Student Rights, Responsibilities, and the Grievance Policy
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Students have the right to:
- Be informed of course requirements;
- Be evaluated fairly on the basis of their academic performance (their abilities and skills) as required by a professor as part of a course;
- Experience free and open discussion, inquiry, and expression, both in the classroom and in conference;
- Experience competent instruction and advisement.
- Take exception to the data or views presented and reserve judgment about matters of opinion;
- Expect protection against a professor's improper disclosure of student's views, beliefs, and political association which may surface as a result of instructing, advising, or counseling;
- Expect protection, through established procedures; against prejudicial or capricious evaluation (see Academic Integrity Policy, Student Code of Conduct, and Student Grievance Procedures sections).
Students have the responsibility to:
- Inquire about course requirements if they do not understand them or are in doubt about them;
- Maintain the standards of academic performance established for individual courses and for programs of study;
- Initiate an investigation if they believe their rights have been violated; (see Student Grievance section below);
- Learn the content of any course of study;
- Act in accordance with the NYIT standards of academic honesty as spelled out in the NYIT Academic Integrity Policy; and,
- Act in accordance with the NYIT Code of Conduct.
NYIT is committed to providing students with an education of the highest possible quality. However, from time to time, students may raise concerns, complaints or grievances about matters or issues relating to their experiences at NYIT. This document sets out the internal procedures that apply within NYIT for addressing student complaints and grievances. These procedures are designed to ensure that throughout NYIT there is a transparent process for ensuring student complaints and grievances are dealt with fairly, consistently and promptly.
The student grievance resolution procedures of NYIT are based on the following principles:
- That the procedures used to review and resolve complaints or grievances are fair and must be seen to be fair;
- Confidentiality will be respected for all parties, unless the use of the information is authorized by law;
- That staff involved in resolving complaints or grievances will act fairly at all times and ensure that conclusions will be based on a fair hearing of each point of view;
- There will be no reprisals or any disadvantage arising as a result of a student making a complaint or grievance in good faith;
- That complaints or grievances are handled in a timely manner with achievable deadlines specified for each stage in the resolution process;
- Any student who makes a complaint or grievance and any staff member or student on whom the complaint or grievance has a direct impact, is regularly informed of the progress of the matter;
Where the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome proposed by the decision-maker, the student is entitled to seek a review, either on procedural or substantive grounds, from a higher internal body or an appropriate external agency.
TYPES OF STUDENT GRIEVANCES
These are usually complaints or appeals against academic decisions. They include but are not limited to:
- Academic progress decisions
- Assessment matters such as course grades
- A decision of a member of academic staff that affects an individual or groups of students
- Selection or admission decisions
- Content or structure of academic programs, nature of teaching, or assessment
- Issues relating to authorship and intellectual property.
These relate to decisions and actions associated with administrative or academic services. They include but are not limited to:
- Administration of policies, procedures and rules by central administrative and student support groups, faculties and departments.
- A decision by an administrative staff member that affects an individual or groups of students.
- Access to NYIT resources and facilities.
GROUNDS FOR COMPLAINT OR GRIEVANCE
Without limiting the circumstances which may give rise to a complaint or grievance, a student has valid grounds for making a complaint or grievance or lodging an appeal against a decision made in relation to a complaint or grievance, where the student considers he or she has been adversely affected by one or more of the following:
- Improper, irregular or negligent conduct by a NYIT staff member.
- Failure by a NYIT staff member to act fairly.
- A decision that has been made without sufficient consideration to facts, evidence or circumstances of specific relevance to the student.
- Failure by NYIT to make a decision within a timely manner.
- A penalty that, where applied, is or would be too harsh.
PROCEDURES FOR THE HANDLING AND RESOLUTION OF COMPLAINTS AND GRIEVANCES
This section outlines internal procedures that apply to the handling of academic and administrative complaints and grievances
When a student has a complaint about any of the matters listed, he or she should first discuss the matter with the person concerned. If the student has concerns about raising the matter with this person, then he or she should discuss it with the head of the relevant department or administrative unit or with the chair or of the relevant Faculty. NYIT expects that in most cases the discussion of the concern or complaint with the relevant staff member will result in a prompt resolution of the matter which both parties will find acceptable.
- When the informal approach to dealing with the student's concerns does not lead to a resolution that is acceptable to the student, the student should commence the formal process for resolution by meeting with the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students and filling out an Incident Report Form.
- Based on the student's report, the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students discusses the matter with the party targeted in the grievance. If the targeted party consents to an outcome acceptable to the student following a reconsideration of the topic based on a review of NYIT policy or other evidence regarding the matter in question, the grievance is considered resolved and the student is contacted by the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
- If the targeted party rejects the student's evidence or argument as put forth in the Incident Report Form, the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students convenes a hearing of a grievance investigating committee. The investigating committee is chaired by the Director of Student Affairs/Dean of Students and includes a full-time faculty member and a representative of the Student Life Organization. If the grievance is of an academic nature, then the committee also includes the Executive Director/Campus Dean and the Assistant Dean/Supervisor of the relevant program. If the grievance is of an administrative nature, the committee includes the Director of Administration/Director of Operations and External Affairs and the highest-ranking officer from the relevant unit.
- The student in question and any party named in the grievance are allowed to present evidence at and bring witnesses to the grievance hearing. Minutes of the meeting will be recorded.
- After hearing the evidence, the committee members discuss the evidence in private and write their decision based on a majority vote for distribution to the two parties.
- If either party wishes to dispute the decision of the committee, an appeal can be made to the Executive Director/Campus Dean. Based on the minutes of the grievance hearing and any additional evidence that is considered relevant, the Executive Director/Campus Dean makes a final and binding decision on the grievance and conveys this outcome to the parties involved.
WITHDRAWAL OF COMPLAINTS OR GRIEVANCES
A student may withdraw a complaint or grievance at any time during the grievance resolution process and in this case the matter will be concluded and deemed to be resolved. If the original complaint or grievance was made in writing then the withdrawal must also be in writing to the relevant staff member who is handling the matter at the time the withdrawal is being affected or, in cases before the Assistant Dean, the Executive Director/Campus Dean.
YOUR TIME AT NYIT
All NYIT employees: management, faculty and staff are available to assist students with any questions that may not be addressed in the student handbook. We hope that you enjoy studying at NYIT and that your development benefits your career and expands your social circle within the global NYIT community.