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Bircham International University
Conflict Resolution Policy

 

A good education should teach HOW to think, rather than WHAT to think.

 

Bircham International University is an alternative to higher education to adults from all countries and cultures who choose not to attend a traditional on-campus university. The special character of BIU is reflected in its diversity of programs, its effective pedagogical distance learning degree programs and its international presence.

 

 

Conflict Resolution Policy

 

All staff, management, collaborators and professors from Bircham International University (BIU) will abide to this conflict resolution policy, and will strive to avoid any conflict of interest between themselves, BIU and its students. This includes avoiding actual conflicts of interest as well as the perception of any conflicts of interest.

The purpose of this conflict resolution policy is to protect the integrity of Bircham International University decision-making process, to enable our students, staff and collaborators to have confidence in our integrity, and to protect the expectations and reputation of anyone involved in our organization. This conflict resolution policy is intended to supplement, but not replace, any applicable laws governing these conflicts.

 

CONFLICT RESOLUTION & MANAGEMENT

There are four management levels that follow a hierarchical order at Bircham International University. Each level should report to and relay on the decisions of the upper level.

Level 1: Presidential / Executive Management.
Responsibilities: Global management and coordination, policy design and implementation, governmental relations, shareholding & ownership. Conflict on this level should be resolved by shareholding & ownership meetings.

Level 2: Strategic & Academic Management.
Responsibilities: Strategic & academic management, policy & Procedures design and implementation, international & institutional relations, administrative, operational & academic staff supervision. Conflict on this level should be resolved by board of directors meetings with demonstrated no conflict of interest.

Level 3: Operational, Administrative & Academic Supervision.
Responsibilities: operational, administrative & academic supervision, policy & procedures implementation and control, BIU Offices control & support, academic & student evaluation coordination. Conflict on this level should be resolved by the application of the BIU office conflict policy, academic conflict resolution policy, provided that no conflict of interest prevails.

Level 4: Operational, Administrative & Academic Work.
Responsibilities: BIU office management, marketing & student recruitment , student advise & tutoring, academic & student evaluation, academic program design. Conflict on this level should be resolved by the application of the BIU office conflict policy, academic conflict resolution policy, and student conflict policy provided that no conflict of interest prevails.

Level 5: BIU Office Staff & Students.
Conflict on this level should be resolved by the application of the BIU office conflict policy, academic conflict resolution policy, and student conflict policy provided that no conflict of interest prevails.

 

 

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

All staff, management, collaborators and professors from Bircham International University will strive to avoid any conflict of interest between the interests of BIU on the one hand, and personal, professional, and business interests on the other. This includes avoiding actual conflicts of interest as well as the perception of conflicts of interest.

Duty to Disclose:
In connection with any actual or possible conflict of interest, an interested person must disclose the existence of any financial, personal, or any kind of interest and be given the opportunity to disclose all facts to the corresponding supervisor.

Recusal of Self:
Any person may recuse himself or herself at any time from involvement in any decision or discussion in which he or she has or may have a conflict of interest, without going through the process for determining whether a conflict of interest exists.

Violations of the conflicts of interest policy
If any BIU member, staff or agent has reasonable cause to believe that any other member, staff or agent, has failed to disclose actual or possible conflicts of interest, it shall inform the member of the basis for such belief and afford the member an opportunity to explain the alleged failure to disclose. If, after hearing the member's response and after making further investigation as warranted by the circumstances, the corresponding supervisor determines the member has failed to disclose an actual or possible conflict of interest, it shall take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action.



BIU OFFICE CONFLICT POLICY:

Management conflict:
In case of any conflict between directors or managers of any BIU office, the CEO may invite other directors to analyze the situation, in order to provide a report about the issue. Conflict should be resolved with a simple majority consensus of this meeting, unless the CEO need to enforce a different policy, which has to be approved at the presidential and executive management level. In any case, BIU student welfare and BIU stability and continuity must prevail on any decision.

Operational office conflict:
In case of any conflict between any BIU office staff and any other department or staff, both parties involved should report to their supervisor, who will mediate and propose a solution based on student welfare and compliance with BIU policy & procedures. In the case that a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, the conflict will be presented to the next supervisor in hierarchical order.

Collaborators & agents conflict.
An agent or collaborator is a person or institution independent from BIU but offering BIU products and services. An written authorization or contract is required to be a bona fide collaborator. The agent or collaborator use of the BIU name and offering of BIU products must be supervised in all case by a full time BIU manager. This manager is responsible of the performance of the agent or collaborator and the enforcement of the signed agreement terms. Any conflict resulting from this agreement may lead to economic penalties, as described in the agreement, or the cancellation of the contract. In any case, BIU student welfare and BIU stability and continuity must prevail on any decision.



ACADEMIC CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Academic freedom and conflict of interest:
The professors and instructors from the Bircham International University academic network must act freely and independently from the administrative and operational duties of the university, and must demonstrate no conflict of interest, personal, financial or of any kind, in the performance of their assigned tasks. Any academic network member will be dismissed in the case that any conflict of interest is presumed.

Academic conflict resolution:
In case of any disagreement with Bircham International University administrative criteria on academic procedures, tasks or student work assessment, two other members of the BIU academic network will be invited to review the conflict, and to propose a solution based on consensus and student welfare. The solution achieved must not contradict BIU policy and procedures, but may propose amendments and improvements to current policy and procedures. Any policy and procedures changes must be approved by the Chief Academic Officer.



STUDENT CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Academic work failure:
BIU has the obligation to provide constructive comments to any grade lower than 3.0 (Good). Comments should be instructive on how to improve the grade, according to the instructions an policy detailed at the BIU study guide. If the grade fails the minimum passing score (2.0 Sufficient), the student will be asked to repeat the failed academic work. The student may submit the failed work up to three times.

Student & BIU office grievances:
Grievance or conflict between the student & any BIU office staff or manager will be handled will be handled by the corresponding supervisor. BIU student welfare and BIU policy and procedures must prevail on any decision. The supervisor may detect, while resolving the conflict, potential improvements of the existing BIU policy and procedures, in that case an improvement report should be provided to the corresponding management. Any policy and procedures changes must be approved by the Chief Operating Officer.

Student & instructor disagreement:
In case of any disagreement with the instructor assessment of the student's work, another teacher will be will be assigned to reevaluate the student work. The student will be notified of the name and curriculum vitae of the new teacher. The student has one week to notify and explain any further disagreement with the new assigned teacher. The assessment resulting from the new assigned teacher will average with the previous one and will be final.

Student Inactivation:
The BIU office may inactivate any student file who (either one):
- Has not paid at least 50% of the required tuition within a year according to the agreed payment plan.
- Fails to comply with the payment plan more than 3 times.
- Does not submit any academic work for a period of 12 months.
Inactive students loose all their student and refund rights. Before actually inactivating the student the BIU Office must send a warning notice letter with a three week deadline for the student to clarify the situation; write a detailed repost explain the case leading to the inactivation, clearly exposing the situation and facts; request the inactivation authorization from the corresponding BIU supervisor. The authorized supervisor will confirm the final inactivation of the student status.
The inactive student may request the reactivation of the student file at BIU. In this case a detailed explanatory report will be required from the student and will be analyzed by a board of directors. Any scholarship granted will no longer be applicable, payment plans will no longer be applicable. Some penalty not in excess of 10% of the total tuition may also apply.

Cancellation and refund:
The student may cancel the program of study at BIU for any reason at any time. A cancellation refund is applicable up to a year from the student enrollment. Details of this policy may be read the the student rights policy. More info...

 

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