504 Grievance Procedure
Springfield College (“College”) has adopted this grievance procedure to assist in facilitating resolution of complaints alleging disability discrimination in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”).
The College strives to provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging action prohibited by pertinent federal, state, and local disability anti-discriminatory laws. This Procedure applies to discrimination on the basis of disability including: disagreement with the decisions made about accommodations; physical inaccessibility of a College program or activity; disability harassment; or any other form of discrimination on the basis of a disability or perception of a disability.
A grievant may: (i) attempt to resolve the matter informally; or (ii) immediately file a formal grievance, at the option of the grievant, by utilizing the processes identified below.
An individual with a concern relating to his or her disability should first discuss the matter orally with the appropriate responsible office and official listed below who will attempt to resolve the individual’s concern.
- For students in the schools of Arts, Sciences & Professional Studies, Health, Physical Education & Recreation, and Health Sciences & Rehabilitation Studies, the School of Social Work, and for third-parties: Deborah Dickens, Director of Learning Support Service, Learning Commons, 3rd Floor, 263 Alden Street, Springfield, MA 01109-3797, Telephone: 413-748-3768, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For students in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies: Camille Elliott, Associate Director of Student Services, Blake Hall Room 333, 263 Alden Street, Springfield, MA 01109-3797, Telephone: 413-748-3978, Email: email@example.com.
- For employees: Pamela Pettengill, Benefits Coordinator, Administration Building Room 202, 263 Alden Street, Springfield, MA 01109-3797, Telephone: 413-748-3963, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the individual is not satisfied with the resolution proposed by the appropriate responsible department/official listed above, the individual is encouraged to attempt to resolve the matter informally by discussing the matter orally with the following:
- For students and third-parties: the Coordinator
- For employees: Miriam Siegel, Director of Human Resources, Administration Building Room 221, 263 Alden Street, Springfield, MA 01109-3797, Telephone: 413-748-3118, Email: email@example.com.
If the Coordinator or Ms. Siegel, as applicable, are not successful in achieving a satisfactory resolution in a prompt period of time (that is, generally within seven calendar days), the Coordinator/Ms. Siegel will inform the individual of his/her right to file a formal grievance.
Formal Grievance Procedure:
If the individual chooses to file a formal grievance, the following steps should be followed:
1. The individual shall file a formal grievance within forty-five (45) calendar days after he/she becomes aware of the alleged violation or denial of accommodation. The individual shall file the grievance with the following:
- For students and third-parties: the Coordinator
- For employees: Miriam Siegel, Director of Human Resources
The grievance shall be in writing and include the following:
- The grievant’s name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
- A full description of the problem;
- A description of what efforts have been made to resolve the issue informally; and
- A statement of the remedy requested.
2. Within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt, the Coordinator or Ms. Siegel, as applicable, or his/her applicable designee (hereinafter referred to as the “Grievance Officer”) shall read the complaint and conduct an investigation. In undertaking the investigation, the Grievance Officer may interview, consult with, and/or request a written response to the issues raised in the grievance from any individual the Grievance Officer believes to have relevant information, including faculty, staff, and students. If necessary or requested, the Grievance Officer will hear testimony or receive written testimony from the student, relevant faculty or staff member(s), and other knowledgeable people. The grievant has the right to ask for testimony from any individual whom he/she deems relevant to the case.
3. After completing the investigation, the Grievance Officer shall report his/her conclusions and proposed disposition in writing to the grievant and all other relevant parties. This transmission will be expected within forty-five (45) calendar days of the filing of the formal grievance. The deadline may be extended for good cause (e.g. reasons related to breaks in the academic calendar). The final report may also be provided, where appropriate, to any College officer whose authority will be needed to carry out the proposed disposition or to determine whether any personnel action is appropriate.
4. The disposition proposed by the Grievance Officer will be put into effect promptly.
5. Within ten (10) calendar days of the issuance of the final report, the grievant may appeal the Grievance Officer’s determination by filing a written request for review to the following Appeal Officer, or his/her applicable designee:
- Calvin Hill, Vice President for Inclusion and Community Relations, Marsh Memorial Building, 263 Alden Street, Springfield, MA 01109-3797, Telephone: 413-748-3050, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The written request for review must specify the particular substantive and/or procedural basis for the appeal, and must be made on grounds other than general dissatisfaction with the proposed disposition. Furthermore, the appeal must be directed only to issues raised in the formal complaint as filed or to procedural errors in the conduct of the grievance procedure itself, and not to new issues.
If the grievance involves a decision that is being challenged, the review by the Appeal Officer usually will be limited to the following considerations:
- Were the proper facts and criteria brought to bear on the decision?
- Were improper or extraneous facts or criteria brought to bear that substantially affected the decision to the detriment of the grievant?
- Were there any procedural irregularities that substantially affected the outcome of the matter to the detriment of the grievant?
- Given the proper facts, criteria, and procedures, was the decision a reasonable one?
6. A copy of the Appeal Officer’s written decision will be expected within thirty (30) calendar days of the filing of the appeal and will be sent to the parties, the Grievance Officer and, if appropriate, to the College officer whose authority will be needed to carry out the disposition. The deadline may be extended by the Appeal Officer for good cause (e.g. reasons related to breaks in the academic calendar). The decision of the Appeal Officer on the appeal is final.