A student grievance must be based on an alleged violation of Montana Western’s regulations or policies. A grievance may not be based on the student’s judgment of an instructor or administrator’s competence. A grievance must be initiated within one calendar year following the alleged violation. The procedural steps outlined below are the primary mechanism for resolution of student grievances.
- A student who wishes to pursue a Policy Grievance must first meet with the Dean of Students to determine the exact policy that has been allegedly violated by the faculty member or administrator. The Dean of Students will consult with the Provost (for Faculty grievances) and/or the Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance (for Staff grievances) during this process. Upon determination of the policy, the student may proceed to Step 2.
- A student then attempts to resolve the matter by sending a signed, dated letter to the faculty member or administrator, who shall have ten (10) working days to respond in writing with a decision. The Dean of Students may advise the student on the nature and content of the letter.
- If the student deems that the faculty member or administrator’s response is unsatisfactory, or if the faculty member or administrator does not respond, the Dean of Students may convene a mediation between the parties to determine if a resolution is possible. A neutral mediator will be designated to hear the case and help the parties communicate. The Dean of Students will provide guidelines for this mediation to all parties.
- If the grievance is not resolved after Step 3, and the student deems further action is necessary, the student will direct the grievance to the Dean of Students within five (5) working days of the mediation. The Dean of Students will proceed with organizing a Policy Grievance Committee to hear the case. This Committee shall have twenty (20) working days to make a decision on the grievance.
The Policy Grievance Committee shall review student grievances as necessary. The Campus Policy Grievance Committee shall consist of members from these areas:
- Affirmative Action Committee member
- A Student Services Representative
- Two College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Members
- Two School of Education, Business & Technology Faculty Members
- A member of ASUMW Student Senate
It is the intent of Montana Western’s grievance procedure that informed attempts be made in every instance of conflict to resolve the concerns of the parties involved. In the event that informed discussion or resolution with the Policy Grievance Committee is not successful in resolving a student’s concern, students may appeal in writing to the Montana Western Chancellor. The Chancellor shall have thirty (30) working days to collect necessary information, interview involved parties, and file a written decision with the student. Following this, students have the right to appeal to The University of Montana President, the Commissioner of Higher Education, and finally the Montana University System Board of Regents.