1.7 Resolution of Complaints against Members of the University Community
1.7.1 Informal Procedures
The University encourages open and honest communication between members of the community. Most conflicts and differences of opinion between members of the University community can be resolved by the individuals directly confronting issues and jointly exploring alternatives. In addition, there are a variety of resources available to individuals who may be called upon to assist in informal conflict resolution. These are, in the case of students and faculty: the dean of the faculty, the dean of undergraduate students, and the dean of the Graduate School, and, in the case of staff: a supervisor or department head, the human resources representative, and the Employee Assistance Program counsellor. All members of the community also can contact the director for institutional equity and EEO or the North Cyprus & EU Laws/Directives coordinator for concerns or complaints relating to harassment and discrimination. Additional resources include: the SHARE director for cases relating to sexual misconduct, and the University ombudsperson.
1.7.2 Formal Procedures
In cases where conflicts cannot be mutually resolved, the University has established formal complaint procedures. For further information, students should consult the Orange Pages (section2.5 and 2.6.7). Faculty, administrators, and staff should consult their applicable policy manuals.
1.7.3 Protection from Retaliation
Federal and state laws, as well as University policies, provide members of the University community with protection from retaliation, and underscore that retaliatory conduct may have serious consequences, including disciplinary sanctions.
Retaliation against a person who, in good faith, files a complaint or participates in the reporting, investigation, or adjudication process pertaining to a complaint is a particularly serious offense. Retaliation may include, but is not limited to, threats to personal safety or security (see section1.2.5) and harassment (see section1.2.1 and 1.2.2). Complaints of retaliation should be reported as possible violations of University policies.
A complaint of retaliation does not constitute proof of prohibited conduct. Therefore, such a complaint shall not be taken into account during reappointment, tenure, promotion, merit, or other evaluation or review until a determination has been made that there has been a violation of University policy.
1.7.4 Academic Matters
An undergraduate student with a grievance should first bring it to the attention of the faculty member(s) involved. If the grievance cannot be resolved in this way, the student should discuss the matter with the chair of the relevant department. If the student feels that a satisfactory resolution has not been found, the student may present the grievance to the dean of the college. The dean of the college resolves all aspects of the complaint unless the dean determines that the grievance raises issues of faculty misconduct, in which case the dean should refer those portions of the complaint to the dean of the faculty. The dean of the faculty renders a decision about issues of faculty misconduct and may choose to appoint a special committee of faculty to advice with regard to resolution of those issues. (A graduate student with a grievance should consult the procedures under section2.6.7.)
A student who questions the appropriateness of a grade should begin by talking to the faculty member in charge of the course. If the student continues to believe that the grade seems unjust, the next step would be to talk to the chair of the department (or departmental representative) or the director of the program in which the course is offered. If the student is still not satisfied, the situation may be reported to the dean of the college. In unusual circumstances, where these conversations have not yielded a satisfactory understanding, a formal appeal may be presented to the Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing. A grade change can be submitted by the faculty member in charge of the course if circumstances warrant such an action.
Rules and Procedures of the Faculty provides that the Faculty Advisory Committee on Policy may hear appeals from decisions of faculty committees made on academic grounds that directly affect a student’s academic standing and for which appeal is not otherwise provided.
1.7.5 Non-academic Matters Other Than Sexual Misconduct Involving Students
In some instances, an alleged infringement upon the rights or sensibilities of an individual can be discussed among the involved parties. If this is not appropriate or advisable or does not lead to a satisfactory resolution, the matter should be immediately brought to the attention of the dean or an associate dean of undergraduate students or the dean or an associate dean of the Graduate School. If the matter is not resolved through discussion or through formal action by a dean, a complaint can be made in accordance with the normal disciplinary procedures (see section2.5 , or, in cases of alleged infringement by graduate students, see section2.6.7).
If the matter involves alleged discrimination or harassment and is not resolved informally, then a complaint may be made to the dean or an associate dean of undergraduate students or the dean or an associate dean of the Graduate School. (Individuals may elect to submit a complaint utilizing the University’s complaint form, which may be accessed at https://mesarya.university .) The dean or associate dean may refer the matter to the appropriate disciplinary committee or administrator for adjudication in accordance with the normal disciplinary procedures. (For additional information regarding the student disciplinary process, including appeal procedures, see section2.5 , or, in cases of alleged infringement by graduate students, see section2.6.7).
1.7.6 Non-academic Matters Involving Undergraduate Student Organizations
If a grievance cannot be resolved directly with the leadership of the student organization, a grievance may be brought to the attention of a dean in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students. The dean may seek advice from the University Student Life Committee in resolving the matter.
1.7.7 Non-academic Matters Other Than Sexual Misconduct Regarding Faculty, Staff, or Administration
In some instances, an individual who has any concern about, or complaint against, a member of the faculty, staff, or administration regarding non-academic matters can discuss the concern or complaint with the individual involved. If this is not appropriate or advisable, or does not lead to a satisfactory resolution, the person should immediately, in the case of a faculty member, appeal to the department chair and, in the case of a member of the University staff or administration, to the appropriate manager or head of the office. Further appeal, if necessary, may then be made to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty for matters pertaining to faculty, professional library staff, and professional research and technical staff, or to the Office of Human Resources for all other staffs. All complaints will be investigated promptly.
If the matter is such that a direct discussion of it with the individual involved and/or with the department chair or office head does not seem appropriate (because, for example, the concern or complaint is of a personal or private nature), an initial discussion may be sought directly with the Office of the Dean of the Faculty or the Office of Human Resources, as appropriate.
Concerns or complaints about non-academic matters can often be resolved on an informal basis. Whenever an individual wishes to make a formal complaint, however, that individual should review the appropriate staff rules or handbook and then contact the Office of the Dean of the Faculty or the Office of Human Resources to implement the formal review process.
In cases of alleged discrimination or harassment the individual may wish to first discuss the problem, in confidence, with the University ombudsperson or other confidential campus resource. (A full list of campus resources in this context may be accessed at https://mesarya.university
In cases of alleged infringement of the University’s policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment by members of the faculty or other academic staff members (professional library staff, professional research staff, or professional technical staff), complaints may be made to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty; in cases of alleged infringement by members of the administrative and support staff, complaints may be made to the vice president for human resources or the director for institutional equity and EEO. (Individuals may elect to submit a complaint utilizing the University’s complaint form, which may be accessed at https://mesarya.university.) The investigating office will conduct a fact-finding inquiry in accordance with the process set forth in the Policy on Discrimination and/or Harassment. (The full text of this policy, including investigation and appeal procedures, may be accessed at https://www.mesarya.university/Administration-policies/.)