Community College of Rhode Island

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Student Handbook


Student Conduct Code

Article I: Definitions

  1. The term “college” means Community College of Rhode Island.
  2. The term “student” includes all persons taking courses at the college, both full time and part time. Persons who are not officially enrolled for a particular term, but who have a continuing relationship with the college are considered “students.”
  3. The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the college to conduct classroom activities.
  4. The term “college official” includes any person employed by the college, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.
  5. The term “member of the college community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, college official or any other person employed by the college. The associate vice president for Student Services shall determine a person’s status in a particular situation.
  6. The term “organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for recognition by the college.
  7. The term “college premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the college, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.
  8. The term “conduct hearing board” means any person or persons authorized by the associate vice president for Student Services to determine whether a student has violated the Student Conduct Code and to recommend imposition of sanctions.
  9. The term “conduct hearing officer” means a college official authorized on a case-by-case basis by associate vice president for Student Services to impose sanctions upon students found to have violated the Student Conduct Code. The associate vice president for Student Services may authorize a conduct-hearing officer to serve simultaneously as a conduct-hearing officer and the sole member or one of the members of a conduct hearing board. Nothing shall prevent the associate vice president for Student Services from authorizing the same conduct-hearing officer to impose sanctions in all cases.
  10. The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.
  11. The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
  12. The term “business day” refers to any day that the college is open and conducting business, exclusive of weekends. The term “academic day” refers to any day that the college holds classes.
  13. The associate vice president for Student Services is that person designated by the college president to be responsible for the administration of the Student Conduct Code.
  14. The term “policy” is defined as the written regulations of the college as found in, but not limited to, the Student Conduct Code, the college catalog, posted or emailed notices, or found on the college’s website.
  15. The term “cheating” includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Use, or the attempted use, of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests or examinations.
    2. Dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments.
    3. The acquisition of teaching or testing materials, including test banks and answer keys, or access to online resources provided by textbook publishers, without the express permission of the college faculty or staff.
  16. The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
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Article II: Student Rights

  1. A student shall have the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe atmosphere, free from bullying, prejudice, harassment and abuse – verbal, physical or mental.
  2. A student shall have the freedom to express opinions, beliefs and attitudes. However, a student is not free from the consequences of utilizing that freedom.
  3. An applicant for admission to the college shall not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship or marital status, gender, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation or status as a veteran (either disabled, recently separated, qualified covered, Armed Forces service medal or any other protected veteran status), except in those special circumstance permitted or mandated by law.
  4. An applicant for, or a recipient of, college financial aid or college scholarship, shall not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship or marital status, gender, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation or status as a veteran (either disabled, recently separated, qualified covered, Armed Forces service medal or any other protected veteran status), except in those special circumstance permitted or mandated by law.
  5. A student shall be free from searches and seizures of person and possessions while on college property unless there is a case of imminent danger to the health and/or safety of individuals or when there are reasonable grounds upon which to believe it is necessary to conduct a search immediately in order to protect life or property. Searches may be conducted in the presence of a designated Student Services dean.
  6. A student’s disciplinary record shall maintained by the Office of the associate vice president for Student Services and are treated in a confidential manner in accordance with FERPA regulations. Such records will be maintained for at least six years after the date of the incident that led to the initiation of disciplinary action. Disciplinary records will be kept separate and confidential unless the student consents in writing to have it revealed or as allowed by law.
  7. Student Health Service medical, surgical and mental health records and information are confidential and will not be released to anyone without the student’s knowledge and signed authorization or in accordance with state and federal law.
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Article III: Authority

