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3.8.1 – Procedure – Student Complaints & Grievances

MnSCU Policy

Part 1: Definitions. For the purposes of Policy 3.8 and Procedure 3.8.1 the following definitions apply:

Subpart A: Appeal. A request for reconsideration of a grievance decision under Policy 3.8 and Procedure 3.81.

Subpart B: Complaint. An oral or written claim concerning a college issue brought by a student alleging improper, unfair, or arbitrary treatment.

Subpart C: Grievance. A written claim raised by a student alleging improper, unfair, or arbitrary action by an employee involving the application of a specific provision of a college rule/regulation or a board policy or procedure. This policy does not apply to those college rules or regulations or to board policies or procedures that include an appeal or grievance process.

Subpart D: Retaliation. Retribution of any kind taken against a student for participating or not participating in a complaint or grievance.

Subpart E: Student. An individual who is enrolled in a college, a group of such individuals or the campus student government.

Part 2: Notification and Publication. The college shall inform students of the established complaint and grievance policies and procedures. These policies and procedures shall be publicized to students at least annually and include information for students about how and where to obtain grievance forms.

Part 3: Complaints. This procedure is to be used when a student has a concern about his/her education at the college. The objective of the procedure is to resolve problems as quickly and efficiently as possible at the level closest to the student so the student’s educational progress can continue. Nothing within this process precludes a student from seeking legal counsel at any step. The student brings the concern to an appropriate staff or faculty member. If the student is uncomfortable with approaching the college employee directly, he/she may select an advocate (a counselor, advisor, or other staff member). All complaints should be forwarded by the employee to the VP of Academic and Student Services’ office for tracking purposes to ensure students receive timely responses. The staff member or members attempt to work with the student and any other persons who are involved to resolve the problem within ten (10) working days. If the concern is not resolved satisfactorily, the student may file a grievance.

Part 4: Grievances. If a student is dissatisfied with the results of the complaints process, a grievance may be filed. All grievances must be submitted in writing. Forms are available in the Student Services and Administrative offices and should be returned to the Vice President of Academic and Student Services. The appropriate administrator shall send a written response to the complaint within ten (10) working days of its receipt.

Part 5: Appeals. The student has a right to appeal the grievance decision by filing a written appeal to the college president. Appeals must be filed within ten (10) working days of receipt of the grievance decision. The president shall respond within ten (10) working days from receipt of the appeal. The decision of the president is final and binding. If the complaint involves a MnSCU policy or actions of the college president, a student may further appeal the college decision through the Chancellor to the Board of Trustees. The decision of the Board of Trustees is final and binding.

Part 6: Retaliation Prohibited. No retaliation of any kind shall be taken against a student for participating, or refusing to participate, in a grievance. Retaliation may be subject to action under appropriate student or employee policies.

Student Complaints Forms

Date Implemented: April 1, 1999

Date Updated: February 13, 2013