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To support its commitment to equity and due process, Briar Cliff establishes the following procedures for addressing student grievances. Students always maintain the right to seek legal recourse in public courts of law.

A grievance constitutes a formal complaint contesting the perceived injustice of a specific action or judgment imposed directly upon the grievant(s) by a Briar Cliff official or an officially sponsored university organization.

Note: Grievance Procedures are not avenues for appealing disciplinary sanctions. [There is a separate appeals procedure described on pages 53-54 of the Student Handbook for appeals regarding disciplinary sanctions.] Nor are the grievance procedures proper arenas for contesting the wisdom of a specific university policy.

Briar Cliff students may file three types of grievances:

1. Academic Issues: Regarding course grades, academic practices, or academic integrity.

2. Administrative Issues: Regarding application of college policies; decisions pertaining to Briar Cliff’s co-curricular program; and decisions regarding student records, rights, financial matters, and campus employment.

3. Discrimination Issues: Regarding unjustified or unlawful discrimination in the areas of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, handicap or disability, status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran, or Title IX compliance.

For grievances regarding Academic Issues:

Appealing grades: A student who believes that s/he has received an unfair grade for a course, may use the procedures outlined on page 59 of the Student Handbook and page 43 of the Catalog. Students wishing to appeal charges of academic dishonesty should use procedures outlined on page 65-66 of the Student Handbook and pages 48-49 of the Catalog.

For grievances regarding both Administrative Issues and Discrimination Issues:

1) The student should approach the person s/he perceives to be responsible for the offense in order to work out a solution.

2) If the grievance remains unresolved after 5 working days, the student may then bring the issue to the immediate supervisor of the person against whom the grievance is being made.

3) If the grievance remains unresolved after 10 working days, the student through the Assistant Vice President for Student Development may ask in writing that a hearing be convened to evaluate the merits of the grievance. The Assistant Vice President for Student Development will appoint a 3 person board, consisting of one faculty member, one administrator and one student to review the grievance. The student’s concisely written request should include the substance of the grievance, the avenues that already have been pursued, and the specific relief desired.

4) At the earliest possible date and within 15 working days of the receipt of the student’s written request, the Student Grievance Board will inform both the grievant and the respondent in writing of the committee’s decision to conduct or not conduct a formal hearing.

5) If Board members believe that the grievance has sufficient merit to conduct a formal hearing, they will send letters to the grievant and respondent outlining the specific grievance and suggesting a timeline for the proceedings. Any schedule must consider the time constraints inherent within or between terms. All parties will receive written allegations.

6) Respondents may waive the right to attend the proceedings of the Grievance Board.

Board Composition:

1) Members of the Student Grievance Board should excuse themselves from participation in a formal hearing of a student grievance, if they have any conflicting interests.

2) All members of the Student Grievance Board are subject to the approval of both parties in the grievance.

Board Processes:

3) Throughout all proceedings, the Student Grievance Board must maintain utmost concern for the dignity, safety, and comfort of all parties involved in the process.

4) Both the grievant and the respondent may seek counsel from any member of the Briar Cliff community, excluding those serving on the Board.

5) The hearing itself is closed. Each party may invite one member from the Briar Cliff faculty, administration, or student body to attend the meeting with them. This person may provide counsel but may not speak for the grievant.

6) Each Grievance Board must choose specific procedures for how it will deal with the presentation of evidence, witnesses, and cross examination.

7) The “Preponderance of the Evidence” will be the standard of proof throughout the proceedings.

8) The Student Grievance Board will insure that both parties have access to all the evidence being presented and sufficient time to examine it.

9) The Student Grievance Board should strive for consensus but may settle the case by majority vote.

10) Proceedings and resolutions of the Board must remain confidential unless both parties agree in writing to release the information.

11) In all cases, the decision of the Student Grievance Board is the final action in the Briar Cliff Student Grievance Procedure.