Students who wish to file a complaint against a staff member or service provided through UAB Career & Professional Development must do so by completing the online Student Complaint Form. This policy does not apply to university policies such as sexual harassment, equity/diversity complaints, admission decisions, academic and non-academic conduct and other student grievance policies addressed in academic catalogs and the student handbook.

Please note: This is a form for the department of Career & Professional Development ONLY. For UAB Student Complaint Policies, please go here: http://www.uab.edu/students/one-stop/complaint-policy

Informal Complaints
Before making a written complaint, students are encouraged to seek a resolution by discussing the issue informally with the relevant staff member most associated with the matter. A staff member with whom a concern is raised by a student is expected to deal with the matter in an open and professional manner and take reasonable and prompt action to try to resolve it informally. A student who is uncertain about how to seek informal resolution of a concern is encouraged to seek advice from Melissa Whatley, Interim Director at 205.934.4324, 1400 University Blvd Suite 307.

Formal Complaints
Where it has not been possible to resolve a concern informally, a student may make a formal complaint. Formal complaints must be submitted in writing on the prescribed form. The written complaint must be submitted within one month after the occurrence of the action or matter unless the Interim Director agrees to receive it beyond this time frame. If the complaint involves the Interim Director personally, the form should be submitted to the Vice President of Student Affairs. The Interim Director will maintain a file of all documentation in relation to the complaint and must assure that any staff member named in the complaint receives a copy as soon as possible.

Complaints will be acknowledged by the Interim Director within three working days. The resolution process may include meetings with relevant staff and/or the complainant. Should a meeting be held, the parties may, if they wish, be accompanied by a peer support person.

Resolution of Complaints
The Interim Director must make a decision in relation to the complaint and must communicate in writing his or her decision within 30 days of receiving the complaint. If the resolution of the complaint involves a potential grievance for an employee, the Interim Director must follow the appropriate procedures in the UAB employee handbook.

Appeals
A student who is dissatisfied with the decision under this policy may appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs. An appeal must be submitted in writing within two weeks of the letter communicating the decision. The Vice President will consider the relevant documentation and may, at his or her discretion, consult the Interim Director who made the decision. If he or she determines that the complaint process has been conducted in accordance with this policy and the outcome is appropriate, the Vice President may dismiss the appeal. Otherwise, he or she will decide on the appeal in consultation with the Interim Director and any other involved parties. The Vice President will communicate his or her appeal decision in writing to the parties involved.

Confidentiality
All student related information will be considered confidential and protected under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). Records relating to employees and other records that do not include student information are not confidential.

Updated 12/28/2015

UAB News

  • Hill Student Center Pave the Way campaign to support student emergency loan fund
    The Pave the Way campaign benefits the Undergraduate Student Government Association’s Student Emergency Loan Fund, to assist students in need. For $100, purchasers may have a brick engraved with a message.

    A newly restarted campaign at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s new Hill Student Center will again offer specially engraved bricks, with funds raised to help students.

    The Pave the Way campaign benefits the Undergraduate Student Government Association’s Student Emergency Loan Fund, to assist students in need. For $100, purchasers may have a brick engraved with a message.

    “Through the USGA Emergency Loan Program, we were able to grant small, interest-free loans to 32 students this past year to meet expenses that helped them focus on classes,” said USGA treasurer Weslie Shannon in 2015. “Being able to offer this and help fellow students in a stressful situation is what the UAB spirit is all about.” 

    Each paver is 6 inches by 12 inches and may be engraved with as many as two lines with 16 characters each. The message may show school spirit or be offered in honor or memory of a student, faculty or staff member. The pavers are included in a common area of the new building, which officially opened for the spring semester in January 2016. A limited number of pavers are available.

    With 162,000 square feet of space for student activities, gatherings and services, the UAB Hill Student Center provides meeting, conference and auditorium space; student organization spaces; upgraded dining facilities including Full Moon Bar-B-Que, Mein Bowl, Starbucks and soon-to-be-open Panera Bread; a ballroom that can be divided into four sections; a stadium-style theater; a two-story bookstore; a technology store; the Campus Visit Center; and the One-Stop Student Service center for admissions, course registration, student accounting, parking, financial aid and student ID functions.

    full listing of all departments and services, as well as a building map, reservation request forms and more, is available at www.uab.edu/studentcenter. The new center replaces the former Hill University Center, at the corner of University Boulevard and 14th Street South.

  • UAB awarded Gates Foundation Grand Challenge awards to address maternal-fetal health in South Africa
    UAB receives two grants from the Gates Foundation to address pregnancy-related problems in developing countries.
    Written by Kendra Carter
    Media contact: Bob Shepard, bshep@uab.edu

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine is partnering with researchers at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Pretoria, South Africa, to address pregnancy-related problems in developing countries, funded by two $2.5 million grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    The Gates Foundation’s All Children Thriving initiative received 54 letters of intent — or preliminary applications for funding — in the current funding round. UAB investigators submitted five of the 54. The All Children Thriving initiative focuses on creating new tools and methods that ensure safe, healthy births for both infants and mothers.

