Student Complaints

Types of Complaints

Academic Complaints

Students with complaints about classes, instruction, faculty members, faculty advisors or other academically related matters should try to address their concerns with the instructor or faculty member first. If matters cannot be resolved the student should address their concerns with the department chair that oversees the faculty member and academic discipline. If matters cannot be resolved at the departmental level the student should address their concerns with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and/or the Vice President for Student Services. Efforts to resolve complaints in this manner are considered ‘Informal Complaints’. Formal Complaints may be filed with the Vice President for Student Services as a final effort to resolve an issue.

Grade Appeals must follow the procedures outlined in Academic Policy 100-11-04.

Non-Academic Complaints

Non-Academic complaints include any issues outside of the Academic Complaints described above. Just as with Academic Complaints, students should make every effort to resolve the complaint informally with the person involved. If those efforts are unsuccessful the student should address their concerns with the supervisor or person responsible for oversight of the office most directly related to the issue. Issues not resolved at this level should be addressed with the Vice President for Student Services.

Formal Complaints

Student Complaint Procedure

Adams State University strives to assist students in the resolution of their problems with the institution. Student have the right to resolve issues arising during their interaction with students or employees of Adams State University. These may include violations of the university’s Code of Ethics or policies, complaints about institutional practices and procedures, or failure to comply with statute, regulations or accreditation requirements. The Student Complaint Process is outlined in detail on page 75 in the Student Handbook.

Title IX Complaints

Discrimination or Retaliation

The Office of Equal Opportunity investigates complaints about discrimination or retaliation. Procedure for Discrimination or page 16 in the Student Handbook.

Sexual Misconduct/Harassment Complaints

A complaint of sexual misconduct may be brought to the University for action by any member of the campus community. When a report of alleged sexual misconduct is received by the Title IX Director, the Director will evaluate the information and decide what further actions should be taken. If it appears that there may have been a violation of this policy and the Responded is a student, the Title IX Director will proceed through the steps of the Title IX Process. Additional information is available on page 13 in the Student Handbook.

Title IX Informal Resolution Process

After receiving a report of sexual misconduct and meeting with Complainant, the Title IX Director may determine in consultation with Complainant that the most prompt and effective way to address some complaints under this policy is via an informal resolution process. Not all complaints of sexual misconduct are appropriate for informal resolution. Page 18 in the Student Handbook describes the informal resolution process in detail.

Misconduct Complaints

Any member of the campus community who has a reasonable belief that a student has violated the Code of Conduct, may file a Complaint with the Vice President for Student Services. If the Vice President for Student Services determines that the Complaint alleges a violation of the University’s Anti-discrimination Policy, the matter will be referred to the Affirmative Action Officer. If the Vice President for Student Services determines that the Complaint states a violation of any other provision of the Code of Conduct and or University policies, the Vice President for Student Services will meet with the student to discuss the Complaint and may gather any additional
information he/she deems relevant to the complaint.

The Vice President for Student Services also may initiate such a meeting upon credible information that comes to his/her attention other than by Complaint. Page 17 in the Student Handbook provides details.

State Level Student Complaints

If a student complaint cannot be resolved internally through Adams State University policies and processes, the student may file a complaint with the state in which they reside. The student must exhaust all opportunities for resolution at the institutional level before filing a complaint with their state of residency.

Colorado Students

34 CFR §668.43(b) requires Adams State University to provide students and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with the state’s approval or licensing entity. In Colorado, this entity is the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, a regulatory body operated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education. The instructions for filing complaints with the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Colorado Department of Higher Education staff can also be reached at the following phone numbers: 303-866-2723 and 303-866-4266.

Note: The first requirement under Colorado Department of Higher Education guidelines is that the complainant exhausts all opportunities for resolution at the institution in question before filing a complaint with CDHE.

Out-of-State Students, Distance Education Programs

Students who are residents in other states, and who are pursuing degrees through distance education (online or correspondence programs) may choose to register a complaint with the higher education authority in their state. The student is expected to exhaust all opportunities for resolution at the institutional level before filing a complaint with their state of residency.

HLC Complaints

Students, faculty, staff and members of the public may submit a complaint about an HLC accredited or candidate institution. HLC accredits degree-granting postsecondary educational institutions in a 19-state region. Since the complaint process is intended to pursue only those matters that suggest substantive noncompliance with the Criteria, HLC expects individuals who have a dispute to use the internal grievance procedures of the institution. HLC does not review the outcomes of institutional grievance processes to either uphold or overturn those decisions. In no case will HLC use the complaint process to provide a remedy with an institution on behalf of a complainant. Full HLC complaint process.

Full HLC Complaint Process