PRP 3592 - Prior Version

PRP 3592 - Prior Version

Issued By: James Matta Ph.D., Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Effective Date: Fall 2005

Date Logged: Nov. 19, 2004

NOTES: Endorsed by BUCC April 4, 1990; brought to Forum April 25, 1990; revisions endorsed by BUCC September 15, 1993. Brought to Forum 11/10/93, endorsed by Forum 2-2-94. Reviewed at Meet and Discuss 2-20-98. Revised at BUCC 4/8/98. Presented to University Forum 4/15/98 for information purposes only. Revised at BUCC 9/15/04. Approved at Meet and Discuss 10/04/04. Presented to University Forum 11/17/2004 for information purposes only.

Procedures:

I. The purpose of the following procedure is to provide students with a system by which to grieve complaints of alleged academic injustice(s) relating to grades and/or professional responsibilities as related to academic policies found in the Policies, Rules and Procedures and the Pilot. This process is not a disciplinary proceeding for any of the involved parties, although the findings may lead to disciplinary investigation or action under a different university policy.

The names of the Academic Grievance Coordinators (AGC) will be advertised extensively through normal communication avenues such as The Communique and The Voice.

II. Informal Consultation:

A. In an attempt to resolve a complaint on an informal basis, the student should first meet with the following individuals to discuss the matter in the order listed:

  • 1. Faculty member teaching the course
  • 2. Department Chairperson in which course is offered
  • 3. Dean of the College in which course is offered

In order for the matter to be resolved expeditiously, the consultation(s) should take place as soon as possible after the alleged incident has occurred. It is assumed that the department chairpersons and the deans will make every effort to resolve the conflict by meeting with all parties and by listening to the views of all parties as they relate to the grievance.

B. If the matter is resolved at one of the above levels, it need not go further in the appeals process. Every effort should be made to settle the alleged injustice through informal consultation.

III. Formal Channels:

A. Students who feel the informal consultations have not satisfactorily resolved the matter may initiate a formal grievance by filing an Academic Grievance Form with an AGC of her/his choice. (See IV.A.)

B. The AGC shall determine that the Academic Grievance Form is in proper order and shall contact the person against whom the complaint has been filed. That person will be supplied with a copy of the Form and informed that the AGC will be called to hear the case if the matter cannot be resolved within five (5) class days.

C. If the two parties do not settle the complaint within five (5) class days, the AGB will hear the case within ten (10) class days (after the initial five (5) class day period).

D. The grievant and respondent (individual being grieved) will be informed of the individuals who may serve on the AGB. Either (or both) party(ies) may request, with just cause, the disqualification of Board members whom she/he feels may be biased or should not be involved in the case. An appeal for disqualification may be made to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for a final decision.

E. The scope of the AGB's review and recommendations shall be to the merit of the complaint. The AGB, in Executive Session, shall prepare a recommendation as to the merit of the complaint and forward the recommendation to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. This shall be submitted within three (3) class days after the hearing. If recommendations go beyond the scope of this policy, the Provost will reject the recommendation and direct the AGB to prepare recommendations within the scope of its responsibilities.

F. Within ten (10) class days of receiving the recommendation, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will take action and shall notify all parties in the grievance of the decision and action taken. This action is final.

G. The President has delegated the resolution of academic grievances covered under this policy to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Resolutions that involve altering the curriculum of any program shall be made with the involvement of the affected department faculty (i.e. waiving major course requirements).

The time line outlined in this section pertains to grievances filed during the academic year. Grievances filed during the summer sessions may take longer to adjudicate due to faculty assignments and availability of grievance board members. However, every effort will be made to process grievances filed during the summer as quickly as possible.

