112 - Student Complaints and Grievances
Legal Reference: Minnesota State Board Policy 3.8
Responsible Office: Student Affairs
Responsible Officer: Dean of Students
Reference: Minnesota State Policy 3.8 Student Complaints and Grievances and Procedure 3.8.1 Student Complaints and Grievances
PURPOSE: To ensure students have a process to resolve student complaints and grievances when no other designated complaint, grievance, or appeal process applies to the situation.
A student has the right to seek a remedy for a dispute or disagreement through the complaints and grievances procedures. The procedures must not substitute for other grievance procedures specific in board or college policies or procedures, regulations, or negotiated agreements.
This policy does not apply to academic grade disputes. Grade appeals must be handled under the academic policy of the college or university.
Student Complaints and Grievances Procedures
This procedure details the informal and formal process for resolving complaints and grievances involving a student and a school employee.
Step A: Informal Process
If a problem exists involving a student and a college employee, the student should seek to resolve the problem by discussing the situation with the college employee. The student is encouraged to put their concerns in writing, identify the issue, identify possible options for resolution, and ask the employee to meet with them at a time when they can both provide the issue full attention. If the student is not comfortable speaking with the employee by themselves, they are encouraged to reach out to the supervisor of the employee for assistance in arranging and facilitating a conversation. If this does not resolve the issue, or this approach is not feasible in the particular situation, the student may refer the issue to the cabinet member who oversees the employee.
Step B Formal Process:
If the problem cannot be resolved through the informal process, the student may submit a grievance, in writing, to the cabinet member who oversees the employee. All grievances must be submitted in writing on the Student Grievance Form (PDF) which is available through the Student Affairs office. The aggrieved student should submit the completed grievance form to the cabinet member within 30 business days of the occurrence of the event on which the complaint is based. The cabinet member will review the complaint, meet with involved parties, and render a decision in the matter. The decision of the cabinet member is final, only with exceptions as described below.
Cabinet members include:
- College President
- Vice President of Academic Affairs
- Vice President of Student Affairs
- Vice President of Finance and Administration
- Director of Human Resources
Appeals to the Chancellor
A student may appeal the college's final decision to the chancellor if the grievance involves a board policy, system procedure, the actions of a college or university president, an issue of institutional or program quality such as a college's or university's compliance with the standards of an accrediting or licensing agency, or a claim of consumer fraud or deceptive trade practice. The decision of the chancellor is final and binding.
No retaliation of any kind shall be taken against a student for participation in a complaint or grievance. These procedures also shall protect student and employee data privacy rights. This grievance procedure does not prohibit the student from filing a grievance with any of the appropriate federal, state or local departments of human rights, in addition to or instead of the college process. However, students are encouraged to use the formal procedure above.
Approved: June 17, 1997
Reviewed: December 28, 2010; October 23, 2013; June 10, 2020
Revised: February 15, 2000; June 30, 2004; September 29, 2008; February 7, 2011; June 10, 2020