Procedures for Responding to Student UPPS No. 07.10.06
Complaints Issue No. 1
Effective Date: 03/30/2009
Review: June 1 E2Y
01. POLICY STATEMENTS
01.01 Texas State seeks to maintain the highest standards of integrity and fairness in its relationships with students. The Undergraduate Catalog (http://www.txstate.edu/curriculumservices/catalogs/undergraduate/catalogs.html) and Graduate Catalog (http://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/ Grad_Cats.html), the Student Code of Conduct (http://www.dos.txstate. edu/TxState-Handbook/Rules-and-Policies/Code-of-Conduct.html), and University Policy and Procedure Statements (UPPSs) (http://www.txstate. edu/effective/upps/) set forth policies and requirements for Texas State students. Texas State expects students to know and comply with these policies.
01.02 Texas State employees are committed to providing students with quality service and strive to implement these and other policies fairly and to treat students courteously and professionally. This UPPS describes procedures for students seeking a resolution or wishing to report a complaint with regard to a university-related issue through informal processes or by making a complaint to the university.
01.03 Texas State’s general policy regarding complaints, including student complaints, appears as part of the university’s “Compact with Texans” that can be accessed at http://www.txstate.edu/about/compact.html. The specific section regarding student complaints provides this information:
“A. University policy indicates that student complaints should be directed to the specific office(s) involved in the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved at that level, then the complainant is instructed to contact the next-higher office in the chain of command. Currently enrolled Texas State students may also address complaints to the Dean of Students Office, where ombudsman services are provided by Mr. Vincent E. Morton, Assistant Dean of Students. The Dean of Students Office provides ombudsman services for Texas State’s primary customers, the students. The function of this service is to assist currently enrolled students in achieving satisfactory resolutions to university related problems. Additionally, the Dean of Students Office makes referrals to appropriate campus departments/offices for various other customer complaints which cannot be resolved within the Dean's Office.”
01.04 A student who believes that specific actions, practices or decisions on academic or non-academic matters have been made or carried out in an arbitrary, discriminatory, inequitable or inconsistent manner as stated by appropriate UPPS statements, can initiate a complaint.
02. POLICIES ADDRESSING STUDENT COMPLAINTS AND GRIEVANCES
02.01 There are numerous policies that exist to address specific forms of student complaints and grievances. Students should review and follow the procedures for these specific policies in regard to student complaints and grievances.
02.02 Specific procedures for some typical types of complaints are referenced as follows:
a. Prohibition of Discrimination or Harassment Based on Race, Color, National Origin, Age, Sex, Religion, Disability, or Sexual Orientation (UPPS No. 04.04.46)
b. Disability Services for Students (UPPS No. 07.11.01)
c. Excused Absence Policy (UPPS No. 02.06.03)
d. Honor Code (UPPS No.07.10.01)
e. Housing and Residential Life (www.reslife.txstate.edu)
f. Parking and Transportation Policy (UPPS No. 05.07.02)
g. Satisfactory Academic Progress for Undergraduates and Certification Seeking Students on Financial Assistance (UPPS No. 07.07.01)
h. Satisfactory Academic Progress for Graduate Students on Financial Aid (UPPS No. 07.07.02)
i. Prohibition of Sexual Harassment (UPPS No. 04.04.42)
j. Student Absences for Religious Holy Days (UPPS No. 02.06.01)
k. Student Employment Procedures (UPPS No. 07.07.03)
l. Tuition and Fees Refund Appeal Policy (UPPS No. 02.01.12)
03. PROCEDURES FOR OTHER NON-ACADEMIC STUDENT COMPLAINTS
03.01 The university encourages students to seek informal resolution of concerns through consultation with the faculty or staff person directly responsible for the initial action or decision before pursuing a more formal process. However, if a student deems the informal efforts unsatisfactory, he or she may pursue a more formal complaint.
03.02 Students must make all complaints under this policy in writing unless the complaints involve safety issues that require quick reaction time. The university will evaluate all complaints made under this policy to determine whether a preponderance of evidence shows that the decision in question was arbitrary, discriminatory, inequitable or inconsistent with an appropriate UPPS statement.
03.03 As noted in the “Compact with Texans,” students should direct complaints to the specific office involved in the complaint. If necessary, the student may also report the complaint to the office of the next level supervisor. If a student complaint is directed to a university office not involved in the complaint, this policy limits the responsibility of that office’s supervisor or the supervisor’s designee to acknowledging the complaint immediately if made in person, or within ten business days of receipt if made by mail or e-mail and to routing the complaint to the appropriate office.
03.04 Upon receipt of a student complaint directly or via referral from another office, the designated representative of the specific office involved in the complaint will complete the necessary review. The office will assure that the student receives a direct response in writing (preferably), by telephone, or in person in a reasonable and timely manner, normally within ten business days.
03.05 The designated representative will keep a log of student complaints (Attachment I).
04. APPEALS PROCEDURES
04.01 Students may appeal the decision to the vice president responsible for the department receiving the complaint, in writing, no later than five business days after the decision.
04.02 The only basis for an appeal is an allegation that the decision maker did not follow university policy or that the procedures followed in providing service to the student did not meet the normal standards of professional conduct expected by a reasonable person. This policy does not permit substantive review of a final decision.
04.03 The vice president may approve, reject, or modify the decision. The vice president will inform the student and the department of his or her decision in writing. The vice president’s decision is final.
05. REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS
05.01 Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:
Dean of Students June 1 E2Y
University Attorney June 1 E2Y
06. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT
This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
Dean of Students, senior reviewer of this UPPS
Vice President for Student Affairs