General Grievance Policy for Students

Updated: 8/24/18; Reviewed: 10/13/21
Contact: Student Life Office

William Jewell College provides a grievance procedure process as part of its effort toward treating students fairly in regard to their personal and educational concerns. Any student who believes that an employee of the college has subjected him or her to treatment that violates college policy or practices may seek to have their grievance addressed according to this policy.

Most student complaints against faculty, administrators or other staff are resolved by discussions with the person or group involved. When this approach proves unsuccessful or seems undesirable or inappropriate, the grievance procedures are available. Except for complaints that fall within the guidelines of Title IX/Anti-Harassment, the complaint must be registered within 90 calendar days of the occurrence of the event cited in the grievance. Title IX/Anti-Harassment complaints or grievances can be filed beyond 90 calendar days and need to go through our Title IX Coordinator.

Complaints regarding student employment issues are not heard through this Student General Grievance Policy but can be addressed with the direct supervisor of the student or with the Office of Human Resources. Informal complaints regarding disability services are not heard through this Student General Grievance Policy. If an individual feels that they are not receiving the appropriate accommodation or are experiencing difficulties with current accommodations, they should contact the Director of Accessibility Services to resolve the situation informally. However, if a student has gone through the information process with the Director of Accessibility Services and the issue is not resolved, the student would use this grievance policy and follow the formal process outlined below with the Dean of Students.

Below is our process and students are encouraged to talk to the Dean of Students for guidance on connecting with appropriate supervisors/department chairs or for direction at any time during this process:

Informal Procedure

  1. Any time a student feels that a faculty member, administrator or other staff member has violated college policy or practice in a way that is harmful to the student, the student is encouraged to contact the person directly to discuss the issue and attempt to resolve it.
  2. If a mutually satisfactory solution cannot be reached, the student is encouraged to discuss the problem with the department chairperson or direct supervisor of the faculty or staff member and attempt resolution.
  3. If the problem cannot be resolved in discussions as described above, the student shall follow the formal procedure outlined below.

Formal Procedure

  1. Within seven business days of concluding the informal procedure, the student must put the grievance in writing and send the Dean of Students a letter that includes the following information:
    • Details of the incident including names of witnesses with dates and locations,
    • Reason and rationale for the grievance,
    • Specific policies and/or practices that support the student position,
    • Any supporting documentation,
    • The desired resolution.
  2. The Dean of Students will review the letter and send it to the appropriate President’s Cabinet member (based on the organizational chart) that needs to be involved to review the formal grievance and determine next steps.
  3. Once the Cabinet member has discussed the grievance with the appropriate staff, they will determine if a meeting with the student filing the grievance is necessary.
  4. Once this has been completed, the Cabinet member will put the resolution in writing to the student within ten days. The Dean of Students should be copied on the outcome to know the process has concluded.

The right to confidentiality of all members of the college community will be respected in both informal and formal procedures, insofar as possible. Legal or other obligations of the college may, in some circumstances, require investigations or other actions wherein confidentiality requests may not be honored.

Intimidation, threat of retaliation, and retaliatory behavior
Any student has the right to seek redress under these procedures and to cooperate in an investigation or otherwise participate in these procedures without intimidation, threat of retaliation or retaliatory behavior. Any such behavior, verbal or written, in response to participation in the grievance process is prohibited and may be regarded as a basis for disciplinary action.

Abuse of process, malicious complaints, or frivolous complaints
A student must proceed with a complaint in good faith. Abuse of process, malicious complaints, or frivolous complaints may be grounds for disciplinary action.