Policy on Student Complaints
Anderson University strives to achieve the highest standards in providing services to students. However, we recognize that concerns or complaints may arise from time to time. In the event that a student wishes to submit a complaint regarding a university policy, process, or personnel, the university will seek to investigate such instances fairly and thoroughly, ensure the process is unbiased, and resolve the matter at the earliest possible opportunity.
Information collected is confidential and will only be disclosed to those with a need to know for the purpose of resolving the issue. However, the university is required to share information with its accrediting agency regarding the number and type of complaints it receives. When making such disclosure, the identities of those involved will not be revealed to the agency without the written consent of the complainant or as required by law.
If a student has a question about the appropriate procedure to address a concern or complaint, the student should contact the office of the provost, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Informal Resolution of Problems
As scripture teaches (Matthew 18:15-17), we encourage students to discuss their concerns with the appropriate individual(s) before initiating a formal complaint. Many issues can be resolved by making an appointment with the appropriate faculty or staff member and calmly and honestly communicating the concern(s).
If the issue cannot be resolved or the student believes they have been treated unfairly or arbitrarily or the university did not follow established policy, the student may submit a formal complaint.
Problems related to the following matters should not be initiated through the formal complaint process. Rather, they should first be addressed by the university offices and personnel dedicated for these purposes and topics.
- Academic Integrity (Office of the Provost)
- Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (Office of Accessibility Services)
- Discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, disability, age, religion, genetic information, veteran or military status, or any other basis (Associate Vice President for Student Development)
- Family Educational Rights Privacy Act – FERPA (Office of the Registrar)
- Good Academic Standing (Office of the Provost)
- Grade Appeal (Instructor/Academic Dean)
- Harassment or Discrimination on the basis of sex or gender – Title IX (Title IX/504 Grievance Coordinator)
- Satisfactory Academic Progress (Financial Aid)
- Student Conduct Discipline (Student Development Office)
Conditions for Submitting a Formal Complaint
Students may submit a formal complaint when they believe a policy or procedure has been incorrectly or unfairly applied to their case, or they have a complaint about the behavior of a member of the university community that does not fall within the categories cited above.
Submitting a formal complaint should not be construed as an appeals process. Many university policies have established appeals processes. Where an appeals process exists, students are expected to follow those steps before filing a formal complaint. In such cases, a formal complaint should only be submitted if the appeals process was not followed.
To file a formal complaint, a student must complete the complaint form in its entirety including providing their identity. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted. Complaints must be submitted within 30 days of the event or circumstance that triggered the complaint.
Steps for Submitting a Formal Complaint
- Step 1: Using the hyperlink provided below, a student should complete the complaint form in its entirety, providing as much detail as possible including dates, locations, and the names of individuals involved.
- Step 2: Once the form has been submitted, the student will receive an email confirming that the complaint has been received.
- Step 3: The complaint will be automatically sent to the office identified by the student as most relevant to the issue.
- Step 4: A representative of that office will contact the student within 14 days of receiving the complaint. Additional information or documentation may be requested by the office in order to resolve the complaint.
Students are expected to respond to requests for additional information or documentation. Failing to do so within the time period specified by the office(s) involved may result in the complaint being dismissed.
- Step 5: A final written determination will be sent to the student within 10 days of the complaint outcome, or as soon thereafter as possible.
Record of Formal Complaints
The university is required to share information with its accrediting agency regarding the number and type of complaints it receives. Therefore, a record of formal complaints and their resolution will be kept indefinitely by the university. When necessary to disclose information about student complaints to the agency, the identities of those involved will not be revealed without the written consent of the complainant or as required by law.
Withdrawing a Formal Complaint
A student may withdraw a formal complaint at any point by contacting the Office of the Provost and requesting in writing the withdrawal of the complaint. A rationale for the withdrawal of the complaint may be required.
Complaints to Third Parties
The SC Commission for Higher Education (SCCHE) responds to formal complaints against public, independent non-profit, and proprietary institutions of higher education in South Carolina. The SCCHE may be reached by contacting:
Academic Affairs and Licensing
1122 Lady Street, Suite 300, Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone (803) 737-2260; FAX (803) 737-2297;
For SCCHE Complaint Information, Procedures, Form, and Authorization please click here.
Anderson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Anderson University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, by calling 404.679.4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC's website (www.sacscoc.org).
The policy and procedures for complaints against SACSCOC or its accredited institutions can be found at SACSCOC Complaint Policy.