Uniform Student Grievance Policy
Please note: students in the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences (MDCHS) should refer to the MDCHS section in this catalog, consult the MDCHS student handbook, or contact the Office of the Vice President of MDCHS for grievances involving any of the following concerns.
Approved by Executive Staff, May 2009
1) The Ombuds Officers (i.e., first point of contact) for students who wish to explore the possibility of filing a complaint or lodging a grievance at Mary Baldwin University are:
a) The dean of the respective college for matters dealing with academic programs and coursework.
b) The vice president for student engagement for matters dealing with student life, residence life, extra-curricular programs, and other issues not involving academic programs and coursework.
2) Grievances involving academic programs, faculty, and coursework:
a) Grade Appeals: The respective college dean will explain the university’s grade appeal policy (see Grade changes, p. 23), guide the student in following the established procedure and, if the appeal is not resolved, refer the matter to the provost and vice president for academic affairs of the university.
b) Complaints about Faculty Members: The department head will hear the student’s concern and determine an appropriate course of action. In most cases, this course of action will consist of one or more of the following: mediation, counseling, referral to the college dean, submission of a written statement to the college dean, or resolution with no further action.
c) Other Academic Complaints and Grievances: The college dean will hear the student’s concern and determine an appropriate course of action. In most cases, this course of action will consist of one or more of the following: mediation, counseling, referral to the provost and vice president for academic affairs of the university, submission of a written statement to the provost and vice president for academic affairs of the university, or resolution with no action.
3) Grievances involving admissions, student life, and extracurricular programs:
a) Student Senate: Every student has the option of referring issues and concerns to the Student Senate through his/her Senator. Students should consult their Hall President to determine if the issue or concern is appropriately referred to that body.
b) Complaints about a Staff Member: An associate vice president for student life will hear the student’s concern and determine an appropriate course of action. In most cases, this course of action will consist of one or more of the following: mediation, counseling, referral to the vice president for student engagement, submission of a written statement to the vice president for student engagement, or resolution with no action.
c) Other Complaints and Grievances: An associate vice president for student life will hear the student’s concern and determine an appropriate course of action. In most cases, this course of action will consist of one or more of the following: mediation, counseling, referral to the vice president for student engagement, submission of a written statement to the vice president for student engagement, or resolution with no action.
4) For grievances about aspects of university policy or procedure not falling into either of the above categories, the student complaint is forwarded from the staff recipient of the complaint to the Executive Staff member responsible for the area of concern. That person attempts to resolve the complaint to the student’s satisfaction. For example, a complaint about food that initially was submitted to the food service director would go to the vice president for business and finance. The responsible executive staff member will report steps taken to the complainant within 90 days of receiving the complaint.
5) If grievances cannot be resolved in the above manner:
a) The complainant may present a written appeal to the president of the institution. Such an appeal will not be received unless the complainant documents that he or she has gone through the steps, above.
b) If the president receives the appeal, she will, at her sole discretion, determine whether or not further intervention is necessary and take whatever steps she feels are appropriate. The president will report steps taken to the complainant within 90 days of receiving the complaint.
c) If the complainant has proceeded through all the steps leading through 5(b) above, he/she has exhausted all possibilities of internal intervention to resolve the issue.
6) If the complainant feels that his/her complaint involves a violation of accreditation standards:
a) The complainant may file a written complaint to the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. That complaint must follow the protocol established by the Commission on Colleges in its policy, “Complaint Procedures for the Commission or its Accredited Institutions.”
b) The protocol for filing complaints and the required forms may be obtained from the Commission’s web site (sacscoc.org) or from the institution’s accreditation liaison, currently Ms. Carol Creager, university librarian..
7) Filing a Complaint with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and complaints in all Other States:
a) Mary Baldwin University accepts State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for higher education, oversight in resolving complaints from students taking distance education under the aegis of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). If a student has exhausted the avenues provided by MBU and the complaint has not been resolved internally, the student can submit a Student Complaint Form to SCHEV (details on the formal SCHEV student complaints procedure and a link to the form can be found on the SCHEV agency page). If a distance learning student residing out-of-state while enrolled in a Mary Baldwin University course has exhausted the student complaint avenues provided by MBU and the complaint has not been resolved internally, the student can submit a complaint about MBU to the state in which the student resides. The list of contact information for all state agencies with links to complaint process information can be found here in compliance with the U.S. Department of Education State Authorization regulations.
b) Filing a Complaint with Accreditation Agency
Mary Baldwin University successfully achieved reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and School-Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) in December 2017. This acknowledgement reflects MBU’s ongoing commitment to operational excellence, as well as academic excellence. It also speaks to our efforts to continually improve as an institution while meeting our institutional mission and strategic initiatives.
