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Chapter 390: Student Discrimination Grievances

390.010 Discrimination Grievance Procedure for Students

Bd. Min. 12-17-82, Bd. Min. 1-25-90, Amended Bd. Min. 10-16-03, Amended Bd. Min. 11-29-07, Amended 6-19-14.

  1. General
    1. It is the policy of the University of Missouri to provide equal opportunity for all enrolled students and applicants for admission to the University on the basis of merit without discrimination on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disability, or Vietnam era veteran status. Sexual harassment shall be considered discrimination because of sex. This policy shall not be interpreted in such a way as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or military organizations associated with the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
    2. To insure compliance with this policy, all University of Missouri prospective or enrolled students shall have available to them this student discrimination grievance procedure for resolving complaints and/or grievances regarding alleged discrimination.
    3. This grievance procedure neither supersedes nor takes precedence over established University procedures of due process for any and all matters related to Academic Dishonesty, Grade Appeals, Traffic Appeals, Disciplinary Appeals, or other specific campus procedures which are authorized by the Board of Curators and deal with faculty/staff responsibilities.
    4. These proceedings may be terminated at any time by the mutual agreement of the parties involved.
          NOTE: A grievance concerning specific incidents filed under this discrimination grievance procedure shall not be processed on behalf of any student who elects to utilize another University grievance procedure. In addition, the filing of a grievance under these procedures precludes the subsequent use of other University grievance or appeals procedures for the same incident.
  2. Definitions
    1. A complaint is an informal claim of discriminatory treatment. A complaint may, but need not, constitute a grievance. Complaints shall be processed through the informal procedure herein set forth.
    2. A grievance is the written allegation of discrimination which is related to:
      1. Recruitment and admission to the institution.
      2. Admission to and treatment while enrolled in an education program.
      3. Employment as a student employee on campus.
      4. Other matters of significance relating to campus living or student life, including, but not limited to:
        • Assignment of roommates in resident halls
        • Actions of fraternities and sororities
        • Membership in and/or admission to clubs/ organizations
        • Student Health Services
        • Financial aid awards
    3. A student is any person who has applied for admission or readmission, or who is currently enrolled, or who was a student of the University of Missouri at the time of the alleged discrimination.
    4. Persons with disabilities -- For the purpose of this student discrimination grievance procedure, a "person with a disability" has been substituted for "handicapped individual" (Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and shall be defined as "...any person who
      1. Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities.
      2. Has a record of such impairment, or
      3. Is regarded as having such an impairment."
            For purpose of this definition, "major life activity" means any mental or physical function or activity which, if impaired, creates a substantial barrier to employment and/or education.
           Any reference in this document to written materials or to written oral presentations within the student discrimination grievance procedure may be adjusted to accommodate persons with disabilities for whom the stated materials or required presentations would not be appropriate. Cost of such accommodation will be borne by the University, with no charge to the individual.
    5. Appropriate Administrative Officer -- The primary administrative officer on the staff of the Chancellor (in the area of Student Affairs/Services, Administrative Services, Development, and Academic Affairs) having administrative responsibility for the unit in which the discrimination is alleged to have occurred.
    6. Grievance Consultant -- At any step the Director of Equal Opportunity or of Affirmative Action may be asked to serve as a consultant by any of the parties involved in this grievance procedure.
  3. Complaints
    1. Policies and Procedures -- A student with a complaint will be provided with copies of appropriate policies and procedures pertaining to student complaints and grievances, and the Chief Student Personnel Administrator or his/her designee and the Officer or Equal Opportunity or for Affirmative Action shall be available to assist the student in understanding the opportunities afforded through such policies and procedures. The student may choose to have an advisor participate in any stage of the grievance procedures, subject to the restrictions of the hearing procedures set forth in Section 390.010 F.
    2. Joint Complaint -- If more than one student is aggrieved by the same action, these students may, by mutual written agreement among themselves, file with the Chief Student Personnel Administrator a complaint and pursue their complaints jointly under this grievance procedure. If the number of students in such a case is os large as to make it impracticable for them to be heard individually in a joint proceeding, they may, by mutual agreement, elect one or more of their number to act on behalf of them all.
    3. Students may informally discuss a complaint with the relevant supervising administrator. Every reasonable effort should be made to resolve the matter informally at this administrative level. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the student may pursue the matter through each level of administrative jurisdiction up to and including the Appropriate Administrative Officer, or file a grievance within the time specified in D.1.b.
