Academic Grievance Procedures

 

The following procedures will be employed to resolve all grade appeals, and other academic grievances brought by all veterinary students.

  1. All grievances should be initiated promptly and, in any event, before the start of the next semester or summer session following the semester or summer session out of which the grievance arose. 

  2. Students who feel they have been given an unfair grade or treated unjustly in some aspect of academic work should first consult with the faculty member(s) involved to resolve the matter. 

  3. For matters that have not been satisfactorily resolved with the faculty member, a student may file a written grievance with the appropriate Department Head. The Department Head will promptly arrange one or more meetings with the student and the faculty member to attempt to resolve the matter. At the meeting(s) both the student and the faculty member will have a full opportunity to state their views regarding the grievance and an opportunity to present any relevant written documentation concerning the grievance. At the request of the student or the faculty member, the Department Head will also interview other individuals having pertinent knowledge of the grievance. On the basis of the information presented, the Department Head will attempt to arrive at a resolution that is agreeable to both parties. The Department Head will normally complete this process within ten (10) days of the date on which the written grievance is received. The Department Head will transmit to the Dean’s Office a copy of the written grievance and a statement that the attempt to resolve the grievance has been concluded at the department level. A copy of the statement will also be sent to the student and the faculty member. 

  4. A student who is not satisfied with the resolution at the department level may file the written grievance with the Dean’s Office. The Dean will appoint a five-member faculty committee to hear the appeal. One of the five faculty members will be designated as chair of the committee. One of the five members will be appointed from outside the College of Veterinary Medicine. A member of the Student Board of Ethical Behavior will also be appointed as a non-voting member of the committee. All committee members will be persons with no previous involvement with the grievance. 

  5. The committee will conduct an administrative hearing designed to consider the facts it deems necessary to arrive at a fair decision. The hearing will include presentation of the written complaint by the student, with additional oral statements if so desired; testimony by all students, faculty members, administrators, or other persons called as witnesses; and all pertinent written records. The committee will afford both the student and the faculty member full opportunity to express their views on relevant matters. Each party will have an opportunity to present witnesses and to cross-examine the other party and their witnesses. Questions may also be asked by members of the committee. The chair will have the responsibility to make certain only relevant information is brought before the committee. 

  6. The chair of the committee will be responsible for notification of parties and witnesses of the time and place of the hearing, for an exchange of written documents and witness lists, and for overall administration of the proceedings in a timely and orderly fashion. 

  7. A grievant may be accompanied at the hearing by an attorney or advisor, who may advise but may not otherwise participate in the proceedings except with the permission of the chair of the committee. A grievant who intends to be advised by an attorney at the hearing should so inform the chair of the committee at least 48 hours prior to the hearing so that the faculty member may also have an attorney present. 

  8. Unless the student requests an open hearing, the hearing will be closed with only those associated with the hearing present. At the end of the hearing, the committee will meet in executive session to discuss the grievance and draw up its report. The hearing, but not the deliberations of the committee, will be tape recorded. The committee will then reconvene in an open session, and then take a vote on its recommendation. 

  9. The written report of the committee will be transmitted to the Dean. The report will include (a) the factual findings of the committee; (b) a recommendation to the Dean; and (c) the reasons for its recommendation. Normally, the committee will transmit its recommendation to the Dean within no more than twenty (20) days of the date of its appointment. 

  10. The Dean will make a final decision based upon the written advice of the hearing committee. The decision of the Dean along with the copy of the report of the hearing committee will be transmitted to both the student and the faculty member with copies to the Department Head. Should the Dean’s decision differ from the recommendation of the hearing committee, he will include a written explanation of the basis for his decision. Normally, the Dean will transmit his decision within ten (10) days of the committee report. The Dean’s decision will be final within the University. 

  11. All records and tapes of the grievance procedure will be maintained in a separate confidential file in the Dean’s Office.

(Effective Fall, 1989)