DRAFT for ALL ACADEMIC UNITS 10-26-2015
The following sequence of steps should be pursued by any student when voicing a concern or complaint about a course instructor. At the end of each semester, students are provided an opportunity to evaluate their classes and teachers. This primary recourse is available to all students. Students should use this opportunity to express their opinions. If the nature of the concern or complaint is sufficiently complex and significant, students may express their concerns in a stepwise progression. That is, all students must complete step one before completing step two and so on.
*NOTE: This document does not pertain to complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination of any kind; rather those complaints should be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Programs in Raintree 213. For policies and procedures, see http://www.iun.edu/affirmative-action/. It also does not pertain to grade appeals: for details, see the Grade Appeal Policy located on the Academic Affairs website at http://www.iun.edu/academic-affairs/docs/academic-affairs-grade-change-policy.pdf.
All students should discuss their concerns with their course instructor first. This step may be in person or concerns may be expressed in writing.
If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the consultation with the course instructor, the next step is to submit the concern/complaint in writing to the Department Chair/Program Director. This must be in writing and should include documentation of concrete evidence that illustrates the source of the concern or complaint. The Chair/Director should gather information from both the student and the faculty member and reach a decision as to the merits of the complaint. A common outcome of this step is to place the letter in the instructor’s permanent record.
If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the consultation with the Department Chair/Program Director, the next step is to submit the formal complaint to the unit’s Ombudsperson, should one exist. If there is no Ombudsperson, the complaint goes directly to the Dean (or their delegate). This appeal must be in writing. It must include a written narrative of the case from the student, it must include documentation and it must be signed. The Ombudsperson or the Dean will gather information from the instructor and/or department chair and will reach a decision as to the merits of the complaint. A common outcome of this step is to place the letter in the instructor's permanent record.
If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the consultation with the Dean/Ombudsperson, the last step is an appeal to the Office of Academic Affairs. In the case of a unit that has an Ombudsperson, if the student is not satisfied with the outcome, the appeal should be sent to the Dean prior to Step 4 and the student should only proceed to Step 4 if the student is not satisfied with the outcome with the Dean. In both cases, this appeal must be a written narrative of the case from the student, must include documentation, and it must be signed. This narrative and documentation should be sent to the Office of Academic Affairs, Lindenwood Hall 329.