    4. Complaints Involving Recruitment
      1. Undergraduate applicants must first present complaints about recruitment to the Director of Admissions. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the applicant may appeal the matter to the immediate supervising officer of the Director of Admissions.
      2. Applicants for graduate study may request a meeting with the academic department head and the Dean of the College for those campuses having schools or colleges, or their designees, who are actually involved in the recruitment effort to discuss the matter informally. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the applicant may appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School/Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and finally to the Appropriate Administrative Officer.
    5. Complaints Involving Admissions (Undergraduate or Professional)
      1. Undergraduate and professional student applicants shall present complaints to the Director of Admissions or to the Dean of the School or College, depending upon where the application was originally filed.
      2. This University official shall compare the person's academic qualifications against the official University admissions criteria and review the denial. If the denial is sustained, officials' immediate supervisor or to the appropriate admissions committee.
    6. Complaints Involving Admissions (Graduate) -- Applicants to the Graduate School may ask for a meeting with the academic department head of the program to which the applicant was seeking admission. This official shall explain the reasons for the denial of recommendation for admissions. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the applicant may then appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School/Vice Provost for Graduate Studies or to the appropriate admissions committee. If the denial is upheld, the applicant may appeal the decision to the appropriate administrative officer.
    7. Complaints Involving Admissions to or Treatment in an Educational Program or in the Granting of Assistantships -- An undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at the institution who has a discrimination complaint involving admission to or treatment in an educational program or in the granting of assistantships may request a conference with the appropriate department head and with the Dean of the School or College (or the Dean's designee) on those campuses having schools or colleges to discuss the matter informally. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the student may present a grievance pursuant to Section 390.010 F.
    8. Complaints Involving Nonacademic Matters Related to Campus Living and Student Life -- A currently enrolled student who has a University-related complaint concerning discrimination in nonacademic matters including but not limited to assignment of roommates, actions of fraternities and sororities, membership in and/or admissions to clubs/organizations, student health services and financial aid awards may request a conference with the appropriate administrative supervisor, department head and/or director to discuss the matter informally. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the student may present a grievance pursuant to Section 390.010 D.
    9. Complaints Involving Student Employment on Campus -- A student enrolled at the University who alleges that discrimination occurred either in applying for work or while working as a student employee at a University job may request a conference with the supervisor, department head or director of the employing unit to discuss the matter informally. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the student may present a grievance pursuant to Section 390.010 D.
    10. Complaints Involving Financial Aid (Undergraduate, Graduate, Professional):
      1. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional student aid applicants shall present complaints to the Director of Student Financial Aid where the applications was originally filed or the award originally made.
      2. This University official shall compare the person's financial and academic qualifications against the official University financial aid criteria and review the award, amount, or denial of the aid. If the original judgment is sustained, the applicant may appeal this decision to the official's immediate supervisor or to the appropriate financial aid committee.
  4. Initiating a Grievance
    1. Policies and Procedures -- A student with a grievance will be provided copies of appropriate polices and procedures pertaining to student complaints and grievances, and the Chief of Student Personnel Administrator or designee and the Office for Equal Opportunity or for Affirmative Action shall be available to assist the student in understanding the opportunities afforded through such policies and procedures. The student may choose to have an advisor participate in any stage of the grievance procedure, subject to the restrictions of the hearing procedures set forth in Section 390.010 F.
      1. Joint Grievance -- If more than one student is aggrieved by the same action, these students may, by mutual written agreement among themselves, file with the Chief Student Personnel Administrator a grievance and pursue their grievances jointly under this grievance procedure. If the number of students in such a case is so large as to make it impractical for them to be heard individually in a joint proceeding, they may, by mutual agreement, elect one or more of their number to act on behalf of all of them.
      2. Regardless of their nature, all discrimination grievances are to be filed with the Chief Student Personnel Administrator. A grievance must have been filed by a student within one-hundred-eighty (180) calendar days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act.
    2. Filing a Grievance
      1. All grievances must be presented in writing and contain the following information:
         
