GENERAL COMPLAINT PROCEDURE FOR STUDENTS
This policy applies to written student complaints that do not concern grade appeals or claims of discrimination or harassment. Policies concerning those matters are outlined elsewhere. A student complaint concerns a decision, action, or lack of action by a faculty or staff member acting in an official capacity that has adversely affected the student and may be corrected by the University.
D.1 To initiate the complaint procedure, the student must submit to the academic unit head (e.g. department chair or program director) a written statement explaining the complaint. The complaint must indicate how the faculty or staff member’s decision or action directly and adversely affected the well being of the student.
D.2 If the academic unit head is the party against whom the complaint is filed, the College Dean will receive the complaint and stand in the place of the academic unit head for the purpose of making a decision on the matter. If the College Dean is the party against whom the complaint is filed, the Provost will receive the complaint and stand in the place of the academic unit head.
D.3 The academic unit head will meet with the student, confer with the relevant faculty or staff member, contact the faculty or staff member’s direct supervisor, and gather any other additional information needed to thoroughly investigate the matter and render a decision. The academic unit head will write a summary of her/his decision about the complaint, outlining any steps that have been or will be taken to remedy the issue, or explaining why further action was unnecessary. Copies of the written summary are provided to the student (complainant), to the faculty and or staff members named in the complaint, to the faculty/staff member’s immediate supervisor, and to the academic unit head’s immediate supervisor.
D.4 If either the student or the faculty/staff member named in the complaint is dissatisfied with the action taken by the academic unit head, the decision may be appealed to the College Dean. The Dean’s decision is final.
D.5 If the Dean was acting in the place of the academic unit head, any appeal would be made to the Provost, whose decision is final. If the complaint was against the College Dean, and the decision was made by the Provost, any appeal would be made to the President (and the President’s decision is final).
D.6 Following exhaustion of campus-based procedures, students may direct complaints to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Additional information is available from their website at http://www.schev.edu/students/studentcomplaint.asp.