Formal Complaint Process - Institutional Policy E18 (updated 1/26/2016)
The Cloud County Community College nonacademic appeals process is to be used for issues other than disciplinary or academic matters and provides you with protection against unwarranted infringement of your rights. A grievance may concern an alleged violation of college policies, infringement of your rights and other such problems dealing with other students, college staff and faculty and authorized college activities. Failure to comply with these procedures shall be grounds for dismissal of any complaint or dispute and dismissal of the complaint shall be final.
The Board of Trustees (Board) encourages all complaints regarding Cloud County Community College (College) to be resolved at the lowest possible administrative level. Whenever a complaint is made directly to the Board as a whole or to a board member as an individual, it will be referred to the administration for study and possible resolution.
No complainant shall be subject to adverse employment or academic action in retaliation for any good faith report or statement concerning allegations of discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
The Director of Human Resources, Cloud County Community College, 2221 Campus Dr., Concordia, KS 66901, has been designated to coordinate compliance with nondiscrimination requirements contained in Federal and State law, including, but not limited to: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Vice President for Student Services, Cloud County Community College, 2221 Campus Dr., Concordia, KS 66901, has been designated to coordinate compliance with requirements contained in Federal and State law, including, but not limited to: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The appointments of the Hearing Officer and the Resolution Officer will be made at the beginning of each fiscal year and will be kept on file in the Office of Human Resources.
Information concerning the provisions of these Acts, and the rights provided thereunder, are available from the Compliance Coordinator, and a copy of this policy and any complaint forms shall be available on the college’s website.
Complaints about Discrimination or Discriminatory Harassment
Complaints of discrimination or discriminatory harassment (as defined in Policy C5) by an employee or student should be addressed to the Compliance Coordinator as set forth above. Any employee who receives a complaint of discrimination or harassment from a student shall inform the student of the employee's obligation to report the complaint. If the Compliance Coordinator is the alleged harasser, the complaint shall be reported to the President. Complaints by any other person alleging discrimination should be addressed to the Compliance Coordinator.
The following procedures will be followed to ensure an appropriate resolution of a grievance or complaint at the lowest possible level:
• The complainant should attempt to rectify the grievance with the supervisor of the area in which the alleged violation occurred within 10 business days. Every effort will be made to resolve the grievance at the lowest possible level. Where resolution is unsatisfactory to either party, the issue should be appealed in writing to the relevant Vice President. The Vice President must inform the complainant in writing of any decision made and the reason for that decision within five business days.
• If the complainant feels the complaint has not been resolved, a formal complaint should be filed in writing and contain the name and address of the person filing the complaint. A complaint should be filed as soon as possible after the conduct occurs, but not later than 30 business days after the occurance, unless the conduct forming the basis for the complaint is ongoing.
• The complainant should briefly describe the alleged violation. If an employee becomes aware of a possible violation of this policy, they are expected to initiate a complaint even if the individual(s) involved do not want to initiate a complaint. Forms for filing written complaints are available in each Vice President’s office, the Associate Vice President’s office, the President’s office and the Compliance Coordinator's office.
• If appropriate, an investigation shall follow the filing of the complaint. If the complaint is against the President, the Board shall appoint an Investigating Officer. In other instances, the investigation shall be conducted by the Compliance Coordinator or another individual appointed by the President. The investigation shall be informal but thorough. All involved persons, including the complainant and the person against whom the complaint is lodged, will be afforded an opportunity to submit written or oral evidence relevant to the complaint.
• A written determination of the complaint's validity and a description of the resolution shall be issued by the investigator and submitted to the President no later than 20 business days after the filing of the complaint.
• If investigation results in a recommendation that a student be suspended or expelled, procedures outlined in board Policy E1 will be followed.
• If the investigation results in a recommendation that an employee be suspended without pay or terminated, procedures outlined in Board policy, the negotiated agreement and/or State or Federal law will be followed.
• Records relating to complaints filed and their resolution shall be forwarded to and maintained in a confidential manner by the Compliance Coordinator.
The complainant may appeal the determination of the complaint. Appeals shall be heard by the President, a Hearing Officer appointed by the President, or by the Board itself, as determined by the President. The request to appeal the resolution shall be made within 10 business days after the date of the written resolution of the complaint at the lower level. The President, Hearing Officer, or the Board shall review the evidence gathered by the investigator and the investigator's report, and shall afford the complainant and the person against whom the complaint is filed an opportunity to submit further evidence, orally or in writing, within 10 business days after the appeal is filed. The President, Hearing Officer or the Board will issue a written determination of the complaint's validity and a description of its resolution within 10 business days after the appeal is filed.
Use of this complaint procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies. In addition to utilizing the college’s complaint process, the following outlets exist for seeking redress of grievances.
• Consumer protection and/or fraud complaints may be filed with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office.
• Discrimination complaints may be filed with the Kansas Human Rights Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.
• Complaints regarding State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) courses delivered by SARA member community colleges may be filed by students enrolled in these courses with the Kansas Board of Regents office. Student with unresolved concerns regarding programs authorized through SARA need to complete the complaint form at: http://kansasregents.org/resources/PDF/Academic_Affairs/3257-ComplaintForm_SARAinstitutions.pdf
• Kansas Community Colleges are regionally accredited by the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission on Colleges and Universities (NCAHLC). Complaints regarding an institution’s ongoing ability to meet the Criteria of Accreditation may be filed by following the guidelines at https://www.hlcommission.org/HLC-Institutions/complaints.html.
Complaints About Policy
The college President shall report any unresolved complaint about policies to the Board at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.
Complaints About Facilities and Services
The college President shall report any unresolved complaint about facilities and services to the Board at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.
Complaints About Personnel
The college President shall report any unresolved complaint about personnel to the Board at the next regularly scheduled board meeting in executive session.