Grievance Procedure for Faculty, Staff and Students with Disabilities

Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SE) has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of grievances concerning discrimination, accommodations, and/or retaliation for making any such grievances provided by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008.

Faculty, Staff, and students are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services at the first sign of any difficulty obtaining their approved accommodations, or if they encounter difficulties related to their disabilities due to the action or non-action of any Southeastern staff, administrator or student.

Please note that the grievance process is not intended to, and shall not replace, other University policies and procedures, for which separate University policies and procedures exist, including, for example: student conduct, grade appeals and appeals for re-admittance following disciplinary or academic probation/suspension. This grievance process will be, in some cases, a preliminary process to other appeals.

Definition: Grievance:

an alleged violation of any policy, procedure or practice which would be prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADAAA) or by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Procedure

  1. Before engaging in the grievance process, an individual should attempt to correct the alleged violation through the Office of Disability Services. If unable to resolve the problem there, the individual may file a formal grievance with the University.
  2. If the faculty, staff, or student believes that an act of discrimination, retaliation or failure                         to provide approved accommodations has occurred, the grievant should file a grievance within 15 days of the alleged violation or awareness of the alleged violation.
  3. A grievance should be addressed to the Compliance Officer for SE (Administration Building, Room 311) who has been designated to coordinate compliance efforts.
  4. A grievance should be filed in writing (including grievant’ s full address, mailed or hand delivered and on the appropriate form (http://homepages.se.edu/equity-compliance-diversity/files/2014/04/Complaint-Form.pdf) or on audiotape containing the name, address, and telephone number of the person filing it and a brief description of the alleged violation of discrimination, harassment, retaliation or failure to provide approved accommodations.
  5. The SE Compliance Officer and the Vice President for Student Affairs should meet with the grievant within ten (10) days to discuss the grievance.
  6. If an investigation is deemed appropriate by the Compliance Officer and the Vice President for Student Affairs, a four member Review Committee will convene to investigate the alleged violation. The Review Committee will be conducted by the Compliance Officer, the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Coordinator of Disability Services, and the Chair of the Faculty Senate (or appropriate representative for staff or students). A thorough investigation will be conducted which will allow the grievant an opportunity to submit information or evidence relevant to the grievance.
  7. A written determination as to the validity of the grievance and a description of the resolution, if any, including appropriate corrective and remedial actions, shall be issued by the Compliance Officer and a copy forwarded to the grievant, and others deemed appropriate by the Compliance Officer, no later than ten (10) days after the investigation is completed. The determination of the Review Committee will be final and may only be referred to the President if a question exists on procedural matters followed during the review.
  8. The campus Compliance Officer shall maintain files and records of all complaints, investigations, resolutions, and correspondence.
  9. The grievant may request an appeal of the written determination. Requests for appeal must be done in writing and must include the reason for appeal. The grievant should provide as much detail as is necessary to document a position with puts into question the findings included within the determination. The request for appeal must be made to the Campus Compliance Officer within ten (10) days of the determination. The appeal will be heard by the ADA Compliance Committee within fourteen (14) days. The Committee may review evidence gathered by the Review Committee’s investigation in addition to conducting its own investigation. The procedures for an appeal will be followed as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct under Section F. STUDENT DISCIPLINARY APPEALS, 1. Appeals Process. The basic appeals process and hearing will model a hearing before the Committee on Student Conduct, as detailed in 2. Explanation of Rights and 3. Hearing before Committee on Student Conduct.[1] After a fair and equitable review a written determination of the Committee’s decision will be issued by the Campus Coordinator within ten (10) days after the investigation is completed. The determination of the Committee will be final and may only be referred to the President if a question exists on procedural matters followed during the appeal.
  10. Separately, any student my file a complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.[2] OCR’s role is to be a neutral fact-finder and to promptly resolve complaints. It is recommended, although not mandatory, that individuals exhaust the procedure of Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s grievance process beforehand.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s effort to provide prompt and equitable resolution of any grievance filed hereunder shall not be impaired by the grievant’ s pursuit of other legal remedies The purpose of these rules is to protect the substantive rights of interested persons, to meet appropriate due process standards, and to assure that SE complies with Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). All elements of this grievance process are considered confidential, including where appropriate, maintaining the confidentiality of the identity of the individual filing the grievance. Private information will only be shared insofar as is necessary for the proper performance of these grievance procedures.

[1] http://homepages.se.edu/student-life/files/2009/10/SOUTHEASTERN_OKLAHOMA_STATE_UNIVERSITY_STUDENT_HANDBOOK.pdf
[2] http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html

Updated by Committee 11/08/2006
Revised 01/14/2009 in compliance with the ADA Amendments ACT of 2008 and OCR
Updated by Committee 12/05/2013