|Student Grievance Policy and Procedure|
A grievance is a formal complaint made by a student arising from an alleged action of the university or any of its faculty members, administrators, staff or students. Such action is one that is claimed to be unauthorized or unjustified and adversely affects the status, rights, or privileges of the student, including actions based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or disability.
Any student who has a complaint shall make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter on an informal basis before initiating a grievance. The Student Services Office shall appoint an administrative staff member to assist the student in seeking resolution by informal means. If it is required, the student may request a grievance hearing. A grievance hearing committee will be organized and a committee decision will be presented to the Director of Student Services, Dean of Academic Affairs, and President.
Student Grievance Policy
In accordance with the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, this policy describes the procedures by which a student(s) of University of the West may air his or her grievances as applied and regarding academic, administrative, and instructional matters relating to students, and including, but not limited to, any grievance dealing with any certificated or management employee of University of the West.
A grievance shall herein be defined as any act depriving a student of any the rights set forth in the statement of “Student Rights and Responsibility,” or any State, Federal, or local codes. Grades and grading grievances are not covered by this policy. Students should refer to “Grades or grading Grievance Policy.”
Student Grievance Procedure
Step 1 - Informal Action
The student (or group of students), who believes that an injustice has been done to him (them), shall first attempt to resolve the complaint by informal discussion with the employee(s) involved.
If the problem is not resolved in Step 1, an informal discussion should take place with the person at the lowest level of authority directly above the person(s) at which the complaint is directed, where authority exists to take corrective action.
The Office of Student Services shall attempt to resolve the problem through informal meeting and discussion among the pertinent parties while remaining neutral on all issues involved. This informal meeting and discussion will attempt to involve the levels of administration concerned with the problem and should be completed within ten (10) school days (a school day is defined
as day when classes are held). In the event the informal procedure fails, then the formal procedure would be implemented.
If the grievant still believes the issue has not been resolved satisfactorily, they may obtain a student grievance form from the Office of Student Services. After completion of this form, specifying the time, place, nature of the complaint and remedy or correction requested, it should be submitted to the Student Services Manager. The SSM will report the request of grievance to the Student Services Director. This request must be submitted within 5 school days after the grievant has become aware of the act or condition on which the complaint is based. A school day is defined as any day Monday through Friday that all normal college business is conducted, both in the classroom and in the administrative offices. All weekend and university holidays are excluded.
Step 2 - Formal Action
If the grievant does not believe the grievance has been resolved, then the grievant must request the Student Services Director to proceed to Step 2 of the process. The Student Services Director upon receiving the request of the grievant shall call a meeting of the Student Grievance Hearing Committee. The hearing Committee will be composed in the following manner:
The Student Services Director and two designees such as an administrative designee, Faculty Senate President or Senate designee, and one Faculty Senate member, chosen by the Faculty Senate.
The Student Services Director shall serve as the Hearing Committee Chairman, but shall have no vote in committee decisions. The five voting members of the Hearing Committee shall be selected within the first six weeks of the school year. Names selected by the Faculty Senate are to be submitted to the Student Services Director. Members of the Committee will serve for a school year.
The administrative designee shall serve as Hearing Committee Executive Secretary, a voting member of the committee, shall be responsible for keeping necessary records of committee hearings in the conduct of the hearing.
Grievance Committee members are to deal with all grievances in a confidential manner, except when both parties agree to a public hearing.
B. Formal Hearing
The Hearing Committee shall conduct its proceeding s according to the following procedures:
Step 3 - Appeals Process
If either party is dissatisfied with the recommendation of the Hearing Committee, he may appeal within ten school days to the University President provided the President is not a party to the grievance. If the President is party to the grievance, and either party is dissatisfied with the recommendation of the Hearing Committee, an appeal may be submitted directly to the Board of Trustees.
Upon receiving the findings and recommendations of the Hearing Committee, and after examination of the appeal as requested by either party, the President may accept or reject the Committee’s decision.
If the President rejects the Committee’s decision, he shall submit his decision with the stated reasons for his objections to the Hearing Committee within ten school days. The Hearing Committee shall within five school days reconsider its decisions and re-submit them to the President for his final decision.
The President shall transmit his final decision to both parties and the Faculty Senate vice chairman or designee within five school days.
An appeal of the President’s decision may be submitted to the Board of Trustees by either party. If unresolved, the appeal must be submitted with ten school days after the President’s decision. The Board may review the appeal for two consecutive Board meetings before making a final determination of the matter at the college level.
The President or Board of Trustees may change the Committee’s decision only after reviewing a transcription of the hearing.