Informal Academic Grievance Procedure

FIRST LEVEL

When a student perceives that a faculty member has treated the student in an arbitrary, capricious, or prejudicial manner while a course is in session, the first step in seeking redress is to schedule an informal meeting with the instructor within five (5) regular class days of the perceived injustice. In the case of courses that are delivered in an electronic-only format this requirement can be met via telephone or email contact. If the instructor fails to meet with the student as scheduled or if the instructor does not respond to electronic communications within five (5) working days of the student’s reasonable attempt to contact the instructor, then the student should ask the academic advisor to request that the instructor contact the student. If the instructor fails to contact the student within five (5) additional working days from the date the student contacted the academic advisor, then the student may proceed to the second level of the informal grievance procedure.

When a meeting under this informal procedure takes place, the student should present to the faculty member all evidence to support the student’s belief that the faculty member has treated the student in an arbitrary, capricious, or prejudicial manner. A specific request for redress of the grievance should also be made.

If a resolution satisfactory to the student is reached, then the Grievance Procedure is concluded. If a resolution satisfactory to the student is not reached, the student may proceed to the Second Level of the Informal Grievance Policy.

SECOND LEVEL

If the situation is not resolved at the First Level, then within five (5) regular academic calendar days of the meeting with the instructor, the student may meet with the Chair of the School in which the course is offered. During this meeting, the student must notify the Chair that the meeting is being held as the Second Level of an Informal Grievance Procedure.

When a meeting under this informal procedure takes place, the student should present to the Chair, documentation or evidence either that the student has met with the instructor and the matter was not resolved, or that the student has made a good-faith attempt to contact and meet with the instructor as specified in the First Level Informal Grievance Procedure. All evidence to support the student’s belief that the faculty member has treated the student in an arbitrary, capricious, or prejudicial manner must also be presented at this time. A specific request for redress of the grievance should also be made.

The Chair shall have five (5) regular academic calendar days to mediate a resolution satisfactory to the student, and to provide written notification of the outcome of the mediation efforts to the student. If a resolution satisfactory to the student is reached, then the Grievance Procedure is concluded. If a resolution satisfactory to the student is not reached, that student may proceed to the First Level of the Formal Grievance Procedure.

FORMAL ACADEMIC GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

If the student feels the situation is not resolved at the Informal Level, then the student may proceed to the Formal Academic Procedure. Steps in the Academic Grievance Procedure that involve a formal meeting will follow the latest revision of Robert’s Rules of Order. At levels two and three of the Formal Process, the Panels will consider all of the facts as presented from all earlier stages of the Informal and Formal Academic Grievance Procedures.

 

FIRST LEVEL

The student must meet with the instructor of the course within five (5) regular academic calendar days from the date the student received a written decision from the Chair, but no later than twenty-five (25) regular academic days from the original incident. The student must notify the instructor that the meeting is a First Level Formal Academic Grievance meeting.

If a resolution satisfactory to both student and instructor is reached, then the Formal Academic Grievance Procedure is concluded. If a resolution satisfactory to the student is not reached, the student may proceed to the Second Level of the Formal Grievance Procedure.

SECOND LEVEL

If the situation is not resolved at the First Level of the Formal Academic Grievance Procedure, the student may proceed to the Second Level of the Formal Academic Grievance Procedure within five (5) regular academic calendar days after meeting with the instructor, according to the procedure in the First Level of the Formal Academic Grievance Procedure.

  1. The student must take a written request to the Dean of the College in which the course is offered to convene and chair an academic appeal panel, consisting of five (5) full-time voting faculty members: two (2) selected by the student, two (2) by the instructor of record, one (1) by the Dean.
    1. The members of the panel will be from the same School in which the course is offered. Should there be an insufficient number of faculty available in the School to complete the panel; faculty outside the School may be selected.
    2. The written request must include a statement of the specific issue which is being grieved, available evidence that the perceived injustice has occurred, available evidence that the student has followed the steps of the Informal and Formal Grievance Procedures (or that the student has made a good-faith effort to follow the Informal and Formal Grievance Procedures: and a statement that the situation remains unresolved.
  2. The academic appeals panel must meet within ten (10) regular academic calendar days of the filing of the Second Level appeal. This Panel will be convened and chaired by the non-voting Dean. The student and the instructor may be present at the meeting of the appeal panel to present their cases.
  3. Within five (5) regular academic calendar days of the Formal Level Two Panel meeting, the Chair of the Level Two Panel will notify in writing both the student and the instructor of the decision reached by the Panel.
  4. If a resolution satisfactory to both the student and instructor is reached, then the Grievance Procedure is concluded, and a copy of the decision of the panel will be placed in the student’s file in the Records Office.
  5. If a resolution satisfactory to the student is not reached, the student may proceed to the Third Level of the Formal Grievance Procedure.

 

THIRD LEVEL

If not satisfied with the decision of the Level Two Formal Academic Grievance Panel, either party may within ten (10) regular academic calendar days, request the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs to convene a third and final level panel.

  1. The Level Three Formal Academic Grievance Panel will consist of voting members as follows: one (1) faculty member from each School, elected to the current Academic Policy Committee, the Vice President of the Student Senate or an elected delegate, and a justice of the senate judiciary. Both parties shall be informed of the makeup of the panel no later than five (5) regular academic calendar days before the hearing. If either party feels that a particular School’s representative may be biased, then he/she may ask, by two (2) regular academic calendar days before the hearing, that the School’s other representative be used instead. If both parties contest both of a School’s representatives, then the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs shall choose another representative from the School. The chair will only vote in the event of a tie.
  2. The Level Three Formal Academic Grievance Panel must meet within ten (10) regular academic calendar days of the request.
  3. All documentation from all previous levels will be provided in advance of the Third Level Panel.
  4. The student and instructor of record may be present to present their cases.
  5. The Level Three panel shall issue a written decision within ten (10) regular academic calendar days of the meeting with copies sent to both the student and the instructor.
  6. The decision of the Level Three Panel is final and binding.

A copy of the panel’s decision will be placed in the student’s file in the Record’s Office