Student Complaint Policy

 

Filing Written Complaints:

Faculty, staff, and students may file complaints using two methods.

Individuals wishing to submit an anonymous complaint can do so by filling out the online incident form located on the College website. The online form allows individuals to include or exclude their name and contact information; however, those opting to submit these forms anonymously should be as thorough as possible when providing details of the incident. Incomplete or very general forms make it difficult for the College to react as quickly as may be necessary to investigate the incident. LIBI is committed to addressing all complaints in the most expedient fashion and is grateful to members of the community who come forward with reports.

Please note, the online form allows individuals who are filing to include their contact information, so the form can be used for both anonymous and non-anonymous reporting. Every computer in LIBI’s computer classrooms, the Academic Success Center, and libraries have access to this form. To quote the Department of Homeland Security, “If you see something, say something®”. This applies to any safety-related observations, as well as any complaints related to working or studying at LIBI.

Faculty, staff, and students also may file complaints by contacting the Office of the Director of Operations directly by email to Ms. Catherine Law (claw@libi.edu). Individuals opting to file a complaint by email may request confidentiality, if they wish to do so. Please note that confidentiality will be maintained as much as feasible and practicable but cannot be guaranteed.

When emailing, please be sure to include:

  • Complainant’s name and contact phone number where you best can be reached.
  • Include the best time to contact you if more information is required to address the complaint.
  • Provide the date and time of the incident or alleged behavior you are reporting.
  • Describe the incident (the nature of alleged violation/behavior).
  • If known, name of person(s)/department responsible for the alleged violation/behavior.
  • Provide a detailed statement of what occurred.

To submit a formal complaint, please complete the following form: Complaint Form

Student Complaints about Faculty Conduct

LIBI has a variety of policies and procedures in place to address student-related issues. These policies help to maintain courteous and productive relationships between members of the College community, including students and faculty. From time to time, however, faculty conduct in the classroom is reported to the Academic Administration. Generally, as a first step, students are encouraged to speak directly to the faculty member whose conduct has bothered or disturbed the student. Frequently, students find that the matter can be resolved quickly by going directly to the person involved. The College strongly encourages students to make this their first recourse.

There are times, however, when a student may feel uncomfortable approaching the faculty directly. LIBI has in place resources to assist students who may be bothered by how they were treated or by witnessing an unjust treatment of others. LIBI’s Academic Advising Office is generally a good place to start the conversation. The Advisors are a resource and all students are encouraged to bring up their concerns to their assigned Advisor. The Advisors can be very effective in resolving misunderstandings and students are strongly encouraged to discuss their feelings and concerns openly with their Advisor.

If the student finds that the Academic Advisor’s assistance did not yield an acceptable resolution or if the student believes that a faculty member’s behavior was extreme, he or she may raise the matter with the Dean of Academics. If it has not occurred already, the Dean may ask the student to resolve the manner informally with the person involved, or the Dean may refer the matter to the Director of Operations.

Formal Complaint

If the student attempted an informal resolution, but it did not yield a resolution, or if the student could not pursue an informal resolution, the student may file a written complaint with the Director of Operations.