  1. The designated Student Services dean shall empanel student conduct hearing boards as needed and shall appoint a member of the administrative staff to serve as a limited voting chair of each hearing board. Administrative chairs shall only vote in event of a tie. Each hearing board must have an equal number of student and faculty representatives, but not less than one each, to hold a hearing.
  2. When convening a hearing board will unnecessarily delay the timely hearing of a case or when insufficient members to hold a hearing are available, a case may be referred to an administrative hearing conducted by a designated Student Services dean serving as a conduct hearing officer following the general procedures established for a hearing.
  3. The designated Student Services dean shall determine which conduct hearing board or conduct hearing officer shall be authorized to hear each case.
  4. The designated Student Services dean shall develop policies for the administration of the program and procedural rules for the conduct of hearings, which are not inconsistent with provisions of the Student Conduct Code. Such policies and procedures must be included with notification to a student that he or she has been accused of violating the Student Conduct Code.
  5. Decisions made by a conduct hearing board or conduct hearing officer shall be final, subject to the normal appeal process.
  6. A conduct hearing board or officer may be designated as arbiter of disputes within the student community in cases which do not involve a violation of the Student Conduct Code. All parties must agree to arbitration, and to be bound by the decision with no right of appeal. Arbitration or mediation is never allowed when a charge of sexual assault is made.
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Article IV: Proscribed Conduct

A. Jurisdiction of the College

Generally, college jurisdiction and discipline shall apply to conduct which occurs on or off college premises, including in online and electronic spaces, and which adversely affects the college community and the pursuit of its objectives.

B. Conduct – Rules and Regulations
  1. Any student found to have committed misconduct is subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article V, Section C. Misconduct is defined as but not limited to the following:
    1. Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
    2. Cheating, plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty.
    3. Furnishing false information to any college official or faculty member.
    4. Forgery, alteration or misuse of any college document, record or instrument of identification.
    5. Tampering with the election of any college recognized student organization.
    6. Violations of personal privacy including unauthorized recordings in private spaces, voyeurism and concealed observation.
  2. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or other college activities, including its public service functions on or off campus, or other authorized non-college activities, when the act occurs on college premises.
  3. Physical abuse, verbal abuse, bullying, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion and/or conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
  4. Sexual harassment, misconduct or assault including rape, sodomy, assault with an object, forcible fondling or any other unwanted sexual activity. Unwanted sexual activity is defined as any action of a sexual nature for the purpose of sexual gratification (including directed language or correspondence of a sexual nature) made against a victim’s will or against a victim who is legally incapable of giving consent due to age or temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity – including intoxication.
  5. Behavior that results in the abuse, harassment or intimidation of another person based on religion, ethnicity, race, nationality, veteran status, gender or sexual orientation, or disability is prohibited. Violations that meet the state definition of a hate crime may be referred to local law enforcement agencies. Bias-related incidents that are not breaches of college policies or state or federal law may be addressed using the mediation provisions of this code.
  6. Hazing, defined as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, a group or organization.
  7. Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of the college or property of a member of the college community or other personal or public property.
  8. Failure to comply with directions of college officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
  9. Unauthorized possession, duplication, or use of keys to any college premises or unauthorized entry to or use of college premises.
  10. Violation of published college policies, rules or regulations.
