Complaint and Appeal Process

About Faculty Persons

This process applies to alleged violations of student’s rights such as unequal treatment, violation of grading procedures as stated in the course syllabus, disagreements over assigned course grade, disagreements over accommodations given, or other academic matters.

  • Any student with a complaint about a faculty person should discuss the complaint first with that faculty person.
  • If talking with the faculty person does not bring resolution, or if there is reluctance to approach the faculty person, the student should meet with the appropriate associate dean or division chair and present a concise, well thought out, statement of the problem and the desired resolution.
  • Before officially considering the complaint the associate dean or division chair will offer to meet with the student and the accused faculty person. If the student is unwilling to attend such a meeting, the associate dean or division chair is at liberty to dismiss the complaint at that point.
  • The academic dean, or any other administrator, faculty, or staff person, when approached by a student with a complaint against a faculty person, must advise the student to follow the procedure listed above.
  • If the student consents to a meeting with the associate dean or division chair and the faculty person, the complaint will be heard formally in that meeting. The associate dean or division chair will be responsible for documenting the proceedings and outcome of the meeting in writing, and for keeping that documentation on file.
  • The accused faculty person or the aggrieved student may request a second meeting within seven days to which both the faculty person and the student, within limits set by the associate dean or division chair, may invite colleagues and students. The written documentation of the proceedings and outcome of this second meeting is the associate dean or division chair’s responsibility as well.
  • If the problem is not resolved to the satisfaction of either party, an appeal may be made to the appropriate academic dean.
  • If the problem is still not resolved, a written appeal may be made to the Vice President for Academic Affairs who is empowered to make the final decision and communicate the decision in writing to those involved.
  • Any of the above written documentation may be included in the accused faculty member’s file only after that person has reviewed the document.

About Academic Matters

Occasionally a student may wish to appeal an academic action such as a grade, graduation requirement, or a withdrawal penalty. Such appeals should be made in writing to the appropriate dean. In most cases the student should first request the support of his or her major advisor, department head, associate dean or division chair.