Student Complaint Policy

Maryville University Student Complaint Policy

I. Policy Purpose

The Student Complaint Policy is designed to help the University identify any serious or systemic problems or issues that may impede a student’s educational progress, to identify patterns of conduct that raise a legitimate concern with respect to the University’s academic or business processes, and to reach an equitable resolution of student complaints subject to this policy. The Student Complaint Policy is also intended to comply with obligations imposed by federal regulations for receiving, responding to and tracking student complaints.

II. Policy Statement

Maryville University is committed to treating all students fairly and respectfully and to ensuring that its student services and operations are conducted in an ethical and responsible manner. A student may file a complaint in accordance with this policy if they believe their educational progress has been impeded by an incident that violates stated Maryville University policies, practices, principles, or other written expectations.

III. Exemptions

The following matters are not handled as Student Complaints within the scope of this policy, but may be directed for attention as follows:
• Student Employment: Complaints or grievances arising from, or made in connection with, a student’s employment by the University in any capacity, should be directed to Human Resources.
• Grade Appeals: Grades and other academic judgments are within the province and professional judgment of the faculty. Therefore, such judgments will only be addressed in the event of allegations relating to faculty error or impropriety, such as judgment affected by alleged prejudice or capriciousness. Allegations of this nature should be resolved through the grievance procedures described in in the Student Academic Grievance Process.
• Academic Integrity: Appeals of allegations of academic dishonesty will be resolved through the grievance procedures described in Grievances Related to Academic Integrity.
• Curriculum matters, course substitutions, and concerns regarding graduation requirements including waivers of any academic requirements should be addressed through a Request for Exception to Academic Policy.
• Discrimination and Harassment: Any complaint regarding discrimination, harassment, or retaliation on the basis of protected status (see Notice of Notice of Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity for a definition of “protected status”) is governed by the Policy Against Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation.
• Sexual Harassment: Any complaint regarding sexual harassment is governed by the Sexual Harassment Policy. Individuals wishing to make a complaint of sexual harassment may also contact: The Office for Civil Rights, Chicago office, U.S. Department of Education, 500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 6066, Tel: (312) 730-1560; Fax: (312) 730-1576
• Financial Issues: Disputes related to financial issues such as tuition and fee assessment, student account billing statement, or departments’ fees, may be made directly to the Student Service Center. See the Student Services Center website, www.maryville.edu/ssc for contact information.
• Complaints about applicable state approval or licensure requirements related to Maryville University’s distance education offerings may be directed to the Student Service Center; however, if not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, may be directed to the appropriate State agency. A listing of State agencies can be found at our State Authorization page.

IV. Application of Policy

This Policy applies to all students who are enrolled at Maryville University at the time of the incident. The complaint must be filed in accordance with the policy.

V. Definitions

Student: an individual who is currently enrolled full-time or part-time, or was enrolled at the institution when the underlying facts and circumstances of the complaint first occurred, and who has not been suspended or dismissed, or otherwise is required to re-apply for admission. Parents, relatives, employers, agents, and other persons acting for or on behalf of a student are not students within the meaning of this Policy.

Student Complaint: Any written complaint made and signed by a student that documents an incident that violates stated Maryville University policies, practices, principles, or other written expectations and is received by the Dean of Students (see Procedures section below).

VI. Responsibilities and Procedures

When a student encounters a problem on campus that they do not know how to resolve, they should always try to work the problem out by first discussing it with those involved. Dealing with concerns in the most direct and honest fashion should always be the first step toward resolution. Many problems are resolved when a student makes an appointment with a faculty or staff member and calmly and honestly communicates their concerns.

If, however, an issue or problem still exists, a student may initiate the formal complaint procedure. All formal complaints must be put in writing and must be signed by the student (including electronic or digital facsimile signatures clearly attributable to the student–for example, the Student’s name in an email message received from their Maryville email account). Completion of the Student Complaint Form is required.

Procedures for Filing a Written Complaint:

1. Attempt an informal resolution of the matter as noted above.

2. Complete the Student Complaint Form and deliver it, along with any supporting documentation, to the Dean of Students by regular mail, campus delivery, or email, to:

Dean of Students
Maryville University
650 Maryville University Dr. St Louis, MO 63141
jfitzpatrick@maryville.edu

The Dean of Students will notify the student with an acknowledgement that the complaint was received. The Dean of Students may not investigate anonymous complaints nor provide acknowledgement of receipt.

NOTE: All Student Complaints must be submitted in writing. A complaint reported by telephone will not be considered as submitted for review.

VII. Complaint Review and Resolution Process

The Dean of Students is not an advocate for any party to a dispute, but is an advocate for a fair process. Acting as a neutral, third party, the Dean of Students or designee will first attempt to resolve the complaint by working with the student and the appropriate University employees and officials to assure a fair process. Every attempt will be made to complete the process within 30 calendar days of receiving the complaint.

If the matter is not resolved informally, the Dean of Students will forward the complaint to the appropriate University Vice President or other appropriate official for further review and attempt to resolve the matter. If the matter is still not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the Dean of Students will help identify other resources that may be available to the student including any appeals that may be available from agencies external to the university, including the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). (See the contact information under References, below). Note that the Higher Learning Commission, as well as most State agencies, will not accept student complaints that have not exhausted all attempts at resolution through the University’s complaint or grievance systems.

A record of the complaint and the complaint resolution will be maintained in the office of the Dean of Students.

Complaint Tracking

The Office of the Dean of Students will track each Student Complaint and will maintain a record that includes, at a minimum, the following information:
• The date that the Student Complaint was received;
• The Student(s) identified with the Complaint;
• The nature of the complaint, including a copy of the Student Complaint.
• The university officials who were asked to address the complaint and the steps taken to resolve it;
• The final resolution or disposition of the complaint;
• External actions taken by the complainant, if any, of which Dean of Students becomes aware.
A log of all complaints, as well as copies of complaint records and all supporting documentation will be retained for not less than three (3) years after its final disposition; Complaint records, logs, and supporting documentation will be made available to regulatory agencies and accrediting bodies upon request, including the Higher Learning Commission as required in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and policies.

VIII. Failure to Comply

Failure to comply with this policy may result in no action being taken with respect to the subject matter of a complaint, or other disposition by the Dean of Students. Where such failure also causes a violation of rules and policies regarding student or employee conduct, disciplinary action may result in accordance with the applicable rules and policies.

IX. References

Code of Federal Regulations 34 CFR 602.16(a)(1)(ix)
Higher Learning Commission-Instructions for Filing Student Complaints
MDHE web site: https://www.hlcommission.org/Student-Resources/complaints.html

X. Forms and Tools

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