  11. Violation of federal, state or local law on college premises or at college sponsored or supervised activities.
  12. Use, possession or distribution of narcotic or other controlled substances except as expressly permitted by law.
    1. Use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by the law and college regulations, or public intoxication.
    2. Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons or dangerous chemicals on college premises.
  13. Participation in a campus demonstration which disrupts the normal operations of the college and infringes on the rights of other members of the college community; leading or inciting others to disrupt scheduled and/or normal activities within any campus building or area; intentional obstruction which unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on campus.
  14. Obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on college premises or at college sponsored or supervised functions.
  15. Conduct which is disorderly, lewd or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to breach the peace on college premises or at functions sponsored by or participated in by, the college.
  16. Theft or other abuse of computer time, including but not limited to:
    1. Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
    2. Unauthorized transfer of a file.
    3. Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password.
    4. Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member or college official.
    5. Use of computing facilities to view or send obscene or abusive messages.
    6. Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the college computing system.
    7. Any breach of computer ethics.
  17. Abuse of the disciplinary system, including but not limited to:
    1. Failure to obey the summons of a conduct hearing board or college official.
    2. Falsification, distortion or misrepresentation of information before a conduct hearing board.
    3. Disruption or interference with the orderly conduct of a meeting of a conduct hearing board.
    4. Institution of the disciplinary process knowingly without cause.
    5. Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the disciplinary process.
    6. Attempting to influence the impartiality of a member of a conduct hearing board prior to, and/or during, the course of a hearing.
    7. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a conduct hearing board prior to, during and/or after a hearing.
    8. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under the Student Conduct Code.
    9. Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the disciplinary process.
C. No Tolerance Behavior
  1. There is no tolerance for the following types of misconduct:
    1. Fighting
    2. Sexual assault
    3. Possession of a weapon
    4. Hate crimes
  2. Behavior related to any of these types of misconduct may result in immediate suspension or expulsion from the college.
D. Violation of Law and College Discipline
  1. If a student is charged only with an off-campus violation of federal, state or local laws, but not with any other violations of this code, disciplinary action may be taken and sanctions imposed for grave misconduct which demonstrates flagrant disregard for the college community. In such cases, no sanction may be imposed unless the student has been found guilty in a court of law or has declined to contest such charges, although not actually admitting guilt (e.g., “no contest” or “nolo contendere”).
  2. College disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with a violation of law which is also a violation of this Student Conduct Code. An example of this would be if both violations result from the same factual situation, without regard to the tendency of civil litigation in court or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Student Conduct Code may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or fol- lowing civil or criminal proceedings off campus.
  3. When federal, state or local authorities charge a student with a violation of law, the college will not request or agree to special consideration for that individual because of his or her status as a student. If the alleged offense is also the subject of a proceeding before a disciplinary body that is a component of the Student Conduct Code, the college may advise off-campus authorities of the existence of the Student Conduct Code and of how such matters will be handled internally within the college community. The college will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in the enforcement of criminal courts for the rehabilitation of student violators. Individual students and faculty members, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with governmental representatives, as they deem appropriate.
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Article V: Judicial Policies

