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Title VI, Title VII, Section 504, and ADA Grievance Procedures

Students who feel they have been discriminated against or denied an opportunity because of their race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, other protected veterans, and armed forces service medal veterans, or disability have the right to file a grievance in accordance with University policy PG-5 (Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity for Employment). Students should contact the Affirmative Action Officer, 202 Howell-McDowell Administration Building, telephone 783-2022. The applicable section of PG-5 is as follows:

 

Resolution of Complaints

The University shall provide for the prompt, fair, and impartial consideration of all grievances of alleged discrimination in violation of this policy. Each employing unit shall provide access to counseling for employees and/or students who feel aggrieved and shall encourage the resolution of such issues on an informal basis. Grievances frequently are founded in simple misconceptions or misunderstandings. It is believed to be in the best interest of the University and the grievant for differences to be resolved informally - if informal hierarchical resolution is not possible then the following applies:

 

Formal Procedures

The grievant is to contact the University Affirmative Action Officer fora meeting as soon as practicable. The Affirmative Action Officer is to be sensitive to the fact that the meeting may need to take place after normal working hours so as to prevent disclosure to a supervisor or others. The Affirmative Action Officer will listen attentively to the grievant in order to fully understand the grievance, after which, the Affirmative Action Officer will offer his or her services in informal resolution. Normally, this informal procedure will not exceed five working days unless the parties mutually agree to an extension of this time period.

First Step:
The grievant shall direct his/her grievance regarding the alleged discriminatory act(s) by preparing a written explanation of his/her grievance and the relief sought to the Affirmative Action Officer (AAO). The Affirmative Action Officer may schedule a meeting with the grievant for the purpose of gathering information. The AAO will conduct a thorough investigation within seven (7) working days of receipt of the written grievance. Within fourteen (14) working days following receipt of the written grievance, a meeting will be held by the AAO with the grievant and others who may be of assistance in resolving the grievance in the best interests of all concerned. Within three (3) working days following this grievance meeting, the AAO will prepare written findings which will be delivered to the grievant or sent by certified mail, return receipt, to the grievant's address of record. Copies of the AAO's findings will also be provided to individuals on a need to know basis. The AAO shall make such recommendations in writing as is believed warranted by the results of his/her investigation and meetings regarding each written issue. If the grievant prevails the defendant may appeal to the appropriate Vice President. If no appeal is forwarded by the defendant within 5 working days after receipt of the Affirmative Action findings, the issue is resolved, as specified.

Second Step:
The aggrieved party may appeal the First Step answer by serving a written statement of appeal to the AAO within ten (10) working days after delivery of the AAO's findings and written recommendations to the grievant. Within seven (7) working days after receipt of the written appeal, an Affirmative Action Grievance Review Board will be selected by the AAO. The board shall be composed of an African-American member, a female member, and a male member. The grievant may select one person from the standing Affirmative Action Committee; the Affirmative Action Officer may select one person from the standing Affirmative Action Committee, and the grievant and the AAO together will select the third individual. In cases where a student is involved, a student member will serve on the Review Board. The Affirmative Action Committee chair will designate the Review Board Chair.

The responsibilities of the Affirmative Action Grievance Review Board will include, but not be limited to:

  1. A review of all documents received or prepared as the grievance was processed through the First Step.
  2. The Affirmative Action Review Board Chair will schedule a hearing to be held, not later than fifteen working days after the appointment of the entire Board, designating the time, place, and date for the hearing.
  3. The Review Board Chair will notify both the AAO and the parties of the time, place, and date of the hearing, including the right of representation. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to require the representative to be an attorney. If the defendant/grievant desires to be represented at the hearing, he/she will give notice of that intention and by whom in writing to the Grievance Review Board and the AAO not less than six (6) working days prior to the hearing date.
  4. All hearings will be conducted by the Review Board. The proceedings will be tape-recorded, and if requested by a majority of the Grievance Review Board, a typed transcript will be prepared. The Affirmative Action Officer will set forth the basis for his/her findings and recommendation(s) on the grievance. The parties, or their representative, shall have the opportunity to respond to the findings and recommendations of the Affirmative Action Officer. The Grievance Review Board has the option of going into closed session to weigh the record and evidence and to formulate its findings and recommendations to the President of the University.
  5. The Affirmative Action Grievance Review Board shall make its findings and recommendations to the President within five (5) working days following the hearing. The President will render a decision within ten (10) working days after receiving the Grievance Review Board's findings and recommendations. Written notification of the President's decision will be hand delivered to the parties or delivered by certified mail, return receipt, to the address of record.
A student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR). A complaint must ordinarily be filed within 180 days of the last act of discrimination. If a student elects to use Morehead State University’s grievance process and also chooses to file the complaint with OCR, the complaint must be filed with OCR within 60 days after completion of the institutional grievance process.
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