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Grievances Filed by Students Against Faculty Members Concerning Final Grades

A student may file a grievance against a faculty member if the student has sufficient reason to dispute a final grade earned in a course.

Initial Steps

  • The student must first contact their instructor to question the disputed grade. This contact must be done in writing and must take place as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the end of the course in which the concern originated. The student may seek the support of their academic advisor, or another faculty member, in preparing this written communication.

  • If the matter is not resolved, the student should arrange a meeting with the instructor to review the grade. If an agreement is reached, the matter is settled. Otherwise, the student may proceed to Mediation.

Mediation

  • Within 10 College business days of completing the initial steps, the student shall send a written request to the faculty member’s chair or program director (as appropriate), outlining the basis of the grade appeal and requesting a meeting. A copy of this communication must be provided to the instructor by the chair or program director. The department chair or program director will schedule a meeting with the student, chair/program director, and instructor. If an agreement is reached at this level, the problem is resolved, and no further action needs to be taken. If no agreement is reached, the student may elect to proceed to an appeal. If the grade appeal is directed against the chair or program director, the process proceeds without mediation directly to an appeal.

Appeal

  • Within 10 College business days of completing mediation, the student will send to the assistant dean and director of Constellation LVC (ADDC) a written request to have the case heard by an Appeals Board. The ADDC will, within 10 College business days of receiving the written request, convene an Appeals Board that will serve for the term of the appeal in question. The board will be made up of two faculty members and one member of the student body. The ADDC will serve as chair of the Appeals Board and as a non-voting member, and is responsible for documenting the events of the hearing and appointing the two faculty members. The student will be selected by the associate dean of student affairs. The student and instructor involved in the appeal must be present during the entire hearing, excluding deliberations. Each may be assisted during the hearing by an advisor from among current students, faculty, administration, or staff. This individual serves in an advisory capacity only. They may not actively participate in the hearing.

  • The Appeals Board shall have three College business days from the time it is convened to decide. The student and faculty member are to be notified in writing of the board’s decision. The decision of the Appeals Board is final.

Records

The Appeals Board is the final source of appeal and will also serve as the repository of records that are kept of the grievance. After the dissolution of the board, a repository of grievance records will be kept in the Registrar’s Office.

Grievances Filed by Students Against Faculty Members Concerning Other Matters

A student may file a grievance against a faculty member unrelated to grades or Title IX violations. Such grievances typically address violations of the College’s, department’s, or program’s standards regarding professional conduct, safety, and fairness. If a student wishes to file a grievance against a faculty member, the following procedures should be followed:

Initial Step

  • The student must inform the faculty member of the problem before proceeding to the next step. This may be done in person or writing and must take place as soon as possible. If the reported concern originated in a course, this step must be initiated no later than 30 days after the end of the course. The student may seek the support of their academic advisor, or another faculty member, in any communication with the faculty member, and either the faculty member or the student may request that a mutually agreed-on third party be present at any meeting. If an agreement is reached, the matter is resolved. Otherwise, the student may proceed to Mediation.

Mediation

  • Within 10 College business days of completing the initial step, the student shall send a written request to the faculty member’s department chair or program director (as appropriate), outlining the basis of the grievance and requesting a meeting. A copy of this communication must be provided to the faculty member by the chair or program director. A meeting will then be held with the student, chair/program director, and faculty member. If the grievance is directed against the chair or program director, that chair/program director must select another faculty member who will receive a copy of the communication and be present at the meeting. If an agreement is reached at this level, the problem is resolved, and no further action needs to be taken. If no agreement is reached, either the student or the faculty member may elect to proceed to Grievance.

Grievance

  • Within 10 College business days of completing Mediation, the student may send to the assistant dean and director of Constellation LVC (ADDC) a written request to have the case heard by a Grievance Hearing Board. The ADDC will, within 10 College business days of receiving the written request, convene a Grievance Hearing Board that will serve for the term of the grievance in question. Voting members of the board will consist of two faculty members and one member of the student body. The student representative will be selected by the associate dean of student affairs. The ADDC will serve as chair of the Grievance Hearing Board and is responsible for documenting the events of the hearing. The process of forming the Grievance Hearing Board conforms to the Faculty Policies Manual. 
  • The student and faculty member must be present during the entire hearing, excluding deliberations. Each may be assisted during the hearing by an advisor from among current students, faculty, administration, or staff. This individual serves in an advisory capacity only. They may not actively participate in the hearing.
  • The hearing board shall have three College business days from the time it is convened to decide. The student, faculty member, and department chair/program director are to be notified in writing regarding the board’s decision.

 

Records

The Grievance Hearing Board is the final source of appeal. The ADDC serves as a repository of all records that are kept of the grievance. After the dissolution of the board, a repository of grievance records will be kept in the Registrar’s Office for five years following a student’s last date of attendance at the College.