IV. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES AND SPECIAL PROBLEMS
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- Statement of Policy
- The University of Delaware does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies. The following people have been designated to handle various inquiries:
- For inquiries regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and related statutes and regulations: Tom Webb, Director, Office of Disabilities Support Services, 240 Academy St., Suite 130, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, 302-831-4643.
- For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and to serve as the overall campus coordinator for purposes of Title IX compliance: Bindu Kolli, Director, Policy Compliance, 305 Hullihen Hall, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, 302-831-8063. The following individuals have been designated as deputy Title IX coordinators: for Athletics, Samantha Huge, Deputy Director, Athletics and Recreation Services, Bob Carpenter Center, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, 302-831-3103; and for Student Life, Dawn Thompson, Dean of Students/AVP for Student Life, 101 Hullihen Hall, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, 302-831-8939.
- For Inquiries concerning Title VI and VII compliance: Rebecca Fogerty, Director, Office of Equity and Inclusion, 305 Hullihen Hall, Newark, DE 19716, 302-831-8063.
- For Inquiries concerning compliance with the Age Discrimination Act or Age Discrimination in Employment Act: Thomas LaPenta, Interim Associate Vice President for Human Resources, 300 Hullihen Hall, Newark, DE 19716, 302-831-8306.
- Development of Grievance Procedures
The student grievance procedure was established during the 1976-77
academic year, in part as a response to guidelines established by
the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare related
to non-discrimination on the basis of sex (Title IX).†University
procedure states that "if a University of Delaware student
alleges that he or she has been grieved because of perceived discrimination
on the basis of race, sex, or handicap, or because a faculty member
or University official failed to follow established procedure, the
student may utilize the student grievance procedure."
- Categories of Grievances
Student grievance complaints generally fall into 4 categories:
- Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") complaints:
a claim that alleges any actions prohibited by Section 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities
Act, 42 U.S.C. ß 12101, et. seq.
- Grade complaints: a claim that an inappropriate grade has been
assigned because of a faculty memberís bias or failure to follow
an established standard for assigning a grade.†A grade complaint
may not be based solely on a claim that a faculty member exercised
allegedly erroneous academic judgment (i.e., a student may not
complain that class standards are too high, reading is too heavy,
the grade curve too low, and so on).
- Sexual harassment complaints: a claim that alleges any instance
of abuse, ill-treatment, or exploitation involving the irresponsible
or unjust misuse of a position of authority, power, or trust.
- Other grievances not described above.
- Grievance Process Does Not Replace the Student Conduct System
The rights and procedures established here do not replace or supersede the Student Conduct System described above.†A pending grievance made by a student against faculty, employees, third parties or other students does not halt the ongoing Student Conduct System process. Furthermore, if a student files an ADA or Title IX claim against a faculty member, employee, third party vendor or another student, the University will follow the ADA and Title IX processes outlined below in Section IV.B.
- Grievance Procedures
- ADA Grievance Complaints
The ADA grievance procedure is as follows:
- All ADA complaints shall be submitted to the University ADA Coordinator or, in the event that the complaint alleges a violation by the Director of Disability Services, to the Provost or his or her designee. (In that event, all references here to the ADA Coordinator shall mean the Provost or his or her designee).
- All complaints must be filed in writing, must contain the name
and address of the complainant, and must describe the alleged
- The complaint must be filed within 90 calendar days after the
complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation.
- The University will conduct an informal investigation, affording
all interested persons and their representatives with notice and
an opportunity to be heard and to submit relevant information.
- A written decision on the complaint and a description of the
proposed resolution, if any, will be issued by the ADA Coordinator
no later than 15 business days after the complaint’s submission.
- The ADA Coordinator will, subject to University procedures and
any applicable laws or regulations, maintain the files and records
relating to the complaint.
- If the student wishes to appeal the ADA Coordinator’s written
determination or proposed resolution, the student may appeal within
15 business days of the date on which the determination was sent. The appeal request must be in
writing, describe the basis for his or her appeal, and be submitted
to the Office of the Dean of Students.
- A written decision on the appeal, and a description of the proposed
resolution, if any, will be issued by the Dean of Students no later than
15 business days after its submission.
The determination of the Dean of Students
shall be final and binding.
