Complaints and Investigations

All members of the Georgia College community shall adhere to all applicable laws, policies, and procedures, including those enacted to ensure proper action against all forms of misconduct.  The Complaint and Investigation Policy addresses the process for reporting and investigating alleged misconduct and/or inappropriate behavior of members of the Georgia College community, which include but are not limited to faculty, staff, students, volunteers, visitors, and vendors.

Georgia College’s goal of a diverse and inclusive environment includes a commitment to maintain an environment that is safe and free from prohibited discrimination, harassment, and all other forms of misconduct and/or inappropriate behavior. The University has adopted policies in support of this goal and complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Severe misconduct and/or inappropriate behavior undermines the Georgia College mission and commitment to inclusiveness by threatening the careers, educational experience, and well-being of those associated with the University.  Please see below for ways to report alleged misconduct.

Complaints

There are several ways to file a complaint at Georgia College:

1. Complaints against employees may be filed with the Office of Human Resources.

2. Complaints against students may be filed with the Office of Student Affairs.

3. Complaints regarding institutional processes or policies may be filed with the Office of Legal Affairs.

4. Complaints may also be filed via the Ethics and Compliance Hotline.

Additional ways students may file a complaint at Georgia College:

Georgia College recognizes the importance of providing a prompt and efficient procedure for fair and equitable resolutions of a non-academic grievance or appeal. A non-academic grievance or appeal alleges discrimination by a University employee on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, physical handicap/disability or involves personal behavior and/or University policy. Accordingly, students are encouraged to use the non-academic grievance or appeal process without fear of prejudice or reprisal for initiating the process or participating in its resolution.

A non-academic grievance or appeal is an allegation by a student concerning (1) a University employee, (2) administrative policies, procedures, regulations or requirements of the University, (3) student employment, or (4) a University program, service or activity.

Following are the proper procedures for resolving a non-academic grievance or appeal:

The student shall submit a complaint in writing to the appropriate University official responsible for the action which forms the basis of the grievance or appeal. The complaint shall contain a clear and concise statement of the grievance or appeal, the remedies sought, and a request for a meeting with the involved person or persons or a written response. The complaint must be submitted within five days of the event unless there are extenuating circumstances.

The respondent shall schedule a meeting with the student within ten class days of receipt of the written grievance or appeal to discuss the matter. A written reply by the respondent to the student, indicating the results of the meeting and including further action, if any, to be taken, shall be attached to the written grievance or appeal.

If the student is not satisfied with the results of the discussion and reply and wants the grievance or appeal to be considered further, the student shall appeal in writing to the respondent’s supervisor to seek a resolution. This consultation must begin within 10 class days after the conclusion of the discussion with the respondent. A written reply by the respondent’s supervisor to the student, indicating the results of the meeting and including further action, if any, to be taken, shall be attached to the written grievance or appeal.

If the student is not satisfied after seeking consultation at the supervisor’s level and wants the grievance or appeal to be considered further, the student shall appeal in writing to the secondary supervisor to seek a resolution. This consultation must begin within ten class days after the supervisor has completed consideration of the grievance or appeal. A written reply by the secondary supervisor to the student, indicating the results of the meeting and including further action, if any, to be taken, shall be attached to the written grievance or appeal.

If the student is not satisfied and wants the grievance or appeal to be considered further, the student shall appeal in writing to the next appropriate supervisor. This grievance or appeal must be filed within ten class days after the secondary supervisor has completed consideration of the grievance or appeal. A written reply by the next appropriate supervisor to the student, indicating the results of the meeting and including further action, if any, to be taken, shall be attached to the written grievance or appeal.
The decision of the President will become the final campus decision on the grievance or appeal. A written reply by the President to the student, indicating the results of the meeting and including further action, if any, to be taken, shall be attached to the written grievance or appeal. The student and appropriate University officials shall be notified in writing of the decision within ten class days after the last consideration of the grievance or appeal.

After completing the procedure above, if a student feels that his/her situation has not been resolved at the institutional level, the student may appeal outside of the institution. Please see the information about complaints to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia here.

Students should be aware that their faculty advisor, the Office of Counseling Services, the Student Government Association, and the Office of Student Affairs may be resource areas whereby students may receive assistance on a grievance or appeal. The time limit may be extended upon approval of a written request submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

                      

An academic grievance or appeal is an allegation by a student of substantial and/or unjustified deviation, to the student’s detriment, from policies, procedures and/or requirements regarding admission, grading policies, special agreements, instructor’s requirements and academic requirements of the University. Students shall have the right to file academic grievances or appeals according to the following procedures approved by the University.

Following are the proper procedures for resolving academic grievances or appeals:

The student shall petition in writing the appropriate academic or administrative official responsible for the action which forms the basis of the grievance or appeal. The petition shall contain a clear and concise statement of the grievance or appeal, the remedies sought, and a request for a meeting with the involved person or persons or a written response.

The respondent shall schedule a meeting to discuss the matter with the student or provide the student with a written response within ten class days of receipt of the written grievance or appeal.

If the student is not satisfied with the results of the interaction discussion and wants the grievance or appeal to be considered further, the student shall appeal in writing to the respondent’s supervisor to seek a resolution. This consultation must begin within ten class days after the conclusion of the discussion with the respondent.

If the student is not satisfied after seeking consultation at the supervisor’s level and wants the grievance or appeal to be considered further, the student shall appeal in writing to the secondary supervisor to seek a resolution. This consultation must begin within ten class days after the supervisor has completed consideration of the grievance or appeal.

If the student is not satisfied and wants the grievance or appeal to be considered further, the student shall appeal in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. This grievance or appeal must be filed within ten class days after the secondary supervisor has completed consideration of the grievance or appeal. The decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will become the final decision of the academic grievance or appeal at the institution. A clear statement of the reasons for the decision shall accompany the decision as to the resolution of the grievance or appeal. The student and appropriate University officials shall be notified in writing of the decision within ten class days after consideration of the grievance or appeal.

Students should be aware that their faculty advisor, the Office of Counseling Services, the Student Government Association, and the Office of Academic Affairs are resource areas where students may receive assistance.

The time limit for a grievance or appeal may be extended upon approval of a written request to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Investigations

FAQs

Investigations vs. Employee Relations

While an investigation may be necessary for many complaints, an informal or formal investigation is not always necessary.  A determination on the necessity of an investigation happens within the investigation triage committee.