Policies

Grievance Procedures for Students

Department responsible: Dean of Students
Owner: Dean of Students
Pertains to: Hamline students
Description: The following procedures cover action by Hamline staff/faculty or misapplication of university policies, which adversely affects students.
Details:

Grievance Procedures for Students

General Principles

1. These procedures are intended to apply to alleged action by Hamline staff/faculty or a
misapplication of university policies, which directly and adversely affects the student.
Grievances not within the scope of this process are:
     a. Academic policies for which there are already procedures and processes to follow
          which include but are not limited to:
                i. Grade appeals
               ii. Petitions to drop or withdraw from classes
              iii. Credit transfers
              iv. Hamline Plan appeals;
     b. concerns related to harassment and/or discrimination;
     c. incidents involving sexual violence;
     d. judicial affairs proceedings; and,
     e. any issue already covered by a university office or departmental internal
         grievance procedure.

For any type of issue, a student may seek assistance separate from these procedures from
the Hamline University Ombudsman, his or her academic advisor, or any other staff
person.

2. Students are responsible for initiating these procedures.
3. Attorneys may not represent any party involved in this complaint process.
4. All parties are expected to cooperate fully at all steps of these procedures. If any party
destroys any document essential to this process before the final resolution, then the
academic dean, Dean of Students, or the Provost's Office has the authority to dismiss the complaint or resolve the complaint in favor of
the non-offending party.
5. Hamline University will notify the complainant of the outcome in writing within thirty
(30) days.

Informal Complaints/Level 1

Whenever possible, complaints should be raised immediately with the staff/faculty
member responsible, with the aim of resolving the problem directly and informally. If a
student’s complaint persists, but s/he still wants to pursue the issue informally, then the
student may seek assistance from the chair of the department, Associate Dean/Dean, or
supervisor.

If the student does not wish to lodge an informal complaint, or is dissatisfied with the
university’s response at the informal level, the student shall lodge a formal grievance.

Formal Grievance/Level 2

General Information
1. A grievance must be submitted in writing.
2. A grievance must be made within fifteen (15) days of the conduct giving rise to the
grievance.
3. Hamline University will respond to all grievances within five (5) days. The department
chair or academic dean will respond to academic complaints. The Dean of Students or
his/her designee will respond to grievances involving university services.
4. Hamline University may request further information, documentation or clarification.
5. Any complainant may request a meeting with the person investigating the grievance.
6. Hamline University will notify the complainant of the outcome in writing within thirty
(30) days.

Records

Hamline University will keep a record of the grievance and any investigation of the
grievance for three (3) years either in the office of the academic dean involved or the
Dean of Students Office. The VPASA or his/her designee will log the grievance into a
secure database (shared Secure S: drive with access available for specific staff/faculty).
All entries will be maintained for three (3) years.

Confidentiality
The contents and outcome of the grievance will only be shared on a need to know basis.
All personnel records and actions are confidential with respect to third-parties and will
not be made available to the grievant.


Filing
1. The student must submit a written statement of the allegations including:
    a. names of all persons involved;
    b. statement of material facts;
    c. dates of the conduct which forms the basis of the allegation(s); and,
    d. remedy sought.
2. The statement cannot be changed after it has been filed.
3. The student filing the grievance is the complainant.
4. Any person(s) who is/are the subject of the grievance is/are the respondent(s).
5. For any grievance in which the respondent is no longer a Hamline University employee,
the department chair or supervisor will be the respondent.
6. If further alleged misconduct occurs after the filing of the first grievance, then a separate
grievance may be filed. All grievances may be consolidated.

Withdrawal of a Grievance
The complainant may withdraw a grievance by written notification to the academic dean
or the Dean of Students at any time. The academic dean or Dean of Students may remove
a respondent by written notification to the complainant.

Even in the event of withdrawal, the University reserves the right to pursue matters that
implicate University policy violations.

Appeal/Level 3

1. In the event the grievance has not been dismissed or resolved to the satisfaction of the
complainant, then he/she may appeal to the VPASA. This request must be made in
writing within five (5) days of the Formal Grievance/Level 2 decision.
2. The VPASA will notify the complainant within five (5) days. In deciding whether to
grant the appeal, the VPASA will consider whether:
    a. Procedural irregularities existed during the investigation of the grievance;
    b. fresh evidence can be presented which was not or could not have been made
        available to the investigator of the formal grievance; and,
    c. the result of the formal grievance investigation was against the weight of the
        evidence.
3. If the VPASA grants the appeal, the VPASA or his or her designee will further
investigate the grievance. Where appropriate, s/he will consult with previous parties,
witnesses to the grievance, and new or additional Hamline community members with
useful knowledge in resolving the grievance.
4. The VPASA will issue his/her decision thirty (30) days from the date the complainant
was notified the appeal was granted. This decision shall be final.
Revised March 22, 2011