Grievance Process

Home / Academics / Academic Grievance Process

Introduction

These procedures are intended to facilitate a fair hearing by the Undergraduate Academic Grievance Hearing Committee (henceforth “the Committee”)  of any student academic grievance.

The Committee will be a standing committee consisting of three faculty members, the Assistant Dean of Students, and one student. One of the faculty members, who will function as Chair of the committee, will be Barrett’s Academic Integrity Officer, a position appointed by the Dean in consultation with the Faculty Chair. The other two faculty members will be appointed by the Faculty Chair for three year terms. A pool of volunteer students will be created and drawn upon as their scheduling allows. Volunteers will be sought at the start of the academic year and will need to provide a brief letter of reference from their Human Event or History of Ideas professor. Pool selections will be made by the Committee. Selected students must be in good standing and hold junior or senior status. 

When convened to hear an academic grievance, the committee will make decisions by majority rule. The full membership is required for Committee action. The Committee Chair will receive all written statements of the concerned parties in the formal hearing of a grievance.

Any Barrett student who believes they have a grievance must first use the informal process outlined below. Student grade appeals must be processed in the regular semester immediately following the issuance of the grade in dispute (by commencement for Fall or Spring) regardless of whether the student is enrolled at the university. Students who believe they are victims of retaliation should immediately contact the Dean.

Student grievances cannot be processed during the summer or between semesters. If a student believes a basis for a grievance has occurred during the summer, the student must initiate the informal grievance process during the regular semester that immediately follows the date that the action giving rise to the grievance occurred.

In this document, “Chair” refers to the Chair of the Undergraduate Academic Grievance Hearing Committee. “Dean” refers to the Dean of Barrett, the Honors College. “Day” means normal university business day, not including Saturday, Sunday, any official recognized university employee holiday, or any day the university is closed.

Informal Process

  1. No later than the semester immediately following the issuance of the grade in dispute or after the basis for an academic grievance is known to the student, the student must schedule an appointment with the faculty member concerned to discuss the problem. A student can request that the Associate Dean of Student Services be present as an observer at this meeting. 
  2. If this discussion does not result in a satisfactory resolution, the student must, within 10 days of the meeting, request in writing an appointment with the Faculty Chair. The Faculty Chair will meet with the student within 10 days of receipt of this request. The Faculty Chair will then attempt to resolve the grievance in a just manner satisfactory to both the concerned faculty member and the aggrieved student. The Faculty Chair may elect to meet with the student and instructor together or separately in an effort to resolve the grievance.
  3. If this discussion does not result in a satisfactory resolution, the student must, within 10 days of the meeting, request in writing an appointment with the Dean. The Dean will meet with the student within 10 days of this request. The Dean will then attempt to resolve the grievance in a just manner satisfactory to both the concerned faculty member and the aggrieved student. The Dean may elect to meet with the student and instructor together or separately in an effort to resolve the grievance. The Dean will, within 10 days, provide the students with the results of the informal process.
  4. Within 10 days of receiving the statement from the Dean, a student who desires to proceed with the Formal Process must file a written statement of the grievance with the Faculty Chair, proceeding as specified below.

Formal Process

The Chair may extend any timeline in this document for good reason.

