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Judicial Affairs

Complaints Against Members of the University Faculty and Administration

Grievance Counseling

When a student believes that any of his or her rights, as defined in Part I of this Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct have been violated by a member of the university faculty or administration, the student should ordinarily attempt to resolve the matter by making an informal complaint to the person involved.

If the problem is not resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction by contacting the person involved, personnel in the dean of students office can be consulted about options for resolution of the problem.


Formal Complaints

A student who believes that his or her rights have been violated by a member of the university faculty or administration may make a formal complaint to an appropriate administrative officer under the following circumstances:

A student may make a formal complaint after making an informal complaint and receiving a response from the person involved that is not satisfactory to the student.

A student may make a formal complaint without having made an informal complaint if the student has a justifiable basis for not going directly to the person involved.

A formal complaint should be made to the administrative officer who is the immediate supervisor of the person involved in the alleged violation. The appropriate administrative officer may be one of the following:

A department head or similar academic officer, if one exists within the particular school or unit involved.

The dean or director of a school or unit, if the school or unit does not have a department head or similar academic officer.

Even if a school or unit has a department head or similar academic officer, the dean or director of the school or unit may adopt a rule that formal complaints are to be submitted directly to the dean or director.

A formal complaint must be in writing, signed by the complainant, and must be submitted to the appropriate official. A copy of the signed, formal complaint will be given to the individual charged. This formal complaint must be filed within the following time limitations:

After making an informal complaint and receiving an unsatisfactory response, a student must file a formal complaint within 21 calendar days after the termination of discussions with the person involved in the complaint.

If a formal complaint is made without the making of a prior informal complaint, the formal complaint must be filed within six months after the student should reasonably have learned about the event which is the basis of the complaint.

A formal complaint must be considered by the appropriate administrative officer within 21 calendar days.

The officer shall inquire into the facts of the complaint and discuss the matter individually with the student and the person involved in the complaint.

If the officer considers it to be appropriate, the officer may ask the student and the person involved in the complaint to meet together with the officer in an effort to resolve the complaint.

The officer shall have the opportunity to remove him or herself from considering a complaint for reasons of bias or personal involvement.

If the complaint is not resolved within 21 calendar days from the day it was filed, the officer must refer the complaint along with a written response concerning the incident to the dean of faculties. The response shall include all documents pertaining to the complaint.

The dean of faculties shall inquire into the facts of the complaint and then discuss the matter individually with the student and the person who is the subject of the complaint.

If the dean of faculties considers it to be appropriate, the dean may ask the student and the person who is the subject of the complaint to meet together with the dean in an effort to resolve the complaint.

If the complaint is not resolved within 21 calendar days of the date the complaint is received, the dean of faculties must submit the complaint to a campus grievance commission for consideration.


Campus Grievance Commission

The dean of faculties has the authority to appoint the members of the campus grievance commission to consider a particular complaint.

The campus grievance commission must consist of five members, including three tenured members of the faculty or administration of the campus involved and two students from the campus. Clinical faculty is eligible to serve on the grievance commission, but no more than one member of the commission may come from a clinical rank.

The grievance commission shall be selected by the dean of faculties from a grievance commission list containing names of students, faculty members, and members of the administration that are placed on the list as follows:

Five or more students appointed by the student body president upon recommendation of the student assembly or other appropriate representative body as determined by the student governing body;

Five or more faculty members, to be representative of the various academic disciplines, to be appointed by the presiding officer of the campus faculty council upon recommendation of the faculty council or other appropriate representative body as determined by the faculty council; and

Five or more members of the campus administration to be appointed by the chancellor of the campus.

Students, faculty members, and members of the administration are to be appointed to membership on the grievance committee list for a one year period of time, beginning with the first day of the fall semester each year. A person may be appointed at any time during the year to fill a vacancy on the list. A person may also be reappointed to the list from year to year.

If a person is selected to serve on a particular grievance commission by the dean of faculties, the person is authorized to serve on the commission until the commission completes the hearing of any case submitted to the commission even though this may require the person to serve beyond the one-year period of appointment.

If a vacancy on the grievance commission list occurs and there is a failure or refusal of the appropriate authorities to make an appointment to fill the vacancy, the chief administrative officer of a campus may make appointments, fill vacancies, or take other action necessary to constitute the grievance commission.

The dean of faculties appoints the presiding officer of the grievance commission who must be a tenured member of the faculty not engaged in full time administration.