        (1) A clear concise statement of the grievance which includes the name of the person(s) against whom the grievance is made, the date(s) of the alleged discrimination and a statement describing the specific supporting evidence;
         
        (2) A brief summary of the prior attempts to resolve the matter which includes the names of persons with whom the matter was discussed and the results of those previous discussions;
         
        (3) A specific statement of the remedial action or relief sought.
      2. Within seven (7) working days, the original grievance form with an explanation will be returned to the student if, in the judgment of the Chief Student Personnel Administrator, the statements are vague or do not meet the above requirement. The student may make the necessary corrections, and resubmit the grievance within seven (7) days.
    3. Any grievance not filed within the time limits specified in Section 390.010 D.1.b shall be deemed waived by the grievant. The Chief Student Personnel Administrator may extend the time limits only if adequate cause for an extension of the time limits can be shown by the student.
    4. For informational purposes, copies of the grievance shall be forwarded to the Appropriate Administrative Officer and the Director of Equal Employment and/or Affirmative Action.
    5. Within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of a grievance that satisfies the requirement of Section 390.010 D.1.b, the Appropriate Administrative Officer with the consent of the parties involved may establish an informal hearing with the aggrieved student, the responding faculty/staff/organization, the respondent's supervisor and the Appropriate Administrative Officer's designee. The Appropriate Administrative Officer shall not involve himself/herself in this meeting. If the informal means of resolving the grievance fails, a grievance committee will be impaneled as called for in Section 390.010 E.1.
  5. Formation of Grievance Committee
    1. It the Appropriate Administrative Officer's responsibility to initiate the selection of the grievance committee within fifteen (15) working days after the request for the formation of a grievance committee or after the completion of the informal hearing provided for in Section 390.010 F.5 without satisfaction to the grievant.
    2. A grievance hearing panel shall be established by October 1 of each year from which a grievance committee should be constituted. The panel shall consist of ten (10) faculty, ten (10) staff and ten (10) students. Selection of the panel will be made by the Chief Student Personnel Administrator from recommendations by the appropriate faculty, staff and student associations. Selection of membership will consider sex, race, disability, academic rank, student classification and employee classification. Membership on the hearing panel shall be for two years. A member's term shall expire on September 30 of the second year unless he/she is serving at that time on a hearing committee still in the process of reviewing an unresolved grievance. In such case, the member's term shall expire as soon as the committee has submitted a written report of its findings and recommendations to the Appropriate Administrative Officer.
    3. A hearing committee shall be composed of five (5) members. The grievant shall select two (2) members from the grievance hearing panel provided by the Chief Student Personnel Administrator. The responding faculty/staff/organization shall select two (2) members from the grievance hearing panel. Both parties should have their selection made within 15 working days of the receipt of the request. The four committee members shall then select an additional member from the grievance hearing panel to serve as chair. Neither members of the immediate departmental unit nor student members of pertinent student organizations involved in the grievance shall be eligible to serve on the committee.
    4. Any person selected to a grievance committee will be expected to serve on such committees and to be present at all sessions. If a member is absent from a single session, he/she will be required to review all tapes or transcribed proceedings of that session prior to the next meeting of the committee. Should a member be absent from two sessions or should a member request to be excused from service for reasons of illness, necessary absence from the campus or other hardship, then the member shall be replaced in the same manner used in the original selection (see Section 390.010 E.3). If a member is unable or ineligible to serve for whatever reason, the replacement shall review all tapes or written transcripts and all submitted evidence prior to service on the committee. Five members of the hearing committee, duly selected as in Sections 390.010 E.3 and E.4 must attend the opening and closing session of the hearing.
  6. Hearing Procedures for Formal Grievances
    1. It shall be the responsibility of the Appropriate Administrative Officer to coordinate the procedure contained herein, to make provisions for hearing rooms, to coordinate secretarial and recording services and to otherwise serve the grievance committee as needed.
    2. At the first organizational meeting of the grievance committee, the committee shall elect a chairperson from among the members to preside over subsequent meetings. Then the chairperson shall schedule a hearing at the earliest convenient time when all affected parties can be present.
    3. A quorum consists of a minimum of four members of the committee except as provided by Section 390.010 E.4.
    4. The grievance committee shall invite the grievant and the responding person to all hearings. Attendance at the hearings shall be limited to persons who have an official connection with the case as determined by the chairperson. The grievant and the responding person may choose to be accompanied by an advisor. Others whose participation in the hearing is considered essential in order to assist the committee in establishing the facts of the case shall appear before the committee only long enough to give testimony and to answer questions of committee members.