  1. Formal complaints should be filed within 45-calendar days of the alleged behavior/incident. If an attempt at an informal resolution makes meeting the deadline impossible, an exception may be granted by the Director of Operations. Unless there is a conflict of interest, the Director of Operations will assist the investigator, or may conduct the investigation herself.
  2. The written complaint must be as detailed as possible. The Director of Operations, or a designee, will begin the process of investigation. This will include meeting with the faculty or staff member in question.
  3. Filing a formal grievance automatically does not imply that there was wrongdoing. The accused not only will be made aware of the complaint, but also will be informed that an open investigation does not imply that any wrongdoing took place.
  4. The accused will be informed that no retaliatory action can take place against the student.
  5. Either party can object in writing to the individual who is conducting the investigation if he or she feels that the investigation process may be biased. The letter must provide detailed reasons why the request for a new investigator is being made. At that point, the Director of Operations will seek the counsel of the Provost and the President of LIBI. If the request is deemed a legitimate one, the Director of Operations will appoint a new investigator.
  6. The investigator will meet with both the accused faculty or staff member and the student. This meeting may take place with both parties present or separately. The investigator will use full discretion and professional judgement to protect the student from any adverse actions. The aim of this meeting will be to discuss the facts of the complaint and to come to a mutually acceptable resolution if possible. If a mutually acceptable resolution is not feasible, the investigator may need to interview other persons familiar with the situation or behavior being investigated. These individuals can be other students in the course, other faculty members, any other members of the College community with knowledge of the alleged incident/behavior. To the extent possible, the investigator will not reveal the identity of the student making the complaint while questioning relevant members of the community.
  7. The investigator may at various points after the initial interview request to meet with the student or the faculty member to clarify any points of their accounts.
  8. The complaining student may request to have a support person present with him or her during the meetings with the investigator.
  9. The investigator will need to determine if the conduct in question was protected by academic freedom. The investigator then will compile a written report outlining the findings of the investigation and recommendations.
  10. The student and the faculty member in question will receive a copy of the written report. The Provost and the Academic Dean also will be sent the report.
  11. Unless well documented and substantiated extenuating circumstances occur, the final report should be completed within 30-calendar days of the commencement of the investigation.

General Student Complaint Policy

LIBI is committed to ensuring that every student is treated fairly, equitably, and with appropriate respect in accordance with the College’s policies and procedures. Any student who feels that he or she has been treated in a manner not consistent with the policies and procedures set forth by the College, may seek redress of their grievance through various mechanisms LIBI has in place.

Complaints related to sexual harassment or intimate partner violence, discrimination, grade grievances, as well as complaints under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), privacy violations under FERPA, and appealing dismissals, have their own policies and complaint mechanisms. Anyone wishing to file complaints in these areas should review those policies or seek the assistance of the Director of Operations.

Students who wish to file a formal complaint regarding behavior or incidents not governed by any other complaint mechanism, should follow the steps outlined below.

Participating in a complaint process is protected from retaliation. Students will not experience or be subject to any adverse action for filing a complaint with the College, if that complaint is filed in good faith. Should retaliation occur, LIBI will take prompt action to investigate any report of retaliation and will pursue disciplinary action as appropriate. Any student who in good faith reports potential misconduct or participates in the investigation of suspected wrongdoing under this policy is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following the report, even if the reported misconduct is later not proven.

Complaint Policy

LIBI encourages students to try to resolve issues informally before filing a formal complaint; however, if the student has attempted an informal resolution unsuccessfully, or extenuating circumstances exist that make an informal attempt not possible, then the student should follow the steps outlined in this policy.

Students who believe that their rights as LIBI students have been abridged, or they have been subject to behavior not consistent with the written policies of the College, are asked to file a formal written complaint with the Director of Operations. If the matter concerns the Director of Operations, the written complaint should be addressed to the Internal Auditor.

The following information should be included with as much detail as possible.

  1. Your (the complainant’s) name and contact phone number where you can best be reached.
  2. Include the best time to contact you if more information is required to address the complaint.
  3. Provide the date and time of the incident or alleged behavior you are reporting.
  4. Provide a detailed statement of what occurred.
  5. Describe the incident (the nature of alleged violation/behavior) and the circumstances under which the alleged claim may have been committed.
  6. If known, name of person(s)/department responsible for the alleged violation/behavior.
  7. Provide names of witnesses, if any.

Process

It is the policy of the College to encourage students to engage in an informal resolution-seeking discussion with the individual alleged to be responsible for the violation or wrongdoing. The student submitting the formal complaint will be asked about this step by the Director of Operations. If an attempt at an informal resolution was not possible or there were extenuating circumstances around this step, the student will need to inform the Director of Operations.

If possible, the Director of Operations will meet with the student in person to ensure that all facts of the case are correctly represented in the letter the individual responsible for the alleged transgression (the respondent) will receive. The Director will produce and deliver the notice of the complaint to the respondent within 10-calendar days of receiving the claim. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent the Director from meeting this deadline, the Director will advise the student of the delay and provide a new deadline ensuring no further undue delays.

