Student Grievance Policy (other than grades)

Physician Assistant Studies

(ARC-PA Standard A3.11, A3.17d)

Effective Date: 7/1/2017

Introduction

Students who believe they have grounds for an appeal or a grievance related to policies and procedures of the PA Studies Program other than a grade appeal, must utilize the following steps. Students may be guided through this process by contacting Rubina Hackbusch, Office of PA Admissions and Student Affairs at rubinah@med.unr.edu or by calling (775) 682-7669.

Process

Step 1 - Initial Communication with Instructor or Faculty

The student who has a specific problem or grievance should first discuss the issue or situation directly with the faculty or instructor involved as soon as it is identified. The intent of this meeting is to establish communication around the issue and resolve it without the formal process. Each party is encouraged to listen with respect and openness to come to a resolution. The student may request another faculty member, advisor, mediator or other person to accompany him/her. The student may not bring legal representation to this meeting. However, if a satisfactory resolution with the faculty or instructor is not achieved, the formal process may be initiated.  

Step 2 Formal Process to submit a Notice of Grievance

The student may submit a written Notice of Grievance Form to the PA Student Progress Committee (SPC). Should the grievance be directed at the SPC, the student will submit the Notice of Grievance Form to the program director, who instead of the SPC, will follow the process outlined below. A grievance/appeal must be initiated through the formal process within the academic semester when the concern was raised or within the first two weeks of the following semester (or clerkship) if the issue or situation occurred at the end of the semester.   The SPC will attempt to reconcile the differences between the student and the faculty or instructor through the process described below.

  1. Submission of Notice of Grievance Form
    1. Identification of the issue involved with supporting documentation;
    2. A description of the appeal or grievance;
    3. List of any witnesses or support persons that may be contacted for more information;
    4. A description of the action(s) taken by the student, faculty or instructor, and the PA Studies Program.
    5. Once the student has identified the issue(s) giving rise to the grievance/appeal, new issues may not be introduced at a later stage unless the student can demonstrate that:

                                          i.    He/she could not reasonably have known about these issues at the time of application.                                     

     ii.    The new issues have direct and pertinent bearing on the grievance/appeal, highlighting aspects that would otherwise be unclear.

  1. The faculty/instructor named in the grievance and the PA Student Progress Committee will be provided a copy of the student's Notice of Grievance Form.
  2. The faculty or instructor named in the grievance will have the opportunity to provide the SPC and the student with a written response to the student's complaint within 5 business days. The faculty or instructor must be prepared to defend the decision or action on the basis of departmental policy, professional standards, or sound professional judgment
  3. The SPC will review the documentation provided by the student and the instructor within 5 business days of the response. If the committee members need additional information, they will request either an interview with the involved parties or supplemental written documentation.
  4. The SPC will render a decision in writing no later than 5 business days after receiving the additional required information. Copies of the written decision shall be provided to the student and others who have been involved in the appeal process and will be placed in the student's file as a part of the permanent record.
  5. The Chair of the SPC shall send a letter to the student, Program Director and the faculty or instructor named in the grievance documenting that the meeting occurred and confirming the decision that was made.
  6. If the student believes that the issue was not resolved at that level, the student shall submit a written appeal to the Program Director describing the reason for the appeal. This should be completed within 5 business days of receipt of the decision from the SPC.
  7. The Program Director will review the process and confirm or change the decision. This action should take place within 5 business days of receipt of the appeal from the student.
  8. Only in the situation that the grievance is with the PA Studies Program Director, the student can bypass this step of the grievance process and appeal directly to the Dean of the School of Medicine. At any point, the Dean of UNR Med may determine a different course of action.
  9. After following this process, if the student remains unsatisfied with the results of the Grievance Process, he/she may appeal to the Dean of UNR Med within 5 business days of the decision by the SPC.

Rev. 3/1/2019