C. Dispute Resolution Procedures

Each of the dispute types listed below shall be subject to a dispute resolution process. The same process is not necessarily appropriate for resolving all disputes. The dispute types listed below will be resolved through the following procedures:

  1. Grade Appeals
  2. Charges of Student Misconduct
  3. Charges of Faculty or Staff Misconduct
  4. Student Complaints
  5. Ancillary Role of Executive Vice President/Provost

1. Grade Appeals. Should a student feel that he/she was not graded fairly and has discussed the issue with the instructor; the student may appeal to the Vice President of Instruction for a change in grade in accordance with the following appeal process:

a. The student shall complete a grade appeal form which shall include all the particulars of the situation surrounding the grade given, what grade change is requested and a statement that substantiates the perception of the student that the grade assigned is unfair.

b. The form shall be submitted to the Vice President of Instruction who shall review the appeal with the instructor. The instructor shall respond to the statement of the student in written form.

c. If the instructor's decision is to change the grade in agreement with the student's request, it will be so recorded and the process will be terminated.

d. If the instructor's decision is to not change the grade and the student is not satisfied with the decision the appeal process may be continued.

e. All documentation surrounding the grade appeal shall be reviewed by a committee of three regular faculty members. The Vice President of Instruction shall select five faculty members from three separate disciplines who are willing to serve in this capacity. If five faculty members are not willing to serve in this capacity then the Vice President of Instruction shall appoint five faculty members. The instructor involved shall strike two of the names, and the three remaining names shall conduct the grade appeal. The committee shall be authorized to change a grade and the committee's decision shall be final. A permanent record of the grade shall be maintained in the registrar's office.

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2. Charges of Student Misconduct Made by Faculty, Student or Staff Member. These charges could include any violation of the Standards of Student Conduct set forth above which comes to the attention of a faculty or staff member.

Faculty, students and staff members are encouraged to deal with student misconduct on an informal basis whenever possible. However, where the misconduct rises to a level such that informal resolution is not appropriate the faculty, student or staff member may initiate this dispute resolution procedure by filing the following material with the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management:

(a) A written complaint setting forth the name of the student;
(b) A description of the alleged inappropriate conduct;
(c) A reference to the student conduct policy allegedly violated, and if informal dispute resolution was attempted, a statement of the steps utilized or, if no informal dispute resolution was attempted then an explanation of the reason why such an attempt was not made.
(d) Name and telephone number of the faculty, student or staff member initiating the complaint.

At an initial conference with the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, the student will be informed verbally and in writing of the charges and the maximum penalty which might result from consideration of the disciplinary matter.

Failure of the student to attend the conference without good cause and prior notification or a verifiable emergency may constitute a waiver of the student's right to participate and appeal further.

The student must submit all of his/her evidence within seven (7) calendar days of the initial conference.

After considering the evidence in the case and interviewing persons as appropriate, the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management may take one of the following actions:

(a) Terminate the proceedings, exonerating the student;
(b) Dismiss the case after appropriate counseling and advice;
(c) Impose an appropriate sanction as described.

The student will be notified in writing of the decision of the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management. The student may appeal the decision of the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management by filing a written appeal with the Vice President of Instruction or the Executive Vice President (or designee) within seven (7) calendar days of the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management decision. The Vice President of Instruction or the Executive Vice President (or designee) shall render a decision on the appeal within seven (7) calendar days of its filing. The decision of the Vice President of Instruction or the Executive Vice President (or designee) shall be final and not subject to further appeal. In cases where expulsion is the recommended outcome, the College President will make the final decision and no further appeals will be allowed.

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3. Charges of Faculty or Staff Misconduct. These complaints do not include grade appeals. They may include any perceived violation of law or college policy, procedures, or the Student Rights section of this document.

Faculty and staff members are subject to collective bargaining agreements and formal disciplinary rules which are beyond the scope of this document. By law, certain procedures must be followed before discipline can be imposed. For this reason, complaints concerning the conduct of the faculty or staff member shall be made to the Director, Human Resources, or his or her designee, and shall be subject to dispute resolution procedures as he or she may prescribe.

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4. Student Complaints Alleging Violation of a College Rule, Policy, or Procedure. This type of complaint is to be employed if a student believes that the college, as a matter of practice, is violating its own rules, policies, or procedures.

A student complaint concerning a college rule, policy, or procedure, shall be made in writing and submitted to the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management. The complaint shall contain the following information:

(a) The student's name;
(b) The nature of the complaint together with all documents, policies, procedures and related material which may be necessary for College review of the complaint. Upon receipt of the complaint, the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management shall schedule a meeting with the student complainant. At that meeting, the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management shall attempt a resolution of the student complaint. In the event that the resolution proposed by the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management is not acceptable to the student, he or she may make a secondary appeal to the Vice President of Instruction or the Executive Vice President.

The secondary appeal shall consist of a meeting with the Vice President of Instruction or the Executive Vice President, the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and the student. At this meeting, the Vice President of Instruction or the Executive Vice President will hear the student complaint, discuss the matter with the student and Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, review appropriate materials, and issue a written decision within 30 days of the meeting and the decision shall be final.

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5. Ancillary Role of Senior Director, Student and Enrollment Services. In addition to the duties imposed upon the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management as set forth above, he or she shall also be primarily responsible for attempting informal resolutions and reconciliations at all steps of the dispute resolution process. The Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management may, with the student's consent, intervene on the student's behalf at any stage of any dispute resolution proceedings. By the same token, the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management shall also be free to schedule meetings with the student complainant at any step during the dispute resolution process should he or she deem it useful. Failure of a student complainant to attend any meeting thus scheduled without good cause and prior notification, or a verifiable emergency, may be deemed a waiver of any right to proceed further at any stage of any dispute resolution process.

Any time line set forth in any dispute resolution procedure may be extended by the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management upon written application to do so.

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Note: Students’ privacy is proctected under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.P.S.C. Section 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99 (2000) and related state laws. BMCC has developed procedures in accordance with the law. Information regarding student records, privacy and disclosure is available through the Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management.

Blue Mountain Community College also has procedures in place that regulates the presence of animals on campus. For details regarding these procedures, students may obtain the information from their instructors, advisors, or any other College employee.

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