If an individual feels he/she has been denied equal access in admission or equal access to, or treatment or employment in, Hutchinson Community College (“the College”) programs and activities because of race, color, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, genetic information, religion, age, ancestry, disability, military status, or veteran status, the following grievance procedure should be followed.
The individual should file a grievance report. This report should be submitted to the College Affirmative Action Officer located in the Parker Student Union, Student Success Center, within thirty (30) days of the alleged incident.
Upon receipt of the report, the Affirmative Action Officer will meet with the parties involved and attempt to reach an informal resolution of the matter.
If an informal resolution cannot be worked out within thirty (30) school days of the filing date of the Grievance From, the individual may request in writing a formal hearing. The written request for the formal hearing must be given to the Affirmative Action Officer who will appoint a special subcommittee consisting of five (5) members of the College Affirmative Action Committee to conduct the hearing. The President of the College appoints Affirmative Action Committee members. The committee consists of representatives of the faculty, administrative staff, and student services staff. The five-member subcommittee will be representative of each group. In matters involving students, a representative from the College Student Commission, or a designee, will be appointed as one of the five members to serve on the committee. The special subcommittee will conduct a formal hearing and reach a decision within ten (10) school days of the receipt by the Affirmative Action Officer of the written request for a formal hearing. After meeting with the parties involved, the committee will notify the complainant of its decision in writing.
Any party to a hearing conducted pursuant to subsection 3 shall be accorded (a) the right, at the party's own cost and expense, to be accompanied and advised by counsel and/or by individuals with special knowledge or training with respect to grievance, (b) the right to present evidence and confront, cross-examine, and compel the attendance of witnesses, (c) the right, at the party's own cost and expense, to a written or electronic verbatim record of such hearing, and (d) the right to written findings of fact and decision.
If the individual is not satisfied with the decision of the Affirmative Action Committee, further appeal may be made to the President of the College within ten (10) school days of the date of the written decision of the Affirmative Action Subcommittee decision. The appeal must be made in writing. The President will review the records of the Affirmative Action Subcommittee, request any relevant information and inform, in writing, the individual of his/her decision.
If the individual is not satisfied with the decision of the President, the individual may appeal in writing to the College Board of Trustees. The Clerk of the College/Board of Trustees must receive this written appeal within ten (10) school days of the decision of the President. The Board of Trustees will review the records of the President’s decision and the Affirmative Action Subcommittee’s decision. The Board of Trustees may request any relevant information and inform the individual, in writing, of the board’s decision. This decision of the College Board of Trustees shall be final.
Confidentiality—The College recognizes that in the proceedings set forth in subsection 3, 5, and 6 in most circumstances it will be important to protect the confidentiality of the complainant, the accused, and/or witness(es). For each formal grievance, the Affirmative Action Subcommittee will initially determine the need for confidentiality and will take into consideration whether confidentiality is necessary to:
a. protect the confidentiality of and/or information about an individual (such as the complainant, the accused, a student, another employee);
b. protect evidence (emails, documents, or other things) that might be destroyed or modified;
c. protect a witness (such as a student or another employee) from being pressured to change or fabricate a statement; or
d. avoid an attempt to cover up improper conduct.
If the Affirmative Action Subcommittee determines (using the factors described above) that the proceedings should be kept confidential, it will so instruct all participants in the proceeding and express the reason(s) for confidentiality.
No retaliation of adverse action will be tolerated against the grievant who files a discrimination claim, regardless of the outcome of the complaint. Also, no retaliation or adverse action shall be taken against the respondent when the complaint is determined to be without merit. Confidentiality of the grievant and respondent will be maintained in so far as it does not interfere with the college’s ability to investigate allegation of discrimination and to take corrective action when misconduct has occurred.
Christopher Lau, Affirmative Action Officer
Hutchinson Community College - Student Success Center
1300 North Plum
Hutchinson, KS 67501