front entrance of Huff Hall

Undergraduate Affairs

Grievance Policy

The following procedures specify ways in which an undergraduate might register a grievance and delineate the process for handling grievances, which are filed. Since the campus has procedures for handling allegations of capricious grading, cheating, and discrimination (see the Student Code), the procedures described below apply to all other grievances related to teaching, advising, and administrative affairs. For the link to the procedures for Academic Integrity Violations, please follow this link. For capricious grading concerns, please follow this link.

Grievance Procedures for anything other than academic integrity

  1. The student shall promptly seek informal resolution of the issue with the faculty or staff member directly involved. If after reasonable efforts a satisfactory solution is not reached, the student may approach the immediate supervisor of the faculty or staff member to try and resolve the matter.
  2. If the informal strategy described above fails to satisfy the student, the next step is to approach the supervisor (or Department Head) of the faculty or staff person and inform them that they would like to file an official grievance with the unit’s faculty committee that oversees such grievances. The supervisor (or Department Head) should be informed in writing of the full scope and background of the grievance, and the student should identify the remedy being sought as part of the engagement of the grievance process. The Department Head shall also ask the faculty/staff member involved to submit a written response to the student’s grievance. It is expected that the response shall be received by the Department Head within 10 days of the request.
  3. Upon receiving the written grievance, the Department Head shall refer it to the Chair of the unit’s Grievance Committee for review and deliberation by that body. No one on the committee can be affiliated with the specific grievance, been accused in past grievances by the student, or be a close advisor/mentor of the student filing the grievance. The Chair and committee may interview the student and faculty or staff member in an attempt to reach a mutually satisfactory solution. If no resolution can be reached, the Chair and Grievance Committee will draft a decision/ruling to submit to the Department Head.
  4. As part of the review by the unit’s Grievance Committee, the Chair shall convene the Grievance Committee so that a hearing on the issue can be held as soon as possible or no later than thirty days after receiving the grievance.
  5. The hearing shall be conducted by the Chair under the following guidelines:
    1. The responsibility of establishing the validity of the grievance and the appropriateness of the suggested remedy shall be upon the student.
    2. The student and/or the faculty/staff member may be accompanied by an adviser of their choice, however only the student and/or faculty/staff member shall represent or speak for themselves in the hearing.
    3. The hearing shall be closed to the public except when both parties agree that it should be open.
    4. The Chair shall keep a record of the hearing, which shall include:
      1. The names of those present,
      2. A copy of any physical evidence (records, written testimony, duplicated materials, etc.) that is introduced, and
      3. A record of the final decision of the committee and its rationale.
      4. The hearing shall be conducted so that all parties to the dispute have an opportunity to present their views and to rebut those of the other.
      5. No final action shall be taken by the Grievance Committee and no testimony heard unless all voting members are present. All actions shall require the agreement of at least two voting members.
      6. The decision of the committee shall include a judgment concerning the validity of the alleged grievance and, if it is declared valid, a recommendation of a remedy for the harm done.
      7. The decision of the Grievance Committee concerning both the finding relevant to the dispute and the suggested remedy shall be submitted to the Department Head.
      8. The Department Head may affirm, reverse, or ask the Grievance Committee to reconsider its actions. The Department Head may also request additional information from the principals in the dispute in rendering a decision. The decision of the Department Head represents the final action of the department. The student must find avenues outside of the department (e.g., College of Applied Health Sciences) to pursue a redress of his/her grievance. The same procedure described above applies at the college level, with the Dean (or Dean’s designate) rendering the final decision.