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Does your OLLI have a complaint procedure?

Posted on February 21st, 2013 by Anne Cardale, OLLI National Resource Center

Julia Cayuso, OLLI at the University of Miami, Asks OLLI:

Does your OLLI have a complaint procedure? If so, where does it appear in writing, and is it separate from complaint/grievance procedures of the host institution?

3 Responses to “Does your OLLI have a complaint procedure?”


  1. We don’t have an Osher specific complaint procedure. The division of continuing education of which we are a part has an appeals process. Each programming unit does its best to resolve student issues. If a student isn’t satisfied with the decision they can appeal to the division committee. We have not had any go that route.

    I am curious to know what types of complaints you are hearing.


  2. Hi, Julia. The staff at OLLI-USF is empowered — and make every attempt — to make our members happy. Sometimes it’s just not possible, however; but we ultimately resolve all issues in our offices. On the one or two occasions when members have contacted my supervisor, I’m happy to report that they backed us up all the way. There is no other procedure.


  3. Conduct Code: Topics included within the OLLI curriculum may evoke emotional and visceral reactions to social, religious, political, and economic events, which inherently have elements of human tragedy, and during the course of time, have often created discord. As such, comments shared within the class should be voiced in a professional manner conducive to promoting civil discourse and intellectual honesty.

    Passionate dialogue is encouraged as long as opposing viewpoints are respected and the dignity of others is maintained. In the event that an issue arises which compromises this premise and is deemed detrimental to the learning environment (i.e., unwarranted personal attacks or unsolicited dialogue outside of the classroom environment), the OLLI administration has the authority to remove a student or instructor from (the class and/or) the program.

    The Grievance Policy can be adapted for issues arising out of the classroom:

    This guideline will allow the OLLI Administration to address issues of conduct in an organized, fair, civil manner, giving each party due respect and process. The primary objective is resolution between the parties.

    The person experiencing an issue arising from this conduct code should verbally communicate the issue to the OLLI Director and provide within one week a written explanation of the issue, including name of individual, action contrary to the code, witnesses, time, date and place of the action. Upon receipt of the written complaint, the OLLI Director shall verbally notify the person at issue and forward a copy of the written complaint.

    The complaint is considered a matter between the parties, the OLLI Executive Committee and the Director of Continuing Education. The parties in the complaint will refrain from any communication between themselves or with other parties regarding the complaint.

    The OLLI Director will review the issue and arrange a meeting with the person reporting the issue, Council President and OLLI Director to discuss the issue.

    The OLLI Director will arrange a meeting with the individual at issue, Council President and OLLI Director to discuss the issue.

    If resolution cannot be achieved to this point, the OLLI Director will ask the two parties to a mediation meeting with the OLLI Executive Committee, comprised of the OLLI Director, Council President and two Vice-Presidents.

    Should there be no successful mediation the OLLI Executive Committee will take appropriate action and the OLLI Director will report it in writing to the parties and Director of Continuing Education.

    Should either party wish to appeal the decision of the Executive Committee, a written appeal should be submitted to the OLLI Director within one week of the Executive Committee’s written decision. The Director of Continuing Education will review the case and provide a final decision.

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