To resolve academic grievances, students should complete this procedure no later than 60 days after the first day of the next regular (fall or spring) semester. (A summary checklist for this procedure is available on the Registrar’s office website under “Forms, Applications and Instructions.”):
- A student with a grievance must first identify the grievance and discuss the matter at issue with the faculty member who is the party to the grievance. Students who cannot locate the faculty member to discuss the grievance should meet directly with the chair of the relevant department. If a grievance arises against a department chair then the school’s faculty will select a faculty colleague to meet with the student.
- If no resolution of the grievance was achieved during that first step, then, second, the student must request, in writing, a meeting with the chair of the relevant department (or an appointed representative in the case of grievances against a department chair) and the faculty member who is party to the grievance (and the student, him/herself). In the written statement, the student will make clear to the department chair that there is a grievance matter, and that the issue was unresolved in a meeting with the faculty member. The meeting will be set by the department chair for within two weeks of receiving the written request. At this meeting, the grievance issue(s) must be identified. The department chair will facilitate an attempt to resolve the grievance. Students and faculty members should complete the Academic Grievance Process form (available on-line under “Forms” on the Registrar’s office website) at the end of this meeting if the student intends to pursue the grievance to the next step.
- If no resolution of the grievance is achieved at the second step, the student may make a request for a formal hearing of the grievance by the Academic Grievance Committee. The request must be in writing and presented to the chair of the Academic Grievance Committee within the 60 day time limit noted above. A detailed and clear statement with supporting evidence of the facts must accompany the hearing request. The Academic Grievance Committee will determine if the appeal is within its purview and if the facts warrant a hearing. Four affirmative votes of the Committee members are needed to call a formal grievance hearing.
The student has the responsibility to gather the appropriate signatures on the Academic Grievance Process Form at the end of each meeting of the grievance process. Additionally, the student must provide a signed copy of this completed form to the Academic Grievance Committee should the grievance not be resolved at steps 1 and 2 of the process. The Academic Grievance Process Form is available in the Registrar’s office and on the Registrar’s office website.
The student and faculty member, and witnesses with direct knowledge of events germane to the grievance for either party, are permitted at the formal hearing of the Academic Grievance Committee. All pertinent documents and supporting written statements will be admitted into evidence at this time, and those that are determined to be relevant by the committee will be considered carefully. The chair will moderate the proceedings. The grievant may be assisted during the hearing by an advisor selected from the College community (faculty, staff or student) but that advisor will not address the committee directly. While all parties to the grievance are free to consult with and receive advice from attorneys concerning the grievance, no party shall be represented by an attorney during the hearing itself.
The Committee’s recommendations, in writing and within a reasonable time frame, typically within ten days of the formal hearing, will be forwarded for final deposition to the appropriate school dean (or directly to the Provost in situations where no dean is available). The school dean will notify all parties concerned, in writing, of his/her decision and the recommendations of the Committee.
The Academic Grievance Committee will be comprised of four faculty representatives elected by each of the four schools and three students selected by the Student Association (which should keep in mind the fact that a traditional, nontraditional and graduate student should be included). Two alternate students will also be selected annually by the Student Association. No person on the Academic Grievance Board shall hear his/her own complaint. Confidentiality must be maintained at all times.