Jan 21, 2022  
2021-2022 Student Handbook 
    
2021-2022 Student Handbook

STUDENT COMPLAINTS


Student Rights and Responsibilities: Student Complaints
Board Policy Manual FLD (Local)

Informal Process: The College District encourages students to discuss their concerns with the appropriate instructor or other campus administrator who has the authority to address the concerns.  Concerns should be expressed as soon as possible to allow early resolution at the lowest possible administrative level. Informal resolution shall be encouraged but shall not extend any deadlines in this policy, except by mutual written consent.

Formal Process: A student may initiate the formal process described below by timely filing a written complaint.

Even after initiating the formal complaint process, students are encouraged to seek informal resolution of their concerns. A student whose concerns are resolved may withdraw a formal complaint at any time.

The process described in this policy shall not be construed to create new or additional rights beyond those granted by law or Board policy, nor to require a full evidentiary hearing or “mini-trial” at any level.

Freedom from Retaliation: Neither the Board nor any College District employee shall unlawfully retaliate against any student for bringing a concern or complaint.

Notice to Students: The College District shall inform students of this policy through appropriate College District publications.

Complaints

In this policy, the terms “complaint” and “grievance” shall have the same meaning.

Other Complaint Processes

Some of these policies require appeals to be submitted in accordance with FLD after the relevant complaint process:0)

  1. Complaints alleging discrimination or harassment based on race, color, sex, gender, national origin, disability, age, or religion. [See FFDA and FFDB]
  2. Complaints concerning retaliation relating to discrimination and harassment. [See FFDA and FFDB]
  3. Complaints concerning disciplinary decisions. [See FMA]
  4. Complaints concerning a commissioned peace officer who is an employee of the College District. [See CHA]
  5. Complaints concerning the withdrawal of consent to remain on campus. [See GDA]

General Provisions:

Filing: Complaints and appeal notices may be filed by hand-delivery, electronic communication, including email and fax, or U.S. Mail. Hand-delivered filings shall be timely filed if received by the appropriate administrator or designee by the close of business on the deadline. Filings submitted by electronic communication shall be timely filed if they are received by the close of business on the deadline, as indicated by the date/time shown on the electronic communication. Mail filings shall be timely filed if they are postmarked by U.S. Mail on or before the deadline and received by the appropriate administrator or designated representative no more than three days after the deadline.

  • Scheduling Conferences: The College District shall make reasonable attempts to schedule conferences at a mutually agreeable time. If a student fails to appear at a scheduled conference, the College District may hold the conference and issue a decision in the student’s absence.
  • Response: At Levels One, Two, Three, and Four, “response” shall mean a written communication to the student from the appropriate administrator. Responses may be hand-delivered, sent by electronic communication to the student’s email address of record, or sent by U.S. Mail to the student’s mailing address of record. Mailed responses shall be timely if they are postmarked by U.S. Mail on or before the deadline.
  • Days:  “Days” shall mean College District business days. In calculating timelines under this policy, the day a document is filed is “day zero.” The following day is “day one.”
  • Representative:  “Representative” shall mean any person who or organization that is designated by the student to represent the student in the complaint process.  The student may designate a representative through written notice to the College District at any level of this process. If the student designates a representative with fewer than three days’ notice to the College District before a scheduled conference or hearing, the College District may reschedule the conference or hearing to a later date, if desired, in order to include the College District’s counsel. The College District may be represented by counsel at any level of the process.

Consolidating Complaints:  Complaints arising out of an event or a series of related events shall be addressed in one complaint. A student shall not file separate or serial complaints arising from any event or series of events that have been or could have been addressed in a previous complaint.

Untimely Filings:  All time limits shall be strictly followed unless modified by mutual written consent.

If a complaint or appeal notice is not timely filed, the complaint may be dismissed, on written notice to the student, at any point during the complaint process. The student may appeal the dismissal by seeking review in writing within five days from the date of the written dismissal notice, starting at the level at which the complaint was dismissed. Such appeal shall be limited to the issue of timeliness.