    5. It is within the duties and responsibilities of all members of a grievance committee to commit themselves to observe procedures consistent with fairness to all parties concerned. For example, it is a matter of principle that members of the grievance committee will not discuss a case with anyone outside of the hearing process and that their finding will not be influenced by anything other than the evidence presented to them in meetings in which all affected parties are present.
    6. The grievance committee shall set forth the rules of procedure for the hearing within the guidelines set forth herein. The chairperson may, for good cause and with the concurrence of a majority of the entire committee, authorize deviation from the suggested format, in which case the principal parties shall be notified.
      1. The grievant shall be heard first in all phases of a grievance hearing and shall be primarily responsible for the presentation of his/her position.
      2. The advisor of the grievant or respondent may advise that person and may briefly explain his or her position but shall not be permitted to testify or to cross-examine.
      3. A reasonable time limit should be established for opening and closing statements and shall be announced prior to the hearing.
      4. Length of hearing sessions may be established in advance; every effort should be made to conduct the hearing as expeditiously as possible, with equal fairness to both parties.
      5. The interested parties shall provide the chairperson with the names of the advisor and potential witnesses at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the hearing. It is the responsibility of the interested party, working with the chairperson, to ensure the presence of these individuals in a timely manner.
      6. After initial witnesses for both parties have been heard, such witnesses may be recalled for additional questioning if requested by either party or the grievance committee. The committee may call new witnesses whose testimony it deems relevant or helpful.
      7. In order to promote the truthful, unfettered exchange of information and ideas, all testimony pertaining to the grievance hearing shall be held in confidence.
      8. Only evidence relevant to the grievance may be introduced. Questions regarding the admissibility of evidence shall be decided by the chairperson.
    7. At any point in the proceedings prior to the time at which the committee reaches its final decision, the grievant may withdraw any portion or all of the grievance with the consent of a majority of the committee members and of the respondent. In all cases of withdrawal at the consent of the committee and of the respondent, the grievant shall not have the privilege of reopening the same grievance at any time in the future. In the event that the student refuses to participate further in the committee hearing, the committee may choose to continue the case or to move to closure with an appropriate closing statement as per Section 390.010 F.9.
    8. A confidential tape recording of the grievance hearing shall be made and will be accessible to the parties involved, the committee, the Appropriate Administrative Officer, the Chancellor, the President, members of the Board of Curators and authorized representatives on a need-to-know basis. Either party to the grievance may request that the committee provides a written transcript of testimony. The cost of preparation of such a transcript is to be paid by the party making such request unless Section 390.010 B.4 is applicable. After the report of the grievance committee has been prepared, the tapes and relevant materials will be sealed and filed in the Appropriate Administrative Office. Unless extraordinary circumstances apply, these materials will be destroyed at the end of five years.
    9. At the conclusion of the grievance hearing, the members of the grievance committee shall meet in closed session to deliberate upon their findings. A majority vote of the entire committee shall be required on all decisions. The grievance committee shall make a written report on findings and recommendations to the Appropriate Administrative Officer of the University, with copies to the grievant(s) and the responding person(s). The written report will contain:
      1. A statement of the purpose of the hearing,
      2. Issues considered,
      3. A summary of the testimony and other evidence presented,
      4. Findings of fact as developed at the hearing, and
      5. Recommendations for final disposition of the case.
    10. The Appropriate Administrative Officer will make his/her decision. This decision and the actions that have been taken shall be presented to both parties in writing. If the administrator officer does not accept the recommendations of the grievance committee, a written statement of the reasons for so ruling must be given to both parties and to the chairperson of the committee.
    11. If requested by the grievant or the responding party, normally within seven (7) calendar days of the notification of the decision, the decision of the Appropriate Administrative Officer may be subject to a review of the records by the Chancellor. Any review and decision by the Chancellor shall be made normally within thirty (30) calendar days. The decision of the Chancellor can be appealed to the President, who shall have thirty (30) calendar days in which to make a decision, which shall be final.
    12. Grievances shall receive prompt attention. The hearing and the report of the grievance committee shall normally be completed within sixty (60) calendar days of the formation of the grievance committee, and a final decision shall be made by the Appropriate Administrative Officer normally within ten (10) calendar days thereafter. In any case in which these time schedules should prove to be inadequate, the committee shall present, in writing, an amended time schedule to all parties involved.
 
