General Student Complaint Procedures

Informal Complaint Procedures - Graduate, Undergraduate and DPS Students

It is the wish of the University to provide an education and services of high quality to its students and to provide equity and harmony in the application of policies and procedures. When a student has a complaint, the University would encourage resolution be sought through informal communication with the appropriate instructor, college dean, staff member, or administrative officer who may be able to help rectify or clarify the situation before a written complaint is initiated.

Formal Complaint Procedures

This Complaint Policy does not supersede specific policies involving special cases such as grade appeals, sexual harassment, appeal and due process, etc. that are further defined in the Student Handbook, Catalog, Graduate/DPS Policies or elsewhere.

Lodging a Formal Student Complaint: A student who wishes to lodge a formal complaint with the University must complete and submit the formal complaint form to the appropriate Director, Dean, Vice President, or Provost. A form is available in the Office of Student Life and Office of Academic Affairs, as well as online.

Formal Complaint Form for Students

If you need assistance in completing this form, or have questions about the process, please contact:

Jere Witherspoon - Student Life Office

Administrative Complaint Acknowledgment: Formal student complaints will be forwarded to the administrator most immediately responsible for the area to which the complaint pertains. The administrator will send a written acknowledgment to the student within five working days of receiving the complaint indicating that: (1) the formal complaint form has been received, (2) the nature of the complaint, and (3) that the student will receive a written response after deliberation within fifteen working days. Copies of the written student complaint and the acknowledgement letter will be sent to the Director, Dean, Vice President, or Provost over that area.

Administrative Deliberation and Response: If the administrator to whom the complaint is forwarded determines that the nature of the complaint is beyond his/her area of supervision or expertise, the next level administrator in the area should be consulted and may be requested to respond to the student. Administrative disposition of the complaint will generally consist of investigation into the source of the complaint, previous efforts to resolve the issue, and any contingencies that will aid in the deliberation and disposition of the problem. The responding administrator will send to the student a written statement of attempted resolution to the problem. A copy of the deliberation response will be sent to the appropriate Director, Dean, Vice President, or Provost. All formal student complaints will be forwarded upon resolution to the Vice President for Student Life’s office where a log will be kept.

Student Appeal Process: Upon receiving a deliberation response to the written complaint, the student has the right of appeal to successive levels of administrators within the area. This appeal must be made in writing within five working days of receiving the Administrative response. In each case, the student will receive an acknowledgement of the appeal within five working days upon receipt of the complaint and a deliberation response within fifteen working days from the date of the acknowledgment letter.

If you do not receive a timely response, please contact Jere Witherspoon in the Student Life Office:

Administrative Levels for Student Complaints

The appropriate office for student complaints will be as follows:

  • Provost and Academic Deans (academic, accreditation, institutional research, library, academic departments and programs, International recruitment and student services)
  • Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (administrative services, bookstore, facilities, plant services, finance, human resources, financial aid, athletics, student accounts, information technology)
  • Vice President of Advancement (alumni, parent relations, fundraising, event services)
  • Executive Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing (admissions, registrar, marketing and communications, publications)
  • Vice President for Student Life and Student Life Deans (residence life, housing, spiritual life, intercultural life, student activities, student organizations, student services, food services)

The only appeal beyond the offices listed above is to the President of the University. The appeal timeline stated above applies. The decision of the President will be final.