Formal Hearing

The campus grievance commission is required to conduct a formal hearing to consider the complaint.

The presiding officer, in consultation with the other members of the grievance commission, must determine an appropriate time and place for the hearing.

The presiding officer is required to make arrangements for a public hearing if requested to do so by the person who is the subject of the complaint by no later than seven calendar days before the date of the hearing. The presiding officer is required to conduct the hearing in a place that will accommodate a reasonable number of observers, but the officer is authorized to make a final decision concerning the place where the hearing is to be held and the number of observers to be accommodated.

The presiding officer has a duty, to the greatest extent practical under the circumstances, to summon witnesses, compel the production of documents, and structure the hearing to afford all participating parties procedural due process.

When a hearing is to take place, the presiding officer is required to notify the person who is the subject of the complaint concerning the following:

The date, time and place of the hearing, which shall not be earlier than seven calendar days after the date of the notice.

The date, time, and place of the alleged act of misconduct and a summary of the information upon which the allegation is based;

The names of the witnesses whom the complaining student may present at the hearing or whose statements may be offered as evidence;

That the subject of the complaint is required to provide to the presiding officer, no later than two calendar days prior to the hearing, all documents in his or her possession, pertinent to the complaint.

That the subject of the complaint may submit to the presiding officer, no later than two calendar days prior to the hearing, a request for any documents related to the complaint which the subject wishes the complaining student to produce;

That the subject of the complaint must submit to the presiding officer, no later than two calendar days prior to the hearing, a list of witnesses whom the subject may present at the hearing or whose statements may be offered as evidence;

That the subject of the complaint is required to be present at the hearing and is entitled to present witnesses and to cross-examine witnesses who appear unless the grievance commission decides to proceed in the subject's absence because of extraordinary circumstances;

That the subject of the complaint is entitled to be represented at the hearing by counsel or an advisor of his or her choice at his or her own expense, but the subject is still required to be present even if represented by counsel or an advisor;

That the complaining student is entitled to be present at the hearing and may be represented by an advisor of his or her own choosing, including an attorney at his or her own expense;

That the subject of the complaint may testify but will not be required to testify at the hearing and that a decision not to testify will not be considered as an admission of guilt;

That the hearing will be closed to the public unless the subject of the complaint notifies the presiding officer in writing by not later than seven calendar days before the hearing that he or she desires the hearing to be open to the public;

The disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed for the alleged act of misconduct enumerated are in II.A.5;

That a failure by the subject to appear at the hearing would be sufficient to justify the imposition of any disciplinary sanction without a right of further appeal if the grievance commission determines that the failure to attend was without good cause.

When a hearing is to take place, the presiding officer is also required to notify the student who filed the complaint concerning the following:

The date, time, and place of the hearing, which shall not be earlier than seven calendar days after the date of the notice.

That the complaining student must submit to the presiding officer, no later than two days prior to the hearing, a list of witnesses whom the complaining student may present at the hearing or whose statements may be offered as evidence;

That the complaining student's failure to attend the hearing would be sufficient to justify the dismissal of the complaint without any further action if the grievance commission should thereafter find that the failure to attend was without good cause.

The formal hearing is to be conducted by the presiding officer of the grievance commission.

The hearing may be held only if all members of the grievance commission are present, or a majority of the members, at least one of whom is a student, are present and both the student filing the grievance and subject of the grievance agree to proceed. A hearing may not be held without the presiding officer being present.

The presiding officer, in consultation with the other members of the grievance commission, is responsible for conducting the hearing, maintaining the necessary order, and making all rulings that are necessary for the fair, orderly, and expeditious consideration of the complaint.

The presiding officer shall call the complaining student as a witness to testify concerning the act of misconduct alleged in the student's complaint.

The advisor for the student, if any, shall be given the opportunity to question the student.

The presiding officer may question the student concerning the complaint. The other members of the commission may then be given the opportunity to question the student.

The subject of the complaint or his or her advisor shall be given the opportunity to question the student concerning the complaint.

The presiding officer shall also call any other persons to testify as witnesses as requested by the student or otherwise considered appropriate by the officer. The student or his or her advisor shall be given the opportunity to question these witnesses. The person who is the subject of the complaint or an advisor shall also be given the opportunity to question these witnesses. The presiding officer and the other members of the commission may question any of these witnesses as they consider appropriate.

The presiding officer shall permit the student or his or her advisor to present any other information that is appropriate and relevant to the student's complaint.

