Academic disputes can arise relating to alleged mistakes or inequities in grading; application of due dates and extensions for late work; imposition of additional requirements after the course has begun; and similar issues. With respect to any academic grievance or dispute other than one involving academic integrity, a student should use the following grievance procedure.
Where a student has questions or concerns about any requirement relating to a course or to any grading issue, the student should first attempt to resolve the problem directly with the instructor. If the issue is resolved informally between student and instructor, the matter ends, and no formal record need be maintained.
If an academic grievance is not settled informally, or if the student wishes to pursue the matter formally, the student must file a written grievance with the Dean of Students within 10 business days after the issue for complaint has occurred. The Dean of Students (or designee) will consider the grievance within ten business days, determine whether it merits continued review, and dismiss it if it does not. The student grievant will be notified in writing if the Dean or designee determines that the grievance lacks merit, and this written decision is final.
If the Dean of Students or designee concludes upon initial review of the grievance that continued consideration is warranted, the Dean (or designee) shall then conduct an appropriate investigation, discussing the matter with the complaining student and with the instructor at issue, permitting both such parties to submit written materials if appropriate, and undertaking any other necessary investigation. The Dean of Students or designee may effect a negotiated resolution between the student and faculty member at this stage, which resolution should be written, signed by the student and faculty member, and retained by the office of the Dean of Students.
Upon conclusion of such an investigation without a negotiated resolution, the Dean of Students or designee shall determine whether the grievance has merit and whether any relief is warranted. If the Dean of Students or designee finds that the grievance lacks merit or that no changes to the challenged grade or course requirements are warranted, the Dean of Students or designee shall so notify the grievant and the affected faculty member in writing, with a copy of such resolution to be sent to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Faculty. In this situation, the decision of the Dean of Students (or designee) shall be final.
If the Dean of Students (or designee) determines, after investigation, that a student’s academic grievance has merit and that a change in a grade or course requirement maybe warranted, the Dean of Students (or designee) shall prepare a written recommendation for the consideration of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Faculty. The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/ Dean of Faculty shall discuss the proposed recommendation with the student grievant, affected faculty member, and other members of the faculty or administration, as appropriate. The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/ Dean of Faculty may also investigate the grievance.
If investigation is deemed appropriate, the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Faculty may ultimately accept, reject, or modify the recommended resolution. The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/ Dean of Faculty will notify the student grievant and the affected faculty member of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Faculty’ decision upon the recommendation, which shall constitute the final decision on the grievance.
The Academic Grievance Procedure set forth above does not apply to any issues relating to academic integrity, student discipline, or denial of accommodation, which are governed by separate, specific procedures set forth in this Handbook. With respect to any other disputed decisions or conduct by Erikson representatives, however, a student is free to file a grievance under the above Academic Grievance Procedure section, and a modified version of the investigation and resolution process set forth above will be used to resolve the disputed issue.
The Institute reserves the right to modify its Academic Grievance Procedure as appropriate to the specific nature of the grievance; for instance, depending upon the nature of the grievance or the identity of the Erikson representative whose conduct is being challenged, the above procedure might be changed, or a different decision maker designated, to allow for full and fair resolution of a particular grievance. The student grievant and any other parties to such a grievance will be notified if modifications to the Academic Grievance Procedure are implemented for any particular grievance. Where a grievance includes issues covered under one or more of the Institute’s applicable grievance procedures, the Institute will determine which such procedure will apply to the particular grievance and will notify the grievant and other parties to this effect. Any questions about how a grievance should be filed or how it will be processed should be directed to the Dean of Students or the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Faculty.
All of the grievance, appeal, and disciplinary procedures set forth in this Handbook are intended as fact finding and dispute resolution mechanisms and do not afford students any contractual rights. The Institute reserves the right to modify these procedures at any time and, where circumstances warrant in a particular case and at the Institute’s discretion, to modify, combine, or fashion a new procedure to address a particular case or dispute fully and fairly.
If a student is not satisfied with the outcome of Erikson Institute’s grievance procedure, the complaints (except for those involving grades or student conduct penalties) may be brought to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.