Student Academic Grievance
Brigham Young University–Hawaii ("BYU–Hawaii" or "university") desires that faculty and students be provided consistent and equitable treatment in resolving disputes arising from the academic relationship between faculty and student(s).
On occasion, a student may feel that his or her work has been evaluated unfairly or inadequately by an instructor. In such an instance, the student is encouraged to pursue the matter informally, involving discussion between the student and faculty member regarding the issue. The scripture in D&C 42:88 is applicable and hopefully will serve as a guide: “And if they brother or sister offend thee, thou shall take him or her between him or her and thee alone; and if he or she confess thou shalt be reconciled.”
When the matter is such that a more formal process is needed, the following policy provides the means by which resolution of such grievances can be obtained.
The proper procedures for making changes to this policy are given in Table 1 of the Academic Governance Policy as follows:
Major Revision: Category F
Minor Revision: Category H
Elimination: Category F
3.1 Informal Grievance
The student first brings the grievance to the attention of the instructor involved. The resolution of grievances is best accomplished between student and instructor directly. The student must initiate the grievance within four months from the last day of the examination period of the semester in which the alleged unfair or inadequate evaluation took place. A grievance related to restrictions limiting participation in university academic programs must be initiated within 30 days of the decision in question. Where military service or an LDS mission makes it difficult to bring the grievance to the attention of the instructor or faculty dean, a later consideration may be permitted.
3.2 Unresolved Grievance
If the student brings the grievance to the attention of the instructor and it is not resolved to the student's satisfaction, or if the student feels strongly that the instructor will not deal with the grievance fairly, or if the instructor is no longer available on campus, the student can choose to take the matter to the dean of the instructor's academic faculty. The grievance must be submitted to the dean in writing. The dean will 1) consider the grievance, 2) review the written grievance with the instructor and the student, and 3) notify the student and instructor of the decision, in writing, within 30 days after the original grievance was filed. The dean will also communicate the decision to the Academic Vice President.
3.3 Grievance Appeal Process
In the event the student is dissatisfied with the decision by the faculty dean, the student can make an appeal to the Academic Vice President. The appeal should be made in writing no later than 30 days after the date of the dean's letter of decision. The written appeal should give the details of the grievance. The instructor will also be asked to submit a written statement.
The Academic Vice President will give the student the choice to have the grievance resolved directly by the Vice President or by a special three-member committee. If the student chooses the committee method, the Vice President will appoint a full-time member of the faculty as its chair. The other two members of the committee will be appointed by the student and the instructor, respectively. Each of these members must be either a full-time student or a full-time faculty member.
During the grievance hearing, both the student and the instructor will be free to call witnesses. The witnesses may be questioned by the Vice President or committee members. The number of witnesses involved and the conduct of the hearing will be determined by the Vice President or the committee chair.
In reviewing the grievance, the review panel, the affected student, and the affected faculty member are responsible to identify or provide relevant sources of information. The review is intended to be collegial and not adversarial. Accordingly, legal counsel is not allowed to attend nor advocate in the review process. Presentation of the issues should be concise and relevant. The chair of the review panel shall be responsible to conduct the review and establish applicable procedures if such are not available from the dean. Any formal presentation should be limited to pertinent issues, and panel members should be allowed sufficient time to ask questions. Following presentation and discussion of the grievance, the review panel will deliberate in closed session and submit its recommendation to the Vice President.
3.4 Grievance Decision
The decision of the Vice President or the committee (its majority vote) will be made within 10 days and will be final and not subject to appeal. The student and instructor will be notified of the decision in writing within 30 days of the date of the hearing.
The student should realize that the same process of appeal is available to the instructor. In other words, if the instructor is not satisfied with a faculty dean’s decision, appeal to the Academic Vice President (including the committee option) is possible.
4. RELATED POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Executive Sponsor: Academic Vice President
Approved by President’s Council: 05/20/2019
Full revision history maintained by the Office of Compliance & Ethics.