Academic Grievance Policy
Grievance Policy (Academic Complaint)*
An academic complaint refers to the grievance a student may have concerning faculty
evaluation of his or her academic performance represented in the final grade for a
course, OR a professor’s assessment of academic dishonesty.
The following procedure must be followed in filing a grievance:
- Final Grades: Issues concerning individual assignments, examinations, and other graded work during
the course may only be appealed to the professor; a student may not use this policy
for appeal until a final grade has been assigned for the course. To appeal a final
grade, the student must take the matter to the faculty member, in writing, and within
the first 15 PBA work days of the grade being posted in my.pba.edu. Appeal via PBA
e-mail correspondence will be considered as written appeal. The appropriate Dean must
be copied on the written appeal.
- Academic Dishonesty: To appeal an academic dishonesty judgment, the student must take the matter to the
faculty member, in writing, within 5 working days of being notified of the judgment.
Appeal via PBA e-mail correspondence will be considered as written appeal.
- The Faculty Member will respond to the student in writing within 15 PBA work days
of the student’s written notification of grievance. Response via PBA e-mail will be
considered as written response.
- The student may appeal the case to the Dean, by completing the appeal application
and submitting it to the Dean, only after written communication with the professor
in resolving the complaint proves to be unsatisfactory to the student. This appeal to the Dean must
be done within 15 PBA work days of the written response from the faculty member. The
written justification for appeal must identify the issues, with all substantiating
documents attached. Appeal to the Dean via PBA e-mail must include appropriate attachments
including the signed appeal application and all substantiating documentation. The
Dean will denote his or her decision on the application for appeal and return it to
the student in written form or via PBA e-mail within 15 PBA work days.
- If the original appeal involves the Dean as the professor of record, the Provost will
appoint another dean to review the appeal.
- If, after the Dean has made the decision on the appeal, the student is not satisfied
with the outcome, he or she may appeal to the Council of Deans through the Office
of the Provost. The only justification for appeal to the Council of Deans is a procedural violation. The student appeal must demonstrate which procedure was violated and how it was violated.
Simple disagreement with the decision is not sufficient grounds for appeal. This application
for appeal must be submitted within 15 PBA work days of the written response from
the Dean and must be submitted to the Office of the Provost. The appeal may be delivered
in written form or via PBA e-mail. If the appeal is delivered via PBA e-mail, all
substantiating documentation must be attached to the e-mail.
- This appeal will be reviewed by the Appeals Committee of the Council of the Deans
(which consists of three people who are appointed from the members of the Council
of Deans for a one year term by the Provost) to determine the merit of the case. If
the Appeals Committee determines that the case is not sustainable on its merits, the
decision is final and there is no further appeal. If the committee determines there
is compelling evidence to proceed with the case, such appeal can proceed in one of
two ways. First, the Appeals Committee may refer the matter back to the Dean with
recommendations for resolution. Second, the Appeals Committee may refer the matter
to be heard at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Council of Deans which falls in
the following calendar month. The Administrative Assistant to the Provost will provide
the student with the date of the Council of Deans meeting.
- The Council must be supplied with the completed application for appeal, a written
summary of the complaint, and all substantiating documents relating to the case, including
the original appeal to the Dean. The only evidence admissible is that which has previously
been presented to the Dean, with the exception of evidence related to procedural violation
by the Dean. The Dean to whom the complaint was submitted also will provide a written
summary account of his or her conclusions and written recommendations within 15 PBA
work days prior to the scheduled appeal, along with any substantiating documents.
The Administrative Assistant to the Provost is responsible for gathering these materials
and for making them available to all parties for review prior to the meeting.
- Both the student and the faculty member will be afforded the opportunity to present
their cases to the Council. Communication to the Council during its deliberations
is the responsibility of each party in the complaint. The presence of the student
and of the faculty member is only for fact-finding. Deliberations based upon these
presentations and the written records of the case are kept strictly confidential and
are open only to Council members.
