Tompkins Cortland Community College

Catalog 2017-18

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Grievance/Complaint 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.

If you are unsure how to proceed with your complaint/grievance you can receive assistance in the Office of the Provost, Room 229.

Process related to:

FERPA violations and Amendment of student educational record

Formal Request Level: Katrina Campbell, Registrar, Room 101, 607.844.8222, Ext. 4305, campbek@tompkinscortland.edu
Appeal Level: Dr. John Conners, Provost, Room 229, 607.844.8222, Ext. 4370, connerj@tompkinscortland.edu

Violation of Academic Integrity Policy

Informal Step: Instructor
Formal Request Level: Dr. John Conners, Provost, Room 229, 844-8222, ext. 4370, connerj@tompkinscortland.edu
Appeal Level: Dr. Orinthia Montague, President, Room 223, 844-8222, ext.  4386, otm@tompkinscortland.edu

Grade Challenge

Informal Step: Instructor
Formal Request Level: Department Chair
Appeal Level: Dr. John Conners, Provost, Room 229, 844-8222, ext. 4370, connerj@tompkinscortland.edu

Disability-related Accommodations and Adjustments

Formal Request Level:
Students: Carolyn Boone, Coordinator of Access & Equity Services and ADA/504 Compliance Officer, Room 130, 844-8222, ext. 4283, boonec@tompkinscortland.edu
Appeal Level: Sharon Clark, Director of Human Resources, Room 219, 844-8222, ext. 4440, scd@tompkinscortland.edu
Employees and Visitors: Sharon Clark, Director of Human Resources, Room 219, 844-8222, ext. 4440, scd@tompkinscortland.edu
Appeal Level: Dr. John Conners, Provost, Room 229, 844-8222, ext. 4370, connerj@tompkinscortland.edu
Second Appeal Level: External appeal to Federal Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education

Non-Academic Code of Conduct

Informal Step: None
Formal Request Level: Hearing Officer
Appeal Level:
Darese Doskal, Director of Residence Life & Judicial Affairs (if initially heard by Residence Director), Tioga Hall, 844-8222, ext. 6591, doskald@tompkinscortland.edu or
John Bradac, Dean of Student Life (if initially heard by Director of Residence Life and Judicial Affairs), Room 218, 844-8222, ext. 4244, jpb012@tompkinscortland.edu

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

Informal Step: Title IX Coordinators
Formal Request Level: Dr. Orinthia Montague, Hearing Panel and President, Room 223, 844-8222, ext. 4386, otm@tompkinscortland.edu
Appeal Level: External appeal to 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)

Informal Step: Staff member, if appropriate
Formal Request Level:
(non-academic complaints) John Bradac, Dean of Student Life, Room 218, 844-8222, ext. 4244, jpb012@tompkinscortland.edu
(academic complaints) Charles Bechtold, Interim Dean of Instruction, Room 229, 844-8222, bechtoc@tompkinscortland.edu
Appeal Level: Dr. John Conners, Provost, Room 229, 844-8222, ext. 4370, connerj@tompkinscortland.edu

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.

At the Formal Request 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 mean college business days.

Formal requests and appeals must be in writing and be delivered by email or hard copy to the person identified. Forms are available in each office listed above.  Appeals should be delivered 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 relevant date(s) and sufficient information to identify any individuals who may be potential witnesses;
  4. A statement by the student or employee verifying that the information supporting the allegations is 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.

Decisions on all requests and appeals shall be made in writing within fourteen (14) days of the filing of the appeal request unless a different 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, unless a longer period is required by law or regulation.