Filing a Complaint or Grievance

Students wishing to file a complaint or grievance should contact:

Heath Morgan, Dean of Students
Ferguson Center, 2nd Floor (Office of Student Affairs)
Phone: (660) 831-4652
E-mail: morganh@moval.edu

Students wishing to file a complaint or grievance regarding academic matters should contact:

Sharon Weiser, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Baity Hall, Room 207
Phone: (660) 831-4146
E-mail: weisers@moval.edu

Faculty wishing to file a complaint or grievance should contact:

Sharon Weiser, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Baity Hall, Room 207
Phone: (660) 831-4146
E-mail: weisers@moval.edu

Staff wishing to file a complaint or grievance should contact:

Tom Fifer, Vice President for Operations
Burns Center
Phone: (660) 831-4219
Email: fifert@moval.edu

Students, Faculty, or Staff wishing to file a complaint or grievance with an outside agency

In compliance with federal law (34 CFR 668.43b), the College provides students and prospective students with the contact information for filing complaints with our accreditor (Higher Learning Commission) and State approval or licensing entity (Missouri Department of Higher Education). Those wishing to seek the assistance of or file complaints with these agencies may use the contact information listed below.

Missouri Department of Higher Education

The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) serves as a clearinghouse for postsecondary student complaints. The MDHE complaint policy may be found here: http://www.dhe.mo.gov/documents/POLICYONCOMPLAINTRESOLUTION.pdf.
This webpage contains information about the complaint process and includes instructions for how to file a formal complaint.

Contact Information:
Missouri Department of Higher Education
205 Jefferson Street, P.O. Nox 1469, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1269
Phone: (573) 751-2361 / (800) 473-6757
E-mail: info@dhe.mo.gov

Higher Learning Commission
Missouri Valley College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). As an affiliated institution, students, faculty, and other parties may file a complaint about the College's ongoing ability to meet the Criteria of Accreditation, the Commission forwards the complaint to the institution and request a formal response. Instructions for filing complaints can be found here:http://www.ncahlc.org/Information-for-the-Public/complaints.html.
Question can be e-mailed to complaints@hlcommission.org.

Contact Information:
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411
Phone: (312) 263-0456 / (800) 621-7440
E-mail: complaints@hlcommission.org

Students Grievance Policy

Missouri Valley College is committed to providing a nurturing a campus culture which embraces all individuals with compassion, civility, and respect. The grievance policy is established to provide clear options for all students to find resolution for issues or concerns relating to the College community. This policy does not trump or negate other policies, rather it should be used in conjunction or as relief for issues not otherwise being resolved.

Formal Grievance Process
A student may file a formal grievance if he or she believes that there has been a violation of general College policies and/or any local, state, or federal law with regard to fellow students, faculty, staff or affiliates of the College. To file a formal grievance, students should contact the Dean of Students or his designees (Director of Housing & Residence Life, Director of Public Safety). The Dean will meet with the student privately to discuss the concern, at which time the Dean may request a formal statement from the complainant. The Dean will provide information regarding next steps and/or resolution. Response may include the involvement of additional College administrators and/or other personnel as needed. A resolution to the grievance will be reached within a reasonable time of notification. If the Dean's response is not satisfactory, the student may appeal to the President of the College (who may appoint a designee) for further review and/or appeal. Please note: Grievances regarding Academic policies or Sexual/Other Harassment have separate processes that should be followed in lieu of this general process.

Informal Grievance Process
A student may file an informal grievance by speaking with the individual and/or supervisor of any department or area of the College concerned. This may be done in person, writing, or electronic communication. Each department or area will handle grievances in a manner seen fit. Students should understand that this is an informal process; while many grievances will be readily resolved to a students’ satisfaction, if the grievance is not resolved the student should follow the formal grievance process for resolution.

