Grievance Process

The grievance process for any student complaint involving a matter (e.g., inappropriate language, preferential treatment, misuse of funds) not covered by existing institutional policy is as follows:

  • The complainant communicates his or her grievance to the vice president for student affairs/dean of students (or to the chief human resource officer if the complaint is about the vice president for student affairs/dean of students).
  • The dean begins the process of mediation or, at his or her discretion, defers the process of mediation. In the latter case, the grievance may be referred directly to the Grievance Panel.
  • The process of mediation may take any of the following courses:
    (1) The individuals involved meet together and effect a resolution.
    (2) The individuals meet together with a mediator assigned by the dean. With the assistance of the mediator, they may effect a resolution. If a resolution is not achieved, the grievance may be resubmitted to the dean, with a mediation report from the mediator and a written response from the target of the grievance. From this point, the grievance is referred to the Grievance Panel.
    (3) The individuals refuse mediation and submit a written mediation refusal to the dean. The dean reviews the mediation refusal and either refers the grievance directly to the Grievance Panel, or refers the grievance back to a mediator assigned by the dean.
  • When the grievance is referred to the Grievance Panel (composed of one administrator, one faculty member, and one student), the panel conducts a hearing. It may conduct an investigation and interview the persons concerned. The Grievance Panel then renders a judgment, which may take the form of dismissal of the complaint or the imposition of disciplinary measures. In the case of disciplinary action, the person on whom it is imposed may appeal to the appropriate vice president.