Student Complaints/Grievances Procedures

Student Complaints/Grievances Procedures
Appendix 2: Bylaws and Regulations of the Code of Responsibilities and Rights of the Students of Midwestern University
The following bylaws and regulations are promulgated to augment and support the Code of Responsibilities and Rights of the Students of Midwestern University.
Section One: Student Complaints/Grievances
Any student or group of students may initiate a complaint procedure on any student concern, including complaints against faculty, staff, or other students. The following guidelines are to be observed:
  1. Complaint communications must be submitted in writing. The complaint communication must clearly describe the problem and be accompanied by any relevant data. The statement must be specific and must be signed by the person submitting the complaint. In the case of a group complaint, one person may be designated as a representative for the group. The representative may sign for the group provided that all names of the group are attached.
  2. Student complaints should follow one of the two following processes.
    1. Informal Complaint Process: Complaints against fellow students, faculty/staff members or administrators that do not relate to harassment/ unlawful discrimination, sexual misconduct or academic or professional misconduct as defined in the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities can be handled directly with the person(s) against whom the complaint is lodged, or, if necessary, with individuals at increasing levels of authority.
      1. Complaints relating to harassment/unlawful discrimination will be processed under the procedure outlined in the ‘Harassment/Unlawful Discrimination Policy’ section of the Handbook.
      2. Complaints relating to sexual misconduct will be processed under the procedure outlined in the ‘Sexual Misconduct Policy’ section of the Handbook.
      3. Student complaints related to test questions, grade appeals, or other academic issues related to Academic Review Committee or Promotion and Graduation Committee outcomes should be forwarded to the appropriate faculty member, course director, committee chair, program director and/or college administrator in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the College/University Catalog.
    2. Formal Complaint Process: Complaints relating to accusations of academic or professional misconduct as defined in the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities must be filed directly with the Dean of Students.
    3. Complaints against University-affiliated vendors should be initially submitted to the Dean of Students to determine which process is appropriate.
  3. Informal Complaint Process
    1. The following levels of authority can be utilized in successive order to adjudicate a complaint:
      1. Person or persons involved. The person(s) may be a fellow student(s), faculty/staff member, preceptor or administrator.
      2. Immediate administrative supervisor for staff members, Department Chair or Program Director for faculty members
      3. Dean of the student’s College
      4. President of the University in consultation with the Chief Academic Officer, for all appeals (see G below).
      5. The Dean of Students could be approached at any level time during a complaint as a mediator.
    2. If a fair and acceptable accord is not reached by the involved parties at the time of response, if more than an agreed time for response passes or if there is no evidence of an attempt to respond, the student(s) making the complaint may proceed to the next higher available authority. In so doing, the student(s) must inform the person to whom the original complaint was addressed that the complaint has been moved to a higher authority level.
    3. Informal complaints should be able to be resolved by mediation, compromise or education. An informal complaint resolution should not result in disciplinary action on the part of the University. If investigation of the complaint reveals that the issue is more serious than originally believed, the resolution of the issue should be handled according to the formal complaint process.
    4. If the student filing a complaint is not certain which process is appropriate, the Dean of Students should be consulted for advice regarding the appropriate process.
    5. An informal investigation and resolution process does not require the complainant student’s identity to be shared with the accused student(s).
  4. Formal Complaint Process
    1. Investigations of student complaints that involve another student or students will  be undertaken by the Dean of Students; however, investigations involving student complaints against a MWU employee(s) are undertaken jointly by the Dean of Students and the Director of Human Resources. Student complaints concerning harassment/unlawful discrimination and sexual misconduct are handled as outlined in the Policy section of the Student Handbook.
    2. For Student on Student complaints,
      1. The written complaint must clearly describe the problem and be accompanied by any relevant documentation or data. The written complaint and the accompanying documents/data must be submitted to the Dean of Students.
      2. Upon receipt of the written complaint lodged against the student, the Dean of Students will set a time to meet with the student to discuss the complaint.
      3. The Dean of Students will then communicate the complaint to the student(s) being accused and initiate a formal investigation of the allegations. The Dean of Students has the right to interview other parties in relation to the complaint in order to conduct a fair and thorough investigation.
      4. In a formal investigation and resolution process, the name of the student(s) who generated the complaint may be shared with the accused student(s).
      5. After conducting an investigation, the Dean of Students will make a recommendation for resolution to the appropriate college dean.
