I reside in FL. I finished all course work for my PHD program but I have not received approval to start my dissertation. I have 150,000 in student debt. Now, my school is trying to kick me out (i.e. dismiss me) from the program b/c they claim i didnt use an IRB form for a preliminary portfolio. I was never told to do so and further the supervisor i was working with (my chair) didnt mention it and accepted my data as good as she even wanted to use the research in a paper of hers. So, when i went up to the board to do a power point presentation, someone (that hates me) told me since i didnt use the form i will be kicked out of the program at the very end. I need help!!!
First, let's question whether the info that has you concerned is authoritative and official. It does not sound so, and you will first want to ascertain whether that is just someone making trouble or whether you have been actually notified of an impending or intended dismissal.
Assuming that the statement constitutes a Notice of Dismissal from your degree program: Your school undoubtedly has some sort of administrative appeals process where disputes about degree eligibility, academic credit and other kinds of academic disputes are heard and resolved. Ask the Department Chair or the Office of the Dean of Graduate Affairs or a similar official or administrator. You will need to get a copy of the process, and make a timely notification of your intent to challenge the notice of proposed dismissal. You must honor all time limits and procedural requirements scrupulously in order to preserve your rights.
For the appeals process, you can have counsel (at your own expense) and that is often a very wise course for one who has as much invested as you do. You have the right to present evidence and witnesses and to ask questions and make arguments in support of your position. The school has a lot of leeway in interpreting and enforcing its own policies and rules, but it also has the power to waive such formalities as it is willing.
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