A. Charges and Hearings
  1. Any member of the college community may file a complaint against any student for misconduct. Complaints shall be prepared in writing and directed to the designated Student Services dean. Any charge should be submitted as soon as possible after the event has taken place, preferably within ten (10) academic days.
  2. The designated Student Services Dean may conduct an investigation to determine if the charges have merit and/or if they can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the college. Such disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings. If the charges cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the matter will be referred to a student conduct hearing board.
  3. All charges shall be presented to the accused student in written from. A time shall be set for a hearing, not less than five (5) nor more then fifteen (15) business days after the student has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the designated Student Services dean.
  4. The student conduct hearing board shall conduct hearings.
    1. Hearings normally shall be conducted in private.
    2. Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of a student conduct hearing board and/or a conduct hearing officer.
    3. In hearings involving more than one accused student, the chairperson of the student conduct hearing board, at hi s or her discretion, may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately.
    4. The complainant and the accused have the right to be assisted by any adviser they choose from within the college community. The complainant and/or the accused is responsible for presenting his or her case and, therefore, advisers are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before a student conduct hearing board.
    5. The complainant, the accused and the student conduct hearing board shall have the privilege of presenting witnesses, subject to the right of questioning only by a student conduct hearing board.
    6. The student conduct hearing board, at the discretion of the chairperson, may accept pertinent record, exhibits and written statements as evidence for consideration.
    7. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chairperson of the student conduct hearing board.
    8. After the hearing, a student conduct hearing board shall determine within five (5) academic days of the hearing (by majority vote) whether the student has violated each section of the Student Conduct Code which the student is charged with violating.
    9. A student conduct hearing board’s determination shall be made on the basis of a preponderance of evidence standard, i.e. whether it is more likely than not the accused student violated the Student Conduct Code.
    10. Except in the case of a student charged with failing to obey the summons of a student conduct hearing board or college official, no student may be found to have violated the Student Conduct Code solely because the student failed to appear before a hearing board. In all cases, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented and considered.
    11. Only the accused student is notified of the outcome of a conduct hearing except in cases involving allegations of sexual assault or harassment; in which case we will inform the complainant of any portion of the sanction that directly relates to him/he as required by law.
B. Appeals
  1. A decision reached by or a sanction imposed by a student conduct hearing board may be appealed by the accused student(s) or complainant(s) to the associate vice president for Student Services within five (5) business days of receiving the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Services.
  2. An appeal shall be limited to review of the verbatim record of the initial hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes:
    1. To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complaining party a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence that the Student Conduct Code was violated, and giving the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a rebuttal of those allegations.
    2. To determine whether the decision reached regarding the accused student was based on substantial evidence, that is, whether the facts in the case were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Student Conduct Code occurred.
    3. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Student Conduct Code which the student was found to have committed.
    4. To consider new evidence, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
  3. If the associate vice president for Student Services upholds a n appeal, the matter may be remanded to the original student conduct hearing board and conduct hearing officer for re- opening of the hearing to allow reconsideration of the original determination and/or sanction(s).
  4. In cases involving appeals by students accused of violating the Student Conduct Code, review of the sanction by the associate vice president for Student Services may not result in more severe sanction(s) for the accused student. Instead, following an appeal, the associate vice president for Student Services may, upon review of the case, reduce, but not increase, the sanctions imposed by the student conduct hearing board.
  5. In cases involving appeals by student complainants, the associate vice president for Student Services may, upon review of the case, reduce or increase the sanctions imposed by the student conduct hearing board or remand the case to the original hearing officer or hearing board.
  6. Alternatively, once a student has exhausted the internal complaint or grievance processes, he or she may choose to utilize the complaint process overseen by the the Board of Governors for Higher Education "or equivalent governing board” in compliance with the Federal Program Integrity Rule. The specific types of complaints covered by these regulations are:
    1. Allegations of state consumer protection violations, including, but not limited to fraud and false advertising;
    2. Allegations that state laws or rules addressing the licensure of postsecondary institutions have been violated; and
    3. Allegations regarding the quality of education or other accreditation requirements.
  7. For more information and details on how to file a program integrity complaint, visit the Board of Governors for Higher Education “or equivalent governing board” website at: www.ribghe.org/students.htm.
C. Sanctions
  1. The following, as well as other appropriate sanctions, may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Conduct Code:
    1. Warning– A notice in writing to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional regulations.
    2. Probation– A written reprimand for violation of specified regulations. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating any institutional regulation(s) during the probationary period.
    3. Loss of privileges– Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
    4. Fines– Previously established and published fines may be imposed. Fines are posted on-line.
    5. Restitution– Compensation for loss, damage or injury.
    6. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
    7. Discretionary sanctions– Work assignments, service to the college or other related discretionary assignments (such assignments must have the prior approval of the conduct hearing officer).
    8. College suspension– Separation of the student from the college for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
    9. Interim suspension– In certain circumstances, the associate vice president for Student Services, or designee, may impose a college suspension prior to the hearing before a student conduct hearing board. It may be imposed:
      1. To ensure the safety and well-being of members of the college community or preservation of college property;
      2. To ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well being; or
      3. If the student poses a definite threat of disruption of or interference with normal operations of the college.
      4. During the interim suspension, students shall be denied access to the campus (including classes) and/or all other College activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as the associate vice president for Student Services or his/her designee may determine to be appropriate.
    10. College expulsion - Permanent separation of the student from the college. This sanction only may be imposed by a student conduct hearing board.
  2. More than one of the sanctions listed above may be imposed for any single violation.
  3. Other than college expulsion, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Upon graduation, the student’s disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions other than college suspension or college expulsion, upon application to the Office of the associate vice president for Student Services. Disciplinary records shall be destroyed six (6) years after the date of the incident that led to the initiation of disciplinary action.
  4. The following as well as other sanctions may be imposed upon groups or organizations:
    1. Those sanctions listed above in Section C 1, except suspension or expulsion.
    2. Deactivation – Loss of all privileges, including college recognition, for a specified period of time.
  5. In each case in which the Student Conduct Hearing Board determines that a student has violated the Student Conduct Code, the sanction(s) shall be determined by that board and imposed by the designated Student Services dean.

