SOURCE: Offices of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs,
Affirmative Action, Academic Discipline and Student Affairs. Approved by
Whitewater Student Association and Academic Staff, 1993; Faculty Senate,
DEFINITIONS AND BASIC PRINCIPLES:
A grievance is a request for specific action to solve a problem or redress
an injury done to 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
STEPS IN A GRIEVANCE:
Discuss the issue of concern with the individual(s) primarily involved.
This should take place within 14 calendar days after the aggrieved action
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
After hearing the student's appeal, the chairperson or supervisor will
attempt to mediate the problem to resolution within 14 calendar days.
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
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.
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.
The decision of the dean or director will be final unless discipline is
requested, in which event appropriate disciplinary procedures would be
SYNOPSIS: STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS FOR STUDENT GRIEVANCES:
Within 14 calendar days, discuss it with the person whose actions are in
If no satisfaction, within 7 calendar days, talk it over with the chair
or supervisor of the person. (informal)
Chair/supervisor will attempt to resolve within 14 calendar days. (informal)
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)
Within 14 calendar days, the dean or director will attempt resolution or
make the final decision. (formal)
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