The Ashland University (AU) Student Complaint Policy is available to students who wish to have a concern resolved regarding a process or person of the university community not covered by existing policies (i.e., grade appeals and academic grievance procedure). The objective of the AU Student Complaint Policy is to resolve concerns as quickly and efficiently as possible at the level closest to the student. This policy provides two avenues for pursuing a complaint: an Informal Resolution Procedure and a Formal Resolution Procedure. Students may utilize either or both procedures.
Informal Resolution Procedure
Students are encouraged to attempt to resolve a problem whenever possible by discussing it with the person with whom they are having the problem. Requesting an appointment with the staff or faculty member to discuss the matter in a calm and mature fashion is always the first step to trying to resolve a dispute. For example, if a student has concerns related to classroom situations or administrative actions, he/she should contact the faculty or staff member(s) with whom he/she has a conflict. It may be possible to resolve the concerns without the need for formal institutional action. However, if the problem is not resolved through this action, the student should then contact the faculty member’s department chair, or the staff person’s supervisor. If the problem is not resolved satisfactorily, or if it cannot be resolved by contacting the faculty/staff member(s) or their supervisor/administrator, or if the student decides for whatever reason that she or he is not able to resolve the situation in this manner, or if the student is unsure to whom the concern should be addressed, the student should proceed to the Formal Resolution Procedure.
Formal Resolution Procedure
A formal complaint is in writing and sets forth a statement of the issue, the University policy or procedures violated, and the specific remedy sought. The complaint must be submitted using the on-line form.
Absent extraordinary circumstances, the person, normally a Dean or Director, to whom the complaint has been submitted conducts, within seven (7) business days of receiving the complaint, a formal conference with the student, permitting her or him to provide any necessary relevant information. The Dean or Director confers with the other person or persons involved and conducts an additional investigation as he or she deems necessary. Absent extraordinary circumstances, a written recommendation is sent within seven (7) business days of the first formal conference. The recommendation is sent to the student and the other involved person or persons. The written recommendation states the background information, the rationale for the recommendation, and the recommended remedy, if any. Copies of the original complaint and the written recommendation are kept in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for a minimum of five years.
If the complaint is not resolved in level 1, the student or one of the other involved parties may, with fourteen (14) business days of receipt of the level 1 recommendation, appeal to the direct supervisor of the person who wrote the recommendation. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the supervisor will review the case and render a decision to the student within fourteen (14) business days of receipt of the appeal or complaint. In cases of appeals to level 2, copies of the original complaint and the level 1 and 2 written recommendations are kept in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for a minimum of five years.
Except in the case of a complaint against the President, where the Board of Trustees has final authority, appeals of the level 2 recommendation are submitted to the President within fourteen (14) business days. The President makes the final decision. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the President's written decision is sent to the student and other parties within fourteen (14) business days of receiving the level 3 appeal. In cases of appeals to level 3, copies of the original complaint, the previous written recommendations, and the final decision are kept in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for a minimum of five years.
To file a complaint, please use the Student Complaint Form
Ohio Residents’ Student Complaint Procedure
For Ohio resident’s, complaints not resolved at the institutional level can be filed utilizing the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s non-SARA consumer complaint procedure and online form. Contact information to the Ohio Department of Higher Education and link to the online form may be found below:
Ohio Department of Higher Education
25 South Front St
Columbus, OH 43215
Student complaints not resolved at the institutional level can also be submitted to the:
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411