main navigation
my pace

University Grievance Procedure: Student Grievances

The University views students as responsible citizens who are integral members of the academic community. Policies and practices pertaining to student relations and services should reflect this point of view. All University officers will make every effort to ensure that this philosophy is implemented.

It is recognized, however, that regardless of how well intentioned people may be, complaints and misunderstandings are bound to arise. It is the purpose of the Student Grievance Procedures to ensure that these disagreements are expressed, explored, and resolved promptly and confidentially. Applicability of Procedures

The Student Grievance Procedures shall apply to student grievances relating to the following:

The University is strongly committed to maintaining working and learning atmosphere that is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation. The University is also an equal opportunity employer that is strongly committed to making all personnel decisions without regard to actual or perceived sex, gender or gender identity; race; color; national origin; religion; creed; age; disability; citizenship; marital or domestic partnership status; sexual orientation or affectional status; genetic predisposition or carrier status; military or veteran status; status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offenses or stalking; or any other characteristic protected by law federal, state or local law, rule or regulation.

 

All University employees, supervisors, administrators, officials, faculty members, students, and applicants, as well as everyone with whom the University does business (e.g., outside vendors, consultants, contractors) are prohibited from engaging in unlawful discrimination and/or harassment based on any of these protected characteristics.

Student Programs, Facilities, and Services: Allegations of violations of University policies and procedures with respect to programs, services, activities or facilities.

Student Relations: Allegations of unfair treatment from faculty, administration, staff or fellow students.

The following Student Grievance Procedures shall not apply to claims relating to academic standing, grading or discipline, except where discrimination is alleged. Such matters are within the jurisdiction of the Academic Standing Committee and the Dean of the school.

Definitions

  • Student Services Officer: Designated University official responsible for student life or services.
  • Dean for Students (Dean): Administrator responsible for the coordination and implementation of University policy regarding student services on each campus (including the Law School).
  • Affirmative Action Officer (AAO): Administrator responsible for coordination of University personnel policy and procedure regarding discrimination claims, (212) 346–1310.
  • University Grievance Reserve Pool (Pool): The group from which panelists will be drawn to hear grievances, shall be composed of faculty, staff, and students to be selected by the University in consultation with the AAO. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this procedure, pursuant to the Faculty Grievance Procedure adopted by the University, if a complaint is against a faculty member, the hearing panel shall be the appropriate Faculty Council Grievance Committee rather than a hearing panel selected from the Pool.
  • Discrimination Hearing Panel (Panel): Three-member panel formed to conduct a hearing with respect to a formal, written complaint alleging discrimination.

The Panel shall be selected from the Pool in the manner set forth hereto.

Procedures

Informal

  • 1a. Discuss the problem informally with the student, faculty member, dean or staff member involved and where appropriate, with supervisors or administrators at sequentially higher levels.
  • 1b. A student may not proceed to formal review unless informal review with those persons cited above has been exhausted.

Formal

  • la. If for any reason the grievance is not resolved informally to the satisfaction of the student within a reasonable period of time, the student should contact the Dean.
  • 1b. The student shall prepare and submit a formal written complaint on a form provided by the Dean, which shall serve as the basis for all further consideration.
  • 1c. The Dean shall conduct an investigation of the facts upon which the complaint is based. As soon as practicable, the Dean shall notify the grievant of the results of the investigation.
  • 1d. If for any reason the student is not satisfied with the results of the investigation conducted by the Dean, he/she may ask the Dean to submit the matter to the Student Services Officer.
  • 1e. As soon as practicable, the Dean shall:
    (i) prepare a statement summarizing the actions taken
    (ii) append such statement to the student's complaint form
    (iii) forward the complaint form to the Student Services Officer
  • 1f. Upon receipt of the formal complaint, the Student Services Officer shall consult with the University official having authority over the area or subject matter of the grievance. Within 30 days following receipt of the complaint, the Student Services Officer shall render a decision and convey such decision to the student in writing.
  • 1g. If the student is not satisfied by the decision obtained by the Student Services Officer, he/she may ask the Student Services Officer to appeal to the President of the University (President) on his/her behalf.
  • 1h. As soon as practicable, the Student Services Officer shall apprise the President of the details of the grievance and serve the President with a copy of the written complaint.
  • 1i. As soon as practicable after receipt of the written complaint, the President shall render a final decision which shall be conveyed in writing to the student.

