February 13, 2023 Re: CWU Board of Appeals Process
Dear CWU Board of Trustees:
By way of introduction, I am a Psychology instructor at Yakima Valley College where I have worked full time since 1989. For part of that time, I was the faculty union president. I also served as a licensed mental health counselor at a local mental health facility where I worked part time from 1988 to June of 2022. It is in my capacity as a Psychology instructor that I came to know Ms. Vanesa Arostegui who took several of my classes and was an excellent student. I am aware of Ms. Arostegui’s circumstances regarding the PSY 593C class that she took at Central Washington University. I attended the meeting with the Board of Appeals on December 5th of last year. I attended the meeting to support Ms. Arostegui’s efforts as I have considerable knowledge of her academic skills. It is my understanding that she received a letter from the CWU Board of Appeals in mid- December stating, “the Academic Grievance Board recommends that Vanesa Arostegui receive an incomplete grade in PSY 593C and be provided an opportunity to complete and resubmit any remaining assignments or items needed. The Academic Grievance Board further recommends that Vanesa’s assignments and grade be assessed and evaluated by an appropriate individual with no prior involvement in this case or situation.” She had to wait over six months for this decision to be rendered. The recommendation seemed reasonable given the complexity of the appeal. It doesn’t seem reasonable that Mental Health Counseling Program, apparently, has decided to ignore the recommendations. The department’s decision calls into question the status of the Board of Appeals, itself. What is the function of the Board and its appeals process? Is the Board simply providing the appearance of some avenue for settling disagreement? In my role as a Psychology instructor at this college, I have had dealings with the CWU faculty on occasion. Those encounters have always been very positive events. CWU has many fine academic departments. However, the decision by the Mental Health Counseling Program to ignore the Academic Grievance Board’s recommendations is an unfortunate blemish on the reputation of the university. I respectfully request that the CWU President and Board of Trustees examine the department’s decision to disregard the Appeals Board recommendations.
Tom Mount, Psychology Instructor
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