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2.   Student Grievance/Appeal Procedures 

2.1 Introduction

A student grievance may involve faculty, staff, an office, or other students of the University.

A grievance must be initiated within 30 calendar days from the date of the alleged infraction/dispute.  Appeals regarding assigned grades must be addressed with the instructor within 30 days of the issuance of the grade.  The time for filing a grievance can be waived for good cause as determined by the Dean of Students.

A grievance which has been brought forth and ruled on under other procedures may not be brought forth under these procedures and vice versa.

A person who retaliates in any way against an individual who has filed a grievance is subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

Any person who knowingly and intentionally files a false grievance under this policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

 

2.2 Types of Grievances/Appeal

2.21 Grade Appeal – student wishes to appeal a grade.

2.22 Academic Grievance - student wishes to contest the course requirements, examinations, course content, admission to a program, instructor behavior, or similar issue.

2.23 Non-Academic Grievance – student wishes to address a situation that occurred outside of the classroom. A grievance based appeal on such an issue is relevant if the grievance is between a student and one or more other students; a faculty or staff member; a student organization; or any other office or agency of the University.

2.3 Introduction to Filing a Grievance/Appeal

At each stage of the appeal/grievance process, it is understood that the accused will be afforded the opportunity to present separately their perspective of the nature and relative facts pertaining to the issue in question.  Students who are bringing a grievance should first try to seek a resolution of their grievance/complaint by scheduling a conference either in person, by telephone, or virtually with the person/office with whom/which the student has a dispute.  If the student remains unsatisfied with the outcome of this initial conference the student should initiate and register a formal written complaint through the University Complaint Resolution Portal (http://utpb.edu/services/business-affairs/complaint-resolution).  All formal written complaints should be submitted through the University Complaint Portal which will register and route the student complaint to the appropriate authority.  Students need only use this portal once to register their complaint.  Any subsequent written appeals required during the grievance process should be sent directly to the addressee as indicated in this policy.

The following steps should be followed with respect to seeking redress of grievances:

2.4 Grade Appeal

A student who wishes to dispute an assigned grade should first submit a written appeal to the instructor and seek resolution via a conference either in person, by telephone, or virtually with the instructor.

The student should consult with the Student Rights Advocate and may consult with the advocate throughout the duration of the appeal process. The Student Rights Advocate is appointed by the Dean of Students. 

If, within five (5) working days of the conference with the instructor, the student believes that the issue has not been addressed or disagrees with the outcome of conference, the student should initiate and register a formal written complaint through the University Complaint Resolution Portal (http://utpb.edu/services/business-affairs/complaint-resolution).  The written complaint will be routed to the relevant Department Chair or supervisor (if the instructor does not have a Chair or if the instructor is the Chair) who will schedule a conference either in person, by phone, or virtually with the student.

If, within ten (10) working days after the meeting with the Department Chair or supervisor, the student believes the grade appeal has not been addressed or disagrees with the outcome of the conference with the Department Chair or supervisor, the student should file a written appeal directly (not via the University Complaint Form Portal) with the appropriate academic Dean and seek an appointment either in person, by telephone, or virtually with him or her. 

Upon receipt of the written appeal, the Dean will schedule a meeting in person, by telephone, or virtually with the student. Following the appointment with the student, the Dean will investigate the matter.

The Dean shall respond to the appeal within (10) working days of the meeting with the student unless an investigation requires additional time in which case the circumstances should be documented. The decision of the Dean shall be FINAL.

2.5 Academic Grievance

A student who has an academic grievance should first submit a written appeal to the instructor and seek resolution of the grievance via a conference in person, by telephone, or virtually with the instructor.  The student has the option of consulting with the Student Rights Advocate and may consult with the advocate throughout the duration of the appeal process.  The Student Rights Advocate is appointed by the Dean of Students.

