After the complaint, what should I do if the university doesn’t take an action?

posted
21-Jun-19, 22:17
by Zena85
Avatar for Zena85
posted about 4 months ago
Hello
I filed a complaint against my supervisors for what they did to me. I had a meeting with the academic registrar and he was horrified about everything I was telling him and I had evidence for everything I said. He told me that he is going to respond in a week but it has been three months. I filed the complaint in December 2018 and now I have graduated and finished from the university but I don’t want to leave what my supervisors did without a punishment.
The university is in Scotland, any suggestions?
Best Regards
posted
22-Jun-19, 01:59
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 4 months ago
I know you didn’t ask for praise but I think that standing up to your supervisors is very brave and you should be proud. Definitely chase this up, is there a student union representative you can liaise with to offer you advice ? It’s really awful that they have not gotten back to you in so long , and I know it takes a lot of energy but sometimes unless you really really push them and get lots of other parties involved the university will try to do nothing. Additionally , it may be worth seeking advice from the office of the independent adjudicator for higher education https://www.oiahe.org.uk/
Good luck and let us know how it progresses !
posted
22-Jun-19, 20:58
edited about 29 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 4 months ago
Seriously what are you trying to achieve? You have graduated and can move on with your life. The supervisors may have been horrific but you you did graduate and that is what really matters in the end. Nothing good comes from vengeance.
posted
22-Jun-19, 21:13
Avatar for Over1234
posted about 4 months ago
I believe she/he is trying to prevent other students to experience distressful experiences at uni. I think it is a generous and brave act. Supervisors in this country are often untouchable. The bad ones, like anyone else, should learn from their mistakes.
posted
22-Jun-19, 21:38
by Zena85
Avatar for Zena85
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From LilyRachel:
!
thank you very much. I have been chasing this up but I didn’t get any reply. The only reply is we are sorry we will get back to you soon and that is it. I really appreciate your comment and wishing me luck. Thank you
posted
22-Jun-19, 22:08
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From rewt:
Seriously what are you trying to achieve? You have graduated and can move on with your life. The supervisors may have been horrific but you you did graduate and that is what really matters in the end. Nothing good comes from vengeance.


It is SO important to hold a university to account for their actions, sometimes the safest time to do that is once you have left. This is definitely not a case of getting “vengeance”!! I’m a bit shocked that anyone would think that :S
posted
22-Jun-19, 23:03
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From LilyRachel:
It is SO important to hold a university to account for their actions, sometimes the safest time to do that is once you have left. This is definitely not a case of getting “vengeance”!! I’m a bit shocked that anyone would think that :S


So you think you can hold an organisation to account by complaining to the same organisation?

You are right, the safest time to complain is when you leave because you have nothing to lose or to gain. I have a lot more sympathy for people suffering under supervisors before they have finished because they have so much to lose. But once you gain the PhD, you have nothing to lose and the supervisor has everything to lose. I respect that you are trying to prevent someone having a similar situation but seeking a punishment, is vengeance. If the war on drugs has proven anything, it is that rehabilitation is far better than punishment, therefore being constructive should be the first option.

Again if you haven't graduated, I completely support you in any university procedure.
posted
22-Jun-19, 23:05
edited about 7 seconds later
by Zena85
Avatar for Zena85
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From rewt:
Seriously what are you trying to achieve? You have graduated and can move on with your life. The supervisors may have been horrific but you you did graduate and that is what really matters in the end. Nothing good comes from vengeance.
the only thing I am trying to get is as what over1234 said, I am trying to prevent any future harassment to other students. I am not the first student had to suffer from my supervisors but I am the first to stand up to them. What really annoyed me that the university took my side during the meeting but they didn’t do anything about them. I did move on with my life, but I got hurt a lot and the only condolence I can get is that the university take an action to prevent any future harm. I understand the pain that I went through can be cured with time by getting acknowledged by the university that wouldn’t happen again
posted
22-Jun-19, 23:13
edited a moment later
by Zena85
Avatar for Zena85
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From rewt:
Quote From LilyRachel:
It is SO important to hold a university to account for their actions, sometimes the safest time to do that is once you have left. This is definitely not a case of getting “vengeance”!! I’m a bit shocked that anyone would think that :S


So you think you can hold an organisation to account by complaining to the same organisation?

You are right, the safest time to complain is when you leave because you have nothing to lose or to gain. I have a lot more sympathy for people suffering under supervisors before they have finished because they have so much to lose. But once you gain the PhD, you have nothing to lose and the supervisor has everything to lose. I respect that you are trying to prevent someone having a similar situation but seeking a punishment, is vengeance. If the war on drugs has proven anything, it is that rehabilitation is far better than punishment, therefore being constructive should be the first option.

Again if you haven't graduated, I completely support you in any university procedure.

I am going to graduate in three weeks but I got awarded my PhD in April which is after my complaint by five months. My supervisors were really annoyed when I filed the complaint and one of them is the head of the department as a revenge he prevented me from using the computer lab which is an open facility to all PhD students. He banned me from using the computer lab because I filed the complaint against him. I told the complaint department about that and they didn’t do anything. I want to publish a paper but the reviewers asking me for more work to be done but I couldn’t do that. My examiners were nice during my viva but that doesn’t matter as I do not have any publication. It’s not revenge for me, it’s to get justified that what they did is wrong and what they did will be prevented in the future
posted
23-Jun-19, 00:11
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From rewt:
Quote From LilyRachel:
It is SO important to hold a university to account for their actions, sometimes the safest time to do that is once you have left. This is definitely not a case of getting “vengeance”!! I’m a bit shocked that anyone would think that :S


So you think you can hold an organisation to account by complaining to the same organisation?

