Grievance Procedures


410.951.3932
Phone
410.951.3934
Fax
Hours and Location
Mon-Fri8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Sat-Sun9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tawes Center
1st Floor
Grievance Procedures
Office of Community Standards

Preamble

Coppin State University ("Coppin") recognizes that differences of opinion, complaints, or grievances may arise between its students, faculty, and staff. It is the responsibility of all Coppin students, faculty and staff to establish and maintain an educational environment within which a problem or complaint by a student can be promptly identified, presented, discussed, given fair and timely consideration and successfully resolved.

In many instances, complaints can be successfully resolved informally through meaningful dialogue between the student and the other individuals involved. In addition, or as an alternative means, complaints can also be successfully resolved formally through the use of the grievance procedures outlined below.

Any Coppin State University student shall have the right to make known a problem or complaint without fear of reprisal or coercion. Complaints by students arising out of allegations of inappropriate, unlawful, or unauthorized behavior by Coppin staff or faculty (including, but not limited to, discrimination, intimidation, and verbal, or physical abuse) may be brought to the attention of the University for resolution through the grievance procedures outlined below.

The term "student" shall mean any person currently enrolled in a course or courses at Coppin State University, either full-time or part-time.

Article I

Grievable Matters

A grievance shall be defined as any cause of complaint arising between a student and a Coppin faculty or staff member on a matter concerning an alleged act or acts of inappropriate, unlawful or unauthorized conduct by a faculty or staff member such as unlawful discrimination, including sexual orientation as defined in 136.0 VI-1.05 of the USM Policy [which specifically prohibits discrimination against students, faculty, and staff on the basis of sexual orientation in academic admission, financial aid, educational services, housing, student programs and activities, recruitment, hiring, employment, appointment, promotion, tenure, demotion, transfer, layoff or termination, rates of pay, selection for training and professional development, and employment services. "Sexual orientation" is defined as the identification, perception or status of an individual as to homosexuality, heterosexuality or bisexuality]. Further, acts of intimidation, verbal abuse, physical abuse or the improper application or interpretation of Coppin policies and rules over which Coppin has control, can be grieved. Notwithstanding the above, complaints concerning student academic matters are grievable under procedures entitled "Student Academic Due Process," and complaints of sexual harassment are grievable under the separate procedures entitled "Coppin State University Grievance Procedures for Complaints of Sexual Harassment."

Separate Procedures for Filing Complaints of Sexual Harassment

The sexual harassment of a student by a faculty or staff member at Coppin State University is expressly prohibited by the Coppin State University Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment. Copies of this Policy and the Coppin State University Grievance Procedures for Complaints of Sexual Harassment may be obtained from the Office for Student Affairs. As stated in the Policy, a student may choose to process a complaint of an incident of sexual harassment informally through participation in a confidential investigation conducted by the University's Affirmative Action Officer. A student wishing to process a complaint of sexual harassment informally

Non-Grievable Matters

Notwithstanding Section A, no complaint shall be reviewed under these procedures if the complaint requests to overturn or to change:

  • An official policy, regulation, or procedure of Coppin or the University System of Maryland (USM).
  • An official decision or action by the Board of Regents, the Chancellor, or the President of Coppin.
  • Any matter the remedy for which would contravene or interfere with any such official policy, regulation, procedure, decision, or action.

Decision Restrictions

No decision can be rendered at any level of these grievance procedures if the decision conflicts with or modifies:

  • A policy approved by the Board of Regents of the University of Maryland System.
  • Applicable statutes.
  • An administrative regulation issued under appropriate statute.

Article II Grievance Procedures

Purpose

A conference or hearing conducted pursuant to these grievance procedures is not an adversarial proceeding between the Grievant and the person who is alleged to have participated in the misconduct. The purpose of a conference or hearing conducted pursuant to these grievance procedures is to fully inform Coppin of the nature and truth of the alleged misconduct so that Coppin can promptly and fairly decide how the grievance shall be resolved and what, if any, discipline is appropriate.

Timely Grievances

A grievance must be brought to the attention of the Judicial Affairs Advisor within twenty (20) calendar days of the alleged misconduct or within twenty (20) calendar days of the student having reasonable knowledge of the alleged misconduct.