If, within (10) working days of the conference with the instructor, the student believes that the academic grievance has not been addressed or disagrees with the outcome of the conference with the instructor, the student should initiate and register a formal written complaint through the University Complaint Resolution Portal (http://utpb.edu/services/business-affairs/complaint-resolution).  The written complaint will be routed to the relevant Department Chair or supervisor (if the instructor does not have a Chair or if the instructor is the Chair) who will schedule a conference either in person, by telephone, or virtually with the student.

If within ten (10) working days of meeting with the Department Chair or supervisor the student believes that the academic grievance has not been addressed or disagrees with the outcome of the conference with the Department Chair or supervisor, the student should file a written complaint directly (not via the University Complaint Resolution Portal) with the appropriate academic Dean and seek an appointment in person, by telephone, or virtually with the him or her.

Upon receipt of the written complaint, the Dean will schedule a conference in person, by telephone, or virtually with the student. Following the appointment with the student, the Dean will investigate the matter.

If within ten (10) working days after the conference with the Dean, a student believes the academic grievance has not been addressed or disagrees with the outcome of the conference with the Dean, or if the accused is the Dean, the student should file a written complaint directly (not via the University Complaint Resolution Portal) with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and seek an appointment in person, by telephone, or virtually with him or her.

If within (10) working days after the conference with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the student believes the academic grievance has not been addressed or disagrees with the outcome of the conference, the Student Rights Advocate will then inform and advise the President, who shall render a FINAL decision within (10) working days.  The President should be provided with a timeline of the grievance and proposed resolutions at each step of the process.

2.6 Non-Academic Grievance

In order to reconcile grievances that are not academically related, students should:

First attempt to resolve the grievance with the person/office with whom/which they have a grievance.  In instances where the student has good reason not to attempt a resolution with a particular person, the student should seek an appointment in person, by telephone, or virtually with the supervisor of the person with whom they have a grievance.  If the complaint is directed against a certain office, the student should seek a conference in person, by telephone, or virtually with the director of that office. 

If the grievance involves students only and the student has good reason not to attempt a resolution with this person, the grievance may be made directly to the Dean of Students.

If the grievance involves a University employee or office and within five (5) working days of discussing the matter with the employee or office director, the student believes the grievance has not been addressed or disagrees with the outcome of the conference with the employee or the office director the student should initiate and register a formal written complaint through the University Complaint Resolution Portal (http://utpb.edu/services/business-affairs/complaint-resolution).  The written complaint will be routed to the appropriate supervisor or the director of the relevant office who will arrange an appointment in person, by telephone, or virtually with the complainant.

If the grievance involves a student and within five (5) working days of conference with the accused student, the student believes the grievance has not been addressed or disagrees with the outcome of the conference with the accused student, the student should initiate and register a formal written complaint through the University Complaint Resolution Portal (http://utpb.edu/services/business-affairs/complaint-resolution).  The written complaint will be routed to the Dean of Students who will arrange an appointment in person, by telephone, or virtually with him or her.  A grievance filed against a student will be handled through the student conduct procedures as prescribed in Student Conduct and Discipline.

If within ten (10) working days after discussing the matter with the employee’s supervisor, office director, or Dean of Students, as appropriate, the student believes the grievance has not been addressed or disagrees with the outcome of the conference, the student should file a written complaint directly (not via the University Complaint Resolution Portal) with the Vice President for Student Services and seek an appointment in person, by telephone, or virtually with him or her.

If within ten (10) working days after the conference with the Senior Associate Vice President for Student Services the student believes the grievance has not been addressed or disagrees with the outcome of the conference, the student should file a written complaint directly (not via the University Complaint Resolution Portal) with the President, who shall render a FINAL decision within ten (10) working days. The president should be provided with a timeline of the grievance and proposed resolutions at each step of the process.

2.7 Other Grievances

Grievances regarding disability, discrimination, sexual harassment sexual misconduct should be addressed in accordance with the appropriate policy of the University.  (Reference ADA Grievance Policy; Non-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Policy).