Costs Incurred: Each party shall pay its own costs incurred in the course of the complaint.

Complaint Process

Prior to filing a written complaint, the student (complainant) may first choose to attempt to resolve his or her complaint by discussing the matter with the person (respondent) alleged to be responsible for the discrimination or error. This discussion shall occur within 15 days of the alleged complaint.

If the complaint is not resolved at this level or the complainant is not comfortable discussing the complaint with the respondent, the complainant must submit a formal complaint with the Level One administrator.

False and/or malicious allegations made by the complainant may result in disciplinary action against the complainant.

Complaints and appeals under this policy shall be submitted in writing.

Copies of any documents that support the complaint should be attached. If the student does not have copies of these documents, copies may be presented at the Level One conference. After the Level One conference, no new documents may be submitted by the student unless the student did not know the documents existed before the Level One conference.

 

A complaint or appeal that is incomplete in any material aspect may be dismissed but may be refiled with all the required information if the refiling is within the designated time for filing.

Level One

Complaints must be filed:

·        Within 15 days of the date the student first knew, or with reasonable diligence should have known, of the decision or action giving rise to the complaint or grievance or within five days of the date the student met with the person alleged to be responsible for the discrimination or error; and

·        With the lowest level administrator who has the authority to remedy the alleged problem.

·        In most circumstances, students shall file Level One complaints with the department chairperson or student services supervisor. If the only administrator who has authority to remedy the alleged problem is the Level Two, Level Three, or Level Four administrator, the complaint may begin at Level Two, Level Three, or Level Four, respectively, following the procedure, including deadlines, for filing the complaint at Level One.

 

If the complaint is not filed with the appropriate administrator, the receiving administrator must note the date and time the complaint was received and immediately forward the complaint to the appropriate administrator.

The appropriate administrator shall investigate as necessary and schedule a conference with the student within five days after receipt of the written complaint. The administrator may set reasonable time limits for the conference.

Absent extenuating circumstances, the administrator shall provide the student a written response within five days following the conference. The written response shall set forth the basis of the decision. In reaching a decision, the administrator may consider information provided at the Level One conference and any relevant documents or information the administrator believes will help resolve the complaint.

Level Two

If the student did not receive the relief requested at Level One or if the time for a response has expired, the student may request a conference with the Level Two administrator to appeal the Level One decision.

The appeal notice must be filed in writing, within five days of the date of the written Level One response or, if no response was received, within five days of the Level One response deadline.

After receiving notice of the appeal, the Level One administrator shall prepare and forward a record of the Level One complaint to the Level Two administrator. The student may request a copy of the Level One record.

The Level One record shall include:0)

1.           The original written complaint and any attachments.

2.           All other documents submitted by the student at Level One.

3.           The written response issued at Level One and any attachments.

4.           All other documents relied upon by the Level One administrator in reaching the Level One decision.

The Level Two administrator shall schedule a conference within five days after the appeal notice is filed. The conference shall be limited to the issues and documents considered at Level One. At the conference, the student may provide information concerning any documents or information relied on by the administration for the Level One decision. The Level Two administrator may set reasonable time limits for the conference.

The Level Two administrator shall provide the student a written response within five days following the conference. The written response shall set forth the basis of the decision. In reaching a decision, the Level Two administrator may consider the Level One record, information provided at the Level Two conference, and any other relevant documents or information the Level Two administrator believes will help resolve the complaint.

Recordings of the Level One and Level Two conferences, if any, shall be maintained with the Level One and Level Two records.

Level Three

If the student did not receive the relief requested at Level Two or if the time for a response has expired, the student may request a conference with the Level Three administrator to appeal the Level Two decision.

The appeal notice must be filed in writing, within five days of the date of the written Level Two response or, if no response was received, within five days of the Level Two response deadline.

