2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Student Grievance and Complaint Procedures

I. Definitions

A grievance arises when a student believes, based on established administrative policies and procedures, that he or she has been treated in an arbitrary or capricious manner by a university department or a representative of the university.

II. Grievances Covered by This Policy

A grievance against a university official arises when a student believes he or she has been treated unfairly by a department or university representative (faculty or staff) acting within their role and duty.

A grievance of personal misconduct by a faculty member or other university employee arises when a student believes he or she is the subject of inappropriate behavior outside of the employee’s role and duties within the university.

III. Grievances Not Covered by This Policy Include:

  • Grade disputes, academic evaluation disputes and other matters related to a faculty member’s assigned duties. The grievance process for these disputes is found in the Academic Policies section of the University Catalog.
  • Sexual Harassment prohibited by Title IX. Title IX prohibits sexual harassment in education programs and activities at universities that receive federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment includes sexual assault, unwelcome conduct, stalking or dating/domestic violence. For reporting information, please contact (805) 493-3630 or titleix@CalLutheran.edu or visit callutheran.edu/titleix.

IV. Informal Grievance Resolution

Prior to bringing a grievance forward against a university office or representative acting within their role or duty, students are encouraged to attempt a good-faith resolution of the grievance. This attempt may be made with the party directly involved with the disputed matter, or with the head of the department or unit in which the grievance arises. Please note that there are cases when it is appropriate to go directly to the formal grievance resolution process.

Attempts at informal resolution should be initiated within 30 days of the incident in dispute.

V. Formal Grievance Resolution

Should a situation arise in which a student is unable to resolve his or her grievance informally, the university’s formal grievance process may be employed. This process, outlined below, should also be initiated within 30 days of the failed informal resolution, if applicable.

Step I

A formal grievance is presented by the student in writing to the Office of the Provost. This written grievance must include the following:

  • Name, address, phone number and email of the person making the grievance;
  • Identification of the office or individual against whom the grievance is brought;
  • A description of the specific university action or individual behavior resulting in this grievance;
  • The date or period of time in which the behavior occurred and the location of the incident; and
  • A listing of all individuals who witnessed any part of the incident in dispute.

If a grievance is against the provost or staff in the Office of the Provost, then the formal grievance is presented by the student in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Step II

Upon receipt of the formal grievance, a designee is appointed by the provost to investigate the dispute. Pertinent data (documents, interviews, etc.) will be gathered by the investigator and the matter will be handled in a timely manner.

If the grievance involves a university office or representative acting within their role or duty, the investigator will determine the involvement of pertinent supervisors, department chairs and deans, and present a report to the appropriate department for decision.

If the grievance is based on personal misconduct by a faculty member or other university employee, the investigator gathers pertinent information and presents it to either the pertinent dean (faculty complaint) or the assistant vice president for Human Resources (staff complaint).

Complaint Procedure

Students who have a complaint about their educational experience at California Lutheran University that is not resolved through the above outlined internal University procedures may contact the following California State agency for assistance. An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The bureau can be contacted at:

Address:1747 North Market Blvd., Suite 225

Sacramento, CA 95834

               Telephone: (916) 431-6924

               FAX: (916) 263-1897

               Website: http://www.bppe.ca.gov