Anonymous Reporting
A student may anonymously report an issue to the College via electronic form, found on the Department of Public Safety website (http://www.moval.edu/offices/incident_report.php). The College will take reasonable action to respond. Students should understand that due to the nature of anonymous tips, not all issues may be resolved or resolved to a students’ satisfaction. If the grievance is not resolved or resolved to a students’ satisfaction, the student should follow the formal grievance process for resolution.

Academic Grievance Process

Grounds for Appeal: The academic appeal procedure is a process designed to address an academic situation the student perceives as unfair or unjust. It is not a process to be used when there is dissatisfaction with a grade or to obtain a grade change. For that type of grievance, see the Grade Appeal Process. For non-academic grievances, refer to the relevant sections of the Student Handbook.

Appeals Process: The student should try to resolve the situation by discussing it with the following people in the order listed below. The procedure would halt at any point that satisfaction has been reached. If the administrative path for the appeal is unclear, the student should consult with the Vice President of Academic Affairs for clarification.

  • 1. Course Faculty
  • 2. Division Dean/Chair
  • 3. Vice President of Academic Affairs

Formal Appeal: If, after discussion with the people listed above, the issue has not been resolved, the student may file a written appeal with the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Student appeals are heard by the Judicial Board composed of a chair, three faculty and three students to be selected from a panel of twelve, six faculty and six students (for undergraduate appeals the students will be undergraduates and for graduate appeals the students will be graduate students). A student with a GPA of 2.5 or better and a recommendation from a faculty member may apply for a position on the Judicial Board panel. The Student Government Association selects student members yearly with the consent of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Dean of Students. Faculty members are recommended by the Faculty Senate and appointed by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. They must be full-time faculty members employed by Missouri Valley College for at least one full academic year. The Vice President of Academic Affairs shall sit on the Judicial Board as chair, voting only in case of a tie. In the event that the Vice President is unable to serve, the President of the College will appoint a cabinet-level official as chair. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will set up the first meeting of the panel and notify the involved student and the faculty member(s).

Time Limits: An administrative appeal must be initiated by the student within thirty days of the end of the semester in which the incident occurred. The formal appeal must be initiated within thirty days of the completion of the administrative appeal process. A submitted appeal is placed before the Vice President of Academic Affairs for review and ruling in whether the appeal has reasonable cause for Judicial Board review. The Vice President of Academic Affairs has three working days to allow or deny the appeal. If the appeal is granted, the appeal panel shall meet within five working days.

The Judicial Board will receive information from both the student and the faculty:
Student Responsibility: The student should clearly and concisely describe the incident and state the reason for the appeal along with any supporting materials.
Faculty Responsibility: Any written documentation that the faculty member(s) wish to present to the panel.
The Judicial Board will vote to determine an appropriate resolution to the appeal. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will notify the appellant of the outcome of the appeal in writing within three working days of the appeal hearing.

  • 1. There has been a violation of any College policies involving another student
  • 2. There has been a violation of any College policies involving a faculty, staff member

Filing a grievance with outside agencies

In compliance with federal law (34 CFR 668.43b), the College provides students and prospective students with the contact information for filing complaints with our accreditor (Higher Learning Commission) and State approval or licensing entity (Missouri Department of Higher Education). Those wishing to seek the assistance of or file complaints with these agencies may use the contact information listed below.

Missouri Department of Higher Education
The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) serves as a clearinghouse for postsecondary student complaints. The MDHE complaint policy may be found here: http://www.dhe.mo.gov/documents/POLICYONCOMPLAINTRESOLUTION.pdf.
This webpage contains information about the complaint process and includes instructions for how to file a formal complaint.

Contact Information:
Missouri Department of Higher Education
205 Jefferson Street, P.O. Nox 1469, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1269
Phone: (573) 751-2361 / (800) 473-6757
E-mail: info@dhe.mo.gov

Higher Learning Commission
Missouri Valley College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). As an affiliated institution, students, faculty, and other parties may file a complaint about the College’s ongoing ability to meet the Criteria of Accreditation, the Commission forwards the complaint to the institution and request a formal response. Instructions for filing complaints can be found here [hyperlink:  http://www.ncahlc.org/Information-for-the-Public/complaints.html]. Question can be e-mailed to complaints@hlcommission.org.

