APPENDIX XVI

STUDENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
A. PURPOSE   The purpose of this procedure is to provide a prompt, equitable and efficient method for the resolution of a student grievance.  

B. GUIDELINES  

1. Academic issues will be grieved, as appropriate, via  
a. The Professional Staff Member
b. Department Chair
c. Dean of the School
d. The Provost
 
2. Student Life concerns will be grieved, as appropriate, via
a. The Professional Staff Member
b. The Director of the Office concerned
c. The VP for Student Affairs  
3. Appeals within the Administrative area will be grieved, as appropriate, via
a. The Professional Staff Member
b. The Director of the Office providing the service
c. The Assistant VP for Human Resources
4. Matters which may be grieved or appealed include only those matters which are not covered by existing grievance procedures. 5. The student and the professional staff member may represent him/herself or may seek an advisor to assist in the process. The advisor must be a member of the professional staff of the College.6. In the case of a grade appeal: 
a. only a final grade may be appealed b. the student shall allege that the course instructor assigned a final grade for reasons unrelated to the quality of the work in question.

C. APPEAL PROCEDURES 

1. Step One:
The grievance must be filed in writing with the first level in the appeals process (Professional Staff Member or Director of Office, as appropriate) within 14 calendar days following the act or omission giving rise to the appeal. The appeal shall contain a brief, dated statement of the claim, the facts surrounding it, and the remedy sought. The student and the professional staff member shall attempt an informal resolution of the grievance. A written response to the student from the initial level of appeal shall be issued within 14 calendar days after the receipt of the grievance. Calendar days will exclude the time between semesters and official holidays/vacation periods as shown on the approved academic calendar.

2. Step Two:
If the response to Step One does not resolve the matter, the student may appeal the Step One response by filing an appeal with the next higher level within 14 calendar days after the receipt of the Step One response. In grievances where the Step One and Step Two individuals are the same, the appeal with be directly to Step Three. Such an appeal shall be in writing with a copy to the Step One professional staff member, and will include a coy of the appeal filed at Step One, a copy of the Step One response, and a brief, dated statement of the reasons for the disagreement with the Step One response. The official/supervisor at Step Two shall schedule, where appropriate, a meeting with the student, the Step One professional staff member, and the advisor(s). Such meeting is to take place no later than 14 calendar days after receipt of the Step Two appeal. A written response from the Step Two supervisor/official shall be issued to the student within 14 calendar days after the meeting with a copy to the Step One professional staff member.

3. Step Three:
If the response to Step Two does not resolve the appeal, the student or the professional staff member may appeal the Step Two response by filing an appeal with the appropriate office within 14 calendar days after the receipt of the Step Two response. Such appeal shall be in writing and shall include a copy of the appeals filed at Step One and Step Two, copies of the Step One and Step Two responses, together with a brief, dated statement of the reasons for the disagreement with the Step Two response. The Step Three official (or designee) shall schedule a meeting with the student, the professional staff member, and, as appropriate, Step Two officials and the advisor(s), within 14 calendar days after receipt of the appeal. The Step Three official (or designee) shall issue a written response to the student, and to the professional staff member, with copies to Step One and Step Two officials, within 14 calendar days following this meeting. The Step Three decision shall be final as to the substance of the appeal.

Where a grievance involves a professional staff member who is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the campus representative of the bargaining unit will be notified in writing when the appeal moves to Step Three

4. Step Four:
If the student or the professional staff member claims failure by the College to follow the appropriate procedural steps outlined above, the student or the professional staff member may request a review by the appropriate Vice President (or designee). Such a request shall be in writing and shall include a brief, dated statement of the claimed procedural failure. The appropriate Vice President (or designee) shall issue a written response to the student and the professional staff member with copies to the Step One, Step Two and Step Three officials within 14 calendar days after receipt of the request for review. The Step Four decision shall be final as to procedural laws.

D. TIMELINESS
 
1. An appeal that is untimely is considered to be lost unless there is mutual agreement by both parties for a delay, or where circumstances beyond an individual's control led to such delay. A late response or the absence of a timely response, at any level, will not prevent the appealing party from proceeding with an appeal to the next level no later than 14 calendar days from the date by which the response should have been made.
 
2. If neither party appeal the decision at any step, the decision stands.
 
E. RECORDS MAINTENANCE
 
1. Actions or decisions at any step may not be made until the appeal process has been completed.
 
2. The Office of the appropriate Vice President shall maintain a file on each grievance or appeal which goes to Step Three or beyond. Such records shall be kept for a minimum of five years following the final action on the appeal.
 
APPROVED: 8/90

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For more information, please contact Melissa Proulx, Director of Human Resources
or e-mail: proulxme@potsdam.edu.