Purpose and Scope:
- To provide the individual student opportunity to be heard in grievances involving alleged acts of unlawful discrimination on the basis of gender, disability, race, color, age, religion, national origin, or veteran status. (Type I Grievance)
- To provide the individual student the opportunity to be heard in grievances involving alleged errors in the interpretation, application, or lack of application of stated policy or violations of stated policy. (Type II Grievance)
- To provide the individual student opportunity to be heard in grievances that do not fall within the Type I or Type II grievance definitions.
Interpretation of Coverage
Where a dispute exists concerning the application of these procedures, the President of the College will make final judgment on the question.
- Type I Grievance: Any student believing that he/she has been discriminated against unlawfully based on gender, disability, race, color, age, religion, national origin, or veteran status through the action of an employee, a supervisor, or other person acting for the college may bring a grievance under the Type I and Type II Grievance Procedure. (Follow the Type I and Type II Grievnace Procedure below.)
- Type II Grievance: A student believing that an error has occurred in the interpretation or application of stated policy or that a violation of stated policy has occurred may bring a grievance under the Type I and Type II Grievance Procedure. (Follow the Type I and Type II Grievnace Procedure below.)
These procedures are not intended to change or to establish new policy. They are only to establish whether or not an error has occurred and, if so, what might constitute appropriate redress for the aggrieved.
- Type III Grievance: The Type III Grievance procedure allows an individual student an opportunity to be heard in grievances that do not fall within the Type I or Type II grievance definitions. (Follow the Type III Grievnace Procedure below.)
Type I and Type II Grievance Procedure
- Prior to filing a written grievance, the student (grievant) may first wish to attempt to resolve his/her grievance by discussing the matter with the person (respondent) alleged to be responsible for the discrimination or error. This discussion shall occur within 20 working days of the alleged grievance (Working days here and elsewhere in these procedures refers to days the college administrative offices are officially open).
- If the grievance is not resolved at this level or the grievant is not comfortable discussing the grievance with the respondent, the grievant must submit a formal grievance in writing to the respondent’s Department Chair/Supervisor in order to initiate the grievance process. False and/or malicious allegations made by the grievant may result in disciplinary action against the grievant.
- Grievance Filing
- Grievances shall be filed in writing with the appropriate Department Chair/Supervisor within ten working days of the attempted resolution of the grievance with the respondent as outlined in the Informal Procedure above or within 20 working days of the alleged grievance if step 1 of the Informal Procedure procedure outlined above is omitted. The written grievance shall provide the following information:
- Name(s) and address(es) of the grievant;
- Nature and date of the alleged violation;
- Name(s) of the person(s) responsible for the alleged violation (where known);
- Requested relief or corrective action (redress). (The grievant has the option of not specifying this information); and
- Other background information the grievant believes to be relevant (e.g., names of others affected by the alleged violation or error.)
- Initial Processing of Grievances
- Notification of Respondent: Within five working days of the filing of a written grievance, the Department Chair/Supervisor shall notify the respondent of the grievance and of his/her responsibility for submission of a written reply to the grievance. Respondent will have five working days after receipt of the grievance notification or return date of certified letter to the College to reply. While the respondent is to be informed of the actual grievance or grievances being filed, the respondent is not allowed access to the grievant’s official written statement prior to submission of his/her own initial written account of the facts surrounding the grievance.
- Respondent Grievance Answer: The respondent’s answer shall be as follows:
- Confirm or deny each fact alleged in the grievance;
- Indicate the extent to which the grievance has merit;
- Indicate acceptance or rejection of the corrective action sought by the grievant or outline an alternative corrective action.
- Department Chair’s/Supervisor’s Determination and Ruling
- After receiving the reply from the respondent, the Department Chair/Supervisor will, within five working days, issue a written decision either affirming or denying the grievance to the grievant and the respondent;
- The grievant can either accept the decision or appeal to the next level of the grievance process. The grievant will have five working days after receipt of the decision or return date of certified letter to the College to appeal the Chair’s/Supervisor’s decision;
- If no appeal has been received within five working days after issuance of the Department Chair’s Supervisor’s decision, the Division Director shall issue a notice of non-response to the grievant, respondent, Vice President, Educational Services (VPES) if grievance is at the Division Director Level, and the President of the College and the grievance will be recorded as closed.
- If an appeal is received within five working days after issuance of the Department Chair’s Supervisor’s decision, the Division Director or VPES will initiate the hearing panel process and conduct a hearing within ten working days after receipt of the grievance appeal.
- Processing of Grievance at the Levels
- Conducting the Hearing
- A hearing panel will convene within ten working days of receipt of the appeal. The hearing panel will consist of the Division Director or VPES, who will serve as the chair of the panel and will be a non-voting member, one student (the president of the Student Government, if available), and three faculty members selected at random from the faculty, excluding the respondent’s discipline.
