- A “grievance” is an assertion made by a student under this procedure that they were wronged by a failure to follow Claremont Graduate University policies and/or practices. Grievances regarding faculty judgment of academic performance are not subject to this procedure. Grievances alleging conduct specifically covered by other CGU investigation and/or resolution procedures (e.g., alleged academic dishonesty/research misconduct, alleged sexual misconduct, etc.) are not subject to this procedure and should be brought under those other procedures.
- A “student” is anyone who was properly enrolled in the University at the time the perceived wrong occurred.
- A “Complainant” is the party that files the Statement of Grievance.
- A “Respondent” is the party accused by the grievance and may file a Response to Grievance.
- “Party” refers to a Complainant or Respondent, and “parties” refers to the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s), collectively.
- Time Limits
- Grievances must be filed by the Complainant with the Dean of Students within six calendar months after the alleged incident took place.
- When a Complainant or Respondent, witness, or anyone named in a grievance, cannot perform a procedural step within a reasonable amount of time, they must ask the Dean of Students for an extension before the time limit has exceeded. Failure on part of the Complainant, Respondent, witness, or anyone named in a grievance, to observe time limits, or to receive an extension, will be determined to have abandoned their statement, and the case will be resolved without their input.
- The Student Grievance Procedure may experience administrative delays during periods when the University is in recess.
- If either the Complainant or Respondent named in the grievance cannot perform the steps outlined in this procedure, including the hearing, the party may appoint someone to represent them for those steps and, consistent with rules and guidelines governing student information and privacy, that appointee may assist the party in that regard.
- Meeting and communication options will be discussed with the Complainant and Respondent during the process, and could include remote meetings and written responses within established time limits.
- Voluntary Settlements Prior to a Hearing
- Grievances may be resolved by mutual agreement if such resolution is voluntary amongst all of the parties (or just the parties relevant to the portion of a grievance being resolved) and is approved by CGU. If the parties reach a voluntary mutual resolution of a grievance prior to a hearing, and the resolution requires administrative action under CGU policies, the Dean of Students will forward the Statement of Grievance, Response to Grievance and proposed resolution to pertinent CGU administrators for consultation. The Dean of Students may: approve the resolution and take the required administrative action, or reject the proposed resolution and initiate hearing procedures. If the proposed resolution does not require administrative action, then, if approved by the Dean of Students, the resolution shall be considered the final step in the grievance procedure, and no subsequent complaints or defenses on the matter shall be heard.
- The Complainant should meet with the person(s) immediately involved in the grievance.
- The Respondent should meet with the Complainant to discuss the grievance.
- If a meeting between the Complainant and Respondent does not resolve the matter, the Complainant should consult with the Dean of Students to discuss the grievance and propose a resolution.
- If the Complainant is unable to resolve the matter by meeting with the Respondent, and/ or in consultation with the Dean of Students, the Complainant should complete the Student Grievance Form. By submitting the Student Grievance Form, the Complainant is requesting the Dean of Students (or their designee) to arrange a meeting between Complainant, Dean of Students, and Respondent, and to follow other steps in these procedures. Complaints raising allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation will not be required to meet with the other party (Respondent), or to participate in informal resolution attempts as a pre-requisite to filing a Statement of Grievance.
- Upon being sent a notification of the grievance and request to meet with the Dean of Students Office, the Respondent will meet with the Dean of Students to discuss the grievance and propose a resolution.
- Upon request to meet with the Dean of Students, each party (Complainant and Respondent) will submit their respective Statement of Grievance (Complainant) and a Response to Grievance (Respondent) to the Dean of Students and within the stated timelines.
- The Complainant and Respondent will respond to an invitation to meet with the Dean of Students and the opposing party to discuss the allegations and propose a resolution.
- If a meeting between the Complainant and Respondent does not resolve the matter, the Dean of Students will review the Statement of Grievance and Response to Grievance to determine if a violation of policy within the scope of this policy has been asserted. The Dean may also make a pre-determination as to the grievance and may pursue additional efforts toward mutual informal resolution, if warranted in the Dean’s view. The Dean of Students also may also request information pertinent to the grievance or the response from the parties or third parties.
- If the grievance is unable to be resolved prior to a hearing, the Dean of Students will forward the Statement of Grievance and Response to Grievance to the Committee on Student Grievances.
- Generally, each party will receive a copy of the opposing party’s statement. The parties shall maintain confidentiality with respect to statements and other materials from the grievance process.
Convening the Committee on Student Grievances
The Committee on Student Grievances consists of one staff, two faculty and two student representatives nominated by the Graduate Student Council. The Dean of Students serves to provide administrative oversight to the process. The Committee on Student Grievances will be convened and will conduct a hearing in accordance with these and any other approved procedures and submit a recommendation on the grievance to the Dean of Students.
- The Hearing generally will be scheduled within fifteen business days after the Committee on Student Grievances receives the Statement of Grievance, Response to Grievance, and all relevant material from the Dean of Students.
- The Committee on Student Grievances will review the case and make a recommended determination as to issues in the grievance and suggested actions, if any, to be taken.
- The Committee on Student Grievances will forward their recommended determination to the Dean of Students, and to each party (Complainant and Respondent) within five business days following the completion of the hearing.
- The Dean of Students will review the documents and procedural steps followed by the Committee on Student Grievances, then consider the recommendation, and make a decision. The Dean of Students will send written notification of that decision to all parties (Committee on Student Grievances, Complainant and Respondent).
- The Committee on Student Grievances has authority to use discretion in determining the appropriate format and expectations for the hearing, with respect to the particular grievance.
Either Complainant or Respondent may appeal the decision of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. If an appeal is filed, the other party will be notified and provided an opportunity to respond. An appeal must be made within three business days after the Dean of Students has announced and sent notice to the parties of their decision. The appeal must set forth the specific grounds for disagreement with the decision of the Dean of Students. The appeal decision of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs shall be final and both parties will receive written notice of the final decision.
Retaliation against a person who reports, complains about, or participates in the investigation of an allegation of CGU policy violation, will not be tolerated.