Relationship with staff

  • It is a breach of both the staff and student Disciplinary Procedures for anyone to victimise you for raising a concern or submitting a complaint (or supporting another student who is doing so). Your complaint does not have to be found to be justified; you simply have to be raising it in good faith, i.e. believing it to be a valid complaint. Conversely, if you make or support a complaint that you know is untrue or unfounded, you are liable to be disciplined.

    While, in general, raising a concern or even a complaint will not have any noticeable impact on the day-to-day working relationship between you and any members of staff, there are circumstances and types of complaint that could adversely affect your relationship with one or more specific members of staff (e.g. if you have specifically complained about them). While the University is confident that no member of staff would victimise any student who has raised a complaint in any way, whatever the circumstances, it understands that you may not be as confident that this is the case. The University therefore has to balance the need to avoid unnecessary disturbance of the existing teaching, supervision and assessment arrangements with the need to demonstrate beyond doubt that you have not been victimised as a consequence of raising your complaint.

    If you only have a general working relationship with the relevant staff (e.g. they teach on a module that you are studying), it is expected that both you and they will continue that relationship in a professional manner and allow the matters you are complaining about to be progressed through the formal procedure. Only in exceptional circumstances will the Pro Vice-Chancellor/Dean of Faculty or Director consider agreeing to a request for alternative working arrangements while the complaint is being investigated.

    On the other hand, if you have to work more directly with the relevant member of staff (e.g. they are your dissertation supervisor, Academic Adviser or line manager or they would normally assess work that you will be submitting before your complaint is resolved), the Pro Vice-Chancellor/Dean of Faculty or Director will endeavour to make alternative arrangements while your complaint is being investigated if you ask them to do so.