- Grade Grievance and Other Related Academic Complaints
The procedure to file a grade grievance and other related academic
complaint is as follows:
- A student with a complaint should, where appropriate, first
try to reach agreement with the faculty member. This concern will be forwarded to the faculty member, in writing, within 10 business days of the end of the semester. Upon being notified
of a student complaint, the faculty member must meet with the
student to discuss the complaint within 10 business days.
- If the faculty member does not meet with the student within
10 business days, or if such a meeting would be inappropriate
under the circumstances, or if the issue remains unresolved after
a meeting between the student and the faculty member, the student
may submit a written appeal to the faculty memberís
department chairperson (or his or her designee), who will attempt to mediate the complaint.†If the
student does not know the faculty memberís department, or cannot
ascertain the department chairperson, the student should contact the Office of the Dean of Students (if he or she is an undergraduate student)
and the Office of the Assistant Provost for
Graduate and Professional Education (if he or she is a graduate student).†The appeal must be
submitted within 5 business days of the meeting between the student
and the faculty member.
- The department chair, or his or her designee, must issue a written decision
on the appeal
and a description of the proposed resolution, if any, no later
than 15 business days after its submission.
- A student may appeal a decision by the department chair, or his or her designee,
to the dean of the college in which the department is organized. If requested,
the department chair, or his or her designee, shall provide the name and
contact information for the appropriate dean to the student.†This appeal
request must be submitted no more than 5 business days after the date on which the department chairís decision was sent.
- The dean will select the members of the hearing panel within 15 business days
of his or her receipt of the appeal or, if that is too close to
the end of a semester or session, within 15 days after the beginning
of the next semester. This hearing panel shall consist of 5 members,
3 faculty members and 2 students. Of the faculty members, only 1 may be from the same
department as the faculty member in question.†The other 2 faculty
members shall be drawn from other departments within that college
or, if the college has too few departments, from other colleges.†Of the student members, both must be either undergraduate students
(if the student submitting the greivance is an undergraduate) or graduate students (if the student submitting the grievance is a graduate student.) Neither of the student members may
be enrolled in the department of the faculty member in question.
- The hearing panel shall:
- Select the date, time and location of the hearing and notify the student and faculty member of this information.
- Make available to the student and faculty member, at least
5 business days prior to the hearing, all material that has
been furnished to the hearing panel and the names of any witnesses
who may give testimony.
- Provide the student and faculty member with the opportunity
to hear all testimony and examine all documents or other materials
presented to the hearing panel.
- Provide the student and faculty member with the opportunity
to question each witness.
- Allow the student and faculty member each to be assisted by
an advisor of their choice from among the members of the University
community. The advisor may help prepare the presentation before
the hearing panel, raise questions during the hearing, and,
if appropriate, help prepare an appeal. A department chair who
has mediated or attempted mediation is not permitted to serve
as advisor to either party.
- Permit the faculty member and student to make a summary statement
at the conclusion of the hearing.
- Make an audio recording of the hearing that shall be kept in
the deanís office for at least one calendar year after the hearingís
conclusion. No other electronic devices (included, but not limited to, cellphones, computers and additional recorders) may be used, unless expressly permitted by the members of the hearing panel.
- Apply a preponderance of the information standard when deciding whether the student has proven the facts underlying the grievance.
- Within 10 business days after the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing
panel shall prepare a written decision and proposed resolution,
if any.†The hearing panel shall inform the Registrarís Office
(for undergraduate students) or the Office of Graduate and Professional Education
(for graduate students) and the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled of the decision.
- A student or faculty member who is not satisfied with the decision
by the hearing panel may appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee
of the Faculty
Senate. This appeal must be submitted within 30 business
days of the date on which the hearing panelís decision was sent. This Committee,
on reviewing the case, may uphold the decision of the college
committee without a hearing or decide the appeal should be heard.
- The Chair of the Academic Appeals Committee may appoint an ad
hoc hearing panel from among the current members of the committee,
consisting of 3 faculty members and 2 students, or the entire
committee may serve as the hearing panel. If the submitting the appeal is an undergraduate
graduate student, the 2 student panel members must be undergraduate graduate
students, and if the student submitting the appeal is a graduate student, the
student panel members must be graduates. During the hearing,
the student and faculty member may be assisted by an advisor they
have chosen from the University community. The process set forth
for the hearing panel (above) also shall govern this hearing.
