Academic Grievance Procedures

III. RESOLUTION OF ACADEMIC GRIEVANCES

If a student has fulfilled all of his/her responsibilities as set forth in this document (Section II) and believes that a faculty member has failed to meet any of the responsibilities stated in this document (Section I), or has acted arbitrarily and/or capriciously in the exercise of these responsibilities, the student may initiate action to achieve remedy. Such action should be taken in accord with these Academic Grievance Procedures.

The procedure to resolve grievances is outlined below and must be initiated no later than the end of the semester following the one in which the cause of the grievance occurred. Since the AGC is not ordinarily convened during Summer sessions, grievances deriving from Spring semester or from either Summer sessions will usually be heard during the subsequent Fall semester. However, if necessary and as requested by the grievant, a hearing before an ad hoc grievance committee may be arranged by the Office of Judicial Affairs.

  1. Step 1 – The student shall attempt, insofar as possible, to resolve the problem with the faculty member(s) involved.

    In the attempt to resolve the matter with the faculty member, the student may wish to consult, in the following suggested order:

    1. the Department Chairperson (or the graduate faculty chairperson, if appropriate);
    2. the Office of Judicial Affairs; and/or
    3. the Dean of Students.

    In addition, any combination of the above may be approached to assist in an informal resolution.
  2. Step 2 – Failing to resolve the problem at Step 1, the student/grievant shall prepare a formal complaint in writing indicating:

    1. the statement of facts as the grievant perceives them, citing specific violations where possible;
    2. the remedy sought by the grievant; and
    3. the respondent's statement or actions, if any, during or after the consultation(s) under Step 1.

    This written complaint is presented to the Department Chairperson (or the Graduate Faculty Chairperson, if appropriate) of the respondent, with a copy for the respondent, and must be filed within 10 work days of the date on which the outcome reached in Step 1 is known to the grievant.

    The department chairperson (or graduate faculty chairperson) shall meet separately with the grievant and the respondent, or if both parties agree, jointly, to discuss the complaint.

    Within 10 work days of receipt of the written complaint, the department chairperson (or graduate faculty chairperson) shall complete any consultation and shall notify in writing the grievant and respondent of the department chairperson’s determination and decision in writing, with a copy of the findings to the dean of the school or college and/or to the Graduate Division Dean, as relevant.

    If the Department Chairperson (or the graduate faculty chairperson, as appropriate) becomes aware that sexual harassment is a possible basis of the academic grievance and the grievant confirms this opinion, the Department Chairperson (or graduate faculty chairperson) will notify, in writing, the Director of the Office of Title IX that said academic grievance may involve sexual harassment. In such cases the Department Chairperson (or graduate faculty chairperson) will provide the grievant a copy of the UHM Policy and Procedure on Sex Discrimination and Gender-Based Violence (E1.204) and the Discrimination Complaint Procedures for Employees, Students, and Applicants for Employment or Admission (A9.920). Notwithstanding this notification, the procedures for academic grievance shall continue as stated below.

    For the purpose of this procedure, where there are no departments or where the respondent is the chairperson of the department, the dean of the school or college shall assume the responsibilities of a department chairperson.
  3. Step 3 (Appeal) – Failing to achieve a satisfactory resolution at Step 2, the grievant may file an appeal in writing via the Office of Judicial Affairs with the Chairperson of the AGC.

    Such filing must be done within 10 work days after the grievant has been notified of the decision reached and any action(s) taken at Step 2. The grievant shall 1) provide as part of the appeal complete copies of all materials associated with Steps 1 and 2 and 2) shall notify the chairperson of the AGC of the names of other custodians of relevant material which the grievant may not possess.

    It is the responsibility of the Chairperson of the AGC to ensure that all notifications required under Section IV,B, are accomplished.

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