Once the notification is made, the Director of Operations will offer the student and the respondent an opportunity for mediation. If the parties agree, the Director will arrange for a meeting between the student and the respondent. The Director will attend the meeting(s) and will attempt to assist in the resolution of the complaint. Participating in the internal mediation will not preclude the student from making the decision to move forward with a formal complaint. Internal mediation is confidential, and if a resolution is reached, the case will not be deemed a formal complaint. At any point during the process, students are encouraged to get clarification from the Director of Operations or the Internal Auditor.

If the matter is not resolved through internal mediation, the student must notify the Director of Operations within 10- calendar days that he or she wishes to proceed with the formal complaint. The student then will be asked to produce a written description of the redress that he or she seeks.

The Director of Operations and the Internal Auditor then will assign an investigator to the case. Absent any conflict of interest, the Director may serve as the investigator.

The investigator will review the written grievance and the allegedly violated policy. A time will be set for the student to meet with the investigator. If other individuals with knowledge of the incident or behavior are identified, the investigator will meet with those individuals. The investigator also will determine whether he or she should interview additional individuals who may help the investigator better understand the circumstances around the claim.

The investigator will draft a report of his or her investigation, findings, and recommendations within 10-calendar days after concluding the investigation. The report will be submitted to the Dean and to the Internal Auditor. Upon review of the findings, the Dean will direct the Director of Operations to draft an official written decision to the student and to the respondent. The letters should be originated no later than 5-calendar days.

Should the complaint involve the Dean or the Internal Auditor, the investigator will discuss his or her findings with the Provost. If the Provost is satisfied with the investigation process and findings, she will then direct the Director of Operations to draft an official written decision to the student and to the respondent.

LIBI is committed to conducting a fair and unbiased investigation into all student complaints. If at any point during the process either the student or the respondent feels that the investigator is not maintaining complete neutrality, the concerned party should come forward immediately. A new investigator will be selected if a conflict of interest exists.

  • Formal complaints should be filed within 45-calendar days of the alleged behavior/incident. If an attempt at an informal resolution made meeting the deadline impossible, an exception may be granted by the Director of Operations. Unless there is a conflict of interest, the Director of Operations will assist the investigator, or may conduct the investigation herself.
  • Filing a formal grievance automatically does not imply that there was wrongdoing. The accused will be made aware of the complaint, but also will be informed that an open investigation does not imply that any wrongdoing took place.
  • Either party can object in writing to the individual who is conducting the investigation if he or she feels that the investigation process may be biased. The letter must provide detailed reasons why the request for a new investigator is being made. At that point, the Director of Operations will seek the counsel of the Provost and the President of LIBI. If the request is deemed a legitimate one, the Director of Operations will appoint a new investigator.
  • The investigator will meet with both the accused faculty or staff member and the student. This meeting may take place with both parties present or separately. The investigator will use full discretion and professional judgement to protect the student from any adverse actions. The aim of this meeting will be to discuss the facts of the complaint and to come to a mutually acceptable resolution if possible. If a mutually acceptable resolution is not feasible, the investigator may need to interview other persons familiar with the situation or behavior being investigated. These individuals can be other students in the course, other faculty members, any other members of the College community with knowledge of the alleged incident/behavior. To the extent possible, the investigator will not reveal the identity of the student making the complaint while questioning relevant members of the community.
  • The complaining student may request to have a support person present with him or her during the meetings with the investigator.
  • The student and the faculty member in question will receive a copy of the written report. The Provost and the Academic Dean also will be sent the report.
  • Unless well documented and substantiated extenuating circumstances occur, the final report should be completed within 30-calendar days of the commencement of the investigation.

LIBI is committed to ensuring that every student is treated fairly, equitably, and with appropriate respect in accordance with the College’s policies and procedures. Any student who feels that he or she has been treated in a manner not consistent with the policies and procedures set forth by the College, may seek redress of their grievance through various mechanisms LIBI has in place.

Participating in a complaint process is protected from retaliation. Students will not experience or be subject to any adverse action for filing a complaint with the College, if that complaint is filed in good faith. Should retaliation occur, LIBI will take prompt action to investigate any report of retaliation and will pursue disciplinary action as appropriate. Any student who in good faith reports potential misconduct or participates in the investigation of suspected wrongdoing under this policy is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following the report, even if the reported misconduct is later not proven.

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