Student Grievance Process

https://www.hlcommission.org/Policies/institutional-records-of-complaints.html
https://complaints.ibhe.org/

Purpose Statement:

  1. The Student Grievance process is available to an ICC student in response to an action by a faculty member, staff member, administrator, or any other person serving ICC acting in their official capacity. Official capacity means that the individual’s activities are deemed by ICC to be a part of that individual’s official duties regardless of location.

  2. A student grievance is a response to an action that is perceived to be harmful to the student and/or without justification or basic fairness.

This process does not cover:
a)      Harassment: If the concern is related to harassment as defined in the student handbook, then the student must utilize the Harassment Reporting process. For complaints of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual violence, the student should make a complaint under the College’s Title IX Procedures Implementing the College’s Prohibition of Sexual Discrimination, Harassment and Misconduct and contact the College’s Title IX Coordinator at (309) 694-8460. The complete description of this complaint procedure and the form can be found at icc.edu/students/student-services.
b)      Final Grade Appeal: If the concern is related to a final grade for a course as defined in the student handbook, the student must utilize the Grade Appeal process [see GRADE POLICIES].
c)      Discrimination: If the concern is related to discrimination based on a protected status as defined in the Student Handbook, the student should be directed to the Chief Human Resources Officer and must utilize the Discrimination Reporting process.
d)      Legal Issues: If the concern is related to a direct threat of violence/harm or other violations of State Law, the student should be directed to Campus Police to make a report immediately.

Students needing assistance with determining which process applies to their situation should contact the Dean of Students (East Peoria Campus Room CC211) or call (309) 694- 5217.

Defining a Student Grievance:

A grievance must be within the definition contained in Section 1, and in order to engage the grievance process, the concern must:

  1. Be related to a specific event, action, or inaction.

  2. Be supported by written evidence of the event (may include emails, fact-based statements, or other written documentation).

  3. Have resulted in an actual negative outcome to the student’s performance or non- academic experience at ICC (excluding final course grade).

  4. Have been discussed with, or brought to the attention in writing of, the individual against whom the grievance is brought. This requirement does not apply if the student has a legitimate basis for fearing retaliation and, in that circumstance, must state in writing such basis. The student must also be willing to make a good faith effort to work toward a mutually acceptable resolution to the issue and, as provided below, must in fact do so in order to proceed with the grievance process.

Grievances as defined above must be submitted through the Complaints, Grievances, and Compliments link on the website. All other feedback should be sent through the Send Us Your Feedback form that is located at the bottom of every page on the ICC website. Students needing assistance with determining which process applies to their situation should contact the Dean of Students office at the East Peoria campus or call (309) 694-5217.

A student may not file or pursue more than one process involving the same incident, subject or individual. If a student files or pursues one or more processes other than through this Student Grievance Process, the student must work with the Dean of Students on which process may take priority. 

The roles of the dean/supervisor and of the Vice President are to determine whether resolution is possible, through an informal review of the complaint and response, and discussion with both parties. In cases where a concern is reported during the semester or has a continuing impact on either party, modifications may be suggested through the Informal Review related to facilities, schedule, or other concerns.

Steps of the Student Grievance Process:

The process of filing a student grievance is conditioned on the student’s making a good faith effort to work toward a resolution to the issue that is mutually acceptable to the student and the individual who is the subject of the grievance. Students must follow the process set forth in this Student Grievance Process. Failure to abide by the process and timelines will result in the termination of the process and the dismissal of the grievance, absent extenuating circumstances or good cause shown. The process is explained in these steps:

A.     Informal Review

  1. A student who is alleging a grievance as defined in this Process must first seek resolution by discussing the issue with, or bringing it to the attention (in writing) of, the individual who is the subject of the complaint, within 2 weeks (10 business days) of the incident.

    • Failure to first bring the concern to the individual within the specified time period will result in the dismissal of the grievance, absent extenuating circumstances or good cause shown, unless the student has a legitimate basis for fearing retaliation and, in that circumstance, must state in writing to the Dean of Students such basis.

  2.  If the grievance is unable to be resolved through step 1, and the student wants to pursue the grievance, the student must notify in writing the appropriate supervisor within 2 weeks (10 business days) of the conversation or communication with the individual who is the subject of the complaint, stating the nature of the grievance and the reasons that the grievance was unable to be resolved. It is the responsibility of the dean or supervisor to provide a copy of the written grievance and any alleged basis for the student fearing retaliation to the individual who is the subject of the grievance.

    • If the grievance is related to the actions of a faculty/staff member, the student must submit the notice to the appropriate dean/administrator who has supervisory authority over the faculty/staff member. The faculty member may submit a written response to the complaint and any alleged basis for the student fearing retaliation to the dean/administrator within 2 weeks (10 business days) of receipt of the notice by the faculty member from the dean/administrator.

