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AP 5530 Student Complaint and Grievance Procedure

AP 5530 Student Complaint and Grievance Procedure

References

AP 3430 – Prohibition of Discrimination and Harassment
AP 3435 – Discrimination and Harassment Reports and Investigations
AP 3310 – Records Retention and Destruction
AP 003 –   RCC Student Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities
NWCCU 2020 Standard 2. C. 2
 

Student Complaint and Grievance Procedure
If  students need disability accommodations to successfully complete this process, contact Disability Services: https://web.roguecc.edu/disabilitys-services.  On Redwood Campus, Building W (Library), 541-956-7337; at the Riverside Campus, Building B, Room 9, 541-245-7537; or at the Table Rock Campus, 541-245-7537.

When Not to Use this Procedure
This procedure is not the appropriate process for addressing allegations of harassment or discrimination based on a protected class such as race, color, religion, ethnicity, use of native language, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability, age, pregnancy, or any other status protected under applicable federal, state, or local laws.  For resolutions of complaints of this nature please use AP 3430 – Prohibition of Discrimination and Harassment and AP 3435 – Discrimination and Harassment Reports and Investigations.

Grade appeals shall be filed according to the applicable procedure outlined in Rogue Community College’s Student Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities procedure (AP-003).

Definitions

Complaint: A report of conduct which a student feels violates their rights and/or RCC policies or procedures where resolution is being attempted under the informal process of this procedure.
Grievance: A report of conduct which a student feels violates their rights and/or RCC policies or procedures where resolution is being attempted under the formal process of this procedure.
Retaliation: Any behavior which negatively impacts the student because they filed a complaint or grievance.
 

Preamble

This procedure is designed to ensure that students have full access to their education in accordance with Rogue Community College’s commitment to the rights and dignity of our students and the College’s philosophy on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Purpose

This Student Complaint and Grievance Procedure provides a way for students to seek resolution to decisions, conditions, and practices of RCC, its faculty and staff, which they allege are violations of their rights as students, as identified in AP Rogue Community College’s Student Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities procedure (AP-003), or other published college policies and procedures. As students pursue their educational goals, they will be treated with professionalism and respect by college employees or staff.

Students shall not be retaliated against for filing a complaint or grievance in good faith or for participating in this process.  Retaliation is any behavior which negatively impacts the student because they filed a complaint or grievance.

This Student Complaint and Grievance Procedure outlines the steps to resolve alleged violations of student rights or other published college policies and procedures. Students will attempt to resolve alleged violations with the staff member(s) directly involved.

The role of a Counselor in this process is to serve as a resource for the student.  They are a point of contact to assist the student in advocating for themselves, may help the student identify a reasonable proposed resolution, and mediate conversations throughout the process.  Counselors are not required to keep working files as part of this process. 

Each College employee attempting to reach resolution of a grievance will keep a working file containing all documents, communications, and evidence related to the grievance.  If a resolution is not reached it is the responsibility of the College employee working to achieve resolution to provide this working file to the next person in the process.  Upon resolution of a formal grievance this working file will be provided to the Vice President of Student Services for retention.  All documentation submitted or created during the resolution process shall follow established filing procedures.  

Students with a complaint or grievance shall follow the procedures and time lines outlined below.

Informal Resolution

Step 1: Attempt Direct Resolution
The student discusses the issue with the College employee who is directly involved.  The goal is to find resolution in a timely manner. The student may choose to be accompanied by a support person such as a Counselor, an Academic Advisor, or an officer of the ASGRCC during this discussion.  The student is required to communicate directly with the College employee involved but this communication does not have to be “in-person”.  A Counselor can help mediate this communication if it is in the best interests of the student.  It is the responsibility of the College employee involved to respond to communication or requests for communication in a timely manner.

If no resolution is reached the student may move to step 2.

