Student Concern, Complaint, and Grievance Procedures
Part 1. Purpose
The purpose of this procedure is to establish concerns, complaints, and grievances procedures and assist students with resolving their concerns, complaints, and grievances within the Minneapolis College community.
All Minneapolis College students are entitled to pursue their education in an environment that fosters academic achievement and their overall development. A student has the right to seek resolution where there has been improper, unfair, or arbitrary treatment by a college employee, department, or process.
This procedure is intended to outline the process for student concerns, complaints, and grievances regarding Minneapolis College or one of its employees.
This procedure does not apply to:
- Complaints regarding alleged discrimination or harassment, including allegations of retaliation for such complaints, or discrimination or harassment based on sex, race, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, familial status, or status with regard to public assistance. For complaints of discrimination or harassment, see College Policy 2.01 and Procedure 2.01.01.
- Students who are seeking a change to a grade in a course must follow the grade appeal policy outlined in College Policy 3.08.
- Petitions for exceptions to college regulations or procedures. Students seeking an exception to any admission, registration, or student services regulation or procedure may submit a written petition to the Registrar or the Vice President of Student Affairs, or their designee, for consideration.
Part 2. Definitions
Classroom Rule or Policy: A classroom rule/policy (e.g., the instructor’s individual attendance policy as stated in the syllabus) is not a College/Board rule, regulation, policy, or procedure. If a student has an issue with a classroom rule or policy, they should file a complaint rather than a grievance.
Respondent: The employee who is the subject of the complaint.
Complaint Decision-Maker: Typically, this is the respondent’s supervisor. In limited circumstances, that individual may delegate this responsibility to another supervisor or administrator at the college.
Appeal Decision-Maker: Typically, this is the Vice President of the respondent’s home division. The Vice President may delegate this responsibility to another administrator at the College.
Chancellor: The chancellor of the Minnesota State college and university system.
Part 3. Responsibilities
Student or group of students: Meets the timelines outlined in this policy and responds in a timely manner to college personnel seeking information about the complaint or grievance.
Student Complaint and Conduct Officer: Manages the Minneapolis College Student Complaint Process. In some cases, investigates the complaint on behalf of a decision-maker.
Complaint Decision Maker: Investigates and renders a decision on a student complaint.
Appeal Decision Maker: Investigates and renders a decision when a student appeals the decision of the complaint decision-maker.
Chancellor: If the grievance involves a board policy or system procedure, the actions of the college president, an issue of institutional or program quality such as the college's compliance with the standards of an accrediting or licensing agency, or a claim of consumer fraud or deceptive trade practice, a student may further appeal the college decision to the chancellor.
Part 4. Student Concern, Complaint, and/or Grievance Processes
Any student may file a complaint or grievance about the College or a college employee.
Subpart A. Procedure for Concerns
Students may file concerns with the Student Complaint and Conduct Officer electronically, in writing, or verbally. The Student Complaint and Conduct Officer will notify the proper department of the concern and communicate any additional information to the student thereafter.
Subpart B. Procedure for Complaints or Grievances
The following are the steps for both complaints and grievances:
- A student who chooses to file a complaint or grievance shall complete the electronic student complaint form. Verbal reports can be given to the Student Complaint and Conduct Officer, who will complete a complaint form on the student’s behalf using the information provided by the student. The complaint or grievance shall describe:
- The nature of the complaint or grievance,
- The facts on which it is based,
- The alleged violation, and
- The relief requested.
- A student may be offered mediation or other conflict resolution options before filing their complaint or during the complaint process. Both the student and respondent must agree to participate for mediation to take place.
- The individual investigating the complaint (i.e., the Student Complaint and Conduct Officer or Decision-maker) shall meet or communicate electronically with the Respondent to discuss the complaint/grievance.
- The individual investigating the complaint may meet with the Respondent or witnesses to conduct their investigations.
- Decision-maker or Student Complaint and Conduct Officer shall communicate the Decision-maker’s decision in writing to both the student and the respondent.
At any time during the complaint process, a student may have a support person in attendance. This support person may not speak on behalf of the student.
Complaints and Grievances will be considered and processed when they are submitted by the end of the semester following the first occurrence of the alleged event giving rise to the complaint or grievance, or after the student obtained knowledge of the first occurrence of the event giving rise to the complaint.
In limited circumstances, a complaint may be filed later than the end of the semester following the first alleged occurrence but not later than one calendar year after the first alleged occurrence, with the approval of the Vice President of the home division of the employee who is the subject of the complaint/grievance. The Decision-maker or Student Complaint and Conduct Officer will communicate the Decision-maker’s decision in writing to both the student and the respondent.
If a complaint or grievance is not appealed to the next step within the established time limits, it shall be considered settled based on the last decision, and the file will be closed.
The Student Complaint and Conduct Officer or Decision-maker may close a file if the reporting party becomes unresponsive to communications or disengages from the investigatory process.
Subpart C. Appealing a Complaint or Grievance Decision
Students may appeal the decision of the Decision-maker in a complaint or grievance.
The following are the steps for the appeal process:
- A student who appeals a complaint or grievance decision begins that process by following procedures outlined by the decision maker. The student does not need to repeat the information they included in their initial complaint/grievance filing but may supply additional information that was not supplied during the complaint/grievance process or may indicate what they thought was wrong about the Decision-maker’s decision.
- The Appeal Decision-maker may meet with the student and/or Respondent to conduct their investigation or may simply review the information already provided as part of the original complaint/grievance process. The student, however, has the right to meet with the Appeal Decision-maker if the student wishes to do so.
- The Decision-maker or Student Complaint and Conduct Officer will communicate the Decision-maker’s decision in writing to both the student and the respondent.
No appeal will be considered unless it is submitted to the proper Vice President or other designee of the College President within 10 days of the Decision-maker’s decision being communicated to the student.
The College will work to resolve student complaints or grievances within 60 days from the date it is filed. Circumstances for each situation vary and it may take longer in limited cases. Should a resolution to a complaint take longer than 60 days, the reason will be communicated to the student by the college.
For a complaint or for a grievance that involves a college rule or regulation, the decision of the Appeal Decision-Maker is final and binding. When a grievance is appealed to the Chancellor per Part 3 of this policy, the decision of the Chancellor is final and binding.
Owner(s) Title: Vice President of Student Affairs
Date of Adoption: 11/16/22
Date of Implementation (if different from adoption date): N/A
Date Last Amended: N/A
History and Subject of Revisions: N/A
Related State, Federal, or System Laws, Regulations, or Policies: Board Policy 2.1 Campus Student Associations; System Procedure 1B.1.1 Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment Investigation and Resolution; System Procedure 1B.3.1 Response to Sexual Violence; System Procedure 3.6.1 Student Conduct; System Procedure 3.8.1 Student Complaints and Grievances; System Procedure 3.21.1 Transfer of Undergraduate Courses, Credit, Associate Degrees and the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum; Operating Instruction 188.8.131.52 Student Fee Referendum; Higher Learning Commission Federal Compliance Overview