Grievances shall be made by written communication addressed to the Associate Dean for Educational Programs who will then pass along the grievance to the Academic Concerns Committee, or directly to the Chairperson of the Committee. The letter should indicate the specific nature of the grievance, list all other administrative remedies pursued by the grieving party with respect to the complaint, and the solution the aggrieved is seeking. The complaint may be returned to the grieving party for further specification or clarification. If the grievance has not been filed in a timeline consistent with guidelines, the grievant should explain the reasons for the delay. Written statements submitted to the Committee will become part of the Committee record. These procedures do not preclude informal exploration by the student with the Chairperson or member of the Committee regarding matters which may fall within the jurisdiction of the Committee.
Upon receiving a grievance, the Academic Concerns Committee shall make an initial determination based upon such investigation as deemed appropriate, whether (a) the complainant has not exhausted all other appropriate and viable remedies within the School (e.g., through the other party, the adviser, the Associate Dean's office); (b) the subject matter of the complaint falls outside the jurisdictional scope of these procedures as hereinafter defined; or (c) the complaint is frivolous or lacking in merit. The Academic Concerns Committee will decline to assume jurisdiction if it concludes that one of these conditions exists.
If the Academic Concerns Committee concludes that it should take jurisdiction, written notice to this effect shall be given to the aggrieved, the party or parties against whom the grievance is filed, and the Associate Dean's office. Except for necessary communications between the Committee, the principal parties to the grievance, and the Associate Dean's office, all written documents submitted and testimony taken by the Committee shall be retained as confidential materials. Such records shall, however, be available to principal parties of the grievance.