Student Discrimination Grievance Procedure Form

(Use additional sheets if needed)

  1. Your Name
    Check One ................Male: Female

    Student I.D. No. Mailing Address
     
    City State Zip Code
    Telephone
     
  2. Submitted to (Campus specific title for Chief Student Personnel Administrator) on:
     
    Month Day Year
     
  3. The basis for the grievance is alleged discrimination on the basis of:
      
    Race   Color   Religion   Sex   Sexual Orientation   Gender Identity   Gender Expression
    National Origin   Age   Disability
     
  4. University official or unit against whom this grievance is filed:
      
    Name Department
     
  5. Explain in a clear and detailed statement the following:
    1. The nature of the grievance and a description of specific supporting evidence:
    2. The specific remedial action or relief sought:  
       
      *For grievances alleging discrimination to admission and/or treatment while enrolled in an educational program, employment on campus, or other matters of consequence relating to campus living or activities.
       
    3. A summary outlining with whom the point(s) of dissatisfaction were discussed and with what results: 
       
  6. Date you consider the "Informal discussion" ended:
     
    I have read and understand the above grievance form and grievance procedure for students. This grievance I am filing to the best of my knowledge, information or belief. 
     
    Signature              Date
      
    This form forwarded to (Appropriate Administrative Officer) 
     
    on by Month Day Year (Campus-specific title for Chief Student Personnel Administrator)
      
    (Campus Address) 
     
    cc: Director of Employee Relations/Affirmative Action
     
Suggested Format for Hearing

I. Opening remarks accompanied by written submission of parties' outlines of relevant, non-redundant evidence to be offered to committee. 

1. Grievant
2. Respondent

II. Consideration of any decision on objections to acceptance of items of evidence.

III. Presentation of relevant, non-redundant evidence.

a. Grievant (with additional questions from Respondent and/or committee)

1. Witnesses

2. Non-testimonial evidence

b. Respondent (with additional questions from Grievant and/or committee)

1. Witnesses

2. Non-testimonial evidence

IV. Opportunity for presentation of any rebuttal evidence. 

a. Grievant

b. Respondent

V. Presentation of additional evidence requested by committee.

VI. Summation of case 

a. Grievant

b. Respondent


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