Guidelines for disputes, complaints, and concerns

As members of the Department of Geosciences, we aim to maintain a positive and safe environment for faculty, staff, and students (see our Code of Conduct). We wish to establish and maintain productive relationships founded on trust, communication, and shared expectations. Complaints or concerns should be made in good faith, with the intent to find an equitable resolution. Below are some guidelines on how to resolve disputes, and whom you should contact if you encounter an issue. For many issues, the dispute resolution process begins within the Department (e.g., with your advisor or supervisor). However, any complaints involving sexual harassment or discrimination must be reported to the appropriate University-level contact, per University of Arizona policy.
General steps to resolve disputes:
  1. If you feel comfortable, talk directly to the other person about the issue. Meet in person (rather than communicating by email or phone). Use language like, “when you said this on XXX date, this made me feel uncomfortable”. It may be that your dispute can be resolved by respectful conversation. However, if you do not feel comfortable speaking to the person, skip this step.
  2. Document everything. This helps ensure proper resolution. For example, save emails, document conversations, and encourage all witnesses to do so as well.
  3. Contact the appropriate representative in the Department. Different contacts exist for different offenses; refer to the list of contacts below.
  4. If you determine that you cannot resolve the issue within the Department, contact the appropriate University-level entity (see list below).
Sexual Harassment and discrimination is prohibited by Title IX and must be reported by the Title IX office at the University of Arizona. Be aware that, if you report such an incident to the Department Head or a faculty mentor, they are obligated by law to report it to the University.
For undergraduates:
            In Geosciences: Undergraduate advisor (Shawna Matteson)
            University-level: Dean of Students, Ombuds office, Counseling and Psych Services
For graduates:
            In Geosciences: Director of Graduate Studies, Department Head (Barbara Carrapa)
            University level: Ombuds office, Counseling and Psych Services, Graduate College
For postdocs:
            In Geosciences: Department Head (Barbara Carrapa)
            University level: Ombuds office, Postdoctoral Affairs Office
For faculty and staff:
            In Geosciences: Department Head (Barbara Carrapa)
            University level: Human Resources (Guidelines here)
            For academic integrity concerns, consult the Dean of Students’ guidelines here
            For concerns about threatening behavior, consult 

More information on resolving disputes: