Campus Disability Representatives (list) can advise about strategies for resolving access issues involving faculty or staff members within the college, or situations that involve a staff member in Student Disability Services. The campus disability representative is a staff person in a college/school or department who is designated to assist students at the local level with issues related to disability.
  • The Office of the University Ombudsman is available to all students, faculty and staff affiliated with all units of Cornell University, excluding the Weill Cornell Medical College. The office is an independent, neutral, and informal resource that offers a safe place where community members may discuss problems or issues within the University. The Ombudsman holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so, except as required by law, or where, in the judgment of the Ombudsman, there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9am-5pm or by appointment.

If you opt to pursue an informal resolution to your issue and are not satisfied with the outcome, you may later pursue a formal grievance.

Formal Grievance Procedure

Students who believe they have been discriminated against and wish to seek a formal resolution should use Policy 6.4, Prohibited Discrimination, Protected Status (Including Sexual) Harassment and Bias Activity. The policy is administered through the Office of Workforce Policy and Labor Relations. Policy 6.4 can be found at this website:

At any time a student has the right to submit a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights or the New York State Division of Human Rights.

United States Department of Education - Office for Civil Rights

New York State Division of Human Rights