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Grievance

Grievance Procedures

Richmont Graduate University maintains that all people should be treated with dignity and strives to treat everyone with respect. Richmont students are expected to demonstrate compassion for individual persons, sensitivity to the needs of the communities of which they are a part, a commitment to justice and inclusion, a burden that the whole of God’s will be obeyed on earth, personal integrity, a desire for moral growth, and mutual accountability. The University Community Standards discusses the importance of respect for people and how we strive to live in community together.

We always encourage students to communicate clearly with staff and faculty so that any concerns can be dealt with before the problem escalates, and the Office of Student Affairs is here to aid in that process. Students are encouraged to work with the Office of Student Affairs (or another advocate or support noted below) to settle grievances informally through open dialogue with all parties involved.

Please consult the Student Handbook for the complete university Grievance Procedures. Keep reading for instructions on how to submit an informal or formal grievance online.

Grievances Between Students & Faculty/Staff

Types of Grievances

There are two types of grievances: Academic and Non-Academic.

Academic Grievances

These are defined as any situation related to academic concerns, including, but not limited to, complaints regarding academic assignments, grades, problems with a faculty member specifically related to academic issues, and grievances related to the Records Office. Academic grievances are handled by the Dean of the School of Counseling or Dean of the School of Ministry. Please see the Academic Appeal Policy in the Graduate Catalog for instructions on Academic Grievances.

Non-Academic Grievances

Non-academic grievances cover a wide range of situations and may apply to instances when a faculty or staff member has violated the university’s Community Standards. Any grievance not related to academics falls under this category. Students must file a grievance within 30 days of the incident or the most recent incident.

NOTE: Should any situation arise in which a student fears for his or her safety or well-being, that student should not hesitate to involve other parties such as security or law enforcement. Student safety is a top priority.

In cases where the student has a concern or believes that a university Community Standard has been breached by a faculty or staff, the student is first encouraged to reach out for consultation and/or support from one of the following:

  • Consult with their faculty advisor or a trusted faculty for support and guidance
    Consult with a Student Advocate from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) for support and guidance; Students can be connected with an ODI representative by emailing ODI.Advocate@Richmont.edu
    Consult with the Office of Student Affairs for support and guidance. Students can connect with Student Affairs by emailing studentaffairs@richmont.edu

Levels of Non-Academic Grievances

Two levels of grievances exist – Informal and Formal. Both levels are written complaints by the student. Records of the complaint will be maintained in the Office of Student Affairs.

1) Informal Grievances

All informal grievances are taken seriously. The reason this first step is categorized as “informal” is that it may involve any of the following actions to facilitate resolution:

  • Explaining university policies to students
  • Encouraging students to communicate directly and clearly to other parties
  • Helping students to consider their own role in the situation
  • Speaking to other parties involved (with the student’s permission) to clarify misunderstandings by either party
  • Other means of advocacy as needed

In an informal grievance, the Office of Student Affairs will review the information provided and investigate the grievance with the relevant departments in a timely manner. As is the case with any type of grievance, the student is first encouraged to reach out for consultation and/or support from any of the resources previously listed. All information will be confidential and kept on a “need-to-know” basis. The Office of Student Affairs will alert other relevant administration if an informal grievance has been expressed regarding faculty or staff within their department.

The Office of Student Affairs may request a meeting with the student filing the grievance to better understand their concern and the context of their situation.

Upon completion of the informal inquiry, the findings, and any recommended resolution as required are communicated to the student in writing.

2) Formal Grievances

If an informal grievance has been filed and, despite the efforts of the Office of Student Affairs, the student decides that there has not been a satisfactory resolution to the situation, the student can choose to file their complaint at the level of a formal grievance. This process necessitates the convening of a committee to hear the complaint and reach a final decision.

The Student Grievance Committee is a standing committee of Richmont Graduate University. If any staff or faculty member on the standing committee is involved in the situation, he or she will not be a part of the committee hearing the case and will take no part in the review of the case. No one who is a close personal relation to the student may serve on the committee.

The Student Grievance Committee includes the Dean of Students, Student Services Officer, Dean of School of Counseling, Dean of School of Ministry, and Director of Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

How to Submit an Informal or Formal Grievance

Students may file a grievance online through the Office of Student Affairs. In order to file a grievance, the individual must provide a written and signed statement detailing the factors relating to the grievance.

All matters related to an informal grievance are confidential.

Parties against whom formal grievances are made have the right to know the nature of grievances made against them. However, a student’s identity can be kept anonymous in the cases of an informal grievance. Records of Grievances are maintained for five years.

Current Students