- The Provost and any member of the Council who is a party to the complaint or who believes
that past experience or relationship with individuals involved prejudices an objective
review of the case may recuse themselves from the final decision.
- As chair of the Council, the Provost will communicate the Council’s findings in writing
to the student and faculty member within ten working days of deliberations.
The Office of the Provost is responsible for enforcing the decision of the Council
of Deans. The conclusions and recommendations of the Council are final and binding
upon the parties to the complaint. No further appeal may ensue.
File Outside Complaint
To file a complaint against a nonpublic postsecondary institution in Florida, the student would write a letter
or send an e-mail containing the following information:
- Name of Student (or Complainant)
- Complainant Address
- Phone Number
- Name of Institution
- Location of the Institution (City)
- Dates of Attendance
- A full description of the problem and any other documentation that will support your
claim such as enrollment agreements, correspondence, etc.
You may contact:
(a) Equitable Services Ombudsman
(b) If the Ombudsman is unable to assist you, contact Office of Articulation within
the Department of Education.
Distance Education students, who have completed the internal institutional grievance
process and the applicable state grievance process, may appeal non-instructional complaints
to the FL-SARA PRDEC Council. For additional information on the complaint process,
please visit the FL-SARA Complaint Process page.
Grievance Policy (Non-Academic Complaint)
A non-academic complaint is any alleged injustice including unfair treatment, error,
or behavior inconsistent with University policies, mission or values. Complaints regarding
harassment or discrimination will be addressed by the Office of Human Resources.
General Guidelines for Informal Resolution
In most cases, concerns can be resolved through informal processes that begin with
the student and the department or office involved by following the steps outlined
below. Students may choose, however, not to utilize the informal process and file
a written formal complaint from the outset of their concerns which will be described
in the following section.
Discuss the matter with the faculty or staff member in the department or office in
which the issue originated.
If the issue is not resolved, next contact the department chair or administrative
office supervisor to attempt a resolution.
If the issue still remains unresolved, next contact the appropriate dean’s office
or administrative assistant/associate vice president.
General Guidelines for Formal Complaints
If a student’s concern remains unresolved after exhausting informal processes for
resolution, the student may choose to file a written statement of his/her complaint
to seek official documentation and resolution of the issue(s). The sections below
describe procedures for written complaints. All departments and programs shall keep
written logs and copies of all documents related to formal complaints received. Complaint
logs shall note the nature of the complaint, the final resolution of the issue, and
the date of resolution.
The student completes a written explanation of the concern or appeal to the appropriate
The complaint must include the student’s name and contact information, and a description
of the circumstances, including the parties involved to date and the current status
of the situation.
The supervisor will review the student’s complaint and provide a written acknowledgment
within ten business days.
The written complaint will be logged for internal processing; however, it will not
become a part of the student’s official record.
If the resolution with the supervisor proves unsatisfactory to the student, he/she
may take the complaint to the Director, Dean, Vice President or designee in writing.
It is the student’s responsibility to demonstrate that he/she has already communicated
with the staff member’s immediate supervisor. Any complaint that has not followed
the prescribed steps will be referred back to the appropriate staff member.
In the event that the complaint is directly related to the Director, non-academic
Dean, Vice President or designee, the complaint will be forwarded to the Senior Vice
President for Finance, Administration and Planning.
The Senior Vice President or designee will review the student’s complaint and provide
a written response.
In the event that the complaint is directly related to the Senior Vice President for
Finance, Administration and Planning, the complaint will be forwarded to the Provost.
The Provost will review the student’s complaint and provide a final written response.
If the student is not satisfied with the institution’s complaint process you may contact:
a) Equitable Services Ombudsman
b) If the Ombudsman is unable to assist you, contact Office of Articulation within
the Department of Education.
Out of State Students
Who have completed the internal institutional and applicable state grievance procedures may appeal the complaint to the PRDEC Council at FLSARAinfo@fldoe.org.