      6. After receiving the recommendation of the Dean of Students, the applicable college dean will notify the accused student(s) in writing of his/her decision including, if applicable, recommended disciplinary action. Any disciplinary action must conform to Appendix 1, Section Five of the Code of Responsibilities and Rights of Students of Midwestern University. Any such disciplinary outcomes are kept confidential and are not shared with the student(s) who generated the complaint in accordance with FERPA.
    3. For complaints against faculty, staff, administrators and preceptors:
      1. The written complaint must clearly describe the problem and be accompanied by any relevant documentation or data. The written complaint and the accompanying documents/data must be submitted to the Dean of Students.
      2. The Dean of Students will immediately communicate the complaint to the Director of Human Resources and initiate a formal investigation of the allegations
      3. The Dean of Students and Director of Human Resources will set a time to meet with the student to discuss the complaint.
      4. The Dean of Students and the Director of Human Resources will initiate a joint, formal investigation of the allegations, with the right to interview other parties in relation to the complaint in order to conduct a fair and thorough investigation.
      5. While the Dean of Students’ investigation focuses on student input, the Director of Human Resources’ investigation focuses on employee input
      6. After conducting the investigation, the Dean of Students and Director of Human Resources will compile a joint report on their findings.
      7. The Director of Human Resources will then make a recommendation for a complaint resolution to the supervisor of the employee(s), who will carry out any disciplinary actions against the employee(s).
    4. In a formal investigation and resolution process, the name of the student(s) who generated the complaint may be shared with the accused employee(s). However, disciplinary outcomes are kept confidential and are not typically shared with the student(s) who generated the complaint.
    5. Final decisions or appeals of any complaint involving students and/or employees will rest with the President. All documentation related to student generated complaints and resolutions are kept on file in the Office of the President in accordance with The Higher Learning Commission requirements.
  5. If the complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution’s complaint procedure, the student may file a complaint with either the Illinois Board of Higher Education or the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. The student must contact the State Board for further details. The Illinois Board of Higher Education, Academic Affairs Division, may be contacted at:1 North Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 333, Springfield, IL 60721-1377; (217) 782-2551. Alternatively, a complaint form may be completed at http://complaints.ibhe.org/ .The Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education may be contacted at: 1400 West Washington, Room 260, Phoenix, AZ 85007; (602) 542-5709 or through their web site at https://ppse.az.gov/ .
  6. Midwestern University is accredited with The Higher Learning Commission. For specific accreditation complaints against Midwestern University, they may be contacted at 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1413 ( info@hlcommission.org or through their web site at https://www.hlcommission.org/ ).
  7. Accreditation complaints can also be directed to the individual accrediting agencies for each of Midwestern University's colleges and programs:
    1. In the case of pharmacy students, the Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education (ACPE) is also available to students who feel their complaint has been unresolved by the University. A requirement of the ACPE states that such a complaint against a college or school of pharmacy must be related to the standards or policies and procedures of ACPE and must be submitted in writing to the Executive Director of the ACPE. Under existing practices, when a complaint is received, it is submitted to the college or school affected for response. If, thereafter, based upon the complaint and the response, the Executive Director determines that a complaint is not related to the standards or policies, the complainant is so advised in writing with a copy to the school or college, and the matter is treated as resolved. Anonymous complaints pertaining to accreditation matters are retained and, depending on circumstances, may or may not be forwarded to the school or college involved, depending somewhat on the severity of the complaint. This decision is made by the Executive Director. Where a complainant has threatened or filed legal action against the institution involved, ACPE will hold complaints in abeyance pending resolution of the legal issues and the complainant is so advised. Complaints to ACPE should be filed via e-mail to either of the two following addresses: csinfo@acpe-accredit.org (regarding a professional degree program); ceinfo@acpe-accredit.org (regarding a continuing education provider). The address of the Council is: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 190 South LaSalle Street, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60603.
