How to Resolve an Issue with your Professor

Madeline Ruebush, Reporter

If students feel they have faced unjust action from professors or administration, they can take action. The first thing that is recommended, according to the “Student Grievances” webpage at the Bakersfield College website is to try to resolve the issue informally. The BC webpage states that a grievance may include “claims regarding Course grades” or not being able to exercise your rights of “freedom of expression.” Students cannot file a formal complaint if they have not yet made a “reasonable attempt” at resolving the issue informally.


The first step to resolving the issue informally is to take the issue up with your professor, says the BC webpage. It states that if this does not resolve the issue, then climb up the chain; take it to the professor’s supervisor or department chair and then the dean and so forth. According to the KCCD Administrative Procedures 5530, if the problem is still unresolved, you will be assigned a Grievance Officer who will then help you file a formal complaint by filling out a Statement of Grievance. The document states that this should be done within five days of the incident or of learning of the basis of the grievance.


AP 5530 student rights and grievances then states that if the issue is still unresolved 10 days after the first meeting with the Grievance Officer, then the “grievant” has the right to request a grievance hearing. The grievance hearing request must also be filed 10 days after the grievance was filed. The 5530 document then states that a Grievance Committee will be formed and will look over the grievance to determine whether the facts reported are true, to make sure the student has followed the procedures, and that the “grievant is personally and directly affected by the alleged grievance.”


If the Grievance Hearing request is approved, then your Grievance Officer will schedule a Grievance Hearing, the 5530 document states. Five days after the end of the hearing, you will be sent a written decision and recommendation by the College President, although you may appeal the decision within 5 days.


For those having trouble with their professor though, the Student Grievances webpage urges trying to resolve the issue with the professor or their superiors before you take any serious actions. It states that filing a grievance is a “serious undertaking,” as such, it is best if you are able to resolve the issue beforehand. But nonetheless, as outlined in the 5530 document, if you believe that you have been “subject to unjust action or denied their rights as stipulated in published district regulations, state laws, or federal laws,” then you have the right to file a grievance and that grievance will be taken seriously.