Contact Information:
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411
Phone: (312) 263-0456 / (800) 621-7440
E-mail: complaints@hlcommission.org

Faculty Grievance Policy:
It is hoped that any problems or conflicts could be settled amicably by consultation among the professionals involved. However, the philosophy of the College is that a defined grievance procedure is a positive and equitable procedure for solution of problems and serves not only the individual but the institution as well.

Grievance Procedure for Discrimination and Harassment Issues

Most instances of perceived harassment or discrimination at Missouri Valley College are resolved through the "open door" method, with the employee or student discussing concerns or dissatisfactions with the appropriate administrative officer or faculty member. On occasion, either because of the severity of the complaint, or simply to ensure a fair hearing by a neutral party in such situations, the grievance should be brought to the attention of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who can be reached by phone at (660) 831-4146, in person at Baity Hall 207, or in writing at 500 E. College, Marshall, MO 65340. Because of the potential penalties involved in these areas, up to and including termination, all grievances must be made in writing prior to the commencement of an investigation.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs, or the President of the College, in the instance that a complaint involves the Vice President for Academic Affairs, will investigate the allegations in a discreet manner, protecting confidentiality as much as possible, and recommending appropriate corrective or remedial measures to the President in the event that the complaint is validated. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will take responsibility for a complete and objective investigation resulting in a prompt and equitable resolution within thirty days.

Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will inform the grievant in writing of the investigation's conclusion(s). If the grievant is displeased with the decision, the case may be appealed to the President of the College for final determination within thirty days.

Grievance Procedure Pertaining to Full-Time Faculty

The grievance process consists of four steps to ensure due process:

  • 1. Any full-time faculty member who believes he or she has been personally aggrieved because procedures in this Faculty Handbook have been violated may take his or her grievance in writing to the appropriate Division Dean/Chair for review and/or action. The matter that is the subject of the grievance must have occurred no more than seven days before the written complaint is delivered. If the grievance is mutually resolved within five regular working days from such deliverance, the process is terminated.
  • 2. If unresolved after the five day period set out in step 1, the Grievant may then submit the written grievance to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for review and/or action to be made within five regular working days from the submission of the written grievance.  If the grievance is mutually resolved within such time, the process is terminated.
  • 3. If unresolved after the five-day period set out in step 2, the Grievant shall have the option of submitting the grievance to the Grievance Committee composed as outlined below.  After considering the grievance, the Grievance Committee shall make a recommendation to the President of the College. If the President accepts the recommendation and the faculty member concurs within five regular working days after the recommendation is delivered by the Grievance Committee to the President, the process is terminated.
  • 4. If the faculty member does not concur with the decision of the President, the faculty member shall have the option of submitting the grievance to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. The Executive Committee shall make a determination as soon as practicable, and its decision shall be final.
  • In order to ensure resolution of grievances in as timely a manner as possible, it shall be the duty of the grievant to initiate any of the appeal steps outlined above within three regular working days after receiving notice of any decision along the way with which the Grievant does not concur.  Failure to do so will terminate the grievance process.

Composition of the Grievance Committee

The Grievance Committee shall be elected by the full-time faculty and full-time staff as a whole at the beginning of each academic year. It shall consist of two non-Dean/Chair full-time faculty members, one non-Dean/Chair full-time faculty alternate and one non-supervisory full-time staff member. The two faculty members receiving the most votes will fill the two faculty seats, and the faculty member receiving the third most votes will serve as the alternate. The staff member receiving the most votes will fill the staff seat on the Committee.