    2. In the case of osteopathic medical students, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) is also available to students who feel their complaint has been unresolved by the University and is related to student grievances regarding AOA accreditation standards. AZCOM/CCOM is committed to meeting and exceeding the standards for accreditation of colleges of osteopathic medicine as described by the AOA Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. A copy of the standards is available upon request from the Office of the Dean of AZCOM/CCOM. Students who believe that the College may not be in compliance with a standard of accreditation have the right to file a complaint through the following procedures, the first of which must involve the College of Osteopathic Medicine: 1) A written, dated and signed complaint must be filed with the Office of Student Services. 2) The Dean of Students will consult with the Dean of AZCOM/CCOM and form an ad-hoc committee to investigate the complaint. 3) The results of the investigation shall include findings of fact, a determination of standard compliance or non- compliance, and recommended corrective actions. The results will be communicated in writing to the Dean of AZCOM/CCOM. 4) If corrective action is indicated, the Dean of AZCOM/CCOM will respond with a description/plan for such action within 30 working days of receipt of the ad hoc committee results. 5) Records of all proceedings regarding complaints will be maintained by the Office of the President. 6) In the event that the student complainant is not satisfied with the ad hoc committee determination and/or corrective action, the student may then communicate his/her compliant to: Chairperson, Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, American Osteopathic Association, 142 East Ontario Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60611-2864.
    3. Students enrolled in the Occupational Therapy Program may contact the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education at: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, American Occupational Therapy Association, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD, 20824-1220; (301) 652-2682.
    4. Students enrolled in the Physical Therapy Program may contact the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education at: Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; (703) 706-3245; http://www.capteonline.org/Complaints/ .
    5. Students enrolled in the Podiatric Medicine Program may contact the Council on Podiatric Medical Education at the following location: Council on Podiatric Medical Education, 9312 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814; (301) 581-9200; www.apma.org .Students enrolled in the Speech-Language Pathology Program may contact the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology at: Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology; 2200 Research Boulevard; Mail Stop 310; Rockville, MD 20850; accreditation@asha.org ; or http://caa.asha.org/programs/complaints/ .
    6. Students enrolled in the College of Dental Medicine may contact the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) at the following location: Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL, 60611; 1-800-621-8099 (x4653); http://www.ada.org/en/coda/policies-and-guidelines/file-a-complaint/ . The Commission on Dental Accreditation will review complaints that relate to the College's compliance with the accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students. It should be noted that the College of Dental Medicine-Arizona requests the opportunity to address a student's complaint internally before seeking an investigation by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. If the College can be of service in that regard, or if students have questions about their right to file a complaint either internally or externally, they can contact the administration of the College at ( 623-572-3800)
    7. Students enrolled in the College of Optometry may contact the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education at the following location: American Optometric Association, 243 N. Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri, 63141 or via phone at: (314)991-4100 or via email at: ACOE@aoa.org .
    8. Students enrolled in the Nurse Anesthesia Program may contact the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs at: Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), 222 South Prospect Avenue, Suite 304, Park Ridge, IL 60068-4001; (847) 692-7050; http://home.coa.us.com/Pages/default.aspx .
    9. Students enrolled in the Cardiovascular Sciences Program may contact the Accreditation Committee-Perfusion Education (AC-PE) at the following location: 6654 South Sycamore Street, Littleton, CO. 80120; or via phone at (303) 738- 0770; via fax at (303) 738-3223; and via email at ac-pe@msn.com For more information please link to their web site at www.ac-pe.org .
    10. Students enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine may contact the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) by mail at 1931 N. Meacham Rd., Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360 or via phone at 847-925-8070 or 800-248-2862 and via fax at Fax: 847-925-1329 or via their website at www.avma.org
    11. Students enrolled in the Clinical Psychology Program may contact the American Psychological Association, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington DC 20002-4242, via phone at (202)336-5979, via TDD/TYY at (202)336-6123 or via fax at (202)336-5978.
    12. Students enrolled in the Physician Assistant Program may contact the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc., via mail at 12000 Findley Road, Suite 150, Johns Creek, GA 30097, phone at 770-476-1224, or fax at 770-476-1738. Contact Accreditation Services by email at: accreditationservices@arc- pa.org.
    13. Students enrolled in the Speech-Language Pathology Program on either campus may contact the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), 2200 Research Boulevard, #310 Rockville, MD 20850, 800/498-2071 or 301/296-5700.
  8. Students enrolled in rotations, clinicals, practicas, or internships in Texas may contact the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
    1. The web address for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Student Complaints page with forms and a description of the complaint procedure may be found at http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=C9BD55D4-C5A3- 4BC6-9A0DF17F467F4AE9
    2. The web address for the rules governing student complaints - Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code, Sections 1.110-1.120 may be found at https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=19&pt =1&ch=1&sch=E&rl=Y

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