Appeal Periods

The period during which an appeal may be filed under these procedures shall commence to run upon a person's receipt of the written decision sought to be appealed. A person is deemed to have received a decision either on the date the decision is hand-delivered or three days following the mailing of the decision by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the person's most recent address on file with the University, whichever occurs first.

  1. Step one - Judicial Affairs Advisor
    • A student wishing to file a complaint shall file a written grievance with the Judicial Affairs Advisor. The Grievance shall be signed by the Grievant and shall contain a concise statement of the facts relative to the alleged act of misconduct including: (1) the date of the act, (2) the location of the act, (3) the name of the person participating in the act, (4) the names of any witnesses to the act, and (5) the relief sought.
    • Within five working days after receipt of the Grievance, the Judicial Affairs Advisor shall hold a conference with the Grievant, and other person(s) involved in the conduct including witnesses to the conduct, either individually or together, to determine the facts relative to the Grievance and whether the conduct which occurred was inappropriate, unlawful or unauthorized conduct by a Coppin faculty or staff member.
    • Within 5 working days following the conclusion of the conference, the Judicial Affairs Advisor shall issue a written report as to the facts which occurred, whether the conduct which occurred constitutes inappropriate, unlawful or unauthorized conduct by a Coppin faculty or staff member.
    • A copy of the Step One Report shall be sent to the Grievant and the Coppin faculty or staff member(s) who were alleged to have participated in the misconduct, and to the appropriate body (Academic Affairs, and Human Resources) for their appropriate action.
    • If the Grievant is not satisfied with the Step One Finding(s), the Grievant may, within 5 working days from receipt of the report, appeal the decision to Step Two.
  2. Step Two - Hearing Before the Judicial Appeals Board
    • An appeal of a Step One Finding(s) shall be in writing and signed by the Grievant and shall state the reason(s) for the appeal and contain a concise statement of all facts in support of the appeal. The Grievant shall also attach to the appeal any documents in support of the appeal.
    • Within 5 work days from receipt of an appeal from a Step One Finding(s), the Judicial Appeals Board shall notify the Grievant, the faculty or staff member(s) alleged to have participated in the misconduct, and any witnesses of the date of the hearing.
    • The Judicial Appeals Board Chairperson shall serve as the Hearing Officer and shall commence a hearing within 10 work days of receipt of the appeal from Step One.
    • At the hearing, the Judicial Affairs Advisor shall present evidence in support of the report finding(s) rendered at Step One. The Grievant shall present evidence in support of the appeal.
    • Both the Judicial Affairs Advisor and the Grievant shall have the opportunity to make opening and closing statements, introduce written evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and offer testimony. Additionally, the Judicial Affairs Advisor/Provost or designee may question the Grievant, the Judicial Appeal Board Chairperson, and any witnesses.
    • Within five (5) work days following the conclusion of the hearing, the Vice President for Student Affairs shall issue a written report as to the facts which occurred, whether the conduct which occurred constitutes inappropriate, unlawful or unauthorized behavior by Coppin staff or faculty member.
    • Copy of the Step Two Finding(s) shall be sent to the Grievant and the Coppin faculty or staff member(s) who were alleged to have participated in the misconduct, and to the appropriate body (Academic Affairs, and Human Resources) for their appropriate action.
    • If the Grievant is not satisfied with the Step Two findings, the Grievant may, within 5 work days from receipt of the decision, appeal the report to Step Three.
  3. Step Three - President
    • An appeal of a Step Two Finding(s ) shall be filed with the President. The Grievance shall be in writing and signed by the Grievant and shall state the reason(s) for the appeal and contain a concise statement of all facts in support of the appeal. The Grievant shall also attach to the appeal any documents in support of the appeal.
    • Prior to rendering a written decision, the President, at his/her sole discretion, may hold a conference with the Grievant, the persons alleged to have participated in the misconduct, and any witnesses.
    • Within 5 work days from receipt of an appeal from a Step Two Finding(s), the President shall issue a written decision as to the facts which occurred, whether the conduct occurred constitutes inappropriate, unlawful or unauthorized behavior by a Coppin staff or faculty member and what discipline by Coppin, if any, shall be imposed. The decision of the President shall be the final decision.