STUDENT APPEAL/GRIEVANCE PROCESS
Purpose
The appeal/grievance process is designed to afford all students a means to redress any form of unjust, oppressive, discriminatory, or fundamentally unfair practice affecting student academic performance or progress. Such identified practice may be either academic or non-academic in nature. Academic/Non-Academic Appeal/Grievance Defined For the purpose of the policy and procedures that follow, academic/non-academic appeals/grievances refer to a substantial complaint of a serious nature. It is a student’s claim of injury or wrong resulting from a decision, practice, or act by a member or members of faculty, administration, or staff, which is arbitrary and capricious, unjust, oppressive, discriminatory, fundamentally unfair, or exceeds the limits of academic freedom. For any matter to give rise to such an appeal/grievance subject to these procedures there must be clear and convincing evidence, which demonstrates either arbitrary or capricious action on the part of the individual faculty, administration, or staff member or action which is oppressive, discriminatory, fundamentally unfair, or which exceeds the limits of academic freedom.
The evidence must also establish that such action was injurious. In all such appeals or grievances, the burden of proof and persuasion is upon the student. Academic/Non-Academic Appeal/Grievance Process Students who wish to appeal or grieve academic or non-academic actions/decisions are to follow appropriate channels of communication in seeking resolution of differences. Note: ordinarily a final grade may not be appealed. In order for a student to pursue an appeal of final grade, the student must have specific concrete evidence that the grade was either erroneously or unfairly awarded. A challenge to a grade received in a course, comprehensive examination, or other graduation requirement will be considered only when the student alleges that the grade received reflects other than appropriate academic criteria, that is, achievement and proficiency in the subject matter as stated in the course syllabus. When a student appeals a final grade, the student will provide the faculty member with a copy of all petitions.
Informal Phase:
When a student believes that he/she has a grievance or complaint related to his/her enrollment and successful progress at the College, within 10 business days of the action for which the grievance is being filed, the student must approach the instructor/staff/administrator directly and attempt to reach an understanding at that level. In those rare instances where a student believes that a direct approach might prejudice his/her standing, the student may bring the problem directly to the attention of the instructor/staff person’s supervisor or Dean. The Informal Phase shall last no longer than two weeks from the date the grievance was initiated.
Formal Phase:
Level 1. In those instances in which a satisfactory resolution is not secured in the Informal Phase, and in those instances where the grievance involved more than a single event/course or College employee:
1. The student should provide written notification of the complaint to the appropriate Dean and/or area supervisor within two weeks after the completion of the Informal Phase.
2. The Dean/Supervisor may discuss the matter with the student and any involved faculty/staff separately or together. If the situation warrants, the Dean/Supervisor may solicit the views and opinions of other faculty members, staff, and/or students on the matter at issue and may use any division appeal or grievance mechanism that has been established. A written decision must be given to all parties involved within 10 business days from the date Level I was initiated.
Level 2. In those cases where a satisfactory resolution has not been secured at Level 1:
1. The student may, in writing, request a conference with the appropriate College administrator (Vice President for Academics, Vice President for Finance, Vice President for Student Affairs, or Executive Director for Mission).
2. In attempting to reach a clarification and resolution of the grievance, the administrator should meet with the concerned parties within five business days after the written decision has been rendered in Level 1. Prior to this meeting the administrator should have memos or letters from all involved persons stating the issues and describing the decisions reached in previous meetings.
3. At the meeting with the administrator, each person concerned should review all letters and memos. New evidence relevant to the case may be brought forth at this time.
4. After studying the facts, the administrator shall make a decision. This decision must be given to all parties involved within 10 business days from the date Level 2 was initiated.
Level 3. In the event that the student or the faculty/staff member cannot accept the decision reached by the administrator, within five business days after the written decision has been rendered in Level 2:

 

1. They may apply, in writing, for a hearing before the Committee on Student Grievances (CSG), whose composition of five members is as follows:

Academic Grievance
i. The Presentation College Student Senate President shall appoint two students from Student Senate, who are not from the department in which the grievance originated, to serve as student representatives.
ii. The President of Presentation College Faculty Assembly shall appoint two faculty members, who are not from the department of the grieved faculty, to serve as faculty representatives.
iii. The Vice President for Academics shall appoint an academic Dean, who is not from the department of the grieved faculty, to serve as the CSG Chairperson of the committee chosen to hear the grievance.
b. Non -Academic Grievance
i. The Presentation College Student Senate President shall appoint two students from Student Senate, who are not from the department in which the grievance originated, to serve as student representatives.
ii. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall appoint two College staff members, who are not from the department of the grieved staff person, to serve as College staff representatives.
iii. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall appoint an Area Staff Supervisor, who is not from the department of the grieved staff person, to serve as the CSG Chairperson of the committee chosen to hear the grievance.
2. The five members will be notified by the appropriate administrator that they have been chosen to hear a grievance with the notice to state the time, date, and place of the hearing.
3. During the hearing, all individuals directly involved in the grievance must be present.
a. All letters, memos, documents, and other tangible evidence introduced in previous hearings must be available to all parties at the hearing.
b. All parties to the grievance have the right to obtain witnesses. The College will cooperate with the grievant in
securing witnesses and in making available specifically identified and relevant documentary and other evidence requested by the grievant, to the extent not limited by law.
c. There must be a tape recording of this hearing.
4. After careful consideration of all the evidence relevant to the grievance as presented at the hearing, the CSG, by a majority vote, shall make a recommendation to the President of Presentation College regarding the disposition of the. grievance within 30 days after the close of the hearing. Minority reports regarding the final disposition of the grievance shall be included with the recommendation.
Level 4. The President renders the final institutional decision based upon a review of the record and the recommendations, findings, and conclusions of the CSG and may:
1. Affirm the decision of the CSG;
2. Remand to the CSG with specific instructions for further findings or conclusions;
3. Conduct such further investigation or hearing as the President deems necessary; or
4. Reverse or modify the recommended disposition of the CSG.
a. If the President determines to reverse or modify the recommended disposition, the President shall state in detail the disagreement with the recommended disposition of the CSG.
b. If the President disagrees with the findings or conclusions of the CSG, the President shall make available the findings and conclusions that are supported by a preponderance of the evidence in the record. The President shall notify the parties involved by written decision rendered within 15 days after the issuance of the recommended decision of the CSG