Tompkins Cortland Community College

Catalog 2017-18

Grievance and Conduct Violation Policies Overview

Tompkins Cortland is committed to the development and maintenance of mutual respect among all members of the college community. We seek to work together to understand and address concerns without having to resort to formal grievance or appeal procedures. However, when that is not possible, we are committed to a fair and reasonable resolution of issues. The processes outlined below apply to all enrolled students and all employees of the college, Faculty Student Association and Tompkins Cortland Foundation.

Process related to:

Amendment of student educational record

Preliminary Step: None
Original Decision Level: Associate Dean for Curriculum and Academic Records
Appeal Level: Provost

Violation of Academic Integrity Policy

Preliminary Step: Instructor
Original Decision Level: Provost
Appeal Level: President

Grade Challenge

Preliminary Step: Instructor
Original Decision Level: Department Chair
Appeal Level: Dean of Instruction

Disability-related Accommodations

Preliminary Step: None
Original Decision Level: Students - Coordinator of Access & Equity Services Employees and Visitors - Director of Human Resources
Appeal Level: ADA/504 Compliance Officer

Non-Academic Code of Conduct

Preliminary Step: None
Original Decision Level: Hearing Officer
Appeal Level: Director of Residence Life & Judicial Affairs (if initially heard by Residence Director) or Dean of Student Life (if initially heard by Director of Residence Life and Judicial Affairs)

Discrimination & Harassment (except accommodations) including Sexual Harassment or Violence involving staff members

Preliminary Step: Title IX Coordinators
Original Decision Level: Hearing Panel and President
Appeal Level: External appeal to NYS Division of Human Rights or Federal Offices of Civil Rights

Other Student Grievances (problems arising in the relationship between a student and a staff member that are not specifically governed by one of the other processes)

Preliminary Step: Staff member, if appropriate
Original Decision Level: Academic issues to Dean of Instruction Non-academic issues to the Dean of Student Life
Appeal Level: Provost

General Information Related To All Grievance And Conduct Violation Procedures

Students and employees are welcome to seek assistance from any member of the College's community when involved in grievance or conduct violation procedures. The following staff members are specifically identified as available to advise students and employees in selection of the appropriate process and to provide assistance during each procedure:

  • Lisa Doran, Assistant to the Dean for Operations, Room 248
  • Barb Thayer, Administrative Assistant in Office of the Dean of Student Life, Room 218
  • Teresa Mix, Administrative Assistant in Office of the Dean of Instruction, Room 229
  • Sharon Dovi, Director of Human Resources, Room 219

At the Original Decision and Appeal levels, each party is entitled to written notice of the issues involved, to present relevant and material evidence and witnesses to support the desired outcome and to receive the decision in writing. All parties may appear with any advisors and/or legal counsels of their choice; however, the advisor’s role is limited to observation and consultation. Time frames are outlined in the specific procedures for each process; all references to days shall mean college business days.

Appeals and other requests must be in writing and be delivered by email or hard copy to the person or office identified within ten (10) days of receipt of the original decision unless a different time frame is identified in a specific process. Student email correspondence will be sent to and accepted only from the student’s Tompkins Cortland myMAIL account. The appeal must (1) identify the grounds for the request and (2) clearly set forth the reasons why the original decision should not be carried out.

All requests must include the following information:

1. The full name, Tompkins Cortland ID number, address and telephone number(s) of the student;

2. The name of the other party or parties and position, if known;

3. A clear, concise statement of the facts that support the request, including pertinent date(s) and sufficient information to identify any individuals who may be potential witnesses;

4. A statement by the student verifying that the information supporting the allegations are true and accurate to the best of his/her knowledge;

5. Specific remedy sought; and

6. The student’s or employee’s signature.

Unless additional grounds are identified in a specific process, appeals may be based only on one or more of the following grounds:

  • New evidence not available at the time of the original decision.
  • Procedural error that can be shown to have had a detrimental impact on the outcome .
  • Errors in the interpretation of College policy substantially denying any party a fair hearing.
  • Inappropriate sanction having no relationship to the charges.

Decisions on all appeals shall be made in writing within thirty (30) days of the filing of the appeal request unless a shorter time frame is identified in a specific process.

An appeal will result in one of the following outcomes:

  • Dismiss the appeal based on failure to state sufficient grounds for the appeal; earlier decision is upheld
  • Dismiss the appeal based on insufficient evidence to support the appeal grounds and justify overturning the earlier decision; earlier decision is upheld
  • Sustain the appeal and reverse the earlier decision
  • Sustain the appeal and amend the earlier decision. The severity of the original sanction may not be increased.

A sufficient record of all proceedings shall be kept to enable review and the file shall be considered confidential and maintained by the maker for a period of three years.