Student Complaint Policy
Touro College is committed to safeguarding the interests of all students. Students are entitled to be treated with fairness and respect in accordance with the College’s policies and procedures. The College does not condone unfair treatment of students by administration, faculty and staff.
Students who believe they have been aggrieved by the College, and such occurrence is not governed by another complaint mechanism, may seek redress through the complaint procedure outlined below. No adverse action will be taken against any person who files a complaint because of the filing of such complaint.
This student complaint procedure is available to any Touro College student who seeks to resolve a legitimate complaint directly affecting that student, and such circumstance is not governed by another complaint mechanism (see Exception to Policy below). The procedure only applies to complaints that are the result of actions by another member of the College community while acting in an official capacity (e.g. faculty member, administrator, or staff) in contravention of the written policies of the College or the school in which the student is enrolled.
If any student believes that his or her rights have been violated or infringed upon, or that Touro’s policies and procedures have not been followed, that student may file a formal complaint with the Dean of the school or division in which he/she is enrolled. When a complaint concerns an administrative function of the College, including but not limited to, tuition refund and student financial assistance, a student may file a formal complaint with the College-wide director or supervisor of the administrative unit in question, or their designee.
Prior to filing the formal complaint, the student should attempt to remedy the situation via an informal mediation (described in Phase One below). If the informal mediation is unsuccessful, or if the student is uncomfortable attempting an informal resolution, then a formal complaint may be filed.
The complaint should state, with particularity: the person(s) involved, the nature of the claim, the date, witnesses (if any), documents (if any), and the circumstances under which the alleged claim may have been committed.
Claims under this policy may only be brought within sixty (60) calendar days of the alleged misconduct.
EXCEPTION TO POLICY
This Policy is not applicable to situations that are governed by other policies, for example, grade appeals and complaints of sexual harassment. Complaints of sexual harassment is governed by the Title IX policy. Other examples of exceptions to the complaint Policy include, but are not limited to, race discrimination, Code of Conduct violations, and ADA Reasonable Accommodations requests and complaints.
Additionally, this Policy is separate and distinct from the Touro College or program-specific grade appeals policies. Therefore, this Policy may not be used for appealing grades, dismissals, or academic decisions by any Touro College programs. Such appeals are governed by the Student Handbook or Catalog for the program in which the student is enrolled.
STUDENT COMPLAINT PROCEDURE PHASES
PHASE ONE: ATTEMPT TO RESOLVE THE MATTER THROUGH INFORMAL RESOLUTION
Direct Discussion: Students wishing to grieve an alleged violation of the College’s policies should first attempt to resolve the matter through informal resolution. In order to do so, the student should first contact the person responsible for the matter being grieved (the respondent) and attempt to resolve the complaint informally, within thirty (30) days of any occurrence giving rise to the complaint or the time they could reasonably have learned of such occurrence.
Informal Mediation: At the request of the student or respondent, the Office of Ombudsman shall arrange for a meeting of the parties, attend such meeting(s), and attempt to aid in the resolution of the complaint. Discussions with the Ombudsman are confidential in nature, and therefore Informal mediation does not constitute notification to the College of the complaint.
Advisement: Students uncertain about how to proceed may consult the Office of Institutional Compliance who shall identify the Ombudsman.
PHASE TWO: FORMAL REVIEW
(If the matter is not resolved in Phase One)
1. Filing of a Written Complaint: If the complaint is not resolved informally within twenty (20) days after the student directly contacted the appropriate person to attempt an informal resolution, the student may obtain review by submitting a written complaint to the Dean or the appropriate director or supervisor of the administrative unit in question, or their designee (herein referred to as the “Dean”). The letter must be sent within twenty (20) days of the first direct contact that the student had with the respondent (person he/she felt to be responsible for the situation). The student’s letter of complaint must include the following:
- The specific written school or program policy that allegedly has been violated
- A description of the facts and evidence supporting the alleged violation
- A description of the redress that the grievant seeks
2. Appointment of an Investigator: The Dean shall direct the complaint to the Office of Institutional Compliance who shall:
- Review the allegedly violated policy
- Meet with the complainant
- Meet with other persons as he or she shall deem appropriate for this purpose of determining the facts and attempting to resolve the complaint
- Draft reports regarding their investigation
- Provide their reports to a third-party fact-finder, who shall be a senior staff member or administrator designated by the Dean, upon completion of the investigation. The fact-finder shall render a written decision based upon the merits of the matter to the interested parties.
If the Complaint is against the Dean, the student may directly submit the complaint to the Office of Institutional Compliance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHASE THREE: FINAL REVIEW BY A “FACT-FINDER,”—SENIOR STAFF MEMBER OR ADMINISTRATOR
- The fact-finder shall determine within fifteen (15) business days, what, if any, remedies are required.
- The fact-finder’s decision as to the appropriate remedy shall be in writing and final, and copies shall be sent to the student and the respondent.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Touro College ensures that final determination of each formal complaint will be made by a person or persons not directly involved in the alleged problem. If at any point in the formal complaint process a student, or any other individual, learns that an investigator is directly involved with the complaint at issue, he or she should inform the Dean of the program or division of the potential conflict immediately. If a Conflict of Interest exists, the College will immediately remove that individual from the investigation.
Students who wish to file a complaint with a programmatic accreditor may find program-specific accreditor contact information on the Touro College Accreditations page.
NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
Students who wish to file a complaint with the New York State Education Department may follow the information published on the Office of College and University Evaluation website. Students are advised that the Office of College and University Evaluation will not review a complaint until all grievance procedures at the institution have been followed and all avenues of appeal exhausted and documentation provided that such procedures have been exhausted.
This Policy contains only general guidelines and information. It is not intended to be comprehensive or to address all the possible applications of, or exceptions to, the policies and procedures of Touro. If you have any questions concerning a particular policy or procedure, you should address your specific questions to the Chair, Director or Dean of the Program in which you are enrolled.
This Policy is neither written nor meant to confer any rights or privileges on students or impose any obligations on Touro. The Policy is not a contract. This Policy does not create a property right. Failure of the College to abide by or deviate from this Policy in any circumstance does not form the basis of any liability. In fact, deviation from this Policy may be necessary in a given circumstance in the sole and absolute discretion of the College. No individual or representative of Touro (except the President) has the authority to enter into any agreement or understanding contrary to the above.
This Policy is written for informational purposes only and may contain errors. The policies, procedures and practices described herein may be modified, supplemented or discontinued in whole or in part, at any time with or without notice. We will attempt to inform you of any changes as they occur. However, it is your responsibility to keep current on all College policies, procedures and practices. It is your responsibility to review College policies and procedures in detail and to request any clarification needed from the Chair, Director or Dean of the Program in which you are enrolled. Violation of College policies or procedures may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal. Action may be taken against a student notwithstanding his or her failure to appear or otherwise participate in disciplinary or complaint proceedings.