GRIEVANCE AND APPEALS PROCESSES
Faculty Appeal of a Prescribed Accommodation/Adjustment
Once a student has been declared eligible for reasonable accommodations at CSUF, the department
and instructors are bound legally to honor prescribed accommodations.
If a faculty member has questions about the appropriateness of a prescribed accommodation,
he or she should contact the appropriate DSS staff member for consultation. If questions
are not resolved, the faculty member should submit a written request for informal review
to the department chair within five days. Informal resolution may also include input from
the college dean, assistant dean for student affairs, CSUF ombudsman, and/or the ADA/504
compliance officer. If an informal resolution is not successful, the ADA/504 compliance
officer will initiate a formal investigation of the complaint within two weeks. The department/faculty
will be asked to demonstrate: (a) that the accommodations would cause undue hardship; and
(b) that the authorized adjustment would fundamentally alter the program of instruction
being pursued by the student. The accommodations must be provided for the student unless
they are officially set aside or modified. A faculty member cannot refuse to make accommodations
for a student once they have been prescribed. At the conclusion of the investigation, the
ADA/504 compliance officer will report the findings to the president, whose decision will
Students and faculty alike are encouraged to seek the expertise and guidance of the experienced
professionals in DSS regarding the implementation of reasonable accommodations at CSUF.
Such proactive consultation may help prevent unpleasant and unnecessary conflicts.
Student Complaints of Alleged Discrimination
A student who has a complaint of alleged discrimination with regard to service provision
or related issues will meet with his/her DSS counselor in an attempt to resolve the issue.
These complaints can include but are not limited to denial of accommodation, delay and/or
denial of services or auxiliary equipment, unequal treatment, program and architectural
inaccessibility, or failure to be reasonably accommodated in the employment setting (campus
positions only). If resolution is not reached at this level, you may request a formal meeting
with the DSS Director. Upon receipt of the written complaint, the Director will have five
(5) business days to arrange a meeting with the student. The DSS counselor may attend this
meeting at the request of either the student or the Director.
Finally, students have the right to file a grievance directly with the Office of Civil
Rights, Department of Education (Region IX) if they choose to do so.
Students who have grade disputes are encouraged to make every effort to resolve the issue
informally by meeting with the instructor. If the dispute is not resolved then the student
may consult the department chair or dean of the college. Students who feel they have been
unsuccessful at resolving the issue informally should contact the Coordinator of Academic
Appeals, who will work to resolve the dispute informally and provide information and clarification
about university policies. Students are encouraged to contact the Coordinator if they have
questions about the academic appeals process. Failure of the coordinator to resolve the
issue informally will lead to an implementation of a formal hearing with the Academic Appeals
Board as outlined in UPS 300.030. Students must initiate the appeals process by contacting
the faculty member and/or the department chair within one academic month after they could
reasonably be expected to be aware of the action in question. Copies of the governing documents
are available from the Coordinator of Academic Appeals, Langsdorf Hall 810, phone (657)
278-3836. There are two grounds for filing a formal appeal.
Appeals Regarding Academic Dishonesty
When a faculty member(s) has alleged that a student, individually or as part of a group,
has performed an act of academic dishonesty and has penalized the student for the act, the
student has a right to contest the allegations and /or the penalty. Because the university
presumes that students act honestly, a charge of academic dishonesty will only be upheld
if the faculty member provides clear and convincing evidence to show that the student performed
an act of academic dishonesty.
Appeals Regarding Capricious or Arbitrary Assignment of a Grade
A student who alleges capricious, arbitrary or prejudicial (collectively "arbitrary")
treatment in the assignment of a course grade ("grade") has the right to contest
that grade. Because the university presumes that the individuals who assigned the grade
("faculty member") were fair and objective in the assignment of that grade, a
grade will be upheld unless the student presents clear and convincing evidence that the
faculty members acted arbitrarily. A faculty member's normal exercise of professional judgment
will not support a charge of arbitrary treatment.
Right of Noncompliance
Certain university activities either within or outside of the classroom may involve varying
degrees of risk to the participants. The instructor must fully divulge such risks and obtain
expressed or implied consent prior to undertaking the activities. A student who comes to
believe the risks, whether physical or psychological, are excessive can withdraw from participation
and inquire of the instructor an alternative without penalty. If there is none, the student
may appeal to withdraw from the course without penalty or for an appropriate modification
of the activity. The appeal may be addressed to the chair of the department or to the chair
of the Institutional Review Board, or both.
Right of Petition
Students may petition for review of certain university academic regulations (not to include
regulations contained in Title 5, California Code of Regulations) when unusual circumstances
exist. Petition forms may be secured and filed in the Office of Admissions and Records.
They will be forwarded to the University Petitions Committee for consideration. Students
will be notified of the results, which will be included in the student's file in the Office
of Admissions and Records.