After representing a number of members at student complaint meetings in the fall, I e-mailed the college president in October, 2018 asking her to look into revamping the student complaint directive to incorporate some type of meaningful consequence for students bringing forward false complaints and allegations. I was assured that student services and human resources were “reviewing the relevant policies”.
I’ve also has the opportunity to meet with the ombudsman, George E. Cole, to discuss possible changes to the existing policy. I shared my experiences in representing faculty at several student complaint meetings involving human resources, chairs, and deans. In every instance, the existing policy was not followed, yet the complaints were permitted to proceed. Even more troubling, was the fact that the majority of the complaints were found to have no merit, or were completely fictitious. In a least one case, the students admitted to lying because they were upset with the faculty member.
The current policy needs a mechanism by which students who make false allegations against faculty are subject to penalty. (see SA: 07 Student Conduct) However, in order for any new policy to be effective, the policy needs to be followed in the first place. I’m hopeful that the college will take the suggestions of the union and the ombudsman’s office seriously, and produce a policy that protects faculty while maintaining students’ rights.
I’ll provide more information when it becomes available.
Chief Steward, Local 415