The Westcliff University Resolution Center (RC) provides students with access to fair and reliable resolution services. Students have the right to address grievances/file complaints with the University, and Student Services is here to assist in finding mutually satisfactory solutions. The RC supports students and their resolution requests through prompt and objective investigations while ensuring they have access to the University’s support resources. Please review the Resolution Center Resource Guide before moving forward to the procedures.
Resolution Center Procedure
Step I: Informal Resolution Process
Students should first address their concerns directly and with the individual involved (e.g., advisor, professor, staff member, coach, etc.). If a satisfactory resolution is not reached after discussions with the individual, or if it is impracticable to address the concern with the individual, the student should contact the director of the individual’s department to attempt to resolve the concern.
Students have the option to use the Student Self-Service & Inquiry Form if their concerns are listed there.
If the student’s concern remains unresolved, they should proceed to Step II: Submit a Resolution Request Form / File a Complaint.
Step II: Submit a Resolution Request Form / File a Complaint
Any individual student may submit a resolution request to the RC through the Resolution Request Form. Students are required to submit resolution requests no later than thirty (30) business days from the date of the incident. Students are not subjected to retaliation or reprisal for submitting resolution requests to the Resolution Center.
Upon receipt of the request, the RC reviews it to determine whether the student has submitted:
- Evidence of communication and/or attempts made directly with the individual/department per Step I.
- The required information to assign the case, including:
- Justification of the resolution request;
- The explanation, or details, of the grievance; and
- The student’s desired resolution.
If the student does not provide the required information, the resolution request may not be processed. Upon receiving the required information, the RC will proceed to Step III: Formal Resolution.
Allegations of discrimination, bias, or harassment, proceed directly to Step III.
Step III: Formal Resolution Process
During Step III, an impartial Resolution Representative is assigned to investigate the case, contact and interview any witness(es), and present all findings to the appropriate decision-making authority.
The Resolution Representative may contact the student, respondent, and any witness(es) identified by the student and/or respondent. Witnesses must have knowledge relevant to the incident and/or the concerns of the student or respondent. The student’s participation is key, and they should be prepared to speak with the Resolution Representative several times. Failure on the part of the student to communicate with or provide requested information may delay the investigation or prevent its thorough completion.
Evaluation and Resolution
Following the completion of the investigation, the Resolution Representative evaluates the case and collaborates with key individuals to provide a mutually acceptable response.
Collaboration between the RC and any key department(s) or authority(ies) takes place after the Resolution Representative presents the findings of their investigation and the student’s desired resolution. The decision should be concluded within fifteen (15) business days, and the student will be notified of the outcome via email. If an extension is needed for review of the resolution request, the student is notified via email and given an approximate and reasonable timeline.
The Step III resolution is final unless the student finds reasonable grounds to proceed to Step IV: Appeal to the Resolution Committee.
Step IV: Appeal to the Resolution Committee
Timeline to File an Appeal
Students with reasonable grounds to do so should submit an appeal within fifteen (15) business days of the outcome of the Step III resolution.
Acceptable Grounds for an Appeal (any one)
- Newly available evidence;
- Potential deviation from official procedures, which could have affected the resolution;
- Arguable misalignment between the evidence and the resolution; or,
- Alleged bias of the investigator(s).
Process for an Appeal
Phase One: Submission and Review
- Students must prepare their appeal, ensuring it:
- States and explains one or more of the four (4) grounds for appeal;
- Is accompanied by any relevant and/or newly available information or evidence that was not available during Step III; and
- Includes all communication and documentation from Step I and Step III.
- Students must send their appeal to the Resolution Committee using the Resolution Request Form.
Upon receipt of the request, the Resolution Committee will review the appeal within three (3) business days. If the appeal does not state acceptable ground(s) for appeal and includes new information or evidence to evaluate, the student will be notified via email that the appeal is ineligible for processing, and no action will be taken. If the appeal request meets the eligibility threshold, the request proceeds to Phase Two.
Phase Two: Evaluation and Determination
The Resolution Committee provides a decision about the appeal, via email, within fifteen (15) business days of the acceptance of the appeal for consideration. New, and any existing, evidence is used to make the decision.
The Resolution Committee’s decision is final
Resolution Response Times: Resolution responses are provided by the Resolution Center within fifteen (15) business days, and can take up to thirty (30) business days, depending on the nature of the resolution request. Title IX resolution requests take up to ninety (90) business days. In extenuating circumstances, an extension may be requested for a Step III Resolution or a Step IV Appeal.