After all of the testimony and information concerning the complaint has been submitted, the presiding officer must offer the subject of the complaint the opportunity to testify concerning the matter.

If the subject of the complaint chooses to testify, he or she may be questioned by either advisor.

The complaining student or his or her advisor shall be entitled to also question the subject of the complaint.

The presiding officer and the other members of the commission may question the subject of the complaint as they consider appropriate.

If the subject of the complaint chooses not to testify, the grievance commission may not consider the decision not to testify as an admission of guilt.

The presiding officer must also offer the subject of the complaint the opportunity to call other witnesses and to submit any information that is appropriate and relevant to the student's complaint.

If any witnesses are called to testify, they may be questioned by the subject of the complaint or his or her advisor, if any.

The complaining student or his or her advisor may also question the witnesses.

The presiding officer and the other members of the commission may question the witnesses as they consider appropriate.

After the grievance commission has heard all of the witnesses and any other information submitted by the parties, the presiding officer must offer the complaining student or his or her advisor the opportunity to make an argument concerning the validity of the allegations in the complaint. The presiding officer must then offer the subject of the complaint or his or her advisor a similar opportunity to make an argument to the commission.

After hearing any concluding arguments, the grievance commission is required to reach a conclusion concerning the validity of the allegations in the complaint.

The grievance commission is required to conduct its deliberations concerning the complaint in a private, executive session. Decisions shall be by majority vote. Dissenters may choose to issue a dissenting opinion. The presiding officer shall require all persons other than the members of the grievance commission to leave the hearing room during the deliberations.

The grievance commission must reach its conclusion or conclusions solely upon the basis of the testimony and information introduced at the hearing.

A conclusion that the subject of the complaint committed the alleged act must be based upon clear and convincing evidence.

If a majority of the members of the grievance commission conclude that the evidence is insufficient to sustain the allegations of the complaint, the grievance commission is required to recommend that the complaint be dismissed.

The presiding officer shall reconvene the hearing and advise the complaining student and the subject of the complaint concerning the conclusion and recommendation of the commission or issue a written opinion signed by a majority of the participating members within seven calendar days.

The presiding officer shall also advise the parties that the dean of faculties will be notified of the commission's conclusion and recommendation and that the dean of faculties is required to dismiss the complaint unless the complaining student submits an appeal to the chancellor of the campus under the provisions of this code.

If a majority of the members of the grievance commission concludes that the evidence is sufficient to sustain the allegations of the complaint, the grievance commission is required to conduct a hearing concerning an appropriate sanction.

The presiding officer shall reconvene the hearing and advise the complaining student and the subject of the complaint concerning the conclusion of the commission.

The presiding officer must then offer the person who is the subject of the complaint and/or his or her advisor the opportunity to submit information and present an argument concerning an appropriate disciplinary sanction.

The presiding officer shall also offer the complaining student or his or her advisor a similar opportunity with reference to the appropriate sanction.

After hearing from the parties concerning an appropriate sanction, the grievance commission is required to make a recommendation concerning an appropriate sanction.

The grievance commission is required to conduct its deliberations concerning the sanction in a private, executive session. The presiding officer must require persons other than the members of the grievance commission to leave the hearing room during the deliberations.

A recommendation of the grievance commission must be based upon a vote by a majority of the members of the commission.

After the grievance commission has concluded its deliberations concerning an appropriate sanction, the presiding officer shall reconvene the hearing and advise the complaining student and the subject of the complaint concerning the recommended sanction or issue a written opinion signed by a majority of the participating members within seven calendar days following the close of the hearing.

The parties must also be advised that the commission's conclusions concerning the validity of the complaint and the commission's recommendation concerning an appropriate sanction will be submitted to the dean of faculties for final action.

In addition, the parties must be advised as follows:

If the dean of faculties decides to reject the recommendations of the grievance commission and to dismiss the complaint, the complaint will be dismissed unless the complaining student submits an appeal to the chancellor of the campus under the provisions of this code.

If the dean of faculties decides to accept the grievance commission's conclusions and decides to impose the recommended sanction or any other appropriate sanction, the subject of the complaint may submit an appeal to the chancellor of the campus under the provisions of this code.

The presiding officer of the grievance commission is required to make a transcript of the hearing before the commission which may be made by an electronic tape recorder or other appropriate means.

Within seven calendar days after the hearing, the presiding officer must prepare a written report concerning the grievance commission's conclusions and recommendations with a brief explanation of the findings of fact upon which the commission's conclusions are based. The report must be submitted to the dean of faculties, the subject of the complaint, and the complaining student.