- Copies of any written materials sent to the hearing panel chair should also be sent to the grievant, the respondent, VPES, and the President of the College.
- Persons present at the hearing shall include
- the grievant,
- the respondent,
- any individual(s) requested by either party to provide information relevant to the grievance, and
- the hearing panel.
- Hearings shall not be open to the public unless requested by the grievant.
- Hearing Procedures
- Equal time will be allocated to each party for the presentation of information. Time used for questions and answers asked by the hearing panel is not charged to the grievant or the respondent.
- Both the grievant and the respondent shall have the right to present witnesses and ask questions of these witnesses. The time so used is to be counted as part of their allocated time.
- The hearing panel chair shall appoint a timekeeper and recorder.
- Grievance Decisions
- Within five working days of the hearing, the chair of the panel shall issue a written decision which includes:
- A statement regarding the validity of the grievance allocation;
- Specification of any corrective action to be taken; and
- The specific reasons for the decision.
- Copies of the decision shall be sent to the grievant, the respondent, Division Director, VPES, and President of the College.
- Acceptance or Rejection of a Hearing Decision
- If the grievant rejects the hearing decision, he/she shall within ten working days of the receipt of the decision or return date of certified letter to the College notify the hearing panel chair of his/her intent to appeal the grievance to the next level. The grievant must submit a formal letter of appeal of the hearing decision in writing to the President of the College with copies being sent, by the grievant, to the Hearing Panel Chair.
- If no such notification is received by the Hearing Panel Chair within this time period, any corrective action specified in the decision shall be taken, and the grievance will be recorded as closed by the hearing panel chair and notice will be sent to grievant, respondent, Division Director, VPES, and the President of the College.
- Final Appeals Procedure
- The President is the final institutional authority on grievances.
- The President must issue a decision within ten working days after the receipt of the appeal by the grievant.
- No new information may be introduced unless the parties can show cause as to why it was not introduced at the hearing.
- Time Extensions
- Any time limits set by this procedure may be extended by mutual consent of the grievant and the respondent.
- In the event any of the days falls on a College holiday, the extension will be the same number of days as the holiday.
- Other Courses of Action
If this is a discrimination complaint, the defendant may also file a complaint of illegal discrimination with the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education [1200 Main Tower, Suite 2260, Dallas, TX 75202] at the same time, during, or after use of this grievance procedure. Such complaints must be filed in writing no later than 180 days after the occurrence of the possible discrimination.
Type III Grievance Procedure
(Note: This policy is to be used for any complaint that does not fall within the Type I or Type II grievance definitions outlined under the Grievance Procedure section of this handbook. For sexual harassment issues, please see the Sexual Harassment Policy in the Temple College Personnel Handbook).
This policy must be adhered to regarding time issues. Every effort should be made to resolve this issue.
Note: Working day is defined as any day the College is officially open.
- The student (grievant) must first discuss any grievances (i.e., issues, concerns, or academic appeal) with the person (respondent) within 30 working days of the occurrence.
- If the grievance is not resolved in Step I, a written statement with documentation describing the grievance must be presented to the supervisor and the respondent within five working days following the discussion with the respondent.
- An all-inclusive conference composed of the grievant, respondent, and respondent’s supervisor shall be called by the supervisor within five working days following receipt of the written statement. This conference shall be convened as an attempt to resolve the grievance.
- A written record of the conference with the decision made by the supervisor shall be provided to all parties involved within five working days following the conference in Step 3.
- If the grievant or respondent does not accept the decision in Step 4, he/she must submit to the next level supervisor a written statement with a copy of all documentation regarding this grievance within five working days following receipt of the decision in Step 4.
- The next level supervisor shall schedule an all-inclusive conference (grievant, respondent, and supervisors). This conference should be completed within five working days after the supervisor receives the written complaint in Step 5.
- The supervisor shall provide a written record of the conference and the decision to all parties involved within five working days following the conference in Step 6.
- If the complainant or respondent still does not accept the decision, he/she must submit to the final authority, the Vice President, Educational Services (VPES), a written statement with a copy of all documentation regarding this complaint within five working days following receipt of the decision in Step 7.
- The VPES shall schedule an all-inclusive conference (grievant, respondent, and supervisors) within five working days following receipt of the written statement in Step 8.
- The VPES will provide a written record of the conference with the decision to all parties involved within five working days. (If the final complaint is filed against the VPES, the President of the College will assume the duties of the VPES beginning with Step 8).
Note: In the event there are grievances involving administrative personnel who are also teaching a class, this policy will follow the same procedure, except omission of the respective administration level. Any individual teaching a class, regardless of position on the chain of command, will fall under the supervision of the department chair of the subject being taught.
Policies are subject to change.