Grievance Procedure for Students**
Graceland University will generally handle complaints or concerns of students through the grievance procedure. This procedure is designed to handle situations expediently. Academic issues will be handled under the supervision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, student-related ones by the Vice President for Student Life, athletics-related ones by the Athletic director, etc. Graceland University will handle complaints or concerns with sensitivity, confidentiality, and with respect to the Graceland community.
PROCEDURE Any member of the Graceland student body who has a complaint or concern may initiate the following informal and formal actions. Access of information provided by the complainant will be available only to those persons on a reasonable need-to-know basis.
Informal Procedure. The purpose of the informal procedure is to provide an opportunity to mediate a mutually acceptable resolution between the parties. A complainant is encouraged to use the informal procedure prior to a formal complaint process.
- A complainant may initiate an informal procedure for resolution by contacting the Dean of Students or designee of the Dean of Students (Lamoni) for counseling and assistance or the respective School Dean (Independence) or designee. In the case of academic matters, the designee will be the chair of the division or dean of the school.
- In an informal procedure, the university official will counsel the complainant concerning options and, at the complainant’s request, may help the complainant mediate the complaint informally.
- If the complainant chooses to proceed with an informal complaint, the university official will inform the accused person(s) of the nature of the complaint, identity of the complainant and the actions available. If the complainant chooses not to proceed with an informal or formal complaint, no written record of the complaint will be kept.
- An informal mediation process must be addressed within seven days. If mediation is successful, the results of that process are final. Unsuccessful resolution moves the matter to the formal procedure level of mediation. The process of complaint, response, and mediation will not normally exceed ten calendar days.
- A written summary of the informal mediation proceedings will be made and retained by the university official, at the level where the matter is resolved. A copy of the summary will also be sent to the appropriate vice president, where it will be filed in his/her office.
- If a complaint cannot be resolved informally or if the complainant chooses to take the complaint through the formal procedure, the complainant may elect to initiate the formal complaint procedure.
- A formal complaint must be made, in writing, to the Dean of Students or designee of the Dean of Students (Lamoni), or respective School Dean (Independence) or designee. The written complaint must include the following information: name, address and telephone number of the complainant; date(s) and location of the occurrence; evidence on which the complaint is based and redress sought by the complainant. In the case of academic matters, the designee will be the chair of the division or dean of the school.
- The Dean of Students or designee of the Dean of Students (Lamoni), or respective School Dean (Independence) or designee will normally begin an investigation. An investigation of the complaint will normally begin within seven days of receipt of the written complaint.
- The investigation will provide an opportunity for both the complainant and the accused person(s) to submit facts and to identify witnesses to be interviewed. The investigator shall be authorized to interview witnesses identified by any party. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will provide a written report of the formal investigation which details the findings and any recommended actions. If the facts are so disputed that the investigator cannot make fact findings, the investigator shall issue a finding of probable cause to institute further proceedings.
- If the report recommends action against a faculty member that could lead to severe sanctions, including possible dismissal, the investigator shall recommend that the Dean of Faculty initiate the process leading to official hearings in accordance with the principles and procedures specified in the faculty handbook.
- If the report recommends action against a person who is not a faculty member, the investigator shall recommend that the designated university official initiate official hearings and appropriate procedures as detailed in the Student Handbook or Personnel Handbook.
- If no probable cause is shown from the investigation, the complainant may appeal, in writing, to the President of the university within 72 hours of the no probable cause finding. The complainant will be notified from the President’s Office in writing of his/her decision, which is final.
**Issues dealing with harassment, including sexual harassment, will be handled in accordance with the University Harassment Policy. Issues involving student final grades are not subject to this grievance policy. Refer to the “Student Appeal of Final Grade” policy and procedure.
In addition to the grievance policy stated above, students who feel a complaint has not been resolved may contact the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid) at (877) 272-4456 or by using the following URL: https://iowacollegeaid.gov/StudentDisputeComplaintForm