Article VI: Interpretation and Revision

  1. Any question of interpretation regarding the Student Conduct Code shall be referred to the associate vice president for Student Services.
  2. The Student Conduct Code shall be reviewed every three (3) years under the direction of a designated Student Services dean. Updates to remain compliant with state and federal regulations and laws shall occur annually.
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Policy on Off-Campus Affairs

The college shall have jurisdiction over student conduct that occurs on campus property or in correlation with college functions and affairs.

The college shall also have discretion to exercise jurisdiction over conduct that occurs off campus and that would violate student conduct and discipline policies or regulations if the conduct occurred on campus when (1) the alleged misconduct indicates the student may be a threat to the safety or security of members of the college community or college property, functions or facilities; or (2) the alleged misconduct involves academic work or any records, documents or identifications of the college.

Specifically, Student Services may choose to exercise jurisdiction over off-campus incidents under section (1) above where the alleged misconduct involves:

  1. Rape or sexual assault, any other physical assault, threats of violence or conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person;
  2. Stalking or sexual harassment;
  3. Possession or use of weapons, explosives or destructive devices;
  4. Manufacture, sale or distribution of controlled substances;
  5. Hate crimes;
  6. Hazing;
  7. Conduct that would constitute felony burglary, robbery, theft, etc.

Students involved in any of these offenses are subject to suspension or expulsion from the college.

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Academic Policies at CCRI

Policy on Academic Dishonesty (effective Spring 2013)

Academic cheating and plagiarism are serious offenses that should not be overlooked. Students should be regularly cautioned that violations of academic integrity may result in suspension or expulsion from the college.

If an instructor can demonstrate that cheating or plagiarism has taken place, he or she will notify the student in question, present the evidence, and apply an academic penalty depending on the severity of the offense. The instructor will bear in mind that there are different degrees of academic dishonesty, and assign the academic penalty he or she considers most appropriate from the options listed below:

  1. Require that a makeup test is taken or a makeup paper is written.
  2. Reduce the grade on the paper or exam.
  3. Reduce the final grade in the course by one or more levels.
  4. Assign a grade of “F” to the exam or paper.
  5. Assign a grade of “F” for the course.

The instructor must present the student with the Academic Grievance Policy at the time of notification so that the student will know their rights of appeal. The appropriateness of the particular academic penalty chosen by the instructor, as well as the finding of fact, may be appealed by the student through the academic grievance process The instructor will also notify the associate vice president for Student Services so that a record may be maintained. If the faculty member wishes to pursue the matter as a disciplinary issue, he or she must refer the matter to the associate vice president for Student Services, where a conduct hearing officer may choose to impose disciplinary sanctions following procedures outlined in Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Academic Grievance Procedure

The purpose of this grievance procedure is to provide students who believe they have been denied fair and equitable treatment in academic affairs an organized method to resolve their problems.

Faculty and students shall be kept informed of the grievance procedure by the appropriate academic dean and all parties shall be encouraged to resolve problems at the first level.

The word “recommendation” in this procedure shall not be constructed to mean a directive. The word “days” shall mean the academic days Monday through Friday.

