Part I – Introduction
Augsburg College is committed to a policy of treating fairly all members of the college community in regard to their personal and professional concerns. However, times do occur in which students think they have been mistreated. This procedure is provided in order to ensure that students are aware of the way in which their problems with faculty members can be resolved informally
and to provide a more formal conciliation process when needed. Each student must be given adequate opportunity to bring problems to the attention of the faculty with the assurance that each will be given fair treatment. The faculty member must be fully informed of the allegations and given an opportunity to respond to them in a fair and reasonable manner.
Definition of Grievance
A grievance is defined as dissatisfaction occurring when a student believes that any conduct or condition affecting her/ him is unjust or inequitable, or creates unnecessary hardship. Such grievances include, but are not limited to a violation, misinterpretation, or inequitable application of an academic rule, regulation, or policy of the college or prejudicial, capricious, or manifestly unjust academic evaluation. College policies and procedures that do not come within the scope of the Grievance Procedures are the Sexual Harassment Policy, the Sexual Violence Policy, the Committee on Financial Petitions, Discipline Process, and Academic Standing.
Typically time limits will include only business days (M-F) for the program in which the student was enrolled. Augsburg breaks and holidays are not included and the time limits may be extended in the summer months.
Part II – Informal Process
It is always the student’s responsibility to know these procedures and timelines and to follow them.
- Any time a student feels that she/he has been wronged by a faculty member, the student should contact the faculty member to discuss the problem and attempt to resolve it.
- If a student wishes to file a grievance, based on the definition above, they should notify the Office of Academic Affairs of the grievance using the Grievance Notification Form and follow the Informal Grievance process outlined on the form.
Informal Grievance Process
- The student should contact the faculty member to discuss the problem and attempt to resolve it. Rarely, the student prefers not to discuss the grievance directly with the faculty member, and those students should contact the department chair.
- If no mutually satisfactory solution can be reached with the faculty member the student should discuss the problem with the department chair, for the department in which the faculty member resides, and attempt resolution of the problem.
- If the problem cannot be resolved in discussions with the faculty member or department chairperson, or if the faculty member and the department chairperson are the same individual, the student may file a formal grievance with the Office of Academic Affairs by completing the Formal Grievance Form (See Part III).
- Time Limits: The student must complete and submit the Informal Grievance form to the Office of Academic Affairs within 15 business days of the conduct giving rise to the grievance. If the grievance involves a grade appeal, the student must complete and submit the Informal Grievance form within 30 business days from the last published finals date for the relevant term.
- Extensions: In unusual circumstances, the time limit may be extended by the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs. A grievant or respondent must submit a written request for such extension before the end of the time limit. If the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs thinks the extension is warranted, the Dean will notify all concerned persons in writing.
- Records: If the grievance has been resolved, either by agreement or by expiration of the time limits, a copy of the informal grievance form and statements of the resolution will be kept by the Office of Academic Affairs for one year. Neither a copy of nor any reference to the grievance will be placed in the personnel file of the respondent.
Part III – Formal Process
If a student has a grievance with a faculty member that has not been resolved through the Informal Grievance process described in Part II of this document, the student may then seek resolution through the following procedures.
- The student must have filed a Grievance Notification Form and have completed the Informal Grievance process.
- If the student wishes to file a Formal Grievance, they need to complete and submit a Formal Grievance form to the Office of Academic Affairs within 5 business days of completing the Informal Grievance process.
- The Assistant Vice President will appoint a faculty mediator within 5 business days to review the grievance and interview the student and faculty member. The faculty mediator has 10 business days to complete their evaluation of the grievance.
If a resolution is not achieved through the faculty mediator, the Assistant Vice President will engage a faculty committee to conduct a grievance hearing.