Student Grievance Procedures Regarding Accommodation Decisions

Guidelines and Process for UMB Student Grievances

Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

The University of Maryland, Baltimore does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran’s status,or age in its programs and activities.

I.      School Contacts

Each UMB school has a contact to help students with non-discrimination and equal opportunity:

School of Medicine
Associate or Assistant Dean
for Student Affairs

(410) 706‐7476

School of Nursing
Assistant Dean for Student 
& Academic Services

(410) 706‐1812

Dental School 
Associate Dean for 
Academic & Student Affairs

(410) 706‐7461

School of Law
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs

(410) 706‐5235

School of Pharmacy
Associate Dean for Student Affairs

(410) 706‐4332

School of Social Work
Associate Dean for Administration

(410) 706‐6102

Graduate School
Associate Dean

(410) 706‐8323

II.    University Designee to Coordinate UMB Student Non‐Discrimination and Equal Opportunity:

Dr. Roger J. Ward
Chief Accountability Officer
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Student and Academic Affairs
University of Maryland, Baltimore
621 W. Lombard Street, Suite 5110
Baltimore, MD 21201
410‐706‐1850
rward005@umaryland.edu

III.    Grievance Process

A.  Procedure

  1. A student with questions or a grievance about a reasonable accommodation decision of the University or a school should first communicate with the School Contact or the Director of ESDS.  If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved, it should be reported to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
  2. Unless the student objects, the University may attempt to resolve a grievance informally.  For formal or informal grievances, the student should explain the incident underlying the grievance, the perceived problem and offer a proposed solution.  The University reserves the right to proceed immediately to a formal review of the student’s complaint.  At any time, a student may request an informal process to address a grievance prior to proceeding with the formal grievance process.
  3. A formal grievance of a reasonable accommodation decision should be in writing with pertinent records and documentation. 
  4. The Vice President (or alternate impartial designee of the Vice President for Academic Affairs) will work with the dean of the student’s school, or the dean’s designee, to develop an appropriate investigational process depending on the circumstances surrounding the reasonable accommodations grievance (e.g., didactic classroom experiences or clinical training).  If a grievance involves persons from more than one school, the Vice President will work with the deans of the schools involved to develop an appropriate investigational process.
  5. The student, the dean or dean’s designee, and persons whose decisions or actions are the subject of the grievance will be given an opportunity to meet with the Vice President to discuss the grievance and the investigative process and to submit written statements, names of witnesses and other evidence. 
  6. The Vice President will investigate the reasonable accommodation grievance, look at the record as a whole and at the totality of the circumstances.  The Vice President will make a decision and write a report summarizing the investigation and evidence and provide findings based on all the facts, on a case by case basis.  The decision of the Vice President is final unless modified due to an appeal for reconsideration. 
  7. The student, the dean of the student’s school, and persons whose decisions or actions are the subject of the grievance will be given the findings and decision of the Vice President in writing.  
  8. The student may appeal for reconsideration by the Vice President on the basis of:  1) failure of due process, or 2) availability of new evidence which could not reasonably have been presented during the original investigation.  The appeal for reconsideration must be submitted in writing within 7 calendar days following the date of the Vice President’s decision. 
  9. The Vice President will maintain records regarding reasonable accommodation grievances.
  10. To ensure appropriate due process and prompt, equitable resolution of complaints pertaining to reasonable accommodation decisions, formal rules of evidence will not apply and the Vice President may limit repetitive and irrelevant evidence.  The University will attempt to resolve the grievance within 45 calendar days.  Attorneys will not participate in meetings with the Vice President, but the schedule for the investigation will allow time for the student and other participants to consult with and obtain input from legal counsel and other advisors. 

B. Time Limits

A grievance filed within 10 calendar days of the aggrieved reasonable accommodation decision will be considered timely.  Nevertheless, the University will investigate any grievance filed within a reasonable time.

C.  Confidentiality

The University will take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of the parties involved in a grievance.  Persons involved will be advised of the necessity of keeping information related to a grievance confidential.  However, persons should be aware that the University may need to disclose information in order to conduct an investigation, resolve a grievance and comply with applicable law.

D. No Retaliation

The University does not tolerate or condone any form of retaliation against a grievant whose reasonable accommodation complaint is made in good faith.

E. Exceptions

This procedure does not supersede policies and procedures addressing issues specifically governed by other University policies, such as: school grade appeals and school dismissal appeals, sex-based discrimination of students (see UMB VI-1.20(B)) and student sexual orientation non-discrimination policy and procedures (see UMB VI - 1.05(B)).  Students are expected to present such grievances in accordance with the applicable school and University policy and procedure.  

F. Grievances Involving Affiliates' Employees

Many University students will be supervised by employees of the University's affiliates and teaching sites during their educational experiences. If a student is aggrieved by a reasonable accommodation decision in such a setting, the University will attempt to resolve the issue, and will attempt to reassign the student if a resolution is not feasible.

G.  Counseling

The UMB Student Counseling Center offers assistance in coping with the stress resulting from discrimination or participation in campus proceedings to investigate discrimination.  For support, contact:

Student Counseling Center
HS/HSL Library
601 W. Lombard Street, Suite 440
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 328-8404
Fax: (410) 328-5291

H. Filing Grievances with Outside Agencies:

For further information on non-discrimination, reasonable accommodation, or to file an equal opportunity complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education, contact:  

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
The Wanamaker Building, Suite 515
100 Penn Square East
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 1-800-421-3481
Email:
OCR.Philadelphia@ed.gov