Grievance Policy and Procedure
Our grievance policy and procedure provides students with a method for addressing any concerns that may arise regarding RDGC’s academic or administrative policies that pertain to students. The procedure provides a thorough review of the student’s complaint and affords due process rights to dispute participants with the intent of arriving at a mutual agreement.
A student complaint is an allegation by a student that there has been an arbitrary or discriminatory application of, or failure to act in accordance with, the academic or administrative policies of the Reiss-Davis Graduate Center pertaining to students.
A student complaint may involve a faculty or staff member(s) and/or the Dean and/or Provost or it may be related to an academic or administrative process.
A grievance is made when complaints have not been resolved and the student alleges that there has been an arbitrary or discriminatory application of, or failure to act in accordance with, the academic or administrative policies of the Reiss-Davis Graduate Center. A formal written grievance is made by a student to a designated academic officer (Academic Dean or Provost) in which specific remedies may be requested.
The parties to a grievance are the student(s) filing the grievance and the person(s) against whom the grievance is filed.
Informal Procedure for Resolving Academic and Administrative Complaints
Students are encouraged to discuss complaints with the person(s) who is (are) directly involved in the complaint in an effort to come to a satisfactory, informal resolution.
If these informal direct discussions are not successful, the student may pursue a further informal avenue. If the matter is an academic complaint, the student may contact the Academic Dean or Provost. If the matter is an administrative complaint, the student may contact the Administrative Coordinator.
Formal Procedure for Resolving Grievances – Academic
A grievance is initiated by completing and filing a Student Complaint and Grievance Form available on the program’s website or by writing a letter that includes a detailed description of the grievance, the parties involved, the attempts to resolve the grievance informally, and the remedies sought. A formal grievance must be submitted to the Academic Dean, in writing on the Student Complaint and Grievance Form (available on the RDCG website). The grievance needs to state the nature and time of the offending action(s) and the person(s) involved in the action or failure to act. If the grievance involves the Academic Dean, the grievance must be addressed to the Provost. If the matter involves the Provost, the grievance must be brought to the attention of the Special Hearing Committee of the RDGC Board.
The person receiving the formal written grievance will review it and within 30 days gather information from the grievance parties, keeping a record and/or summary of this information. He or she will recommend a solution to the grievance based on mutual agreement. If a mutual agreement cannot be reached, a resolution will be determined and the grievant will be notified of the resolution in writing. Copies of all records will be sent to and maintained by the Academic Affairs Office.
Formal Procedure for Resolving Grievances – Administrative
A grievance involving non-academic matters must be addressed to the Director of Academic Affairs. It should be submitted in writing on the Student Complaint and Grievance Form. The Director of Academic Affairs will review the grievance and investigate the complaint within 30 days. The Director of Academic Affairs will gather information from the parties to the grievance and keep a record and/or summary of this information. After review, the Director of Academic Affairs will recommend a solution arrived at by mutual agreement. If mutual agreement cannot be reached, a resolution will be determined and the grievant will be notified of the resolution in writing. Copies of all records will be sent to and maintained by the Administration Office.
For both academic and administrative grievances, if the parties accept the resolution, the grievance is considered to be settled. If the resolution is not acceptable, then the grievant(s) may appeal the resolution in writing within 15 days of the date the resolution is mailed to the grievant(s). If the appeal is not submitted within the prescribed time limit, the entire process terminates.
If the grievant(s) elects to appeal academic and administrative appeals, they are submitted to the Provost, along with the written record from the previous steps. If the Provost is the object of the grievance, the grievance will be referred to a Special Hearing Committee of the RDGC Board.
Within 30 days of appeal to either party, the Board will convene a Special Hearing Committee to further investigate the grievance. The Committee may include any of the following members, depending upon the circumstances: Core Faculty members, Director of Administrative Affairs, Ethics Committee members, or others. The Committee will make recommendations as described below within 45 days after being convened.
The Committee will recommend steps to the parties that will provide an amicable and mutually acceptable solution. If the parties cannot agree on a solution, the Committee will declare a resolution in writing. Grievant(s) who do not accept the decision of the Committee must file a written appeal to the Provost within 15 days of the date the Committee’s resolution is mailed to the grievant(s).
The Provost will accept, reject, or revise the Committee’s decision and communicate it to the grievant(s). This decision will be based on the record and the Board will not reopen the matter for additional evidence or argument. The action of the Provost will be final.