After receiving notice of the appeal, the Level Two administrator shall prepare and forward a record of the Level Two complaint to the Level Three administrator. The student may request a copy of the Level Two record.

The Level Two record shall include:0)

1.           The Level One record.

2.           The written response issued at Level Two and any attachments.

3.           All other documents relied upon by the Level Two administrator in reaching the Level Two decision.

The Level Three administrator shall schedule a conference within five days after the appeal notice is filed. The conference shall be limited to the issues and documents considered at Level Two. At the conference, the student may provide information concerning any documents or information relied on by the administration for the Level Two decision. The Level Three administrator may set reasonable time limits for the conference.

The Level Three administrator shall provide the student a written response within five days following the conference. The written response shall set forth the basis of the decision. In reaching a decision, the Level Three administrator may consider the Level One and Level Two records, information provided at the Level Three conference, and any other relevant documents or information the Level Three administrator believes will help resolve the complaint.

Recordings of the Level One, Level Two, and Level Three conferences, if any, shall be maintained with the Level One, Level Two, and Level Three records.

Level Four

If the student did not receive the relief requested at Level Three or if the time for a response has expired, the student may appeal the decision to the College President.

The appeal notice must be filed in writing, within five days after receipt of the written Level Three response, or, if no response was received, within five days of the Level Three response deadline.

The College President or designee shall inform the student of the date, time, and place of the meeting.

The Level Three record shall include:0)

1.           The Level One record.

2.           The Level Two record.

3.           The written response issued at Level Three and any attachments.

4.           All other documents relied upon by the administration in reaching the Level Three decision.

The appeal shall be limited to the issues and documents considered at Level Three, except that if at the Level Four hearing the administration intends to rely on evidence not included in the Level Three record, the administration shall provide the student notice of the nature of the evidence at least three days before the hearing.

 

The College President may set reasonable time limits and guidelines for the presentation, including an opportunity for the student and administration to each make a presentation and provide rebuttal and an opportunity for questioning by the College President. The College President shall hear the complaint and may request that the administration provide an explanation for the decisions at the preceding levels.

 

The College President shall provide the student a written response within five days following the conference. The written response shall set forth the basis of the decision. In reaching a decision, the College President may consider the Level One, Level Two, and Level Three records, information provided at the Level Three conference, and any other relevant documents or information the College President believes will help resolve the complaint. The decision by the College President is final.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Student Complaint Procedure

Texas Education Code, §61.031, concerning Public Interest Information and Complaints, and 34 C.F.R. §600.9(a)(1) of the United States Department of Education’s Program Integrity regulations, requires each state to establish “a process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning an institution of higher education including enforcing applicable State laws.” Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part 1, Chapter1, Subchapter E implements Texas Education Code, §132.002(k), which requires the THECB Agency to take appropriate action, including by making appropriate referrals to an accrediting agency or to the Office of the Attorney General of Texas, to address any complaints received by the Agency from a student or prospective student of a Title IV participating exempt school to which Texas Education Code, §132.002(h) exemption applies and is regulated by the Agency.

The first step for current, former, or prospective students who would like to file a formal complaint against a Texas higher education institution is to exhaust all of the institution’s student complaint or grievance procedures as required by Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Section 1.116(b).  An institution’s student complaint or grievance procedures are typically available in the academic catalog or student handbook on the institution’s website. After all of the institution’s student complaint or grievance procedures have been exhausted, if the matter remains unresolved, a formal complaint may be filed with the THECB.

Detailed information regarding THECB Student Complaint information can be found at http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/links/student-complaints/

Copyright Information

 The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, is against federal copyright laws. Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under Title 17 of the United States Code, Chapter 1, Section 106 of the Copyright Act. As a general matter, copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.

 

Temple College Copyright Policy 

Violators of civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages as outlined in Title 17 of the United States Code, Chapter 5. For more information, see the U.S. Copyright Office website at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQs at www.copyright.gov/help/faq.