This grievance procedure provides a process for constructively resolving serious academic, supervisory or administrative grievances that undergraduate and graduate students may have with faculty, supervisors, staff or administrators. Its purpose is to resolve in a fair manner any grievances arising from grading, other evaluation or supervisory practices, and appeals that students may want to initiate if they are dissatisfied with decisions made by the committees that direct their degree program or the Academic Standards Committee of the Lynch School. To that end, all concerned should display a cooperative manner. Resolutions should be attempted between the parties involved and mediated rather than directed outcomes should be sought, and should be sought at the lowest possible administrative level. Confidentiality of the student(s) and faculty members(s) involved should be maintained at all times. In the event that the student’s Chairperson, advisor, supervisor, Dean or Associate Dean is a party to the grievance that person should recuse him/herself from considering the matter, and the appropriate administrator at the next highest administrative level will replace that person
If at any time in these procedures the student anticipates that discussing the matter directly with the faculty member, supervisor, committee or program staff would be uncomfortable, the student may request an ombudsperson. In this case, the Chair or appropriate Associate Dean will make a reasonable effort to assign an ombudsperson who is acceptable to the student.
If a student believes that he or she has been evaluated unfairly or has another serious grievance, the student should discuss the matter with the faculty member, supervisor or committee involved as soon as possible after the evaluation has been received or the grievance arises. This discussion should provide an opportunity for further dialogue and clarification between faculty and student about how the matter was determined, what criteria were used, and any related issues. If such a discussion results in a mutually acceptable resolution, the matter will be considered closed. If either party wishes to have a written statement of the outcome, the parties will put the resolution in writing, sign it, and each retain a copy. This written statement must be completed no later than two weeks after the mutually acceptable resolution has been reached.
If, however, a mutually acceptable disposition cannot be achieved, the student may present the matter in writing to the Chairperson of the department in which the faculty member, supervisor, or committee is located administratively. The student's written statement to the Chair must be submitted no later than two weeks from the date of the final meeting with the faculty member, supervisor, committee or program staff and clearly specify the nature of the complaint and the remedy requested.
The Chairperson will review the matter by meeting individually with each individual involved and reviewing any written materials related to the grievance. The Chairperson will meet again with the individuals involved, either separately or jointly or both, in an attempt to resolve the matter. The Chairperson will provide a written response within two weeks of this meeting. If a settlement is reached, it is to be put in writing and signed by the Chairperson and each of the parties, with each to retain a copy. If no resolution is reached, the Chairperson will prepare a written summary of events relevant to the grievance and provide a copy of it to the student and the faculty member or other individuals involved.
In the event that the grievance concerns treatment or evaluation in the practicum, the student should follow this same procedure, discussing the matter first with his or her field supervisor. If this discussion does not lead to resolution, the matter should be brought to the appropriate Director of Field Placements who will follow the guidelines described above for Department Chairs. If a field site grievance involves an organization other than Boston College, the student should pursue the grievance through that organization's applicable procedures. In such a case, the student is advised to inform his or her Lynch School supervisor of the grievance.
Revised Lynch School EPC, May, 2007