    Rubin Pillay, M.D., Ph.D., assistant dean for global health innovation at the UAB School of Medicine and professor of health care innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAB Collat School of Business, says nine proposals — including three from UAB — were invited to make full submissions. “Of those, three grant awards were made, and UAB received two,” he said.

    In the first project, UAB researchers are looking to develop a low-cost, one-time blood test for gestational diabetes, a disease that increases the risk of birth injury, cesarean delivery and stillbirth and has lifelong adverse health consequences for both mothers and infants. Currently, the diagnosis of gestational diabetes relies on glucose tolerance testing, which is expensive and time-consuming to administer. UAB researchers are working to develop an improved diagnostic method that is reproducible, inexpensive, requires only one blood draw, and can be performed at a wide range of gestational ages.

    Doctors and researchers at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University will recruit pregnant South African women at 20 to 28 weeks pregnant who will be screened for gestational diabetes with routine glucose tolerance testing. Metabolomics analyses, an innovative technology that can measure thousands of analytes simultaneously, will be performed to identify unique biomarkers of gestational diabetes, insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. Researchers will then identify the biomarkers with the greatest sensitivity and specificity for gestational diabetes and combine them into a single test.

    The second project aims to develop an easy-to-use and cost-effective cervical pessary — a device placed at the opening of the cervix to close it — with sensors to detect and prevent preterm labor. In South Africa, approximately eight out of every 100 infants are born prior to 37 weeks of gestation, according to Pillay. This amounted to approximately 84,000 preterm births in South Africa in 2011.

    “These projects give UAB the opportunity to partner with a new medical school in South Africa for truly innovative research that could have a transformative impact on the lives of women and children in developing areas. The fact that we received two of the three project awards shows our competitiveness in patient-centered research and highlights our successful efforts to increase UAB’s impact on global health care delivery.”

    A short cervical length is one of the best predictors of subsequent, spontaneous preterm birth. Pillay says the two best interventions to prevent preterm birth are the use of vaginal progesterone and the placement of a cervical pessary, but significant barriers to care in developing countries — such as access to needed medical equipment and patient compliance — limit effectiveness and success of the treatments. The UAB pessary would have sensors to detect preterm labor that link to a mobile phone to alert women of cervical shortening and dilation and would also contain progesterone, which would be administered directly to combat cervical shortening.

    Pillay says the research and development effort is a multidepartment, multischool collaboration across UAB and includes the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine; the School of Engineering; the Department of Computer and Information Science in the College of Arts and Sciences; and the Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department in the Schools of Medicine and Engineering.

    “These projects give UAB the opportunity to partner with a new medical school in South Africa for truly innovative research that could have a transformative impact on the lives of women and children in developing areas,” said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. “The fact that we received two of the three project awards shows our competitiveness in patient-centered research and highlights our successful efforts to increase UAB’s impact on global health care delivery.”

    Pillay thinks that the product development experience could produce long-lasting benefits for the Birmingham economy, as well as for patient care in the United States.

    “While we’re developing the cervical pessary, we’re also hoping to spin off other products, like for example, a sensor-based device to monitor cervical dilation of women in labor, so women don’t need to be digitally examined every hour,” he said. “A big part of the future of health care is going to involve sensor-based technology, so I think this project will provide invaluable lessons and expertise for local scientists and researchers. This project is going to help us build capacity locally.”

  • Landefeld named to U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
    UAB’s Landefeld named to government panel that helps determine recommendations on preventive health measures.

    C. Seth Landefeld, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been appointed to theU.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The task force is an independent, volunteer panel composed of experts from many health-related fields, including internal medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, obstetrics/gynecology, and nursing. Each is appointed by the director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    Each year, the task force examines the evidence base for preventive health services — such as screenings, counseling services and preventive medications — and delivers an annual report to Congress with recommendations about whether specific clinical preventive practices help or harm the health of Americans. While its recommendations have sometimes been controversial, specifically related to mammograms for women under 50 and prostate cancer screening, the task force has had a positive impact on the role of prevention in routine doctor visits over the past 20 years.

    “We are proud to congratulate Seth on this prestigious new appointment,” said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the UAB School of Medicine. “We are confident that his experience, skill and leadership will serve the task force well.”

    Landefeld is internationally known for his work in geriatrics, general internal medicine and health care research, with the emphasis of his work aiming to personalize health care for the elderly and to improve their outcomes. He is a thought leader on the safe delivery of medicines and care delivery models that improve geriatric outcomes.

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