Student Grievance Officer


Students who have complaints, grievances, or concerns regarding courses taken at the University of Louisville or other university policies or services  should contact the Student Grievance Officer to have the issues resolved in an expeditious, fair, and amicable manner. The University’s Student Grievance Procedures are outlined in detail below. Students should first seek to resolve their complaints through informal discussion and administrative channels. The same resources are provided to on-campus and off-campus students. If you need assistance accessing the process please contact the Dean of Students Office.

Professor Brenda Hart from the Speed School of Engineering was appointed as the Student Grievance Officer.  Professor Hart was chosen by the Office of the President from a list of names submitted by the Student Government Association. Professor Hart has served at UofL since 1975 and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. The main role of the Student Grievance Officer is to inform students of their rights and obligations under the University grievance procedures as listed in the Redbook.

Professor Brenda G. Hart

brenda@louisville.edu

852-6102

 

Student Grievance Procedures (from The Redbook)

 

Sec. 6.8.1 Individual Recourse

Any students who believe they have been treated unfairly, discriminated against, or have had their rights abridged may initiate a grievance within one year from the event giving rise to the complaint. The students shall first seek to have the matter resolved through informal discussion and through administrative channels.

As used herein the phrase "persons directly involved" means the grievant and those who are alleged to have brought about the condition upon which the grievance is based.

 

Sec. 6.8.2 Student Grievance Officer

There shall be a Student Grievance Officer nominated from a list of three persons other than students by the Student Senate and appointed by the President. The representatives of the Student Senate shall meet with the Office of the President to establish and review the duties and functions, the term and structure of the office, and budgetary arrangements necessary for the effective functioning of the Student Grievance Officer.

The Student Grievance Officer is responsible for informing students of their rights and obligations under the grievance procedure and especially the deadlines that have been established. The Student Grievance Officer shall seek to resolve informally as many grievances as possible.

 

Sec. 6.8.3 Unit Level Academic Grievance Procedure

The faculty of each academic unit specified in The Redbook shall, in consultation with the Student Council of that unit, establish a unit Academic Grievance Committee and procedures for processing student grievances concerning academic matters. Academic matters are defined as those concerning instructional activities, research activities, activities closely related to either of these functions, or decisions involving instruction or affecting academic freedom. Each unit's student grievance committee shall receive and make recommendations on formal grievances to its dean.

 

Sec. 6.8.4 Nonacademic Grievance Procedure

The Vice President for Student Affairs, in consultation with the Student Senate, shall establish the Nonacademic Grievance Committee to hear and make recommendations to the Vice President on formal student grievances concerning nonacademic matters which include all matters not covered by 6.8.3. A student may not file a grievance under this procedure involving matters arising in University housing. A student may not file a grievance which affects students as a class. On each grievance filed under the nonacademic procedures, the Student Grievance Officer shall recommend to the committee whether sufficient grounds exist to justify a hearing. Student disciplinary appeals are covered by Section 6.7.3 and may not be the subject of student grievances filed under this section.

 

Sec. 6.8.5 Hearing Procedures in Original Jurisdiction

Each grievance committee shall recommend to the dean of the unit within twenty working days of receipt of a written statement of any grievance whether to accept a case for hearing. The committee shall hear the case when the dean concurs. The written statement shall contain the following:

 

A brief narrative of the condition giving rise to the grievance;

A designation of the parties involved; and

A statement of the remedy requested.

 

The grievant or any person directly involved shall have the right to challenge any member of the committee for cause. In the event of challenge, the committee shall consider and rule on the challenge. The challenged member shall not vote on the challenge. In the case of disqualification, absence, or other inability to serve, alternates shall serve when possible.

 

The grievance committee shall recommend to the dean of the unit whether there are sufficient grounds to accept a case for hearing. The committee shall notify, in writing, all persons directly involved as to the reason for its recommendation. The action of the grievance committee as to whether to grant a hearing when accepted by the dean of the unit shall be final and binding on all parties except when subject to the conditions of appeal. If a case is to be heard, such hearing shall be granted within thirty working days of receipt of the written statement of grievance, although such hearing may be subject to reasonable delay caused by availability of parties, or vacations, unless the grievance committee determines that delay would cause hardship to one or more of the parties to the grievance.

 

Sec. 6.8.6 Unit Academic Grievance Committee Report

Each Unit Academic Grievance Committee shall make its report, with recommendations for settlement of the case, to the dean of the unit with copies to the persons directly involved in the grievance. In the event that the final decision of the dean is not in accord with the grievance committee's recommendation, the reasons for that decision shall be stated in writing to all persons directly involved and to the grievance committee.

If the grievance directly involves the dean, the report of the grievance committee shall be referred for decision to the University Provost. The dean shall also receive a copy of the report.

