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Students who believe they have experienced an academic impropriety are entitled
to file an academic grievance. That grievance will be heard by an independent review committee and may have corrective action taken. A grievance is an official, documented complaint made to the academic administration regarding an academic decision made by a College official in their official capacity that may have influenced the student’s overall academic standing. Students have the right to request a formal review of academic

decisions where possible policy irregularities, procedural irregularities, academic/ personal prejudices, or mitigating circumstances may have occurred. An academic grievance cannot be invoked for issues pertaining to dissatisfaction with a college, school, or program policy.

Informal Attempts at a Resolution

A student wishing to appeal an academic decision must first address the matter with the individual(s) most directly responsible. This address must be made in writing, wherein the student clearly states the academic grievance, lists proactive measures taken, details desired resolution(s), and provides any supporting documentation. If no resolution results, the student may then elevate the issue to the next administrative level such as a program chair or academic dean.

Academic Grievance Procedure

If the informal attempts are unsuccessful, the student can initiate the formal grievance process.

Academic Grievance Committee

An Academic Grievance Committee, facilitated by the Dean of Students, is comprised of full-time faculty. The student will need to submit the complaint to the Dean of Students in writing to initiate the process. A student must initiate the Academic Grievance Process within fifteen (15) days of the original academic decision.

1. The student should submit a written statement that clearly states the academic grievance, lists proactive measures taken, details desired resolution(s), and provides any supporting documentation to the Dean of Students. The written statement should address one of the items that can be formally grieved as listed in the Statement on Academic Grievance. For help preparing the statement, the student may seek the assistance of a third party, such as a faculty advisor, program chair, or other
relevant staff.

2. The Academic Grievance Committee will review (1) the evidence set forth in the written statement submitted by the student, (2) the written statement of the College official involved in the disagreement, and (3) supporting documentation provided by all interested parties. The student also has the option of making a formal presentation to the committee in person by setting a meeting time with the Dean of Students.

3. The Academic Grievance Committee will render a written response to an academic grievance within seven (7) days of receiving the written statement:

a. Uphold the original decision: the student has provided no substantial, relevant evidence of a policy irregularity, procedural irregularity, academic/ personal prejudice, or mitigating circumstances that negatively impacted the student’s overall academic standing.

b. Revise the original decision: the student has provided relevant evidence of policy irregularity, procedural irregularity, academic/personal prejudice, or mitigating circumstances that negatively impacted the student’s overall academic standing.

c. Overturn the original decision: the student has provided substantial relevant evidence of a policy irregularity, procedural irregularity, academic/ personal prejudice, or mitigating circumstances that negatively impacted the student’s overall academic overall standing.

The committee can reject a grievance outright under the following circumstances:

  • The procedure was not initiated within the appropriate time frame dictated by the policy.
  • The procedure was not followed according to the process dictated by the policy. • The appeal was filed before the academic decision was formally reported or confirmed.
  • The appeal did not qualify as one of the four categories under which an appeal can be filed.
  • The documentation for mitigating circumstances could have been filed at the time
  • they occurred, but were not.
  • Evidence put forward to support the appeal was dishonestly acquired or was itself dishonest.

Under these circumstances, the student will not be allowed to re-initiate the academic grievance process, and depending on the breach of these criteria, may face disciplinary action.

If the committee’s decision requires further action, the involved parties will be notified by the Dean of Students. The committee may determine whether to resolve the issue informally or reassign the issue to the appropriate College official. The decision will be filed with all concerned parties and a record of the appeal will be filed in the Office of Academic Affairs by the chair of the Academic Grievance Committee.

Filing an Appeal

If the student is dissatisfied with the committee’s decision, the student will be able to file an ultimate appeal to Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost. The appeal must specify the particular substantive or procedural basis of the appeal and not simply dissatisfaction with the grievance process. The appeal must be filed within ten (10) days of the filing date of the committee’s report.

The written appeal should include: (1) a copy of the original grievance and any other documents, (2) a copy of the determination made by the committee, and (3) a statement of why the reasons for the determination of the committee are unsatisfactory.

The Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost may reject the reject a grievance outright under the same circumstances as the Academic Grievance Committee.

The Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost will render one of three responses to an academic grievance:

a. Uphold the committee’s decision: The student has provided no substantial, relevant evidence that there was substantive or procedural inequalities perpetrated by the committee.

b. Revise the committee’s decision: The student has provided relevant evidence that there was substantive or procedural inequalities perpetrated by the committee.

c. Overturn the committee’s decision: The student has provided substantial, relevant evidence that there was substantive or procedural inequalities perpetrated by the committee.

If the decision requires further action, the involved parties will be notified by the Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost. The Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost may determine whether to resolve the issue informally or reassign the issue to the appropriate College official. The decision will be filed with all concerned parties and a record of the appeal will be filed in the Office of Academic Affairs by the Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost. The decision of the Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost is final.

The process for a student to file a grievance against a faculty/staff member follows the same protocol. For Judicial Appeals see the Student Handbook.

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