General Grievance & Appeal Procedures

Grievance procedures have two related functions

  1. To determine whether or not an injury alleged by the student (grievant) was the result of an erroneous decision of the University regarding the implementation of university policies and procedures or their administration; and
  2. If error is established, to determine an equitable redress for the student

NOTE: The interpretation or judgment of university administrators regarding the meaning of the written regulations of the University, or of the Implementation of the Mission Statement and Biola Graduate Student Standards of Conduct, or the regulations themselves are not within the scope of the appeal process.

NOTE: The General Grievance and Appeal Process is not applicable to any Discrimination or Sexual Assault processes resulting from a grievance covered under the those policies. Complaints arising from a Discrimination or Sexual Assault issue must be handled through the process designated for such complaints, and may not be brought under this policy.

Students are not immune from legal or judicial processes arising as a result of their actions and any disciplinary actions and/or proceedings taken by Biola do not replace federal, state or local law.


Informal Appeal Procedures

The student and the appropriate university administrator or professor should first attempt to resolve the problem before an appeal to a formal mechanism is made. In cases where this informal appeal is unsuccessful in resolving the problem to the student's satisfaction, the student should share the grievance with the Dean or his or her designee. The Dean or designee will make a personal effort to resolve the grievance, unless, of course, the problem is between the Dean and the student.


Formal Appeal Procedures

When informal procedures have failed to resolve a conflict, the student (grievant) may request a Dean’s hearing. There are two formal appeal and hearing procedures: A Dean’s hearing or a committee hearing. If the appeal arises from a decision previously made by the Dean, the grievant may request a committee hearing. If the appeal is not from a decision previously made by the Dean, the grievant may request a Dean’s hearing.


Committee Hearing

The steps to be taken by the grievant to initiate such a hearing are as follows:

  1. A written request for a committee hearing must be submitted by the grievant to the Dean. If the grievance involves a disciplinary action taken by the University, this request must be submitted within ten (10) days from the time the student was informed that disciplinary action would be imposed. The Dean may choose which of the disciplinary sanctions are to be implemented while the appeal is in process.
  2. The committee will be composed of five (5) members, three (3) from University faculty or staff, and two (2) students selected as follows: The grievant will select one University faculty or staff member, the Dean selects another, and the grievant and the Dean together select a third member. All members are to be selected from a list of faculty and staff members approved by the Provost. The first two members are to be chosen not as advocates, but rather for their familiarity with the kinds of issues involved in the case. All three members are to be impartial and familiar with the policies and procedures of the University.
  3. The three-committee members so chosen shall select one of them to serve as the chair of the committee.
  4. The chair of the committee shall select two students from a list of students approved by the Provost.
  5. The grievant must submit to the chair of the committee a written statement including all of the issues and evidence to be considered, and a list of any witnesses. Issues omitted from this statement may not be considered in the hearing.
  6. The grievant will be notified in writing of the date, time and place of the committee's hearing.
  7. The committee hearing will be conducted in an informal manner to the greatest extent possible. The committee will personally interview the grievant, the Dean (or other designated faculty member), any other witnesses, and will consider all other relevant evidence presented. The University may tape the hearing in its entirety. The committee will evaluate the testimony and evidence and prepare a written recommendation to the Provost or his/her designee for final decision. The Provost or his/her designee will consider the recommendation and make a decision that will be final and no further appeal is open to the student at Biola University.


During periods other than regular semesters (summer, Christmas, Interterm), the Dean reserves the right to alter the timing of the appeals process as necessary, due to faculty/staff/student availability.


Dean's Hearing

The steps to be taken by the grievant to initiate such a hearing are as follows:

  1. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Dean. If the grievance involves a disciplinary action taken by the University, this request must be submitted within ten (10) days from the time the student was informed that disciplinary action would be imposed. The Dean may choose which of the disciplinary sanctions are to be implemented while the appeal is in process.
  2. The grievant must also submit to the Dean a written statement including all of the issues and evidence to be considered, and a list of any witnesses. Issues omitted from this statement may not be considered in the hearing.
  3. The grievant will be notified in writing of the date, time and place of the Dean's hearing.
  4. The Dean's hearing will be conducted in an informal manner to the greatest extent possible. The Dean will personally interview the grievant, any other witnesses, and will consider all other relevant evidence presented.
  5. The Dean will evaluate the testimony and evidence and prepare a written decision in the matter, which will be communicated to the grievant within 10 days of the hearing. The decision of the Dean will be final and no further appeal is open to the student at Biola University.


During periods other than regular semesters (summer, Christmas, Interterm), the Dean reserves the right to alter the timing of the appeals process as necessary, due to faculty/staff/student availability

A separate appeal process is followed in cases of academic dishonesty; please see policy on “Academic Honesty” below.


Interpretation and Revision

Any questions regarding interpretation of these Biola Graduate Student Standards of Conduct should be referred to the Dean of the School. In these Standards, the School gratefully acknowledges the use and adaptation of model codes of student conduct published by the National Association of College and University Attorneys in Student Disciplinary Issues: A Legal Compendium and Student Handbook Policies.


Contact Us

An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The bureau may be contacted at:

Phone: (916) 431-6924
Fax: (916) 263-1897

Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833

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