Academic Grievance Procedure – Bridge Program

Last update: July 22, 2020

Students and faculty in the Bridge Program at Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) have the right to a fair and prompt consideration of grievances concerning academic matters.

The procedures outlined here are for the resolution of academic grievances of undergraduate-level students related to courses taught in the Bridge Program at TUJ. An academic grievance is a grievance related to the evaluation of academic work in a course. This may include, but is not limited to, a grade, attendance, and compliance with course guidelines. The standards and assessment of academic performance are reserved for faculty responsible for teaching the course in question. These standards should be clearly delineated in course syllabus. In a review of academic cases, policies stated on a course syllabus will be understood to have been viewed and accepted by the student concerned.

Non-academic undergraduate grievances (for example, related to housing, student financial services, disability services, and so forth) should be referred to the Office of Student Services oss@tuj.temple.edu.

This Academic Grievance Procedure will be made available to students on the TUJ website, and will be provided to students by the Dean of TUJ, the Academic Advising Center, the Registrar’s Office, the Undergraduate Program or the Bridge Program upon request.

All undergraduate students taking courses in the Bridge Program may grieve any academic matter in which they believe they have been treated unfairly. At any time a student may withdraw his or her grievance, thereby halting the grievance process. Once the grievance has been halted it cannot be reinstituted on the same basis.

An academic grievance can be commenced only by the process outlined in item 2 below. All efforts will be made to settle grievances as soon as possible, but grievances must be commenced by the following dates:

  • February 1 of the calendar year following the end of a Fall semester
  • July 1 following the end of a Spring semester
  • October 1 of the same calendar year following a Summer semester

1. Attempting informal resolution with the instructor

A student who believes s/he has been treated unfairly or graded in error must first contact the course instructor and ask for clarification and/or revised academic treatment on the specific issue of concern. If the issue can’t be resolved in this way, the student should approach the Academic Coordinator for the Bridge Program to discuss possible resolution.

2. Attempting resolution with the Bridge Academic Coordinator

If, after seeking clarification from the instructor, the student still believes s/he has been treated unfairly or graded in error, the student can take their dispute further only by initiating the academic grievance process, which involves contacting and meeting with the Academic Coordinator for the Bridge Program. Students should send a written request to the Bridge Academic Coordinator (Shawn Higgins; shawn.higgins@tuj.temple.edu) that outlines the grounds for a grievance, the steps taken to date, the desired resolution, and includes their contact information (including name and TU ID number). The written request must be submitted by the relevant deadline stated above.1

The Bridge Academic Coordinator will (1) collect and review all information that the student and the instructor submit, (2) make sure this information has been shared with the instructor, the student, the Bridge Grievance Coordinator and the Director of the Bridge Program, and (3) discuss the matter with the instructor and student to see whether a resolution can be reached between the student and the instructor.

If a resolution is reached, the Academic Coordinator will prepare a statement detailing the resolution; this must be signed by the student and the instructor. The Academic Coordinator will provide copies to the student and the instructor, and send the original to the Bridge Grievance Coordinator (who is appointed from time to time by the Director of the Bridge Program). Copies of the signed resolution will also be distributed to the Bridge Program Director and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

If the Academic Coordinator determines that no resolution can be reached at this stage, the Academic Coordinator will make a brief report of that outcome, and inform the student and the instructor. The report will also be provided to the Bridge Grievance Coordinator, the Director of the Bridge Program, the Chair of the Bridge Grievance Committee and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, together with all related documents and correspondence.

All documents and related correspondence from a student or instructor are to be treated confidentially, with disclosure limited to those involved in the grievance process.

3. The Bridge Grievance Committee

If the Academic Coordinator has issued a determination that no resolution can be reached, if the student wishes to take their dispute further, the student must request review of their grievance by the Bridge Grievance Committee within seven (7) days from the date of the Academic Coordinator’s report. Such a request must (1) be in writing, (2) addressed to both the Bridge Grievance Coordinator (whose contact information can be confirmed through the Bridge Program office) and the Bridge Program Director (Emiko Mizunuma; mizunuma@tuj.temple.edu), (3) outline the grounds for a grievance, the steps taken to date and the desired resolution, and (4) include the student’s contact information including name and TU ID number.

The Bridge Grievance Committee shall consist of at least three full-time faculty members or instructors or staff appointed by the Bridge Program Director. A Committee member designated by the Bridge Program Director shall serve as Chair. It shall be the duty of the Grievance Committee to solicit, receive, and consider information from parties involved in a grievance and conduct any hearings it deems necessary. If a grievance is directed against a member of the Committee, that member shall withdraw from consideration of that grievance, and a substitute shall be appointed by the Bridge Program Director.

The Grievance Coordinator, who may be a member of the Grievance Committee, will assist the Committee as requested in soliciting and receiving information, and in arranging hearing(s) for information-gathering purposes. Neither the student nor the instructor has a right to demand a hearing, nor an obligation to attend any that are requested by the Committee. All documents and related correspondence from a student or instructor are to be treated confidentially, with disclosure limited to those involved in the grievance process.

The process shall be as follows:

  • The Bridge Grievance Coordinator will promptly forward copies of the grievance and all previous proceedings, documents, and correspondence to the Grievance Committee for review and arrange a meeting of the Committee.
  • After Committee members have had the opportunity to review all such materials, as the Grievance Committee Chair may direct, the Grievance Coordinator may request that the student, instructor or others connected to the Bridge Program provide additional information, including information that may be providing orally by means of an in-person or internet-mediated hearing to which all Committee members will be invited.
  • The Grievance Committee will prepare a written report with recommendations for the resolution of the grievance. This report may include majority and minority opinions, should any members of the Grievance Committee so desire.
  • The Chair will send the Grievance Committee report, and untimely grievance requests (namely, requests not received within seven (7) days from the date of the Academic Coordinator’s report), to the Dean for disposition. The Chair will provide copies of such submissions to the Committee members, the Grievance Coordinator, the Bridge Academic Coordinator, and the Bridge Program Director.
  • After reviewing the opinions of the TUJ Grievance Committee, the Dean or Dean’s designee (not the Bridge Academic Coordinator or Bridge Program Director) shall render a decision and send this to the Grievance Committee Chair and the Grievance Coordinator.
  • The decision will be communicated by the Grievance Coordinator to the student, the instructor, Committee members, the Bridge Academic Coordinator, the Bridge Program Director, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
  • The grievance decision, grievance report and relevant correspondence and documentation will be kept on file by the Grievance Coordinator.

Decisions of the Dean of TUJ on grievances by undergraduate students in the Bridge Program may be appealed to the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Studies, within seven (7) calendar days of notification, but only on the grounds that procedural defects substantially prevented the student from obtaining a full and fair hearing on the merits of the case. Appeals to the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Studies shall be in writing and delivered via the office of the Bridge Program Director.


1 If circumstances warrant, students may appeal for an extension of time to file a grievance. Appeals should be in writing and sent to the Bridge Program Director for consideration.