The grievance procedure is open to all members of our community. Students or members interested in submitting a grievance should read though the grievance procedures and then contact either the Dean of the Institute (in the case of a student,, candidate or faculty member with a grievance) or the Dean of the Board and Programs (in the case of all other members).
These grievance procedures seek to provide adequate, reliable, and impartial channels for resolution of the grievances of a student or member who feels they have been discriminated against on the basis of age, race, religion, national origin, sex, personal appearance, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, or any other protected class under applicable federal, state, and local law, in any of the policies, procedures, programs, or activities of or by any individual employed by or acting in an official capacity for the WBCP.
The procedures are intended to encourage resolution of the student’s/member’s grievance informally when appropriate, and at the earliest possible stage. At the same time, when resolution is not possible or appropriate, these procedures provide for a more formal review of the student’s/member’s grievance by individuals not party to the case, with a final decision based upon that review by a panel of the Ombudspersons Committee. In providing these procedures, it is the intention of the WBCP to carry them out in an equitable and timely manner. However, in the rare case that it may not be possible to adhere to established time frames, extensions of time shall not be construed as failure to follow established procedures. In those cases, it must be communicated to the persons involved why the time frame needed to be extended.
It shall be a violation within the meaning of these regulations to discriminate against any student or member because they filed a grievance, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in the procedures provided herein.
Any currently enrolled student or non-student member who believes that they have been discriminated against on any of the bases cited above may initiate these procedures. For grievance procedures to resolve charges of grievance in employment, employees should consult the Employee Handbook.
A student or member may charge a grievance based on age, race, religion, national origin, sex, personal appearance, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, or any other protected class under the WBCP Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination, and Non-Retaliation Policy, or the Sexual Harassment Policy in the procedures, programs, or activities of or by any individual acting in an official capacity for the WBCP. However, in accordance with the statement on academic freedom as outlined in the Code of Ethical Conduct, in an academic setting, an expression that is reasonably designed or reasonably intended to contribute to academic inquiry, education, or debate on issues of public concern shall be exempt from coverage.
II. Grievance Procedures
A. Students or members who believe they have been injured in some fashion are encouraged, but not required, to first seek to clarify or resolve the question through direct contact with either the Dean of the Institute or the Dean of the Board and Programs .
B. If the Dean of the Institute or the Dean of the Board and Programs is unable to clarify or resolve the matter, and the student/member wishes to pursue the matter further, the student/member may contact any two members of their choosing of the Ombudspersons Committee to discuss the matter confidentially.
During this initial meeting, the two Committee members and the student/member will consider options for resolving the conflict, such as conversations between the persons involved, and the two Committee members can help with said options or recommend who will take on these tasks. However, after this confidential meeting, if the student/member wishes to involve the formal Ombudspersons Committee, then the student/member must submit a written statement to the whole Committee. Any person who has a clinical conflict or dual relationship with the complainant will recuse themselves from reading the statement and from being on the committee who will hear the complaint. The written statement must include the following: the name of the member, administrator, or person whose action gave rise to the matter (the respondent), the type of injury alleged; a statement of the injury alleged, and the resolution sought; and a summary, if applicable, to include time, place, and results of any discussion(s) that may have taken place, as encouraged in II A above.
C. The Chair of the Ombudspersons Committee will put together a 5-person committee from the panel of ombudspersons to discuss the case, being sure to avoid any clinical conflicts or dual relationships with the panel and the complainant and/or respondent. If the Chair has a conflict in the matter, the Deputy Chair will serve in that capacity. This 5-person committee ideally will involve one person from each of the 5 stakeholders listed in the Ombudspersons Committee document on this website, barring any conflicts. If conflicts exist in both members of a particular stakeholder committee, the Chair of the Ombudspersons Committee will have the discretion to determine who will serve on the given Ombudsperson Sub-Committee. The Chair may serve on a given Sub-Committee.
D. Time frame and Procedure
1) Within 5 days of a written complaint being filed, the Ombudspersons Committee will acknowledge in writing to the complainant receipt of said complaint. Also, within the same 5 days the Respondent will be notified that there has been a complaint filed, concealing for the time being the name of the accuser. The Chair of the Institute Council and the President of the Board will also be notified that a complaint has been filed. Once the 5-person Ombudspersons Committee has been officially formed, the person named in the complaint will be informed of the name of the person filing the complaint and the nature of the complaint.
Within 30 days of the submission of a formal matter, the 5 person Ombudspersons Sub-Committee shall investigate the matter by contacting and discussing the matter with the persons involved, as the committee deems germane, and/or as may be requested by either party. This will include any witnesses to the incident(s) involved. The Ombudspersons Sub-Committee is charged with conducting a full and impartial investigation of the matter that includes compilation of data, determination as to the disposition of the matter, and the writing of a final report. The process will include, but is not limited to, introducing, and reviewing documents and calling and speaking with the parties and witnesses involved. Each party may submit information and documents to the Committee. Additionally, the Committee may request and review additional documents or materials the Committee deems necessary. Either party may request to be accompanied by one person who the person selects. Any financial cost incurred from requesting to have a person to accompany either party to said meetings will be the responsibility of the person making said request. Representation by legal counsel is not permitted at the grievance procedure.
2) The proceedings shall in all respects be under the control of the Ombudspersons Committee and shall not be subject to formal rules of evidence or procedure. Decisions of the Sub-Committee will be made by simple majority. The decision will be conveyed to the Chair of the IC and to the President of the Board for review before it is implemented. If either the Chair of the Institute Council or the President of the Board have concerns about the decision, a meeting will be held between them and the Ombudspersons Committee to resolve the concerns. The proceedings shall be documented, and the documentation preserved along with any written statements presented. A copy of the documentation will be made available to either party upon request.
3) The decision of the Ombudspersons Sub-Committee shall be in writing and shall be conveyed to both parties; the decision of the Ombudspersons Committee is expected to be final. An appeal may be made to an appeals body which will consist of the past president and past IC chair, who will review the procedures followed to reach a decision. If procedures are determined to have been followed properly it is unlikely that a decision would be changed.
4) Retaliation of any kind, by either party, is prohibited and should be reported to the President of the Board or a designee. Such action will be evaluated and may result in some form of discipline.
Please click the link below to access information on WBCP’s Grievance Procedure.