This section describes complaints and grievances that can be made by students against an online instructor or an online course.

9.1 |  9.2

9.1 Complaints

A complaint is an  anonymous report made by a student against an online instructor or an online course. Online students may file complaints by contacting the BYU-Idaho Support Center (BSC). The BSC will route the complaint to the appropriate parties for resolution. Online course complaints will be addressed by the course council according to the Course Update Policy. Complaints about an online instructor will be addressed by Online Instruction.

9.2 Grievances

Student Grievance Policy                                                         

REVIEW / APPROVAL DATE: June 17, 2017

POLICY OWNER: Dean of Students

EXECUTIVE SPONSOR: Amy Labaugh

RESPONSIBLE UNIVERSITY OFFICE: Dean of Students

STATEMENT OF POLICY:

There may be occasions when a student has a concern or a complaint about a course or an instructor. Students and instructors are encouraged to work together to resolve concerns directly and amicably. If an issue cannot be resolved directly with the instructor, the student may follow the Academic Grievance Procedures set forth below.

DEFINITIONS:

Harassment / Discrimination

Personal grievances related to an incident(s) of sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination should not be pursued through this grievance process. If your grievance against an instructor is related to an incident of sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, you should contact the Title IX Office directly. (290 Kimball Building; titleix@byui.edu; 208-496-9209)

Concerns & Complaints

A concern is an anonymous report made by a student against an instructor or a course. Students may file concerns by contacting the BYU-Idaho Support Center (BSC). The BSC will route the concerns to the appropriate parties for resolution and inform the department chair. Course concerns will be addressed by the campus course council under the direction of the department chair. Concerns about an instructor will be addressed by the department chair over the faculty member, or by Online Instruction for online instructors.

Grievances

A grievance is a formal complaint against an instructor regarding a perceived unfair action or omission of action occurring in a course. There are two types of grievances: academic and personal. Grievances are not anonymous.

Academic Grievances

Academic grievances are formal complaints against an instructor that are unrelated to Title IX.

PROCEDURES:

Before Filing an Academic Grievance

Before filing an academic grievance, students should try to communicate privately with the instructor involved. Addressing challenging situations at this level provides opportunities that bless both students and instructors as they work together in a spirit of mutual understanding, patience, and love (see Matthew 18:15). Every effort should be made to take advantage of this opportunity to grow as disciples of Christ. If student concerns cannot be resolved at this level, the student may initiate the grievance process.

Timing

Students should initiate a grievance no later than the end of the semester following the semester in which the alleged grievance occurred. If conditions beyond student control prohibit filing a grievance during the allowed time, the student should file as soon as reasonably possible in order to be eligible for the grievance process. The burden of persuasion to allow for the filing of a late grievance is upon the student.

ACADEMIC GRIEVANCE PROCESS:

  1. A student files a grievance by contacting the BYU-Idaho Support Center (BSC).Students should be prepared to explain the nature of the grievance, indicate the desired resolution, provide specific information (dates, times, etc.), and/or include supporting documentation (copies of email correspondence, discussion board posts, screenshots, and submission receipts).
  2. The BSC routes the student’s grievance to the appropriate individual(s):

 a. CAMPUS COURSE GRIEVANCES

  1. Grievance are first routed to the instructor’s department chair. The BSC will also notify the college dean. (If the grievance involves the department chair, the BSC will route the grievance straight to the college dean. If the grievance involves the dean, the BSC will route the grievance to the appropriate academic associate vice president).
  2. The department chair investigatesthe grievance by communicating with the student and the instructor. A content expert may be consulted as needed.
  3. The department chair determines a resolution and communicates the decision to the student and all other parties involved, as listed in number 2 above. The chair also responds to the original e-mail from the BSC with the resolution as well as any documentation s/he would like included in the case.

 b. ONLINE COURSE GRIEVANCES

  1. Grievances are first routed to the instructor’s Instructor Evaluation Specialist (IES) and Instructor Evaluator (IE).
  2. The IES, with the help of the IE, investigates the grievance by communicating with the student and the instructor. A content expert may be consulted as needed.
  3. The IES determines a resolution and communicates the decision to the student and all other parties involved.

APPEALS

Every reasonable effort should be made to achieve resolution at the lowest organizational level. If the student or instructor feels that all concerns were not properly addressed, and new and compelling information is presented by the student that the department chair, or the Instructor Evaluator for online courses, was not privy to in his or her assessment of the grievance request, a solution may be sought at a higher level according to the procedures outlined below.

CAMPUS COURSE GRIEVANCE APPEALS

Appeal Level 1: College Dean

If the student or instructor feel that the grievance was not properly addressed, s/he may appeal the decision to the dean of the college by contacting the BSC. The dean will review the appeal and make a decision. The dean will then communicate the decision to all parties involved. The dean also responds to the original e-mail from the BSC with the resolution as well as any documentation s/he would like included in the case.

Appeal Level 2: University Appeals Committee

If there are extenuating circumstances, the student or instructor may appeal to the appropriate associate academic vice president by contacting the BSC. The case is routed to the associate academic vice president, who will determine if the grievance should be reviewed by a University Appeals Committee. A different dean is selected by the associate academic vice president who convenes an impartial Grievance Review Committee to make a final determination. The Grievance Review Committee consists of the designated dean, who serves as the committee chair; a faculty member from the same department as the faculty member against whom the complaint was filed; a faculty member from another department; and two students appointed by the Dean of Students Office. All members of the committee should be impartial and without prior substantial knowledge of the facts and circumstances of the matter.

After a fair opportunity to be heard is provided to both parties, the student filing the grievance and the accused faculty member are excused, and the grievance is discussed by the committee. A decision is reached by majority vote and presented to all parties involved in writing. This decision is final. The dean chairing the committee also responds to the original e-mail from the BSC with the resolution as well as any documentation s/he would like included in the case.

ONLINE COURSE GRIEVANCE APPEALS

The student or instructor may appeal the decision to the Online Appeals Committee by contacting the BSC. Online Appeals Committee meetings are held regularly during the semester. This committee is composed of an Instructor Evaluator who has not been directly involved in the grievance, the Director of Online Instruction, the Dean of Students for BYU Pathway Worldwide, as applicable, and two Online Learning student employees.

The IE will chair this committee and provide all pertinent evidence or material collected. After evidence is presented, the committee will discuss the case. If there is no precedent for the issue, and the committee feels the need, they may seek additional counsel from appropriate stakeholders. A decision will be made by majority vote, and the IE will present it in writing to the student, instructor, BSC, and all those involved in the initial grievance and appeal. The decision of the committee is final.  

RELATED UNIVERSITY POLICIES: Policy on Sexual Misconduct

APPLICABILITY: This policy applies to students taking campus-based and online courses.

PAST APPROVAL / REVISION DATES: March, 2013