- The decision of the Academic Appeals Committee or, if applicable,
the ad hoc committee, shall be final.†The committee shall
inform the Registrarís Office (for undergraduate students) or
the Office of Graduate and Professional Education (for graduate students) and the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled of the
- No grade shall be changed as a result of a grade grievance complaint,
except as follows.†In the case of a grade grievance, the University
Registrarís Office is authorized to change the studentís grade
in the following situations:
- When the student and the faculty member agree;
- If the department chair approves the student's appeal and
the faculty member does not appeal that decision;
- If the dean approves the student's appeal based on the hearing
panel's recommendation and the faculty member does not appeal
that decision; or
- If the Academic Appeals Committee approves the student's appeal.
- Discrimination and Harassment Grievance
- Grievances Against Faculty, Staff and Third Party Contractors: A student who believes that he or she has been subjected to unlawful discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, by a faculty member, employee or a third-party contractor may seek resolution through the following procedures (For grievances against another student, please see below, Section B.3.b.) As used in succeeding paragraphs of this section, the term "Vice President for Finance & Administration" shall mean that official or his or her designee.
- Lodging a Complaint
- A student who believes he or she is being subjected to unlawful discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, shall discuss the matter with his or her supervisor/advisor, if appropriate, or directly contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI), the Office of Labor Relations (OLR) or the Office of Human Resources (HR) for confidential support, information and possible informal resolution.
- Within 20 days of discussing the matter involving alleged discrimination or harassment with the person(s) noted above the student shall submit a written complaint to the Vice President for Finance & Administration for further investigation and, if warranted, corrective action.
- Upon receipt of a complaint, the Vice President for Finance & Administration will meet with the individual against whom the complaint has been made, his/her department chairperson or immediate supervisor, and (if the person against whom the complaint is made is a faculty member) the college dean or unit head. The person against whom the complaint has been made may choose to have the AAUP Contract Maintenance Officer participate. Such meeting or meetings will ordinarily be conducted within 10 business days of receipt by the Vice President for Finance & Administration of a written complaint.
- The AAUP will be notified if the complaint involves a faculty member in any way. If the accused is a faculty member, the AAUP will be notified in time to allow consultation with the accused prior to the meeting. The Vice President for Finance & Administration will advise the accused faculty member that it is in his/her best interest to seek out the AAUP Contract Maintenance Officer for consultation prior to any meetings.
- The Vice President for Finance & Administration will interview other individuals when needed in conjunction with the AAUP Maintenance Officer, to ascertain the validity of the complaint. The investigation will proceed in a timely manner and every effort will be made to conclude the investigation within 60 business days of receipt of the complaint by the Vice President for Finance & Administration.
- All complaints and ensuing investigations are considered to be confidential. All individuals contacted or interviewed during the investigation of a complaint are required to maintain confidentiality to the fullest extent possible within the requirements of conducting a complete investigation.
- If the Vice President for Finance & Administration, after meeting with the individuals identified above, finds that there has been a violation of this policy, the Vice President will prepare a written report of the findings and a prescription for corrective action, if warranted. Copies of the Vice President for Finance & Administration’s written report will be delivered to the complainant and the accused as quickly as practical and in any event within 15 business days of the last meeting undertaken to investigate the complaint. Corrective action may include one of more of the following actions, depending on the severity of the offense:
- A verbal warning that a repetition of the reported impropriety will result in written action.
- Placement of a letter in the individual's personnel file indicating the nature of the improper behavior. The letter may include a notation about required remedial efforts and any action that will be taken in the future should there be a repetition of the offensive behavior(s).
- Executive mentoring or appropriate counseling.
- Immediate removal of the individual from the classroom/work site and placement on leave of absence so that the individual can receive remedial efforts. Return to teaching and/or professional duties will be guided by the individual's progress.
- Initiation of written action by the dean or appropriate supervisor to dismiss the individual from the University's employ. For faculty, dismissal will follow the procedures set forth by the Faculty Senate Committee on Welfare and Privileges.
- The Vice President for Finance & Administration, at his or her discretion, may extend for a reasonable period any of the deadlines specified in this Section B.3.a.