Disciplinary Sanctions.

Disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed for acts of misconduct by members of the university faculty and administration include, but are not limited to, any one or a combination of the following:

A written reprimand with a warning that additional sanctions will be imposed if there is a repetition of the misconduct.

A probationary period during which the person involved in the complaint must abide by certain specified conditions or be subject to the imposition of further sanctions.

A temporary suspension without pay.

Consideration of the misconduct in establishing the person's annual salary.

Consideration of the misconduct in any promotion decision concerning the person.

Consideration of the misconduct in any tenure decision concerning the person.

Termination of employment at a specified time in the future.

Immediate dismissal.

Action by the Dean of Faculties.

If the dean of faculties receives a report that a student's complaint has not been sustained by the grievance commission, the dean is required to notify the complaining student and the subject of the complaint that the complaint will be dismissed unless the student submits an appeal to the chancellor of the campus within seven calendar days following the receipt of the decision.

If the dean of faculties receives a report that a grievance commission has concluded that a student's complaint should be sustained, the dean is required to make a final decision concerning the validity of the complaint within seven calendar days following the receipt of the decision.

The dean of faculties shall review the written report and the transcript of the hearing, but may consult with the presiding officer of the grievance commission to clarify an ambiguity in the record, but may not consult with other members of the commission, the complaining student, or any other person who has direct or indirect knowledge of the complaint.

The dean of faculties may take the following action concerning the complaint:

Reject the commission's conclusion concerning the validity of the complaint and dismiss the complaint upon a finding that there is not clear and convincing evidence in the transcript to support the findings of the commission, or that procedural error has been committed which deprives the subject of the complaint of due process.

Accept the commission's conclusion concerning the validity of the complaint and impose the sanction recommended by the commission.

Accept the commission's conclusion concerning the validity of the complaint and impose an appropriate sanction that was not recommended by the commission.

After the dean of faculties has made a final decision, the dean is required to notify the subject of the complaint and the complaining student within seven calendar days following the final decision.

If the dean of faculties decides to dismiss the complaint, the complaining student may take an appeal to the chancellor of the campus under the provisions of this code.

If the dean of faculties decides that the complaint should be sustained and decides to impose the sanction recommended by the commission or any other appropriate sanction, the subject of the complaint may take an appeal to the chancellor of the campus under the provisions of this code.

The dean of faculties is required to effectuate the decision in accordance with university procedures unless the subject of the complaint appeals the decision as authorized by university procedures.

Appeals to the Chancellor of the Campus.

If the dean of faculties notifies a student that the student's complaint is to be dismissed, the student may submit an appeal to the chancellor of the campus.

The appeal must be submitted in writing.

The appeal must be submitted within seven calendar days after the student receives notice from the dean of faculties concerning dismissal of the complaint.

A copy of the appeal must be sent to the dean of faculties and to the subject of the complaint.

If the dean of faculties notifies the subject of a complaint that the complaint has been sustained and that a sanction is to be imposed, the person may submit an appeal to the chancellor of the campus.

The appeal must be submitted in writing.

The appeal must be submitted within seven calendar days after the subject receives notice from the dean of faculties concerning the decision.

A copy of the appeal must be sent to the dean of faculties and to the complaining student.

When the dean of faculties receives a notice of an appeal to the chancellor of the campus, the dean is required to send the chancellor a copy of the grievance commission's written report, the transcript of the commission's hearing and any other written information pertinent to the student's complaint.

The chancellor should review the written report and the transcript of the commission's hearing and may consult with the dean of faculties, but not other members of the grievance commission, the complaining student, or any other person who has direct or indirect knowledge of the complaint.

The chancellor may take the following action concerning an appeal:

Sustain the dismissal of a complaint.

Reject the decision of the dean of faculties concerning the validity of a complaint and dismiss the complaint.

Accept the decision of the dean of faculties concerning the validity of a complaint and the sanction to be imposed.

Accept the decision of the dean of faculties concerning the validity of the complaint and impose an appropriate sanction that differs from the sanction recommended by the dean of faculties.

After the chancellor has made a final decision, the chancellor is required to notify the subject of the complaint and the complaining student.

The chancellor may dismiss the case or sustain the complaint and impose a sanction against the subject of the complaint. The chancellor will inform the subject of the complaint of the decision. (For further information see Part VI, B.4.)


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