Complaints and Grievance Process

Constructive controversy promotes increased learning in a collaborative culture.  It encourages better problem solving, creativity, and involvement because it influences individuals to view problems and issues from different perspectives and to rethink their response.  Students are encouraged to

  • make every attempt to first resolve conflicts with the person(s) involved
  • value different viewpoints and remain open to be influenced by new ideas and information
  • focus the controversy on ideas and determining the best direction or decision
  • reflect on one’s actions, thoughts and the reaction of others 
  • communicate information accurately and clarify miscommunication 
  • recognize and communicate feelings as they relate to the issues being discussed
Step By Step Process:
  1. Identify the issue or concern
  2. Talk with the person/people involved
  3. Did talking with the person resolve the situation?  Yes - monitor situation and revisit if necessary
  4. If situation is not resolved, if the concern is with:
    1. A staff member - write an email to the Department Director (or immediate supervisor)
    2. A faculty member - write and email to the Academic Program Chair
    3. Make sure to describe the conflict or concern and include any documentation you have.  The director or chair decides the next steps
  5. Has your situation been resolved?  Yes - monitor situation and revisit if necessary
  6. If situation is not resolved, write a letter to the Academic Dean (for class concerns) or the Dean of Students (for concerns outside of class).  Describe the conflict or concern and include any documentation.
  7. Has your situation been resolved?  If yes - monitor situation and revisit as necessary.
  8. If not, the student may speak with the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Vice President for Enrollment & Success.  All decisions are final at this step.

Academic Grievance 

  • A grievance is an educational or personal issue or condition that a student believes to be unfair, inequitable or a hindrance to a student's education 


Sexual Assault, Harassment, and Misconduct (Title IX) 

Graduate students should consult their program specific handbooks for any additional guidance or requirements for grievances or complaints.

All other grievances not covered by these policies should be directed to the Dean of Students Office