- Grievances Against Students: A student who believes that he or she has been subjected to unlawful discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, by another student may seek resolution through the following procedures. (For grievances against faculty, other University employees or third party contractors, please see above, Section B.3.a.) As used in succeeding paragraphs of this section the term “Director of the Office of Student Conduct” shall mean that official or his or her designee.
- Initiation of the Student Conduct Process
- A student who believes he or she is being subjected to unlawful discrimination or harassment by another student, including sexual harassment shall submit a written complaint to the Office of Student Conduct.
- If the written complaint reasonably suggests that a violation of the Code of Conduct has occurred, within 10 business days of making this determination the Director of the Office of Student Conduct will provide notice of the complaint to the student against whom it was filed.
- The notice to the charged student will include the following:
- The specific rule or regulation that the student is alleged to have violated, indicating the date and place of the occurrence and the names of the complainant and all potential witnesses known by the Office of Student Conduct, except when the Office of Student Conduct determines that disclosure may present a serious risk to any such witness;
- The charged student’s rights, including a description of the procedures to be used at the disciplinary hearing; and
- A statement that the charged student must meet for a pre-hearing with a designee of the Office of Student Conduct within 3 business days of the date on which the notice was sent. Failure to attend this pre-hearing meeting will not keep the process from proceeding and a determination regarding responsibility will be made based on input from the complainant only and the charged student waives the right to an Administrative Hearing, but retains the right of an appeal.
- During the pre-hearing meeting, the charged student will be invited to review and discuss information in his or her disciplinary file (including prior cases, if any) and will be encouraged to ask questions about the complaint and the options available within the Student Conduct System. The charged student will be presented with the following options:
- To accept responsibility for violating Code of Conduct and accept the sanction(s) presented in the pre-hearing meeting. A student who accepts responsibility and accepts the proposed sanction(s) waives the right to both an Administrative Hearing and an appeal.
- To accept responsibility for violating the Code of Conduct but reject the sanction(s) presented as inappropriate or unreasonable. The student will receive notice that he or she has accepted responsibility for violating the Code of Conduct as well as a complete list of the sanction(s) that he or she rejected and the process for requesting different sanction(s). A student who accepts responsibility for violating the Code of Conduct but rejects the sanction(s) waives the right to an Administrative Hearing, but retains the right of appeal of the sanction(s) only through a Request for Reconsideration of Sanction(s).
- To deny responsibility for violating the Code of Conduct and request an Administrative Hearing by an Administrative Hearing Officer. A student who denies responsibility for violating the Code of Conduct retains the right to both an Administrative Hearing and full appeal.
- If a student submits a Request for Reconsideration of Sanctions or an appeal of the decision of an Administrative Hearing, he or she must follow the content, format and deadline procedures as set forth in Section II.D of the Student Guide to University Policies. The Appellate Board will report its final decision within 15 business days of receiving all case materials for review.
- If a student denies responsibility for violating the Code of Conduct, an Administrative Hearing will be scheduled within 15 business days, and the Administrative Hearing will follow all procedures as set forth in Section II.D.2 of the Student Guide to University Policies. A written decision will be sent to the charged student within 15 business days of the Administrative Hearing.
- All other provisions of Section II.D of the Student Guide to University Policies will apply to procedures set forth in this section, except in the event that there is conflict, in which case the terms of this section will apply.
- The Director of the Office of Student Conduct, at his or her discretion, may extend for a reasonable period any of the deadlines specified in this Section B.3.b.
- A student may also seek emotional support by discussing the alleged harassment privately and in confidence with a member of the Office of Equity and Inclusion or a psychologist from the Center for Counseling and Student Development.
- Non-Retaliation: It is a violation of University policy to retaliate in any way against students because they have raised allegations of discrimination or unlawful harassment.
- Other Alleged Grievances
The University may, at its discretion, permit a student to submit
a grievance for problems other than those described above.†A request
must be submitted by the student to the Office of the Dean of Students for
of Graduate and Professional Education for graduate students within 30 business days after
the last event giving rise to the alleged violation.†If the request
is granted, the University will decide upon the appropriate process
to govern its resolution and may, but need not, follow the process
set forth above for grade complaints.
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- Student Behavior Consultation Team
The mission of the Student Behavior Consultation Team (SBCT) is to coordinate information in a systematic approach to assist the University in identification of and response to students whose actions raise concerns. The SBCT consults with and collaborates with campus community members; develops support plans to promote student health, well-being and successful academic experiences; and promotes campus safety through an active process of threat assessment and behavioral intervention. Additional information may be found on the SBCT homepage.
