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Policy 3411

DOCUMENTATION OF WRITTEN STUDENT COMPLAINTS

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to formalize the documentation of formal written student complaints.

II. DEFINITIONS

  1. Complaint: An expression of dissatisfaction or formal allegations against the university, its employees, its faculty or its students. A request for decision-making is not a complaint, nor is a request for reexamination of a decision. Complaints covered by this policy include those directly addressing some element of Longwood’s mission.  Examples include, but are not limited to, grade appeals and complaints concerning curriculum, discrimination, sexual harassment, class scheduling, teaching, registration, academic and student support services, financial aid and faculty. Complaints not covered in this policy are: academic petitions, satisfactory academic progress appeals, suspension appeals, graduate student termination appeals, residency appeals, tuition surcharge complaints, tuition appeals, parking appeals, and complaints about food service and informal complaints (i.e., those not received in writing).
  2. Complaint log: A written record of collected student complaints maintained within the appropriate office. The log must include: the date the complaint was received, the type of complaint, a brief description of the complaint, the date of the resolution, a brief description of the resolution, a notation if the complaint was forwarded to another department and any external action taken.
  3. Student: A currently enrolled student who is receiving instruction at the university, including part-time, full-time, online, for credit, not for credit, undergraduate, graduate, or continuing education.
  4. Formal written student complaint: A written complaint submitted by a student under this policy. Written complaints include letters and emails sent from a university account. All complaints must include the student’s signature (or name in the case of email submission) and contact information so the university may respond and/or notify the student of the status of the complaint. Student complaints do not include those that are submitted by parents or employees of the university, even if the complaint relates to or is on the behalf of a student. In addition, before initiating a formal written student complaint, the student must utilize informal complaint procedures such as talking to the person that the complaint is against and his or her supervisor, if feasible and appropriate.

III. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all units that receive and resolve or respond to formal written student complaints related to the mission of Longwood University from currently enrolled students.

IV. POLICY

Longwood University recognizes the importance of compliance with Federal Requirement 4.5, which requires the university to maintain a formal record of written student complaints which must be made available to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) upon request.

All units that receive and resolve or respond to formal written student complaints from currently enrolled students related to the mission of Longwood University are required to maintain a complaint log and supporting documentation. Complaint logs will be analyzed once per year to determine if there are systemic issues that require improvement.

Students complaining about actions concerning matters unrelated to their roles as students may complain directly to the appropriate office, but there is no requirement that any such office keep a log of those complaints.

V. ENFORCEMENT

The Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for compiling and analyzing a centralized log on an annual basis.

Approved by the Board of Visitors, December 7, 2012
Reviewed and approved by Cabinet, November 14, 2012.
Reviewed and approved by Cabinet, May 8, 2013.
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, June 14, 2013.