Grievance Procedure

 

A grievance is defined as a perceived attitude or behavior believed to be untrue or unfair including ridicule, inappropriate embarrassment or work evaluation. Resolution and reconciliation are best accomplished in Christian love with direct and candid communication. If irresolvable, mediation should be sought apart from secular litigation (1 Corinthians 6). If initial efforts are not satisfactory, and if the issues are separate from institutional policies for employees, students may follow the grievance policy to seek resolution with faculty or staff members as well as fellow students.

 

Grievance Form

Download Grievance form

General Policies for Grievances between Students

  1. Within two weeks of the incident the aggrieved person presents to the person(s) in question a written statement that delineates relevant facts (sequence, circumstances, individual(s), summarizes remedial efforts, and specifies an appropriate resolution.
  2. The recipient should respond in writing within two weeks of receipt with options for resolution. If these are unsatisfactory to the aggrieved person, a written appeal may be filed (including the initial grievance and response) to the supervising dean or administrator within one week of the response
  3. The Dean of Students investigates and makes a final decision in writing within ten working days of receipt. This decision may be appealed to the Provost, whose decision is final.

Any exceptions to this general policy are delineated below.

 

For Grievances of Academic Issues Related to Grades and Course Information

The seminary specifically assigns to the individual faculty member responsibility for establishing grade criteria and the subsequent assignment of grades upon evaluation of student work. (Matters related to drop and add and absences are dealt with by petition through the Registrar’s Office.)

Approximately three weeks after the close of each semester, the student can view his or her grades for courses taken during that semester via Web Advisor. If a student feels that he or she has been assigned an incorrect grade for a course, the following procedure should be followed:

  1. An appointment should be scheduled with the professor as soon as possible after receipt of the official grade from Academic Records. When making the appointment, the student should indicate that the purpose of the meeting is to review the grade that has been received.
  2. This consultation with the professor regarding the grade must take place within 30 days of the issuance of the official grade. When the professor is not available, the student should consult with the dean of the school in which the course was taught (for master’s work) or the chairman of the appropriate doctoral studies committee for an extension of time or for other instructions.
  3. If the consultation with the professor results in change of the previously assigned grade, the professor notify the Registrar’s office.
  4. If the consultation with the professor does not result in a change of the previously assigned grade, and the student still feels compelled to contest the grade, the student should complete, sign, and deliver the Student Grievance form to the Dean’s Office of the faculty’s school.
  5.  The Dean’s Office of that school will forward the form to a Grievance Committee comprised of persons appointed by the dean. The student may recommend to the dean a seminary student or faculty member to serve on the committee.
  6. A member of the Grievance Committee will meet with the student and professor(s) involved and attempt to establish a resolution to the grievance.
  7. The Grievance Committee will meet with the student and professor(s) involved and attempt to establish a resolution to the grievance.
  8. If the issue cannot be resolved by the Grievance Committee, then that committee will forward the matter (with documentation) to the dean of the school.
  9. The dean of the school will meet with the student and the applicable professor(s) and make a final decision with regard to the school.
  10. The administrative assistant or secretary to the dean of the school will file a record of the transactions and information developed.

For Grievances of Academic Issues Related to Faculty Conduct, Performance, Attitude, and Course Content

  1. The student completes, signs, and delivers the Student Grievance form to the Dean’s Office of the faculty’s school.
  2. If the issue cannot be resolved by the student, faculty member, and dean, the matter may be taken to the Provost.
  3. The administrative assistant to the dean of the school will file a record of the transactions and information developed. If the matter cannot be resolved by the student, faculty member, dean, Provost, the matter may be taken to the President.

 

For Grievances of Administrative Issues Related to Support Services

  1. The student completes, signs, and delivers the Student Grievance form to the Dean of Student’s Office.
  2. The administrative assistant or secretary will forward the form to a Grievance Committee comprised of persons appointed by the dean.
  3. The student may recommend to the dean a seminary student or faculty member to serve on the committee.
  4. A member of the Grievance Committee will meet with the student and professor(s) or administrator(s) involved and attempt to establish a resolution to the grievance.
  5. The Grievance Committee will meet with the student and professor(s) involved and attempt to establish a resolution to the grievance.
  6. If the issue cannot be resolved by the Grievance Committee, then they will forward to the vice president for the division a recommendation for resolution.
  7. The vice president will meet with the student and the applicable professor(s) or administrator(s) and make a final decision with regard to the division.
  8. The administrative associate to the appropriate vice president will file a record of the transactions and information developed.

For Grievances Related to Accrediting Standards

As an accredited institution of higher education, Southwestern Seminary and all of its schools are bound to follow standards outlined by its accrediting agencies. Should students have complaints about the accrediting standards, those complaints shall be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students who will share such complaints with the institution’s Accreditation Liaison and the Provost, who will communicate such complaints to the appropriate agency staff.