Roanoke College

Student Complaints Involving Faculty Members

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It is the policy of Roanoke College to provide an effective and acceptable means for a student to bring problems or complaints to the attention of the institution for review and resolution. Since students are full and responsible members of the Roanoke College community, any complaint must be brought by a current or former student and not by any interested third party. The following procedure ensures that both the student and faculty member are treated fairly and that the student's complaint can be addressed in the most efficient and direct manner. Students have the right to be free from subsequent unfair actions as a result of initiating a complaint.  All administrative officers, faculty members, and staff are expected to direct students to follow this procedure.

When a student has a concern or complaint involving treatment by a faculty member, the student should first discuss the matter with the faculty member involved. If the student is uncomfortable dealing directly with the faculty member or if the concern is not resolved satisfactorily with the faculty member, the student should discuss the matter with the appropriate supervisor, usually the department chair. Note the following special cases:

  • If the complaint concerns sexual misconduct, the student should speak with a Title IX Coordinator.
  • If the complaint concerns discrimination on the basis of a disability (e.g., failure to provide approved accommodations), the student should speak with the Coordinator of Disability Support Services. For complaints regarding approval of accommodations, see the Disability Accommodation Policy.
  • If the complaint concerns a department chair, and the student is uncomfortable dealing directly with the chair, the student should speak with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Administration.
  • If the complaint concerns an Associate Dean, the student should speak with the Vice President & Dean of the College.

If the student has consulted with the appropriate supervisor and still believes that the matter has not been dealt with satisfactorily or equitably, the student should meet with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Administration. At this point, the student must prepare, sign, and submit a formal written appeal (including background of the problem and supporting documentation when applicable) to the Associate Dean.

The Associate Dean will provide the faculty member with a copy of the appeal and will investigate the matter. The Associate Dean will individually consult with the student, faculty member, and department chair or program director. The faculty member will be given adequate time and opportunity to provide the Associate Dean with a response to the student's complaints. The Associate Dean will rule on the issue in a timely fashion, and will provide a written copy of the decision to the student, faculty member, and chair or director.

For a full statement of the policy for student complaints involving faculty members, see the Faculty Handbook 5.4.