Grievance review

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that students have the opportunity to express their viewpoints in an appropriate manner to any University official. Academic grievances are handled through the Grade Appeals process in the Catalog.

Policy

Students are invited to express their viewpoints in an appropriate manner to any University official. For formal action to occur, however, the student should submit a formal written complaint in accordance with the appropriate grievance procedures below.

Definitions

Grievance— grievances involve situations alleging a misapplication or misinterpretation of Lynn University policy, regulation, or rule, or a violation of state or federal law. Grievances may not be used to challenge policies or procedures of general applicability.

In addition, this procedure may not be used to grieve:

  1. Claims based on purchases or contracts;
  2. Claims against a Lynn University employee on matters that are unrelated to the employee’s job or role at the University;
  3. Student Conduct Review decisions;
  4. Claims where another Lynn University policy or procedure could have been used for the matter being grieved (i.e., sexual and gender-based misconduct appeals, academic grievances, FERPA appeals, etc.).

Upon request from any student, the Dean of Students will provide guidance about the appropriate system for redress of a particular complaint.

Procedures/Guidelines

The Lynn University Student Non-Academic Grievance procedures ensure that students have the opportunity to present non-academic grievances to the University regarding a certain action or inaction by a member of the Lynn community and that the University has a consistent way of resolving those grievances in a fair and just manner.

The procedures set forth below may be utilized by grievants who are enrolled as Lynn University students or who are participating in a University-sponsored event at the time of the incident being grieved. The person filing the grievance must be the alleged victim of unfair treatment; a grievance cannot be filed on behalf of another person. The existence of this procedure does not bar grievants from also filing claims in other forums to the extent permitted by state or federal law or applicable accrediting agencies.

The formal resolution process described below must be initiated within 60 working days of the decision, action, or events giving rise to the grievance. The Dean of Students may extend this time limit if the grievant makes the request for extension within the 60-day period, for good cause shown (e.g., an active effort at informal resolution at the departmental level).

A. Informal Resolution

Prior to invoking the formal resolution procedures described below, the student shall discuss the grievance with the person alleged to have been responsible for the grievance. This is not required in cases where the grievant reasonably believes that efforts at informal resolution may result in retaliation or other unfair treatment. The discussion shall be held as soon as the student first becomes aware of the act or condition that is the basis of the grievance. The person alleged to have caused the grievance must respond to the student promptly, either orally or in writing.

B. Formal Resolution

Step One

If good faith efforts at informal resolution is not successful, the student may file a grievance by sending a request for hearing along with the following information to the Dean of Students.

The formal grievance must:

  1. Be in writing;
  2. State how the decision or action is unfair and harmful to the grievant and list the Lynn University policy or state or federal laws that have been violated, if known;
  3. Name the respondent parties (the person(s) against whom the grievance is filed);
  4. State how the respondents are responsible for the action or decision;
  5. State the requested remedy; and
  6. State whether the grievant will bring a support person to the hearing.

If it is clear on the face of the written grievance that the grievance has not been filed within the time limit, or pertains to a matter not falling, or is from a person without standing under this procedure, the Dean of Students shall so indicate in a letter to the grievant and the grievance shall be dismissed.

If the grievance is not dismissed, however, the Dean of Students will review the information, request any meetings, and formulate a decision within 20 working days of receipt of the formal written grievance. If the respondent is the Dean of Students, the Vice President for Student Affairs will appoint another University administrator to issue a decision. Once determined, the Dean of Students' decision will be recorded for the University record. A correspondence will be sent to the person who filed the grievance explaining the rationale for the decision.

Step Two

If the resolution provided by the Dean of Students is not satisfactory to the student filing the complaint, the student may file a request for reconsideration. Such a request must be submitted in writing within a 5-working day period from the date of the initial grievance decision. A request for reconsideration shall be submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Dean of Students shall forward all appropriate details and documentation to the Vice President for Student Affairs for review in a timely manner. If the respondent is the Vice President for Student Affairs, the President will appoint another University administrator to issue a decision.

The Vice President for Student Affairs shall review the information provided concerning the grievance, the request for reconsideration, and details regarding the grievants desired remedy and issue a final decision with 20 working days of receiving the request for reconsideration. The Vice President for Student Affairs decision may include one of the following options:

  1. To support the initial grievance resolution provided by the Dean of Students, designating that resolution to be fair and appropriate, based on the information reviewed; or
  2. Determine that an alternate decision is appropriate based on his/her review of the grievance case information. This shall supersede any previously made decisions; or
  3. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall provide the decision in writing and document his/her final decision for the University record. The decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs shall be considered final.

To learn more about this policy or the supporting procedures, please contact Dean of Students.

Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018