If a student has exhausted the avenues provided by Mary Baldwin University and the complaint has not been resolved internally, and if a student has exhausted the avenues provided by their state and the complaint has not been resolved, the student can contact the SACS-COC office.
Grievance Policy for Students with Disabilities
- Student with a documented disability takes a Confidential Memo to his/her instructor to request accommodations.
- If a student is dissatisfied with the accommodations at any time during the academic term, the student consults with the director of the Academic Resource Center.
- The student talks with his/her instructor; the director of the Academic Resource Center will meet with the student and instructor if requested by either the instructor or the student.
- If the accommodations issue is not resolved satisfactorily, the student may ask for a hearing with the Disabilities Committee.
- After hearing from the student and the instructor and consulting with other individuals as needed (e.g., faculty; staff), the committee will recommend a course of action.
- The student and instructor will have a week to respond to this recommendation.
- If the student or instructor is dissatisfied with the recommendation, he/she may appeal and meet with the committee.
- The committee will make a decision.
- If the student is unsatisfied with the committee’s decision, the student shall pursue steps 5 and/or 6 of the Uniform Student Grievance Policy.
Director of the Academic Resource Center
Associate Provost or College Dean
Director of Counseling and Psychological Services
Education Department Faculty Member
Vice-President of Business and Finance
Vice-President of Student Engagement
- The provisions of this catalog are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between Mary Baldwin University and the student. The university reserves the right to change any provision, program, regulation or requirement at any time and to determine its applicability to present or previous students.
- Mary Baldwin University complies strictly with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, for access to and release of information contained in student records. The Act accords all students certain rights which are summarized as: (1) to be informed of rights under the Act; (2) to inspect and review education records; (3) to request a change in an education record which a student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy or other rights; (4) to exercise a limited control over disclosure of information contained in a student’s education records; and (5) to file complaints. The university’s Policy Statement is available from the Office of the Registrar. Pursuant to the Act, the university has adopted the following policies: Mary Baldwin University considers the following to be directory information: name, class, local address, email, and telephone number, home address and phone number, date of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received. Photographs or recordings may be taken by the university or its designees in public areas of the Mary Baldwin University campus and regional centers and at university events. The university may use such photographs or recordings to document, promote, or provide information about the university and its programs without prior consent by individuals depicted or recorded in them. Public areas include but are not limited to outdoor areas, classrooms, laboratories, library, athletic facilities, residence hall common areas, dining and gathering facilities, meeting rooms, and performance spaces. A student has the right to refuse to permit the release of any or all directory information, and/or the use of her/his image or voice (if clearly identifiable in photograph or recording), without the student’s prior written consent. Any refusal must be received in writing by the registrar prior to the end of the second week of the academic year, and designate the information not to be released.
- The regulations as stated in the catalog form the official basis for all academic performance. Members of the faculty and staff are available for conference and advice, but the individual student is fully responsible for compliance with all catalog requirements and regulations.
The following list shows various information that will be disclosed to current and prospective students upon request pursuant to the Higher Education Amendments of 1998.
- Financial Aid Information: Information about programs available, application forms and procedures, eligibility requirements, criteria for selection, criteria for determining amount, satisfactory progress standards, disbursement methods, loan terms, and employment details when employment is part of the student’s financial aid package is available from Mary Baldwin University admissions and office of financial aid and student campus employment, Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA 24401, 800-468-2262 or 540-887-7019 (email@example.com).
- Completion and Graduation Rates: Information available from the office of institutional research, Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA 24401, 540-887-7220.
- Institutional Security Policies and Crime Statistics: Information available from campus security office, Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA 24401, 540-887-7000 and at go.marybaldwin.edu/safety.
- Athletic Program Participation Rates: Information available from athletic director, Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA 24401, 540-887-7062.
- Equity in Athletics/EADA Report: The report is available from athletic director, Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA 24401, 540-887-7062.
Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Inquiries concerning accreditation status only directed to:
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
Mary Baldwin University does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender (*see exceptions for admission to programs within the College for Women), nor does the university discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, color, age, disability, religion, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression in its educational programs, admissions, co-curricular or other activities, or employment practices. Inquiries may be directed to the Director of Human Resources, 540-887-7367, Student Activities Center 311, Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, Virginia 24401.
*Exceptions within the College for Women: Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership, Program for the Exceptionally Gifted. (November 2017)