Grievance Procedure Guidelines

  • 1. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall retain all documents for a period of five years.
  • 2. Grievances shall be processed during normal faculty or staff working days without loss of pay to parties involved.
  • 3. Except for findings and their recommendations to the President, the Grievance Committee shall maintain strict confidentiality of their proceedings.
  • 4. No faculty member may be discriminated against for initiating grievance procedures.

Grievance Policy:
It is hoped that any problems or conflicts could be settled amicably by consultation among the professionals involved. However, the philosophy of the College is that a defined grievance procedure is a positive and equitable procedure for solution of problems and serves not only the individual but the institution as well.

Grievance Procedure for Discrimination and Harassment Issues

Most instances of perceived harassment or discrimination at Missouri Valley College are resolved through the "open door" method, with the employee or student discussing their concerns or dissatisfaction with a reasonable administrative officer or faculty member. On occasion, either because of the severity of the complaint, or simply to ensure a fair hearing by a neutral party, the grievance should be brought to the attention of the Vice President of Operations, who can be reached by phone at (660) 831-4219, in person at his office in Burns Athletic Complex, Second Floor, or in writing at 500 E. College, Marshall, MO 65340. Because of the potential penalties involved in these areas, up to and including termination, all grievances must be made in writing prior to the commencement of an investigation.

The Vice President of Operations (or the President of the college, in the instance that a complaint involves the Vice President of Operations) will investigate the allegations in a discreet manner, protecting confidentiality as much as possible, recommending appropriate corrective and remedial measures to the President in the event that the complaint is validated. The Vice President of Operations will take responsibility for a complete and objective investigation, resulting in a prompt and equitable resolution within 30 days. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Vice President of Operations will inform the grievant in writing of the investigation's conclusion(s). If the grievant is displeased with the decision, the case may be appealed to the President of the College for final determination within 30 days.


Grievance Procedure Pertaining to Staff

The Grievance process consists of four steps to ensure due process:

  • 1. Any faculty member or staff member who believes he/she has been personally aggrieved because procedures covered in this Staff Handbook have been violated may take his/her grievance in writing to the appropriate Supervisor for review and/or action. The matter that is the subject of the grievance must have occurred no more than seven days before the written complaint is delivered. If the grievance is mutually resolved within five regular working days from such deliverance, the process terminates.
  • 2. If unresolved after the five day period set out in step 1, the Grievant may then submit the written grievance to the Vice President of Operations for review and/or action to be made within five regular working days from the date of submission of the written grievance. If the grievance is mutually resolved within such time, the process terminates.
  • 3. If unresolved after the five day period set out in step 2, the Grievant shall have the option of submitting the grievance to the Grievance Committee (composed as outlined below). After considering the grievance, the Grievance Committee shall make a recommendation to the President of the College. If the President accepts the recommendation and the faculty/staff member concurs within five regular working days after the recommendation is delivered by the Grievance Committee to the President, the process terminates.
  • 4. If the faculty/staff member does not concur with the decision of the President, he/she shall have the option of submitting the grievance to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. The Executive Committee shall make a determination as soon as is practicable, and its decision shall be the final position of the College.
  • In order to ensure resolution of grievances in as timely a manner as possible, it shall be the duty of the Grievant to initiate any of the appeal steps outlined above within three regular working days after receiving notice of any decision along the way with which the Grievant does not concur. Failure to do so will terminate the grievance process.

Composition of the Grievance Committee

The Grievance committee shall be elected by the staff as a committee of the whole at the beginning of each academic year. It shall consist of two staff members and one alternate, and one faculty member.

Grievance Procedure Guidelines

  • 1. The Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President of Operations shall retain all documents for a period of five years.
  • 2. Grievances shall be processed during normal faculty/staff working days without loss of pay to parties involved.
  • 3. Except for findings and their recommendation to the President, the Grievance Committee shall maintain strict confidentiality of their proceedings.
  • 4. No staff member may be discriminated against for initiating grievance procedures.