Bucknell University has adopted this grievance procedure to provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and its amendment (ADAAA, 2008).  Section 504 and the ADA prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. These laws and regulations may be examined in the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR). The OAR Director, Heather Fowler, 570.577.1188, coordinates Bucknell's efforts to comply with Section 504 and the ADA.

Students may initiate the grievance procedure to address issues such as a denial of a requested accommodation, the inadequacy of an accommodation, the inaccessibility of a program or activity, or discrimination based on a disability. All members of the University community are expected to cooperate fully in an investigation of alleged disability discrimination.

A grievance must be filed within 180 days of the alleged allegation.

Please refer to the Bias Policy if you feel that you've been targeted, or threatened on the basis of disability status.

Preliminary Grievance

A Preliminary Grievance is suggested as the first step when a student files a complaint. The Preliminary Grievance should be submitted in writing to the Director of the OAR as soon as the alleged discriminatory action occurs (if possible).

  1. The complainant must submit the Preliminary Grievance form to the Director of the OAR:
    • Heather Fowler, Director, The Office of Accessibility Resources, 212 Carnegie Bldg.
      Bucknell University
      1 Dent Drive
      Lewisburg, PA 17837
      Phone: 570.577.1188 Fax 570.577.1826
      hf007@bucknell.edu
  2. The Director of the OAR conducts an investigation of the complaint. This investigation will be adequate, reliable, and impartial. All interested persons will be afforded an opportunity to meet with the Director and also submit evidence relevant to the complaint.
  3. The Director of the OAR issues a written decision on the grievance no later than 30 days after it is filed.

The Formal Grievance Policy presented below should be followed if:

  • The complainant chooses not to pursue a Preliminary Grievance with the Director of the OAR
  • The complaint is not resolved with the OAR
  • The concern is with the OAR

Formal Grievance

To initiate a formal grievance, the complainant must

  1. Write an account of the complaint which must include:
    • The name, address and phone number of the complainant.
    • The name(s) of the individual(s) (if any) alleged to have engaged in discriminatory conduct (hereto after "respondent") and any possible witnesses.
    • The date(s) of and location at which the alleged discriminatory conduct occurred.
    • A brief description of the alleged discriminatory conduct
  2. Submit the written account of the complaint to the appropriate resolution officer identified below.

For complaints related to Academic Accommodations:

For Arts & Science students:
Dean, College of Arts & Science (or Designee):
Karl Voss
kvoss@bucknell.edu
121 Marts Hall
570.577.3293

For Engineering students:
Dean, College of Engineering (or Designee):
Patrick Mather
ptm008@bucknell.edu
235A Dana Engineering
570.577.3711

For complaints related to Facilities, access, and all others:

Vice President for Finance & Administration:
Dave Surgala
dsurgala@bucknell.edu
217C Marts Hall
570.577.3811

The resolution officer or designee will

  • Undertake an expeditious investigation, which involves arranging meetings with and gathering information from all parties (i.e., complainant, OAR, respondent, witnesses, etc.).
  • Abide by Federal/State laws and University Policy when reviewing the complaint.
  • Act as an impartial fact finder in the matter.  Interview all parties who may provide witnesses’ names and pertinent information regarding the complaint. 
  • Interview witnesses as deemed necessary, and secure any relevant documentation or other physical information (such as notes, e-mails, pictures, grades, etc.)
  • Respect privacy to the extent possible. Complainants must understand that the University cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality because it cannot conduct an effective investigation without revealing certain information to witnesses or respondents. 
  • Retain the right to inform persons who may have a need-to-know and to utilize information obtained during the investigation for legitimate University purposes.
  • Render a written decision to all parties no later than 30 days after the conclusion of the investigation.

NOTE: Following these grievance procedures is not a substitute for and does not negate the complainant's right to file an ADA complaint with the appropriate agency or department of the federal government of the United States. However, if the complainant does file a complaint with the federal government before this grievance procedure is completed, the grievance procedures will be terminated.

Appeals Process

The complainant can request a reconsideration of the decision if the complainant is dissatisfied with the resolution issued by the resolution officer. The request for reconsideration must be made in writing to the Provost within five (5) business days of the issuance of the resolution officer’s (or designee’s) decision. The Provost does not conduct a new investigation, but may meet with any individuals the Provost deems necessary. The Provost will respond in writing within five (5) business days after receipt of the request for reconsideration. The decision of the Provost is final.

Non-retaliation

Bucknell University strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual who files or otherwise participates in the investigation of a disability-related grievance. Anyone who believes that they have been retaliated against for filing or otherwise participating in the investigation of a grievance should report the matter, in writing, to the appropriate resolution officer. The report of retaliation will be investigated by the resolution officer or designee and appropriate action will be taken. Students found to have engaged in retaliation will be considered by the Hearing Board for sanctions (please reference section VII. Codes of Conduct and Conduct System in the Student Handbook).

Faculty and staff found to have engaged in retaliation will be handled consistent with the applicable faculty or staff handbook and policies.

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