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General Description
Process Overview
Process Steps or Stages
Subject Experts
Regulations
Complaints Against the University
Process

Document Number: UNIV--100pr Revision #:
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 08/28/2014
Primary Author: Executive VP Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 06/21/2013

General Description
Description / Scope:

In accordance with the Department of Education’s final regulations published on October 29, 2010, the following is the complaint process related to receiving and resolving complaints for TICUA member institutions that are legally authorized to provide post-secondary education in Tennessee and are exempt from regulation by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

 


When Performed:

As needed


Responsibilities: Executive VP
Legal Counsel
President

Terms and Definitions: OCR visit

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Process Overview
1.

Complaint and Appeals Overview

2.

Informal Complaints

3.

Officially Documented Complaints

4.

Procedures for Complaints and Appeals

5.

Off-Campus Authorities

6.

Procedures to Follow In response to U.S. Department of Education 10.29.10 Final Rules

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Process Steps or Stages
1.

Complaint and Appeals Overview


What happens:

Consistent with our mission, Cumberland University welcomes opinions and feedback about our policies, programs, and services in order to make changes that contribute to student success, development, and goal attainment. We are committed to ensuring that students have access to appropriate procedures for articulating concerns and registering appeals. This is designed to provide information and access to these resources.

 

In registering concerns and filing appeals, Cumberland University students must follow the policies and procedures that have been established within the unit about which the concern is being filed. Generally, these policies and procedures require that you begin by discussing the matter with the staff, faculty, or department in which the issue originated.


2.

Informal Complaints


What happens:

A student with a complaint--a concern that a policy or procedure of a unit has been incorrectly or unfairly applied in his/her particular case, or a formal charge against a person’s behavior -- has recourse through complaint procedures. In most instances, complaints can be resolved through an informal process beginning with talking to the individual and his/her supervisor if necessary. Basic steps in the informal process include:

 

· Begin by discussing the matter with the staff, faculty, or department in which the issue originated.  If the issue is not resolved, the next contact will be the supervisor, department chair, or associate/assistant dean to investigate the issue and allegations.

· All complaints should be routed through the appropriate complaint/appeals process as outlined by each university.  

· Depending on the nature of complaint, the matter should be brought to the attention of the office directly responsible for that area of the college or university.  

· Complaints and appeals should be well-documented and move through the appropriate campus supervisory structure prior to appealing to any off-campus authority.

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP, Legal Counsel, President


3.

Officially Documented Complaints


What happens:

If still unresolved after following the appropriate informal complaint procedures, the student may choose to have the issue "officially documented."

· An explanation of the concern or appeal is submitted to the Office of the Dean of the college/school or Director of the appropriate unit.

· It will be necessary that you be able to demonstrate that you already have attempted to resolve the concern through the informal procedures.

· To establish official documentation, the complaint or appeal must be submitted in writing and must include the name, college, contact information of the person filing the complaint, and a brief description of the circumstances including who has been involved and current status.

· Students must refer to the respective college or department policies for submission and response timelines and procedures. Unit procedures will be followed in resolving formal complaints.


4.

Procedures for Complaints and Appeals


What happens:

Appeal of a charge of violation of academic integrity (such as charge of plagiarism) must be submitted to the School of the instructor who brought the charge and assigned the penalty. (See the Academic Integrity Policy)

 

Appeal a grade must be submitted to the School of the instructor who assigned the Grade. (See Grade Appeal Policy)

 

Complaints alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Policies and procedures for obtaining accommodations and for filing complaints are available in the Cumberland University Disability Services Policy section.

 

Harassment Complaints: Individuals who believe they have or may have been sexually harassed or experienced harassment based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, age, disability, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation should follow the complaint procedures outlined in the University Equal Opportunity Policy section.

 

Other complaints about academic procedures or personnel must be filed with the appropriate School.  Concerns or complaints about non-curricular procedures or personnel must be filed with the appropriate unit.


5.

Off-Campus Authorities


What happens:

· Complaints relating to quality of education or accreditation requirements shall be referred to the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (SACS), (http://www.sacscoc.org/pdf/081705/complaintpolicy.pdf);

· Complaints related to the application of state laws or rules related to approval to operate or licensure of a particular professional program within a postsecondary institution shall be referred to the appropriate  State Board (i.e., State Boards of Health, State Board of Education, and so on) within the Tennessee State Government and shall be reviewed and handled by that licensing board (http://www.tn.gov, and then search for the appropriate division);

· Complaints related to state consumer protection laws (e.g., laws related to fraud or false advertising) shall be referred to the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs and shall be reviewed and handled by that Unit (http://www.tn.gov/consumer/)


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Executive VP, Legal Counsel, President


6.

Procedures to Follow In response to U.S. Department of Education 10.29.10 Final Rules

 


What happens:

In accordance with the Department of Education’s final regulations published on October 29, 2010, the following is the complaint process related to receiving and resolving complaints for TICUA member institutions that are legally authorized to provide post-secondary education in Tennessee and are exempt from regulation by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

 


Who Performs / Responsibility:

Legal Counsel, Executive VP, President


Special Warnings:

Check with and confirm stories with witnesses


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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Executive VP

Legal Counsel

President

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Regulations
This document pertains to the following regulations:
federal mandate
University governance

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