Student Concerns and the Complaint Process

Student concerns are best handled when addressed in a timely manner by those who are best able to address and remedy the concern. This is often times the faculty or staff member with whom the concern is about, or the direct supervisor or department chair of the area in which the concern is expressed. Procedures for student academic and non-academic concerns and complaints, as well as for concerns and complaints related to other students' behavior, are outlined below. Students who have questions about or need assistance with the process may contact the Dean of Students Office at any time and may request to schedule a meeting to discuss their concerns. The Dean of Students Office works to try to empower students to resolve issues if possible. Often student concerns are coupled with specific incidents for which students can go through an appeal or grievance process. The Dean of Students Office will assist the student in directing the concern to the appropriate university official or office best able to address the matter.

Student Academic concerns Related to conduct of classes or other course matters:

  1. Address the concern(s) with the course instructor.
  2. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, or if you would be uncomfortable confronting the instructor, take the concern to the chair of the appropriate academic department.
  3. If a resolution is not achieved there or if the course instructor is the department chair, you may then bring the matter to the appropriate academic dean (or designee) of the college.
  4. If the resolution is not achieved there, your next step would be to address the matter with the provost of the university.

STUDENT ACADEMIC concerns related to course grades:

  1. Address the concern(s) with the course instructor.
  2. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, or if you would be uncomfortable confronting the instructor, take the concern to the chair of the appropriate academic department. It the instructor is the department chairperson, the conference should be with the instructor and college dean.
  3. If a resolution is not achieved there, you may appeal, in writing, to the Admission and Academic Appeals Committee (AAAC). The committee will hear both sides of the issue, examine the records, and advise the provost and all parties concerned as to a recommended solution. Your appeal must be received no later than six months after completing the course.
  4. Grievances about course grades which are appealed to the AAAC must address specific complaints related to grading, not concerns regarding conduct of classes or other course matters. In order for the AAAC to hear a formal grade appeal, a student must have a specific example of a major paper, project, lab or exam that was graded or recorded incorrectly that has significantly affected the student’s grade.

Student Non-Academic concerns:

  1. Address the concern(s) with the individual involved.
  2. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, or if you would be uncomfortable confronting the individual, take the concern to the appropriate department supervisor.
  3. If resolution is not achieved there, you may then bring the matter to the Dean of Students Office for assistance.

Concerns Related to Behaviors of other Students:

For behavior that is criminal in nature or immediate threats, please contact UniversityPolice (134 Brigham Hall, 608.342.1584) and report the incident with one of the sworn officers.  For other concerns regarding behavior by students, the issue should be referred to the Dean of Students Office (2300 Markee Pioneer Student Center, 608.342.1854) for assistance.

June 2016

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