CHSU has established mechanisms through which students can raise grievances and seek resolution to problems, disagreements with faculty/administrators on issues of concern, including, without limitation, interpretations of institutional policy, student promotion, financial concerns, and other issues. CHSU also recognizes the responsibility of students to express their concerns in a professional and ethical manner. The purpose of this Policy is to identify CHSU’s grievance mechanisms and procedures and is applicable to students in all the University's academic programs.
A “grievance” is a complaint or concern on the part of one or more CHSU students who believe that actions or decisions of University employees, acting in an official capacity, are illegal or arbitrary or otherwise have unfairly placed them at a disadvantage.
The CHSU general grievance process is a formal mechanism through which CHSU students can present complaints about specific issues for review by the University. A primary objective of the grievance procedure is to ensure that students’ concerns are promptly considered and resolved.
This policy sets out a general grievance process. The general grievance process is not applicable to the following specific subject matter areas for which there are separate procedures:
- Student Misconduct (SPC Policy)
- Unlawful Discrimination, Harassment or Sexual Violence Policy
- Approval to Operate or Accreditation Policy
- Course Grade Appeal
- Research Misconduct
- Any student may bring concerns, complaints, and problems to the attention of University administration.
- Prior to submitting a grievance, students are strongly encouraged to attempt to resolve issues informally. For example, students should contact the individuals whose actions gave rise to the concern when (or soon after) the student first becomes aware of the act or condition that is the basis of the concern and, discuss the concerns directly or through email.
- Grievances must be filed in writing and submitted to the CHSU Assistant/Associate Dean of Student Affairs (ADSA) along with any documentation or evidence substantiating the grievance. The grievance should include the following information: (a) the name of the individuals whose conduct led to the grievance, (b) the date and place where the events at issue took place, (c) a description of the underlying events, and (d) the specific concern raised by these events.
- The ADSA will evaluate the grievance to determine if there is sufficient credible information provided to support the need for further investigation. If the ADSA determines that there is not sufficient credible information to support the grievance, they will report this determination to the student and respondent. The student may refile the grievance with additional supporting information, generally within ten (10) business days.
- If the ADSA determines that there is sufficient credible information, the Dean will convene a meeting with the student(s) who submitted the grievance and the respondent(s). Prior to the meeting, the student(s) and respondent(s) will be given the opportunity to provide relevant documentation, and identify individuals who have relevant knowledge with whom the ADSA could speak. The ADSA will review all information provided and make a recommendation for a resolution of the grievance based on a preponderance of evidence standard (i.e., more likely than not) and, if appropriate, identify required remediation. The decision will be reported to the student(s) and respondent(s), generally within five (5) business days.
- Either party may appeal to the College Dean/Director. The grounds for appeal are limited to: (a) a material procedural error or omission; (b) new evidence that was not available; or (c) the remediation fall outside the University’s authority. Appeals are not intended to be a full re-investigation of the grievance. In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original investigation, and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal. Appeal decisions will defer to the original decision, making changes to the finding only where there is clear error, and to the remedial action only if there is a compelling justification. The decision will be reported to the student(s) and respondent(s), within a reasonable time period, generally within thirty (30) days.
- Regardless of the disposition of the grievance, no member of the University community may harass or retaliate against a student who has filed a grievance under the University Grievance procedure. The University explicitly prohibits any such actions of harassment or retaliation.
- All Grievance material will be securely maintained on file in the specific student/employee/faculty file as appropriate to the grievance consistent with document retention requirements.
- Each step of the Resolution and Grievance Procedures generally takes two weeks to complete, unless otherwise noted. Extensions or waivers to this timeframe may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Notice of a request for an extension from a student usually are to be submitted at least ten calendar days prior to the deadline unless the extension is requested because of extenuating circumstances that occur within the ten (10) day period prior to the deadline.
- Decisions about granting or denying the request for extension will be communicated to the student via letter within two business days of receipt of the request for extension. Likewise, if CHSU needs to extend a deadline, the Office of the Dean will provide said notice ten (10) business days before the due date.
Academic Dispute Resolution Procedures
Academic Disputes Between Student and Faculty
An individual concern that is academic in nature should be first discussed with the immediate instructor or preceptor and must be presented and considered in a professional manner. Grievances regarding academic issues generally include concerns that arise from personal conflicts or actions taken against a student individually. For individual concerns, if an informal resolution cannot be reached, the student may, within two weeks of the failed resolution, present a grievance, in writing to the appropriate Department Chair or an Associate Dean.
If a resolution cannot be reached with the Department Chair’s or ADSA's consideration of the grievance, the student may, within two weeks of the failed dispute resolution, appeal in writing to the Dean whose decision will constitute the final decision. The Dean administrative may refuse the meeting if the appeal has not been present in writing, in advance of the meeting.
Academic Disputes Concerning Course Procedures or Policies
A concern over general course procedures or policies should be addressed through the Academic Representative of the Class and/or the Student Focus Liaison Group Representatives and/or through the program-specific Curriculum Committee. If a resolution cannot be reached, the above mentioned student representatives may, within two weeks of the failed resolution, appeal in writing to the appropriate Associate Dean.
If the dispute cannot be resolved through the ADSA's review, the student representatives may, within two weeks of the Associate Dean’s decision, appeal in writing to the Dean who will review the relevant issues and will decide, in their sole discretion if a meeting with the student representatives is needed prior to issuing a response. The Dean’s decision will constitute the final resolution.
The Grievance process is not available for review of Course Assessment policies and test question challenges
Grievance on Policy and Procedure
A concern over CHSU policies and procedures should be addressed through the SGA President and the ADSA. If through the normal processes for an acceptable and reasonable request, the concern cannot be resolved, the SGA President may, within two weeks of the decision of the ADSA, appeal in writing to the Dean whose decision will constitute the final resolution. The Dean may refuse the meeting if the appeal has not been presented in writing, in advance of the meeting.
If a student’s concern is related to a financial question or with other areas of CHSU’s operations, the student should request review following the appropriate chain of command as defined by the CHSU organizational chart.
The grievance must be filed in writing. All grievance material will be securely maintained on file within this Office of Students Affairs consistent with the document retention schedule and in the specific student/employee/faculty file as appropriate to the grievance.
Grievance Procedure for Harassment or Discrimination
Students who feel they are being discriminated against on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, age or disabilities have the right to exercise the grievance through the CHSU Unlawful Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy.
Records relating to the grievance procedure for harassment and discrimination investigation, including all supporting documentation and a report of the findings shall the filed with the Title IX Co-Ordinator.
Grievance Concerning Approval to Operate or Accreditation
Students who have concerns regarding CHSU's capability to meet the standards of accreditation or comply with policies and procedures CHSU Accreditation bodies should refer to the Complaints Concerning Approval to Operate or Accreditation Standards section of this catalog.
Grievance Concerning Course Grades
Students who have concerns regarding final course grades should follow the applicable college's Final Course Grade Appeal Policy.