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rule45-2005-08-30

45. Discrimination (Revised: 2000)

Revision to Rules 14.16-14.22 approved on 4/08/05 by Faculty Senate and signed by the President on 7/8/05. This rule change is effective 8/30/05.

 

Texas A&M University, in accordance with applicable federal and state law, prohibits discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The following procedures should be followed when a student alleges that he or she has been subjected to an act, practice, rule or procedure described above.

Grievances regarding disability accommodations in academic programs should follow the procedures outlined in Rule 46. Disability Accommodations in Academic Programs.

45.1Informal Grievance Procedures

Students believing that they have been subjected to discrimination may use one of the following procedures to resolve their grievance:

45.1.1 The student may seek a resolution of the matter through discussions with the alleged offender or person responsible for enforcing the rule or procedure (hereafter known as respondent). Before following this procedure, however, students may choose to seek advice about how best to approach this individual. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from the Office of the Dean of Student Life.

45.1.2 If no resolution is forthcoming or if direct confrontation is deemed inappropriate, the student may report the incident or incidents to the respondent’s immediate or general supervisor. The supervisor should attempt to resolve the complaint and will maintain the student’s confidentiality to the extent provided by law.

45.1.3 The student may report the incident or incidents to the Office of the Dean of Student Life and request assistance in attempting to reach an informal resolution of the matter. The Office of the Dean of Student Life may then contact the respondent’s immediate or general supervisor, who should attempt to resolve the complaint and will maintain the student’s confidentiality to the extent provided by law.

Under these informal procedures, the student may, at any time, elect to stop further administrative action by withdrawing the complaint. The student can also decide to file a formal grievance according to the procedures outlined below.

45.2 Formal Grievance Procedures

Assistance with these procedures may be provided by the Office of the Dean of Student Life (Refer to Rule 24, Student Conduct Code, if the grievance concerns student harassment of another student, faculty or staff member).

45.2.1 A student who feels that he or she has been subjected to discrimination may file a written grievance to the administrative head of the college, department or office in which the alleged discrimination took place. The grievance should normally be filed within 20 working days of the incident or incidents.

45.2.2 The administrative head will investigate and attempt to resolve the complaint using the following steps:

  • Review the grievance report from the student.
  • Gather any additional information from the student that is needed.
  • Gather a response and any additional information from the respondent.
  • Document and assess the finding of facts, including those agreed upon and those disputed.
  • Attempt a resolution of the grievance between the student and the respondent, if appropriate.
  • Determine final decision regarding the complaint.

45.2.3 The administrative head should complete the investigation and produce a written report outlining the steps in 45.2.2 within 10 working days. A copy of the report should be provided to the student, also within 10 working days.

45.2.4 To appeal the decision of the administrative head, the student must file a written request for an appeal hearing with the chair of the Discrimination Appeals Panel within 10 working days of the receipt of the written decision from the administrative head.

45.2.5 Within five working days after receiving a request for a hearing, the chair and an attorney from the Office of General Counsel shall conduct an initial review of the request to determine if the complaint:

  • alleges facts, which, if true, would demonstrate a violation of an anti-discrimination statute, or rule;
  • contains allegations that appear to be substantially credible;
  • addresses a violation, which, if true, results in a personal wrong to the grievant;
  • was filed in a timely manner; and
  • is not frivolous.

If both the chair and the attorney find that the complaint does not meet all of the above conditions, the chair must terminate the grievance and so notify the student. If the chair and the attorney find the complaint meets all of the conditions, then the chair shall set a hearing date for the Discrimination Appeals Panel. The date should be the earliest available time at which all parties and panelists are available.

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