 

Sec. 6.8.7 Nonacademic Grievance Committee Report

The Nonacademic Grievance Committee shall make its report, with recommendations for settlement of the case, to the Vice President for Student Affairs with copies to the persons directly involved in the grievance and to the proper administrative officer. In the event that the final decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs or of the proper administrative officer is not in accord with the grievance committee's recommendation, the reasons for that decision shall be stated in writing to all persons directly involved and to the grievance committee.

If the grievance directly involves the Vice President for Student Affairs, the report of the grievance committee shall be referred to the President or his designee. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall also receive a copy of the report.

When the desired remedy lies outside the jurisdiction of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the vice president shall forward the decision to the appropriate vice president or an administrator designated by the President as having a role comparable to that of a vice president for appropriate action. If the recommended remedy is not implemented, the responsible administrator shall state the reasons in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs and all persons directly involved in the grievance.

 

Sec. 6.8.8 Rehearing

A grievance committee, within twenty-one working days after the delivery of its report, may be petitioned to reconsider its decision upon the basis of evidence of misrepresentation of material facts or upon the basis of newly discovered evidence clearly not available at the original hearing.

 

Sec. 6.8.9 University Student Grievance Committee

The University Student Grievance Committee shall consist of four faculty members and three student members. The President of the University shall select one of the committee's faculty members to serve as chair of the committee. The chair shall vote only in the case of a tie in the voting by the other members of the committee. The committee shall also have three alternate faculty members and three alternate student members. The faculty members shall be elected for staggered three-year terms by the Faculty Senate. The student members shall be elected for one-year terms by the Student Senate. Insofar as possible, the faculty and student members shall be selected in such a manner as to be representative of the broad range of academic units at the University of Louisville.

 

Sec. 6.8.10 Original Jurisdiction of the University Student Grievance Committee

The University Student Grievance Committee shall have original but not exclusive jurisdiction over grievances which involve two or more academic units or involve issues which either the Unit Academic Grievance Committee or Nonacademic Grievance Committee can show that it is unable to consider, or are outside its jurisdiction, or involve disagreement among two or more student grievance committees.

 

Sec. 6.8.11 Appellate Jurisdiction of the University Student Grievance Committee

If the final decision of a dean, vice president, or an administrator designated by the President as having a role comparable to that of vice president is not in concurrence with the recommendation of the grievance committee, any party directly involved in a grievance may appeal to the University Student Grievance Committee within twenty-one working days from the date of the final decision of the responsible administrator.

An appeal to or a hearing by the University Student Grievance Committee shall be based upon the record established by the Unit Academic Grievance Committee or the Nonacademic Grievance Committee. The committee then may request additional information.

 

Sec. 6.8.12 Formal Procedure

Both the appellate and the original jurisdiction of the University Student Grievance Committee shall be initiated through a written grievance to the chair of the University Student Grievance Committee with a copy sent to the Office of the President. The University Student Grievance Committee shall decide whether there are sufficient grounds for a hearing and in doing so it shall consult with the Student Grievance Officer.

 

Sec. 6.8.13 Hearing Procedure

If a grievance is to be heard involving original jurisdiction, the University Student Grievance Committee shall first hear evidence presented by the grievant. The committee shall not be bound by strict rules of evidence and may admit any evidence of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort shall be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available. All parties in a grievance shall have the right of one peremptory challenge with reference to the membership of the committee.

 

Sec. 6.8.14 Remedies

In a case involving original jurisdiction the University Student Grievance Committee shall render a finding of fact and, where appropriate, recommend a remedy after hearing all of the evidence.

In a case involving appellate jurisdiction the University Student Grievance Committee must not substitute its judgment on the merits for that of any faculty body or administrator whose decision is being considered. The committee may affirm the decision of a faculty body or administrator whose decision is the subject of the grievance, but should the committee find that the decision being appealed was not based on proper consideration, it may direct that a reconsideration be made, indicating specifically the errors it believes have been committed. After such reconsideration, the committee shall recommend affirmation, modification, or reversal of the decision as reconsidered, and shall submit same as the committee report.

Reports of the University Student Grievance Committee involving grievances concerned with academic matters shall be sent to the vice president responsible for the academic unit involved. Reports of the University Student Grievance Committee involving a grievance against a vice president or involving a grievance of a nonacademic nature shall be sent to the Office of the President. The vice president and the Office of the President shall act upon the committee's report in the following manner:

The appropriate vice president or the Office of the President may accept the remedy recommended by the University Student Grievance Committee within twenty-eight working days, in which case the appropriate vice president or the Office of the President shall take action to implement the remedy.

The appropriate vice president or the Office of the President may remand the case once if in its judgment the finding of facts was clearly contrary to the weight of the credible evidence.

The appropriate vice president or the Office of the President may disagree with the recommendation in whole or in part, and in so doing it shall state its recommendations and reasons therefor, in writing, to the University Student Grievance Committee and to all persons directly involved, and shall provide an opportunity for response before taking final action. The appropriate vice president or the Office of the President is responsible for taking final action.