Policy on Complaints
A. Students should be able to complain or provide feedback on UPR operations, staff, academics and/or faculty in a secure manner without feeling jeopardized in any way. A feedback form will be provided for the purposes on the front page of the electronic Classroom Management System (Moodle) which can be filled in by the student with their names or anonymously, as they wish. This forms should also provide information on who to contact and how if the student wishes to complain to DEAC
B. Students are informed by the Registrar at the time of admission about this complaint mechanism and reminded each quarter at the time of enrollment. Students may also complain by email or phone to the Registrar, Dean of Academic Affairs, any of the Program Deans or the President.
C. Student complaints are printed and filed in a Complaints file which is maintained by the President.
D. Complaints of a routine nature are addressed immediately following the policy for complaints resolution outlined below. Out of the ordinary complaints are handled by the President. Complaints which deal with long-standing problems or problems which are related to UPR’s mission, program objectives or course objectives are taken up by the Advisory Council during their annual meeting to find long-term solutions.
E. On the occasion that a lecture tape or CD is faulty or mislabeled and a student calls or e-mails the Registrar or administration for help, the situation should be resolved by having replacements sent back to them the same business day. The complaint should be addressed to the Director of Publications who is responsible for taking care of the replacement. Students are also reminded that they can access lectures online via Moodle.
F. Students may report errors in instructional materials to the faculty member by email or telephone or to UPR administration by telephone or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If sent to UPR administration, the errors are reported to the Dean of Academics. Faculty members are responsible to monitor the instructional materials in their own courses and may, at any time, notify the Program Dean or Dean of Academics of content errors in existing instructional material. Program Deans also poll each instructor at least twice a year for possible errors in instructional materials. Based on these, the Program Deans report content errors in instructional materials to the Dean of Academics, who authorizes the Director of Publications to carry out revisions and updates to instructional materials based on these reports. Errors in instructional materials are corrected in a list of errata which are supplied to students pending a new recording of the instructional materials by the faculty member.
G. Any complaints about faculty reported to the administration regarding their failure to respond to e-mail or telephone calls for assistance result in the professor immediately being contacted by the Registrar or other Administration member to resolve the problem. If the faculty is unavailable and the problem is academic in nature, the Registrar or Dean of Academics calls upon appropriate Teaching Assistants to help the student.
H. Late grading related problems are handled by the Webmaster, who sends reminders for grading promptness 10 days after the submission date of the exam and follows up for two more weeks with weekly emails, in case the faculty member has still not submitted the grades. Following this, s/he makes daily phone calls till the grades are in.
I. Student complaints regarding unfairness of grading are received by the appropriate Program Dean or the Dean of Academics and processed by the Appeals Advisory Committee made up of at least three senior faculty members. If felt to be genuine, the appropriate Program Dean is requested to discuss the matter with the Instructor for appropriate resolution. In case of irresolvable disputes in this regard, the concerned Instructor and student are interviewed by the President, who takes on the role of an Ombudsman to resolve issues of this nature.
J. Student grievances of a personal nature or complaints regarding perceived harassment by other students or by faculty members are received by the appropriate Program Dean or the Dean of Academics and processed by the Appeals Advisory Committee made up of at least three senior faculty members. If felt to be genuine, the appropriate Program Dean is requested to discuss the matter with the student or faculty member for appropriate resolution. In case of irresolvable disputes in this regard, the concerned student and/or faculty member are interviewed by the President, who takes on the role of an Ombudsman to resolve issues of this nature.
Any academic or personal problems, disagreements or misunderstandings among administrators, faculty and students should be rectified whenever possible by the parties involved. If an aggrieved student is unable to resolve the difficulty in this manner, he/she should direct the issue to the Program Dean for assistance. The Dean may suggest mediation of arbitration as a way of resolving grievance issues.
If the student does not find relief through this means the student is urged to submit his/her grievance in writing to the Program Dean who will conduct an investigation.
The Program Dean will attempt to resolve the situation. If this is not feasible, he will submit the issue and the results of his investigation to the President who may or may not conduct further investigation. In any case the decision of the President is final.
Harassment & Personal Grievances
UPR is committed to maintaining a safe, productive environment for all members of the academic community, students and faculty. Therefore, personal as well as academic grievances need to be dealt with and, where possible, remedied.
Harassment can take many forms, including sexual harassment or assault. Each of us in the academic community must be sensitive to the feelings of others and must not act in a way that might be considered harassment by someone else. A few examples of prohibited harassment or assault are (but not limited too):
• Verbal (racial, sexual, or ethnic jokes or insults).
• Physical (sexually suggestive or unwelcome touching, or obscene gestures).
• Visual (insulting cartoon, sexually suggestive or lewd pictures or photographs.)
Sexual harassment may consist of unwelcome sexual advances; deprecating sexual remarks; references to women as “honey”, “doll”, “dear”; or an environment demeaning to either women or men.
If you think that you or one of your fellow students has been the victim of harassment or assault, you should report the incident and the names of the persons to the Dean of Programs immediately. The incident will be investigated. Your cooperation is crucial for us to maintain a safe comfortable academic environment. There will be no retaliation against you for making a complaint of sexual harassment.
If you are afraid to report harassment to the Dean of Programs, you are urged to speak to an administrator whom you trust. You may follow the same procedure for submitting your grievance as above.