Student Conduct, Professionalism and Dispute Resolution

As future health care professionals and health science researchers, UCSF students are held to high standards of behavior, particularly in matters of ethics, judgment and professionalism. Student conduct is often directly relevant to a student's academic performance. Matters relating to student conduct are therefore initiated by the deans of the schools and Graduate Division (or their designees). The dean shall be made aware of alleged misconduct and determine whether to utilize either procedures related to academic professionalism standards or student conduct procedures. Both avenues allow for informal or formal resolution of the issue(s). Initiation of one procedure does not preclude the use of the other resolution or investigative options.

Issues of Academic Professionalism

Breaches in academic professionalism, considered a core competency by the UCSF School of Dentistry, are differentiated from instances of student misconduct. Any breach of academic professionalism will be addressed via the process outlined within the Professionalism Expectations Statement.

Professionalism Expectations

Student Grievances

Grievance procedures related to academic issues are appropriate only in cases in which the student believes bias or wrongdoing by a faculty member has occurred. Grievances are not the same as disagreements. A student cannot grieve an assigned grade, for example, merely because the student disagrees with the grade.

Procedure for Student Grievance in Academic Affairs

Issues of Student Conduct

The School of Dentistry utilizes the UCSF campus student conduct procedures outlined in Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students (PACAOS).

Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students

Office of the Ombuds

The Office of the Ombuds is a resource for all members of the UCSF community. The office provides a confidential, neutral, informal and independent place to discuss campus-related problems and can help identify and evaluate options, provide information, facilitate conversations between conflicting parties and make referrals when necessary. The office offers assistance with:

  • Conflicts (interpersonal, workplace, academic)
  • Perceived unfair treatment
  • Improving communication
  • Understanding UCSF policies and procedures
  • Navigating campus administration

Contact the Office of the Ombuds at at 415.502.9600 or visit their website for more information.

Office of the Ombuds

Complaints Related to Accreditation Standards

UCSF School of Dentistry programs are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). CODA serves the public by establishing, maintaining and applying standards that ensure the quality and continued improvement of dental education programs.

It is the policy of this institution and CODA that all students should have an opportunity to file complaints with the Commission. A complaint is defined by the Commission on Dental Accreditation as one alleging that a Commission-accredited educational program, a program which has an application for initial accreditation pending, or the Commission itself may not be in substantial compliance with Commission standards or required accreditation procedures or dismissal of faculty, staff or students.
Students may submit an appropriate, signed, formal complaint to the Commission on Dental Accreditation regarding any Commission accredited dental, allied dental or advanced dental education program, or a program that has an application for initial accreditation pending. An appropriate complaint is one that directly addresses a program’s compliance with the Commission’s standards, policies and procedures. The Commission is interested in the continued improvement and sustained quality of dental and dental-related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for treatment received by patients or individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students.

Complaints related to CODA’s standards or policies may be sent to:

Commission on Dental Accreditation
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611-2678
1-800-621-8099, Ext. 4653

File a CODA Complaint CODA Complaint Guidelines (PDF) CODA Complaint Policy (PDF) CODA Policy and Procedure Manual