In May of each year the vice president for Academic Affairs shall establish a student grievance committee for the ensuing 12 months. The committee’s members shall be one administrator selected by the vice president for Academic Affairs, two faculty members selected by the Faculty Association and two students (having a GPA not less than 2.5) selected by Student Government. As soon as possible after establishment, the committee shall meet to elect a chairperson and to formulate rules of hearing procedure for its 12-month incumbency. The administrative member shall be responsible for scheduling meetings and providing secretarial assistance.

If any decision or recommendation from the first three (3) levels is not completed within the time limits specified, the grievance shall automatically move to the next higher level.

  1. Student and instructor must meet by appointment within five (5) days after the grievance arises, attempting to settle the grievance at that meeting. The instructor shall give his or her decision to the student in writing within three (3) days after the meeting. If the grievance is not resolved at the first level, or if the instructor’s decision is not received within three (3) days, the student must contact the department chairperson for assistance.
  2. The student may request a meeting with the department chairperson if the grievance is not resolved with the instructor. The request shall be written, stating the nature of the grievance and the desired resolution within six (6) days after the meeting with the instructor. The chairperson shall confer with the instructor, getting his or her decision in writing, and meet with the student within three (3) days of receipt of request. The chairperson shall attempt to resolve the problem and must render his or her recommendation in writing to all parties within the next three days. If the chairperson is the instructor being grieved, the third level shall replace the second level of this procedure.
  3. If either the student or the instructor is dissatisfied with the chairperson’s recommendation, he or she may request inquiry by either the dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; dean of Business, Science and Technology; or dean of Health and Rehabilitative Sciences, as appropriate. This request must be made in writing to the academic dean within three days of receipt of the chairperson’s recommendation. A copy of the request shall be sent to the chairperson, who shall immediately send all documentation and his or her recommendation to the dean. The dean shall meet with the instructor, the chairperson, the student and a student services advocate appointed by the associate vice president for Student Services within five (5) days of receipt of request, attempt to resolve the problem, and make are commendation in writing to all parties within three (3) days of the inquiry’s completion.
  4. If either the student or the instructor is dissatisfied with the dean’s recommendation, he or she may request a hearing before the Student Grievance Committee. This request must be made to the appropriate dean in writing within three (3) days of receipt of the dean’s recommendation. The dean shall immediately notify the Office of Student Services of the request, and shall forward all documentation and his or her written recommendation to the administrative member of the Student Grievance Committee. The administrative member shall call a meeting of the Student Grievance Committee to be held within five (5) days of receipt of request. Before the hearing convenes, the student has the right to challenge one faculty member of the Student Grievance Committee, and the instructor has the right to challenge one student member of the Student Grievance Committee.

In the case of a challenge, that board member shall be immediately replaced by an alternate selected in the same manner as the original member. If a faculty member of the Student Grievance Committee belongs to the same department as the instructor being grieved, he or she shall be automatically replaced by an alternate before the hearing convenes. The Student Grievance Committee shall review the documentation, hear all parties concerned, use any or all means to ascertain the facts and make a final recommendation concerning the grievance. Within five (5) days of the hearing’s adjournment, the chairperson of the Student Grievance Committee shall send written recommendations to all parties and to the office of Student Services. The Student Grievance Hearing Committee shall be the last appeal at the Community College of Rhode Island.

  1. Time. The number of days indicated at each level is considered a maximum. All efforts should be made to expedite the process. The time limits may only be extended in extenuating circumstances by mutual agreement between the grievant and the person against whom the grievance is directed.
  2. Grade appeals. A student who alleges an error of injustice in the grading process may present a formal grievance in writing to the instructor. Grading reflects careful and deliberate assessment of a student’s performance by the instructor. No complaint challenging a grade may be initiated later than twenty-five (25) calendar days following the last day of the instructional period for which the grade was granted. If the faculty member who assigned the challenged grade is no longer employed at the institution or is not contacted within the 25-day time span, the student may present the complaint to the department chairperson.
  3. Withdrawal. Students may withdraw their informal or formal complaints in writing before a hearing.

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Last Updated: 2/4/14