Catalog 2016-2017

Dispute Resolution

The following policy and procedures are to be used to mutually resolve disputes by and between students and the University. The policy and procedures as set forth herein are effective for students currently enrolled in the University as of July 1, 2016, or who enroll in the University on or after July 1, 2016.  Students are encouraged to first bring the concerns outlined below to the attention of the appropriate individual/department, as set forth in Step One below.   

In connection with the University policies identified in Steps One, Two and Three below, this policy is intended to address disputes between a student and the University and create a framework by which a student and the University can resolve all such disputes. The University strongly recommends utilization of the resources identified in Steps One, Two and Three to resolve such disputes.  None of these steps, however, precludes any student from seeking other forms of resolution, including in a court of law.


Students should first attempt to resolve any dispute or issue by contacting the following individuals/departments, and utilizing the process set forth in the corresponding section(s) of the Academic Catalog, as referenced below. Please note that the information provided below represents only the initial contact with whom such disputes should be reported. Students should carefully consult the Academic Catalog to gain a fuller understanding of the processes associated with reporting and resolving disputes related to these subject matters.

A. Allegations of sex discrimination or sexual harassment: Chris Davis, Provost and Title IX Coordinator. See Nondiscrimination Policy and Harassment Policy in Academic Catalog.

B. Allegations concerning all other forms of discrimination: Senior Director of Academic Operations, Associate Registrar, or their respective designee. See Nondiscrimination Policy and Harassment Policy in Academic Catalog.

C. Student Code of Conduct Violations (other than sex discrimination and sexual harassment): Registrar. See Student Code of Conduct section in Academic Catalog.

D. General Student Grievances (other than sex discrimination and sexual harassment): Office of Dispute Management. See General Student Grievances section in Academic Catalog.

E. Student Grievances relating to financial aid, account balances, or collections: University Management. See General Student Grievances section in Academic Catalog.

F. Academic Issues: Student Appeals. See Student Appeals Section in Academic Catalog.

G. Grade Disputes: Course Faculty, Student Advisor or designee. See Grade Disputes section in Academic Catalog.


If a dispute is not resolved as a result of Step One, all parties are encouraged to participate in a formal mediation session facilitated by a professional, neutral mediator. Mediation is not mandatory but is strongly encouraged as an effective way to resolve disputes. 

The physical location for the mediation shall be mutually selected by the parties. If the parties elect mediation, the costs associated with the mediation shall be paid by the University. Both the student and the University shall submit in writing to the other the name(s) of one or more professional, neutral mediators as a potential mediator in the matter. The parties will exercise their best efforts to agree on the selection of a mediator. If the parties cannot agree on the selection of a mediator, then the parties can submit the matter to the American Arbitration Association (AAA) for the purpose of having a neutral mediator appointed in accordance with AAA’s mediation rules.

The mediator shall schedule the mediation as expeditiously as possible. All parties will have the opportunity to attend and participate in the mediation. Any party may be represented by counsel of his or her choosing, at his or her own expense. The mediator shall direct how the mediation will be conducted. As with all mediations, any resulting resolution must be mutually agreed to by the parties, which shall constitute a final and binding resolution of the matter.


If a dispute is not resolved as a result of Steps One and Two, all parties are encouraged to participate in binding arbitration as an alternative to resolving the dispute in a court of law.  Arbitration is not mandatory but is strongly encouraged as an effective way to resolve disputes.

If the parties mutually agree to binding arbitration as the method to resolve their dispute, the following shall apply:

1.)    The parties shall select the neutral arbitrator and/or arbitration sponsoring organization by mutual agreement. If the parties cannot mutually agree to an arbitrator and/or arbitration sponsoring organization, the arbitration will be held and the arbitrator selected under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association ("AAA"). Except as provided in this Agreement, the arbitration shall be held in accordance with the then current Consumer Arbitration Rules of the AAA (“AAA Rules”). The AAA Rules are available by navigating to the “Rules and Procedures” section of, or by requesting a hard copy from the University Legal Department, currently at 4025 S. Riverpoint Parkway, Mail Stop: CF-KX01, Phoenix, Arizona 85040.


2.)    In arbitration, the parties will have the right to conduct adequate civil discovery, bring dispositive motions, and present witnesses and evidence as needed to present their cases and defenses, and any disputes in this regard shall be resolved by the arbitrator.  The arbitrator may award any party any remedy to which that party is entitled under applicable law, but such remedies shall be limited to those that would be available to a party in his or her individual capacity in a court of law for the claims presented to and decided by the arbitrator, and no remedies that otherwise would be available to an individual in a court of law will be forfeited by virtue of this Agreement.  The arbitrator shall apply the substantive law of the state in which the claim arose, or federal law, or both, as applicable to the claims asserted.  The arbitrator is without authority to apply any different substantive law.


3.)    Each party will pay the fees for his, her or its own attorneys, subject to any remedies to which that party may later be entitled under applicable law. The University shall initially bear the administrative costs associated with the conduct of the Arbitration, subject to: (1) a one-time payment by the student toward these costs equal to the filing fee then required by the court of general jurisdiction in the state where the student in question attended the University (if the student is financially unable to pay a filing fee, the student will be relieved of the obligation to pay the filing fee); and (2) any subsequent award by the arbitrator in accordance with applicable law.  In the event the law (including the common law) of the jurisdiction in which the arbitration is held requires a different allocation of arbitral fees and costs, then such law will be followed.


4.)    The Federal Rules of Evidence shall apply. The arbitrator shall have jurisdiction to hear and rule on pre-hearing disputes and is authorized to hold pre-hearing conferences by telephone or in person, as the arbitrator deems necessary. The arbitrator shall have the authority to entertain a motion to dismiss and/or a motion for summary judgment by any party and shall apply the standards governing such motions under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and applicable federal common law.


5.)    The arbitrator will issue a decision or award in writing, stating the essential findings of fact and conclusions of law. Except as may be permitted or required by law, as determined by the arbitrator, neither a party nor an arbitrator may disclose the existence, content, or results of any arbitration here under without the prior written consent of all parties. A court of competent jurisdiction shall have the authority to enter a judgment upon the award made pursuant to the arbitration.