The primary objectives of this Student Grievance Procedure are to ensure that students have the opportunity to present grievances to the University regarding a certain action or inaction by a member of the University community and that the University has a consistent way of resolving those grievances in a fair and just manner. Additional resources are available from the Office of the Registrar.
A student may pursue a grievance if he or she believes that a member of the University community has violated his or her rights. (See University Policy #403.) This Student Grievance Procedure applies to alleged discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or disability as well as problems arising in the relationship between a student and the University that are not governed by other specific grievance procedures (such as University Policy #502, "Sexual Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedures," and University Policy #410 “Policy and Procedures for Student Appeals of Final Course Grades”. Upon request from any student, the Office of the Dean of Students will provide guidance about the appropriate system for redress of a particular complaint.
Prior to invoking the procedures described below, the student is strongly encouraged, but is not required, to discuss his or her grievance with the person alleged to have caused the grievance. The discussion should be held as soon as the student first becomes aware of the act or condition that is the basis of the grievance. Additionally or in the alternative, the student may wish to present his or her grievance in writing to the person alleged to have caused the grievance. In either case, the person alleged to have caused the grievance must respond to the student promptly, either orally or in writing.
If a student decides not to present his or her grievance to the person alleged to have caused the grievance or if the student is not satisfied with the response, he or she may present the grievance in writing to the chair or director (hereinafter “administrator”) of the department or area where the person alleged to have caused the grievance is employed. Any such written grievance must be received by the administrator not later than forty-five calendar days after the student first became aware of the facts which gave rise to the grievance. (If the grievance is against the chair or director of a department or area, the student should address his or her grievance to the next level director or appropriate dean or vice chancellor.) The administrator should conduct an informal investigation as warranted to resolve any factual disputes. Upon the student’s request, the administrator shall appoint an impartial fact-finding panel of no more than three persons to conduct an investigation. The administrator must state the terms and conditions of the investigation in a memorandum appointing the fact-finding panel. A fact-finding panel appointed hereunder shall have no authority to make recommendations or impose final action. The panel’s conclusions shall be limited to determining and presenting facts to the administrator in a written report.
Based upon the report of the fact-finding panel if any, the administrator shall make a determination and submit his or her decision in writing to the student and to the person alleged to have caused the grievance within ten calendar days of receipt of the panel’s report. The written determination shall include the reasons for the decision, shall indicate the remedial action to be taken if any, and shall inform the student of the right to seek review by the appropriate vice chancellor (or chancellor if the administrator is a vice chancellor).
Within ten calendar days of receipt of the administrator’s decision, a student who is not satisfied with the response of the administrator after the initial review may seek further review by submitting the written grievance, together with the administrator’s written decision, to the appropriate vice chancellor. (If the administrator is a vice chancellor, the student should seek further review by the chancellor.) The vice chancellor may delegate another administrator to act on his/her behalf.
The vice chancellor’s action will be limited to a review of the basis for the administrator’s decision and need not involve a de novo factual investigation. The vice chancellor may, but is not required to, direct that further facts be gathered or that additional remedial action be taken. Within 15 calendar days of receipt of the request for review, the vice chancellor shall submit his or her decision in writing to the student and to the person alleged to have caused the grievance. The written disposition shall include the reasons for the decision, and it shall direct a remedy for the aggrieved student if any. The student may elect to appeal the vice chancellor's decision to the Chancellor. Any such appeal must be filed not later than fifteen calendar days after the student receives the vice chancellor's decision.