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Student Advocate : Procedure for Office of Academic Affairs to Address Student Concerns/Complaints Concerning Faculty, Staff, Administrators and Academic Issues

When a complaint regarding faculty, staff, administrators and/or academic issues are received in the Office of Academic Affairs the following procedures are followed:

  1. The responsible administrator in the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) first determines the seriousness of the complaint by contacting the faculty member and cognizant chair or dean. If the situation cannot be resolved informally between the faculty member and student, the case moves to the formal level.
  2. The responsible administrator in the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) sends an acknowledgement to the student indicating that their complaint has been received. Ordinarily, if the complaint is verbal, the student is advised that a written complaint must be submitted prior to any action being taken.
    1. The OAA administrator’s acknowledgement will explain that the Office of Academic Affairs attempts to facilitate the resolution of all such concerns/complaints at the unit level and, therefore, the student’s complaint will be referred to the chair. If the complaint concerns the chair, then the dean is notified.
    2. The OAA administrator then informs the appropriate administrator of the complaint and of the informal attempts that have been made to resolve it. Upon receiving the complaint, the chair or dean determines the appropriate course(s) of action to address the complaint.
    3. When the unit-level administrator has completed actions to address the student’s complaints, this administrator writes to the student with a copy to the faculty member and referring OAA administrator, explaining what actions were taken.
  3. The OAA administrator files all correspondence, including telephone messages, with information about the nature of the complaint and investigation, including the final disposition and any appeals from the faculty member or the student. Electronic and paper files are maintained and cross referenced under the names of the student and the faculty or staff member