IV. Structure Of Formal Channels:

A. Four (4) Academic Grievance Coordinators (AGCs), one (1) from each College, shall be appointed by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs with the advice and consent of the Executive Board of APSCUF. Both sexes should be represented among the four AGCs. The individuals must have a reputation for fairness and objectivity. An AGC will be responsible for ensuring that all procedural guidelines are met and shall serve as moderator for any formal hearing. It is noteworthy that the role of an AGC is as a neutral party. She/he does not have voting privileges, nor should her/his opinions be part of the hearing. The appointments should be made in such a way as to insure that at least one (1) individual with prior experience is retained.

B. An Academic Grievance Board (AGB) shall consist of four (4) students and four (4) tenured faculty members selected by the AGC (chosen by the grievant) from a pool of thirty-three (33) individuals: five (5) students and three (3) faculty members from the College of Business, five (5) students and three (3) faculty members from the College of Professional Studies, five (5) students and three (3) faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts, five (5) students and three (3) faculty from the College of Science and Technology, and one (1) faculty member from the Department of Developmental Instruction.

  • 1. Faculty members for the AGB pool will be appointed by the College Dean or appropriate administrator of the academic area with the advice and consent of the Executive Board of APSCUF.
  • 2. Student members will be appointed by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Appointees must be in academic good standing and have earned at least 48 credits at Bloomsburg University. At least two (2) from each college must be enrolled as graduate students.
  • 3. Members of the pool will be appointed to a one-year term and may be considered for reappointment.
  • 4. Whenever possible, diversity in membership should be maintained in the pool.

C. The College Dean or appropriate administrator will provide the President of APSCUF with a list of possible faculty candidates for the AGC and the AGB in a timely fashion. The President of APSCUF will consult with the Dean or appropriate administrator concerning the possible candidates if necessary. APSCUF Executive Board will provide its advice and consent of the candidates in a timely fashion.

D. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will appoint student candidates for the AGB.

E. The AGB will select one (1) person to serve as a voting moderator of the Executive Session. This individual will be responsible for transmitting the recommendation to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs following the formal hearing.

F. Should the AGB members become deadlocked in preparing a recommendation, the voting moderator will inform the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of such within three (3) class days of the hearing. Evidence and any reasons or arguments relating to the AGB's inability to make a recommendation will be submitted to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs also. This information is intended to provide background for any decision by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

G. An AGC or a member of the AGB pool has the right and obligation to disqualify herself/himself from a case in which a personal interest, association, affiliation, or attitude might cause bias or jeopardize the AGB's objectivity.

V. Academic Grievance Hearing:

A. In keeping with the campus standards of due process, both the grievant and respondent have the following rights: (1) to receive written notice of the time and place of the hearing at least 48 hours prior to the hearing; (2) to receive a written notice of the complaint; (3) to be accompanied by an advisor of his or her choice, other than a non-faculty attorney; (4) to present witnesses and other evidence; and (5) to question witnesses. Attorneys, although they may be consulted, may not be present at the academic grievance hearing.

B. The hearing will be open only to the parties involved in the case.

C. A tape recording may be made at each hearing with the consent of the grievant and the individual being grieved. Said tape will be kept as a confidential file in the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for a period of one (1) year.

D. The AGC will serve as the neutral presiding officer, and shall conduct the hearing in a fair and orderly fashion.

E. At least six (6) AGB members (three {3} faculty, three {3} students) must be present for the entire hearing and to prepare the AGB's recommendation. If the complaint is on the graduate level, at least three (3) graduate students must be present.

F. If the respondent (individual being grieved) fails to appear, testimony shall, nevertheless, be heard and a recommendation rendered. If the grievant fails to appear, the grievance will be dismissed.

G. If a claim lacks substantial evidence, the AGB will dismiss the case and no further action concerning the respondent (individual being grieved) will be taken by the AGB or the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

H. No person shall suffer recrimination or discrimination because of participation in this procedure.

I. A majority of the thirty-three (33) AGB pool members, along with the AGCs will determine any other rules or procedures consistent with this document, not in conflict with the CBA or state and federal laws.