You are right, the safest time to complain is when you leave because you have nothing to lose or to gain. I have a lot more sympathy for people suffering under supervisors before they have finished because they have so much to lose. But once you gain the PhD, you have nothing to lose and the supervisor has everything to lose. I respect that you are trying to prevent someone having a similar situation but seeking a punishment, is vengeance. If the war on drugs has proven anything, it is that rehabilitation is far better than punishment, therefore being constructive should be the first option.

Again if you haven't graduated, I completely support you in any university procedure.


Well, yes. You have to try. You have to assume that the university is not completely morally corrupt and actually wants to ensure they provide a safe place to work, therefore if you don’t alert them to the problem, they’ll never know. And once you’ve alerted them to the problem, it is their responsibility to investigate and then respond accordingly. The person who has gained their PhD under a bully has already lost a considerable amount. Punishment doesn’t even come into this anyway, I don’t see how lodging a formal complaint is not constructive. We shouldn’t be blaming victims for not speaking out for fear of making their situation even worse. And if the supervisor is afraid of losing something, then maybe they should have thought about that before they bullied and harassed their students.
posted
23-Jun-19, 13:36
by Zena85
Avatar for Zena85
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From LilyRachel:
Quote From rewt:
[quote]Quote From LilyRachel:
It is
.


Well, yes. You have to try. You have to assume that the university is not completely morally corrupt and actually wants to ensure they provide a safe place to work, therefore if you don’t alert them to the problem, they’ll never know. And once you’ve alerted them to the problem, it is their responsibility to investigate and then respond accordingly. The person who has gained their PhD under a bully has already lost a considerable amount. Punishment doesn’t even come into this anyway, I don’t see how lodging a formal complaint is not constructive. We shouldn’t be blaming victims for not speaking out for fear of making their situation even worse. And if the supervisor is afraid of losing something, then maybe they should have thought about that before they bullied and harassed their students.

The university cares more about money, and it’s well known the our department makes 40% of university funding. So, even if I am not the first student to file a complaint, there is the matter of funding they keep their heads down.
posted
23-Jun-19, 16:27
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From Zena85:
Quote From LilyRachel:
Quote From rewt:
[quote]Quote From LilyRachel:
It is
.


Well, yes. You have to try. You have to assume that the university is not completely morally corrupt and actually wants to ensure they provide a safe place to work, therefore if you don’t alert them to the problem, they’ll never know. And once you’ve alerted them to the problem, it is their responsibility to investigate and then respond accordingly. The person who has gained their PhD under a bully has already lost a considerable amount. Punishment doesn’t even come into this anyway, I don’t see how lodging a formal complaint is not constructive. We shouldn’t be blaming victims for not speaking out for fear of making their situation even worse. And if the supervisor is afraid of losing something, then maybe they should have thought about that before they bullied and harassed their students.

The university cares more about money, and it’s well known the our department makes 40% of university funding. So, even if I am not the first student to file a complaint, there is the matter of funding they keep their heads down.



You’re right unfortunately that is often the case, which is why you have to be prepared to persevere and not let them ignore this! ultimately , if they do ignore this, they could owe you financial compensation wether they deem your supervisor guilty or not, and that is a language they understand. I think quite often they just hope that the person complaining will drop it as it’s such an arduous process!
posted
23-Jun-19, 18:44
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 4 months ago
I think there is an element of truth in what rewt says however unwelcome it may be to hear. Students filing complaints tend to want to be 100% in the right and for the person complained about to suffer. The problem is that there is usually right and wrong on both sides, which tends to leave all concerned feeling dissatisfied. In particular, as another thread is showing, students are frequently shocked to discover their own behaviour has been documented and will be taken into account. Or the rules ensuring equal treatment of all students will be taken seriously. In short, I wouldn't get over-invested in the complaints process, you've made the complaint, but you need to move on and start on the next phase of your career too. Don't obsess about it as you are very unlikely to be wholly satisfied by the outcome.
posted
23-Jun-19, 21:22
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 4 months ago
I am not actually sure what to say but I do feel my point still stands. Your have graduated, your PhDs are over and all that stuff is behind. If you worked in a bad company with a bad boss but left the company, you do not continue to complain to that boss. Closure is a hard thing but it does let you move on with your life.

During my placement year I had a really shit boss (made me hate industry for a while) but he was a nice person. When my placement was nearly over, we had a long candid talk/meeting about what we thought went wrong. We both admitted that we weren't perfect and I think we both learnt a lot, just by talking about both our mistakes. Nothing went down on paper and no blame was assigned. That is what I think is a constructive professional way of improving things. Not an adversarial format like a formal complaint.

I understand that you want to prevent it happening in the same thing happening to other people in the future. But formal complaints are a huge amount of paperwork that is all on record and can affect the supervisor/ university for years to come. Making the complaint known and letting the complaint be dealt with internally is the best course of action unless you have enough to go court. You only win internal procedures if you have enough to win in court.

Again if you haven't graduated or passed, I completely support you in any university procedure.
posted
24-Jun-19, 03:00
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for Natividad
posted about 4 months ago
According to my personal experience to appeal to the university it is important to file a complaint in case you might need that in the future. When I submitted my second appeal in which I pointed out inadequate supervisory team. The university comments on that saying I did not raise any concerns of my poor supervisory team within the previous two years APR, therefore, they refused to take into consideration as an appeal instead a complaint. I highly recommend you file a compliant since you had done so. Recording everything for the sake of the worse scenario.

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