Procedures for Addressing Student Complaints

 

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.

Concerns regarding a faculty or staff member:                                                                                                        
As a first step, students are encouraged to discuss their concerns directly with the individual involved.  If the student feels uncomfortable in directly discussing his/her concern with the involved faculty or staff, or thinks that the concern was not handled appropriately, then the student may discuss his/her concerns with the appropriate supervisor or department chair or program director (unless the professor in question is also the chair or director, in which case the student may discuss the matter with the Dean of the College or his/her designee.)

Concerns regarding another student(s):                                                                                                                                  
As a first step, students are encouraged to discuss their concerns directly with the other student(s) involved.  If the student feels uncomfortable in directly discussing his/her concern with the involved individual(s), or thinks that the concern was not handled appropriately, then the student may discuss his/her concerns with his/her Resident Advisor or Area Coordinator (if the student is a resident student), or with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.  If the concern is with a Resident Advisor then the student may discuss the matter with the Resident Advisor's Area Coordinator supervisor.  If the concern is with the Area Coordinator, then the student may discuss the matter with the Director of Residence Life and Housing.  If the concern is with the Director of Residence Life and Housing, then the student may discuss the matter with the Associate Dean of Students.

FILING A FORMAL COMPLAINT

A Student may also file a formal complaint against a member of the college community (faculty, staff or student) according to the procedure outlined below:

Formal Complaints must be submitted in writing with supporting documentation, when applicable, and should be filed within ten (10) working days of the action warranting such filing.

1)     A complaint involving a faculty member should be submitted to the Dean of the College or his/her designee and will be handled according to the procedures listed in the Faculty Handbook.

2)     A complaint involving a staff member should be filed with the Director of Human Resources, and will be handled according to the Problem Solving Procedure and/or Disciplinary Procedures in the Staff Handbook, Sections 7.0 and 9.0 respectively.  (A complaint involving the Director of Human Resources should be submitted to the Vice President of Business Affairs.)

3)     A complaint involving a student should be filed with the Associate Dean for Students, and will be handled through the guidelines outlined in the Student Conduct Code.

INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION OF COMPLAINTS

Within seven working days of receipt of a complaint, the appropriate reviewing authority (outlined above) will initiate an investigation of the complaint.  The resolution of the complaint will be done in a timely fashion and within a reasonable time frame based on the nature of the complaint.  The student filing the complaint will be advised when appropriate action has been taken.

RECORD KEEPING AND OUTSIDE REVIEW

The Director of Human Resources will receive annual reports from the Dean of the College (or his/her designee) and the Associate Dean for Students outlining a record of all formal student complaints handled.  This information will be combined with the information on file in the Human Resources Department regarding student complaints handled by the Director.  This information will be maintained for five (5) years.

Such records will be made available upon request to the Commission of Colleges.  Concerns regarding complaint resolution may be addressed by the Commission of Colleges, Southern Association of College and Schools (SACS,) and by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV.)

INTERNAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE FOR DISABLED STUDENTS

The college has a Section 504 Coordinator and an established written grievance procedure for disabled students. Any disabled student who a specific problem or complaint (related to their disability) with any action taken or not taken by the college should first attempt to resolve the matter informally with the Coordinator. The student may file a formal written grievance with the Section 504 Coordinator if the matter is not resolved to the student's satisfaction.  The matter will be handled as outlined in the document, Internal Grievance Procedure for Disabled Students. A copy is available by contacting the Section 504 Coordinator.