Many issues can be resolved through open and honest communication between the involved parties. Anyone who experiences a problem should first attempt to resolve the concern informally with the person(s) or office(s) most closely connected to the issue. If the issue cannot be resolved through this informal complaint process, the aggrieved person should file a formal, written grievance.
A grievance is a formal complaint of alleged unfair or discriminatory practice or decision by faculty, administration, or administrative staff. The central focus of a grievance is not a policy but rather the action of the individual against whom the grievance is filed.
A person filing a grievance must do so in writing and provide supportive evidence that shows that the unfavorable decision is in violation of institutional policy or practice, or that the person has been treated in a different way than other persons in similar circumstances have been treated.
Retaliation against any person who files a complaint or grievance of alleged discrimination, participates in an investigation, or opposes discriminatory employment or education practice or policy is strictly prohibited under institutional policy and by State and Federal law.
- The complainant shall submit the grievance by completing the online Formal Complaint/Grievance form requesting reconsideration of an unfavorable decision. The grievance will be forwarded to the faculty member, staff, or administrator in question (copied to the individual’s immediate supervisor), who will provide a written response to the complainant no later than 15 working days after receipt of the initial petition.
- If the complainant is not satisfied after step one, s/he may forward the original grievance petition and response to either the Academic Leadership Team (if filed against a faculty member) or the immediate supervisor (if filed against a staff member or administrator). The Academic Leadership Team or the immediate supervisor must respond in writing no later than 15 working days after receipt of the grievance petition.
- If the complainant is not satisfied after step two and if the grievance petition has not yet involved the College President, s/he may forward the original grievance petition and responses to the College President. The College President must respond by mail no later than 15 working days after receipt of the grievance petition. The decision of the College President shall be final.
The complainant who receives no response within 15 working days at any level in the grievance process may appeal to the next higher level. Those hearing the grievance at the higher level shall secure the written opinion of those who failed to respond at the lower level.
Although the College will make reasonable efforts to comply with these timelines, circumstances such as access to information, availability of personnel, and school breaks, may justify an extension of time.
If the attempt to resolve the complaint via internal institutional processes fails, students may appeal the College’s decision according to the following:
- For Massachusetts Residents and Online Students Located in Non-SARA Member States and Territories: After you have exhausted the grievance procedures made available by Eastern Nazarene College, as indicated above, if your grievance has not been resolved, you may file a consumer complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education by using the consumer complaint form located at https://www.mass.edu/forstufam/complaints/complaintform.asp.
- For Online Students Located in SARA Member States and Territories: After you have exhausted the grievance procedures made available by Eastern Nazarene College, as indicated above, if your grievance has not been resolved, you may file a complaint with the DHE by using the SARA complaint form located at https://www.mass.edu/foradmin/sara/complaints.asp. The DHE SARA complaint form should be used by students who are located in SARA member states and territories (refer to https://nc-sara.org/directory for a list). This includes all students who are located in SARA member states and territories for the purposes of completing out-of-state learning placements, such as internships, practica, clinical experiences, etc. in SARA member states and territories outside Massachusetts.