Step 2: Resolution with Department Chair or Immediate Supervisor
If the issue is not resolved directly with the College employee, the student seeks resolution with the employee’s Department Chair or immediate supervisor. The student may choose to be accompanied by a support person during these discussions. The student must clearly state the problem and a proposed resolution.
Appropriate written documentation will be maintained by the Department Chair or immediate supervisor and established filing procedures will be followed.
If no resolution is reached the student may move to Step 3.  If the College employee who is the subject of the complaint is a Department Chair the student should skip this step and move directly to Step 3.

Formal Grievance Procedure

Step 3: Resolution with Dean or Next Level Supervisor
If the issue is not resolved at Step 2 the student may seek resolution with the supervising Dean or next level supervisor.  To do this a student has ten (10) working days from receiving notice their complaint could not be satisfactorily resolved at Step 2 to complete a Student Grievance Form and provide it to the supervising Dean or next level supervisor.  The student must provide a description of the issue at hand, the steps the student has taken to attempt to resolve that issue, and clearly state a proposed resolution.

Within seven (7) working days of receiving the Student Grievance Form the supervising Dean or next level supervisor will contact the people involved, gather relevant information and/or documentation in order to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution.

If no mutually agreeable resolution is possible the Dean, or next level supervisor, will conduct an investigation into the student’s grievance.    Based on the information available as a result of the investigation the Dean, or next level supervisor, will determine an appropriate resolution.

Appropriate written documentation will be maintained by the supervising Dean or next level supervisor and filing procedures will be followed with the Vice President of Student Services. If no resolution is reached the student has ten (10) working days to proceed to Step 4.

Step 4: Resolution with Dean of Student Success
If the grievance is not resolved at the previous steps the student has ten (10) working days to notify the Dean of Student Success that no resolution has been found.  The student must provide the Dean of Student Success with a copy of the Student Grievance Form from Step 3.
Within seven (7) working days of receiving this notification, the Dean of Student Success will contact the people involved, gather relevant information and/or documentation, and attempt to arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution between student and staff.
All parties will be notified of the resolution in writing and established filing procedures will be followed with the Vice President of Student Services.

Step 5: Appeal Process
If the student is not satisfied with the Dean of Student Success’s resolution, the student has the right of final appeal of the grievance to the Vice President of Student Services. The final appeal process requires the student to prepare and deliver a written appeal request to the Vice President within seven (7) working days after the Dean of Student Success informs the student of the resolution reached.   The written appeal request must include an explanation of why the issue remains unresolved and must provide a proposed remedy to the grievance.

Within ten (10) working days of receiving the student appeal, the Vice President of Student Services will review the grievance, the investigation process, and the proposed resolutions. They may consult with the administrative team and/or the College President in the review process to assure consistency within RCC.

The review may include, but not be limited to, an interview of the student grievant, College employee and/or other involved parties. The Vice President of Student Services will report the findings and conclusions to the student grievant, the College employee(s) involved, and the Dean of Student Success with a written and signed document.  Established filing procedures will be followed within the Vice President of Student Services office.

Conflict of Interest and Grievances against Senior Leadership
If a conflict of interest exists the Vice President supervising the division where the complaint or grievance exists will appoint a replacement.  Replacements will also be found if there are not enough supervisors to complete Steps 2 and 3 of this process.

Grievances against a Vice President of Rogue Community College should first be attempted to be resolved directly.  If no resolution is reached directly the student shall forward their complaint to the Chief Human Resources Officer who will act in accordance with Step 2.  If no resolution is reached with the Chief Human Resources Officer the student should provide a formal grievance form to the President of Rogue Community College who will investigate and resolve the issue as appropriate.

Grievances against the College President should first be attempted to be resolved directly.  If no resolution is reached directly the student shall forward their complaint to the Chief  Human Resources Officer who will act in accordance with Step 2. If no resolution is reached with the Chief Human Resources Officer the student should provide a formal grievance form to the Chairperson of Rogue Community College’s Board of Education who will investigate and resolve the issue as appropriate.

 

Rescinds Procedure Number: AP-003, Section X

Approved:  April 13, 2020