  1. If unsatisfied with the outcome of the informal process, the student may file a written statement of the grievance. The statement must include a description of the specific events, actions, course and grade (if applicable), relating to the grievance as well as the resolution the student is seeking. The written statement of grievance should be delivered to the Faculty Chair, who will (within 5 days from the receipt of the student statement) convene the Committee and pass the written statement of grievance to the Committee Chair..
  2. Within 5 days of the receipt of the student’s written statement of grievance from the Faculty Chair, the Committee Chair will:
    1. Provide his or her contact information to the student and notify the student that all further communication related to the grievance should be directed to the Committee Chair.
    2. Distribute copies of the student’s statement of the grievance to the Committee members, the faculty member involved in the grievance, the Faculty Chair, and the Dean.
    3. Request that the faculty member involved in the grievance provide a written response to the student’s statement of grievance.
  3. Within 5 days of the distribution of the student’s statement of grievance and the request of the Chair for a written response, the faculty member involved will submit a written response to the student’s statement to the Chair.
  4. Within 2 days of the receipt of the faculty response, the Chair will distribute copies of the faculty response to the committee members and the student involved in the grievance.
  5. Within 5 days of receipt of the response of the faculty member involved, or as soon as reasonably possible, the Chair will schedule a meeting to consider the grievance. Both parties involved (student and faculty) will receive written notice of the meeting and will be expected to appear at the meeting. If either party fails to attend the meeting without good reason, as determined by the Chair, the Committee may decide to proceed with the information it has before it.
  6. Conflict of interest or bias.
    1. If the student or faculty member believes a member of the Committee should not participate, based on perceived or actual bias or conflict of interest, the student or faculty member may request, in writing, that the Committee member be excused. The Chair will decide whether or not the claim of conflict of interest or bias has merit and retain or excuse the committee member in question accordingly. If a Committee member believes that he or she has a bias or conflict of interest which would negatively impact his or her ability to decide the grievance fairly, the Committee member will excuse him or herself. The Faculty Chair will choose a replacement for an excused Committee member.
  7. Documents.
    1. The student and faculty member may provide documents to the Committee for review and consideration. The Chair, however, will advise the student and faculty member that the Committee will only consider documents that specifically relate to the grievance and response. The documents must be provided to the Chair and to the other party at least 5 days before the scheduled hearing. The Chair will distribute copies of the documents to the Committee at least 3 days before the scheduled hearing.
  8. Family Education and Privacy Rights Act (FERPA).
    1. If the grievance involves the aggrieved student’s grade, other matters or information contained in the student’s academic or educational records maintained by ASU, it is presumed that the student has consented to the review of this information by the filing of the grievance. If any information will be reviewed or provided to the Committee related to grades or information contained in the educational records or academic files of students other than the aggrieved, the information is considered confidential under FERPA and the Committee shall proceed as follows:
      1. The Committee will obtain the written consent of the students involved (other than the     aggrieved student) to review grades or information from their educational records.
      2. The Chair will excise all the names, social security numbers, addresses and any other identifying information from the education records of the students involved (other than the aggrieved student).
  9. Closed hearing.
    1. All hearings and meetings of the Committee shall be closed to the public to ensure confidentiality and to protect the privacy of both student and faculty.
  10. Counsel.
    1. Neither the student nor the faculty member may be represented by legal counsel or any other advisor at the hearing.
  11. Witnesses.
    1. The student and faculty member may bring witnesses to the hearing. Both should make an effort to limit the number of witnesses to three or fewer. The student and instructor must provide the names of their witnesses to the Chair at least 5 days before the scheduled hearing.

      Witnesses may be excused, except when testifying, at the discretion of the Chair. The student and faculty member shall remain throughout the hearing.
  12. Presentations of Student and Faculty Member.
    1. At the hearing, the student will present their position first and try to do so within 20 minutes, including the presentations of witness testimony and documentation. The Chair may extend the time at their discretion. The members of the Committee may question the student and witnesses during their presentations. The faculty member may question the student and witnesses at the end of each presentation. The Chair may, at their discretion, require the faculty member to direct questions to the student or the student’s witnesses through the Chair.

      The same process will be followed with the presentation of the faculty member’s case.

      All questions in both presentations should be related to the specific allegations of the grievance or statements in the response. The Chair has final authority to judge relevancy.
  13. Record of Hearing.
    1. The hearing will be electronically recorded and preserved in College records.
  14. Committee Deliberation and Recommendation.
    1. Promptly following the hearing, the Committee will deliberate privately upon the grievance. Based upon this deliberation, the Chair will submit written recommendations of action (along with all supporting data) to the Dean. The recommendation will be submitted not more than 5 days after the hearing. The recommendation shall include:
      1. Identity of the student, instructor and course involved in the grievance.
      2. Date grievance and response were filed with the Committee.
      3. Identity of the Committee members who heard the grievance.
      4. Date(s) the Committee met to hear and deliberate upon the grievance.
      5. Summary of the positions of the student and instructor.
      6. Summary of testimony and documents presented.
      7. Conclusions of the Committee.
      8. Recommendation of the Committee.
  15. Dean’s Decision and Notification.
    1. Within 14 days after the receipt of the Committee’s written report and recommendations, the Dean shall render a decision on the grievance and forward written notification of the decision and any action taken to the student, the faculty member, the Committee members and the Faculty Chair. The Dean’s decision is final.

      Grade changes, if any are recommended, may be made by the Dean. The Dean shall inform the student, the instructor, the Faculty Chair, the Committee, and the registrar of any action taken.