A. A grievance is a request for specific action to solve a problem or redress an injury done the individual presenting it. When that individual is a student and is responding to treatment received as a student, it is a student grievance. However, if a student wishes to challenge an academic decision that impacts on their grade, the Student Grade Appeal procedures should be used.
1. A grievance may concern the actions taken by any UW-Whitewater employee who is a member of any college, department, office, administrative unit or committee of the University.
2. A grievance may not necessarily be directed at a particular individual but rather at a policy or rule which the student believes to be unfair.
B. The basis for a grievance is to raise a problem for the purpose of resolving it by the parties closest to it. This is true whether the issues involve an instructor, administrator, service personnel or members of any University department, college, division, administrative unit or committee.
C. A cause of action would involve a specific injury to the student or a specific problem. A remedy should be available. If no remedy is available or if punishment of someone is sought, the procedures for complaints rather than grievances should be used (see University Handbook, Sections VI-F and VI-A).
D. Process timelines are established to enable review and resolution within a reasonable time after the problem occurred. This assists problem solving when memories and facts are still fresh.
E. Written appeals and responses need not be lengthy but rather describe events, relevant facts and reasoning, so that parties are clear about what is at issue and why decisions are being made the way they are.
II. STEPS IN A GRIEVANCE:
A. Informal Process:
1. Discuss the issue of concern with the individual(s) primarily involved. This should take place within 14 calendar days after the aggrieved action occurred.
2. If this discussion brings no resolution, is unsatisfactory, or if the primary individual is unwilling or unable to participate, the student may then, within 7 calendar days of the discussion or the communication that there will be no discussion, schedule a conference with the chairperson of the department or the supervisor of the individual. The student should articulate the concerns and the result of, or lack of, discussion with the primary individual.
3. After hearing the student's appeal, the chairperson or supervisor will attempt to mediate the problem to resolution within 14 calendar days.
4. If this attempt at resolution is unsatisfactory, or if all are not willing or able to participate, the student should submit a formal grievance to the Dean or Director within 7 calendar days of the failure of informal resolution.
B. Formal Process:
1. The grievance should be in writing and signed by the student following the Basic Principles above, should explain the problem, reasons for dissatisfaction of recommended resolution, and an alternative resolution.
2. Within 14 calendar days, the Dean or Director can attempt further resolution or make the final decision. The student and employees should be notified of the final decision in writing.
3. The decision of the Dean or Director will be final unless discipline is requested, in which event appropriate disciplinary procedures would be followed.
SYNOPSIS OF THE STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS FOR STUDENT GRIEVANCES:
1. Problem occurs.
2. Within 14 calendar days, discuss it with the person whose actions are in question (informal).
3. If no satisfaction, within 7 calendar days, talk it over with the Chair or supervisor of the person (informal).
4. Chair/supervisor will attempt to resolve within 14 calendar days (informal).
5. If no satisfaction, student has 7 calendar days to write it up as a formal grievance, including why dissatisfied with recommended resolution and propose a remedy (formal).
6. Within 14 calendar days, the Dean or Director will attempt resolution or make the final decision (formal).
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Last revised on May 21, 2002 by WDT