    • If the grievance is related to the actions of any other employee, the student must submit the notice to the appropriate dean/administrator who has supervisory authority over the employee. The employee may submit a written response to the complaint and any alleged basis for the student fearing retaliation to the dean/administrator within 2 weeks (10 business days) of receipt of the notice by the employee from the dean/administrator.

    • Failure of the student to notify the supervisory official within 2 weeks (10 business days) of the conversation or communication with the individual will result in the dismissal of the grievance, absent extenuating circumstances or good cause shown, unless the student has a legitimate basis for fearing retaliation and, in that circumstance, must state in writing to the Dean of Students such basis.

    • The administrator will make a recommended resolution within 2 weeks (10 business days) of receiving the notice from the student and any response from the individual faculty/staff or employee who is the subject of the grievance. That recommended resolution will be in writing and provided to the student and the individual.

    **Note: The timelines for the informal resolution are provided in order to ensure timely raising of a complaint, response, and resolution. The timelines may only be extended for good cause shown, as appropriate.

  3. If either individual is not in agreement with the administrative resolution or has an issue related to the handling of the grievance, the student or the subject of the complaint has the right to bring the concern forward to formal review panel, as provided below.

    • To determine who is the appropriate supervisor or Dean, please refer to the Student Rights and Responsibilities or contact the Dean of Students Office at (309) 694-5217.

    • If the supervisor is involved in the issue, the student should bring the concern directly to the Dean of Students within the same timeframe as provided above.

    • In cases where the Dean of Students is involved in the issue, the concern shall be brought to another dean assigned by the Vice President of Student Success. The same process that is set form above with respect to the supervisor/dean may be followed.

B.     Formal Review Hearing

The formal review process set forth below may not be initiated unless the informal procedures set forth above have been followed within the time frames provided. If no formal review hearing is requested within the required timeframe, the informal resolution shall be final.

  1. Within 2 weeks (10 business days) of completing the last step of the informal procedure, the Student or person complained about must submit a written complaint with any evidence to the Dean of Students. Failure of the student to submit the written complaint and supporting evidence to the Dean of Students will, result in the dismissal of the complaint, absent extenuating circumstances or good cause shown. Failure of the Faculty/Staff to request a formal review hearing, within the timeframe, precludes them from initiating the formal review hearing. The Dean of Students will share the submitted document with the other party involved.

  2. The other party may submit a written response with any evidence to the chair of the Formal Review hearing panel. The response will be immediately provided to the other party by the panel.

  3.  A review hearing panel consisting of two Academic Department Deans, one staff member, and three Faculty members review the submissions. The President of the Faculty Forum will appoint the three faculty members. The panel will elect a chair.

  4.  A hearing will be held before the hearing panel within 10 business days of receipt of the response from the non-appealing party. Written notice of the hearing will be provided to the student and Faculty/Staff.

  5.  During this hearing, either party may have a representative or attorney present, who will act in an advisory capacity only. These procedures are entirely administrative in nature and are not considered legal proceedings. Only the panel members may ask questions of each party and witnesses.

  6.  Within 10 business days of the close of the hearing, the panel will issue a written decision to resolve the grievance, with copies provided to the student and the Faculty/Staff.

  7.  If the grievance is upheld, the panel determination is implemented, provided that there is no further appeal.

  8. If the student grievance is found to be without merit, the case is dismissed.

The process and details of the situation, as well as the response/resolution will be documented in Maxient by the Dean of Students as resolved.,

**Note: The timelines for the formal review process are provided in order to ensure a timely response to the concern. In situations where an individual involved in the grievance (or a witness) is not on campus or if the college is closed for an extended time, or any other reason as appropriate the hearing will be scheduled to accommodate the presence of the student, the Faculty/Staff and witnesses.

If the issue is not resolved through the Formal Review hearing, either party can request an appeal process. Either party must have either a procedural concern or new evidence to request the appeal process. Either party must complete the Formal Review Hearing before moving to the appeal. If at any time during the process either party has questions or concerns, they should contact the Dean of Students Office.

C.     Appeal Review

  1. After the Formal Review hearing, either party may request an appeal through the Vice President of Student Success office. If no appeal is requested within the required timeframe, the panel decision shall be final.

  2. In order to move to the appeal process, there must be a written request that outlines the following:

    • A written explanation of any prejudicial procedural issues; OR

    • Any new information that was not presented at the time of the Formal Review hearing (if any), and which was not available to either party, through the exercise of reasonable diligence, at the time of the hearing. Copies of such information or documents must be provided to the other party.

  3. To initiate the appeal review process, a letter of appeal must be submitted to the Vice President of Student Success within 10 business days of receiving the decision of Formal Review hearing. The Vice President of Student Success will provide a copy must to the other party. The other party may submit a written response, with a copy to the initiating party, within 10 business days of receiving the letter requesting formal review.

  4. The Vice President of Student Success will make a determination within 15 business days, based on all of the documents and information submitted through the hearing process and the materials submitted by both parties as part of the appeal review process. The Vice President will provide copies of the determination to both parties in writing. The decision is final.