Student programs, facilities, services, and student relations procedure to be suspended if issue of discrimination arises on same grievance: If an issue of discrimination arises at any time during the course of the foregoing procedure, such procedure shall be suspended pending resolution of the discrimination issue pursuant to the Discrimination Claim Procedure, as follows: Discrimination Claims: if for any reason the complaint is not resolved informally, or if an issue of discrimination has arisen during the course of the foregoing procedure, within a reasonable period of time, the grievant should contact the AAO.

  • 1a. The AAO shall discuss the problem or issue involved with the grievant and develop a plan to explore and resolve the grievance in keeping with the intent of University policy and practice.
  • 1b. If for any reason a complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of a student, he/she may ask the AAO to convene the Panel for a formal hearing.
  • 1c. The AAO shall assist grievant in the preparation of a formal written complaint or amend the complaint drafted prior to the discovery of a discrimination issue.
  • 1d. As soon as practicable after preparation of the formal complaint the AAO shall:
    (i) serve the complaint upon the respondent if applicable
    (ii) convene a Panel from the Pool.

Grievance Hearing Panel Selection

  • la. The grievant and the respondent shall each select one panelist from the Pool. The third panel member shall be selected by the aforesaid two panelists, and shall serve as Chairperson of the Panel.
  • 1b. In the event that either party does not select a panel member, the AAO shall fill the vacancy or vacancies from the Pool.
  • 1c. In the event the first two panelists selected cannot agree upon a third panelist, the AAO shall make such selection from the Pool.
  • 1d. The AAO shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Panel.

Hearing Procedures: The hearing is not intended as a trial before a court of law and, therefore, adherence to the strict rules of evidence is not required. Questions relating to the competency, relevancy or materiality of evidence and the latitude in conducting cross examination shall be based upon the Panel's determination of what is just, fair and reasonable under the circumstances.

Procedural Guidelines

  • 1a. Each of the parties shall be afforded an opportunity to present an opening and closing statement.
  • 1b. The grievant and his/her witnesses shall be heard first.
  • 1c. The respondent shall be given an opportunity to testify and present evidence and witnesses, but shall not be compelled to testify against his/her will nor shall an inference be drawn from the failure to testify.
  • 1d. Each of the parties or their advisers shall have an opportunity to hear and question adverse witnesses.
  • 1e. The decision of the Panel shall be based solely upon evidence presented at the hearing.
  • 1f. A finding of the Panel shall be based on a fair preponderance of credible evidence.
  • 1g. The burden of proof shall rest with the grievant.
  • 1h. A tape recording of the hearing shall be made at the University's expense. Said recording shall be retained by the AAO for a period of one year. A party to the proceeding may obtain a written transcript or a copy of the tape recording at his/her expense.
  • 1i. The failure of a party to either respond to the complaint or to participate in a hearing shall not preclude the panel from proceeding and rendering its decision.
  • 1j. Within 30 days after the conclusion of the hearing, the Panel shall prepare a written opinion as to whether the charges alleged in the complaint have been substantiated, stating the findings relied upon for such conclusion. A minority opinion and recommendation regarding action to be taken may be included. When such opinion is completed, the Panel shall serve copies thereof upon the parties and shall submit the opinion to the President. The Panel's opinion and recommendations are advisory in nature and are not binding upon the President. Decision and Notice of Decision: As soon as practicable after receipt of the Panel's opinion, the President shall render a written decision as to whether the charges have been substantiated. Such decision shall be communicated to the parties.

Remedial Action: If the President finds that the grievance’s charges have been substantiated, he/she shall confer with the grievant to determine appropriate corrective action.

Miscellaneous General Provisions
Time Limits: All time limits contained in the foregoing procedure may be extended by mutual written consent of the parties or by the AAO.

Confidentiality of Proceedings: The University shall take all reasonable steps to insure the confidentiality of all proceedings, and the records produced therefrom. However, should any matter developed during the course of the proceedings become public knowledge, the University reserves the right to issue appropriate statements.

Pace University Appropriate Use Policy for Information Technology
The Pace University Appropriate Use Policy for Information Technology (I.T.) is posted on the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) web page, www..pace.edu/doit. Information Technology (I.T.) at Pace University encompasses the use of all campus computing, networking (data, voice, and video), document services, educational media, and management information systems technologies. These I.T. resources support the instructional, research, and administrative activities of the University.

Users of these services and facilities have access to valuable University resources, to sensitive data and to external networks. Consequently, it is important for all users to behave in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner. In general, appropriate use means understanding the intended use for Pace I.T. (and making certain that your use complies), respecting the rights of other Pace information technology users, maintaining the integrity of the physical facilities, and obeying all pertinent license and contractual agreements.

It is the responsibility of each Pace student to read and abide by the terms of the Appropriate Use Policy for I.T.