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: Student Affairs
: President
: 04/01/2019
: 04/01/2019
: 04/01/2020

Student Grievance Policy

Comment on Policy

AUDIENCE

This policy applies to all students of Thomas More University

PURPOSE STATEMENT

Thomas More University is committed to respecting and supporting all members of our community and providing a quality educational experience for all students. The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures and guidelines to address student grievances.

DEFINITIONS

Grievable action - an action that either:

  1. is in violation of written University policies or procedures
  2. constitutes misapplication or misinterpretation of University policies, regulations, rules, or procedures.

A flow chart to help determine what is grievable and what is not grievable action is provided below:

Issue Action
 Is your complaint against a faculty or staff member?  Refer to the faculty or staff member's supervisor.  Information is available in the Employee Directory.
 Is your complaint against another student?  Refer to the Assistant Dean of Students
 Is your complaint about a financial aid decision, rule, and/or regulation?  Refer to the Financial Aid appeal procedures as outlined in the University Catalog
 Is your complaint about a disciplinary decision administered by Student Affairs?  Refer to the procedures in the Saints Community Standards
 Is your complaint about facilities?  Submit a work order request with Facilities
 Is your complaint about computer equipment or technology?

 File a request at the Helpdesk at https://it.thomasmore.edu/helpdesk/

 Is your complaint about your course grade?

 Refer to the Academic Evaluation Appeal Process as outlined in the University Catalog

 Is your complaint about a policy or procedure? 

 This process may not be used to challenge policies or procedures.  Submit a comment on the policy or discuss with the area responsible.

 Is your complaint about a violation of a policy or procedure?

 File a Student Grievance 

 Is your complaint about an unequal application or use of a policy or procedure?  File a Student Grievance

THE POLICY

Students with a Grievable Action may file a formal Student Grievance through https://it.thomasmore.edu/helpdesk/, chosing the Help Topic of Student Grievance.  Only grievances filed in this manner will be considered according to the procedures below.  The Grievance must be filed within 30 days after the date the student has been aggrieved. 

Any student who elects to file a Grievance shall not be retaliated against in any way by the University, its employees, or agents.  Retaliation against a student for participating in the grievance process in good faith will not be tolerated and will subject the individual engaging in the retaliation to disciplinary or corrective action. Any complaints about retaliation may be reported to the Dean of Students.

RELATED POLICIES AND APPLICABLE LEGAL OR ACCREDITATION STANDARDS

SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation: Foundations of Quality Enhancement, standard 12.4

PROCEDURES

It is the University’s goal to investigate issues thoroughly as close to the initial point of contact as possible and to find solution to the grievances promptly in the best interests of all parties, recognizing the value of using this as an opportunity to continuously improve our services, programs and policies.

Step 1 - Informal Resolution In many cases, disputes can be quickly and effectively resolved when addressed informally by talking with the individual(s) of office directly connected with the grievance.  Misunderstandings, miscommunications, and disagreements often can be resolved through such conversations. If speaking with the parties directly involved does not resolve the conflict, the student may wish to meet with the other person’s supervisor, such as the chair of the relevant academic department or department manager.

Step 2 - Grievance Filing If informal discussion does not resolve the disagreement, the student may file a Grievance.  Because the University already has identified several mechanisms for dispute resolution (e.g. the Grade Appeal process), students who file a grievance may be redirected to established channels or the Dean of an academic college if these have not already been engaged. Students will be notified within five business days via the ticket system/email if the Dean of Students has referred the grievance to another individual or if investigation will begin.  

Step 3 - Student Grievance Committee The Dean of Students will assemble a subgroup of the START Committee to address the Grievance.  This subgroup will be overseen by the Assistant Dean of Students and include two faculty, two staff, and one student.  The subgroup will investigate the Grievance to determine a solution.  The resolution will be sent to the student via the ticket system/email generally within 10 business days of the initial filing.

Step 4 - Dean of Students If the Grievance is not resolved to the student's satisfaction at this point, the student may, within five business days of the resolution, request that the decision be reviewed by the Dean of Students via the ticket system.  The decision of the Dean of Students, which will be submitted to the student within five business days of the request via the ticket system/email, will be final.

REFERENCING THE POLICY

Saints Community Standards

HISTORY

Date

Supersedes Policy

Summarize Change

March 2019

none

This is a new policy

APPENDIX

No appendices

APPROVALS

Antwone Cameron, Dean of Students

Dr. Kathleen S. Jagger, Acting President