A student who has a complaint with an individual faculty member should discuss the complaint directly with the faculty member and try to resolve it at that level. See "grade changes policy" for any questions regarding final course grades.
A student who attempts to begin the process at a higher administrative level will be encouraged to address the issue with the faculty member first. The department head shall make a good faith effort to have the student confer initially with the faculty member.
If the issue is not resolved at the faculty member or department head level, the student can appeal to the appropriate academic dean.
If the issue is not resolved at the dean's level, the student can appeal to the Deans' Council. The Deans' Council decision is final.
Under no circumstances should a student become the subject of retaliation at any level of process when seeking resolution of a student faculty dispute.
Undergraduate Student-Faculty Disputes Procedure
If a student refuses to confer with the faculty member, the student is to confer with the faculty member's department head. If such a meeting occurs, the department head will:
- If possible, inform the faculty member of the student's request and issue, if known, prior to the meeting;
- Not engage in a substantive discussion with the student (i.e., not inquire into the actual details or circumstances surrounding the complaint), but will listen to the student's concerns;
- Inform the student that the concerns expressed will be communicated to the faculty member;
- After the meeting, inform the faculty member of the concerns raised by the student;
- If the faculty member agrees to do so, arrange a meeting with the faculty member and the student in an attempt to resolve the issue.
If an acceptable solution is not reached, the student must then document his or her complaint in writing and deliver a copy to the faculty member, the department head and the appropriate dean, respectively.
- The department head will make a judgment about the student complaint. If the department head judges against the complaint, then the student has the ability to appeal to the appropriate academic dean.
- If the department head judges the student complaint could be valid, the faculty member will be asked to respond in writing to the complaint.
- The department head will consider the faculty member's written response and could dismiss the complaint, at which time the student could appeal to the appropriate academic dean.
- Alternatively, the department head could conclude that there is a basis for the complaint and would then schedule a conference with the student and the faculty member in an effort to resolve the issue.
Revised July 2013