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- Medical Leave of Absence
- Statement of Policy
An undergraduate student who wishes to suspend or postpone his
or her studies at the University for any medical reason may request
a medical leave of absence. The request must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students.†A medical leave of absence may be granted for a
maximum of no more than 2 semesters.
A graduate student who seeks a leave of absence for personal, medical,
or professional reasons should obtain written approval from the
department chair or graduate program coordinator. The request and the recommendation from the department should be sent to the Office of Graduate and Professional Education.†The length of time needed for the
leave should be indicated.†Upon approval by the Office of Graduate and Professional Education, the studentís academic transcript will record the approved
leave in the appropriate semesters, and the absence will not affect
the limitation of time for completion of the degree requirements
as given in the studentís official letter of admission.†The Office
of Graduate and Professional Education will send written notification of approval or
denial of the requested leave.
A medical leave of absence in no way negates the studentís financial
responsibility to the University. If the student is a financial
aid recipient, he or she should contact the Financial Aid Office
to discuss the medical leave of absence and its potential ramifications.
If the student is insured under the Universityís health insurance
plan, the student should refer to the insurance documentation for
- Verification of Medical Condition
The following procedures govern the Universityís decision to grant
a leave of absence:
- Verification of the medical condition from a physician or other
medical professional acceptable to the University must be presented
at the time the leave is requested.
- If the medical leave is granted, the student may continue in
the same college or program in which he or she was enrolled prior
to the leave and may continue his or her studies without applying
for readmission to the University.
- The student must contact the office that approved the leave
of absence if the student is unable to return at the conclusion
of the leave.
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- Active Military Duty
A student ordered to active duty due to national crisis, under circumstances
that preclude completion of a semester or session, will be allowed
to take a leave of absence from the University.†The student must present
a copy of the military orders.†The student will receive a 100% rebate
of tuition for all courses for which academic credit is not received.†Housing
costs, meal charges, and mandatory fees will be pro-rated based on
the beginning date of the studentís official leave.†Students should
contact the Office of the Dean of Students or the office of the assistant or
associate dean of the studentís college to complete a withdrawal/leave
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- Missing Students
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- Statement of Policy
The University of Delaware takes student safety seriously. To this end, and in compliance with the Missing Student Notification Policy and Procedures (Section 488 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008), the following procedures have been developed in order to assist in locating University of Delaware students, who, based on the facts and circumstances known to the University, are determined to be missing. It is the policy of the University to actively investigate any report of a missing student. All students will be notified of the Missing Student Policy and the procedures the University would follow in the event that they are reported missing.
- Each student will be asked to identify the name and contact number of the individual(s) whom the University will notify within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing. Students’ contact information will be registered confidentially, made accessible only to authorized campus officials, and will not be disclosed except to law enforcement personnel outside the University in furtherance of a missing person investigation.
- For any student under the age of 18, and not an emancipated individual, the institution is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing, in addition to notifying any additional contact person designated by the student.
- If a member of the University community has reason to believe that a student is missing, he or she must report it to the University of Delaware Police Department (UDPD), located at 413 Academy Street, Newark DE 19716. For non-emergencies call 831-2222; for emergencies call 911.
- All efforts will be made immediately (no waiting period) to locate the student to determine his or her state of health and well-being. These efforts include, but are not limited to:
- calling the student’s cell phone and sending a text message;
- looking at social networking sites;
- checking the student’s room;
- interviewing roommates and friends;
- checking attendance in class;
- checking ID card access and key fob use; and
- locating the student’s vehicle.
- If upon investigation by UDPD, the student is determined missing for at least 24 hours, the Dean of Students will contact the student’s designated emergency contact (or custodial parent or legal guardian if the student is under the age of 18 or has failed to designate an emergency contact) UDPD will notify the Newark Police Department within 24 hours of the determination that a student is missing, unless Newark police was the entity that made the determination that the student is missing. UDPD will continue to investigate utilizing established police investigative procedures and in collaboration with staff from the Office of the Dean of Students and Residence Life. UDPD will also coordinate its efforts with outside law enforcement agencies in full compliance with legal obligations and good police practice.
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