REG 11.35.04 – Written Student Complaints

Authority: Chancellor

History: First Issued: November 19, 2019.

Related Policies:
NCSU REG 04.25.02 Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaint Procedure
NCSU RUL 11.36.01 Procedure for Addressing Academic Written Student Complaints of Undergraduate Students
NCSU RUL 11.36.02 Procedure for Addressing Academic Written Student Complaints of Graduate Students

Contact: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (919-515-7624)


1.  INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE

North Carolina State University (“NC State” or the “University”) is committed to excellence in teaching, promoting high levels of student achievement, and providing appropriate academic support services. In line with this commitment, NC State addresses all written student complaints in a fair, professional, and timely manner and in accordance with established procedures.

These procedures provide a mechanism for any NC State student to submit a formal Written Student Complaint to the University. The procedures also define the responsibilities and methods by which NC State will address Written Student Complaints, maintain a record of those complaints, and take appropriate actions based on a systematic review of the record.

2.  DEFINITIONS

2.1 Written Student Complaints

2.1.1  A “Written Student Complaint” is any complaint which:

(a) is submitted electronically or in writing;

(b) is submitted by an NC State student;

(c) is submitted in accordance with any of the processes listed on the Complaint Website;

(d) documents the student’s concern that NC State has either violated the student’s rights under federal, state or local law or has misapplied or misinterpreted any university policy, regulation or rule; and

(e) is submitted before the expiration of any applicable deadlines.

2.1.2  Written Student Complaints may be academic or non-academic in nature. The person asserting the complaint must be the alleged recipient of the unfair treatment. Written Student Complaints may not be asserted on behalf of another person.

2.1.3 The following items may not be the basis for a Written Student Complaint:

(a)  Test grades or partial (not final) course grades;

(b)  Claims not directly related to an administrator, faculty, staff member or employee’s status as an employee at NC State; and

(c)  Claims based on purchases or contracts.

2.2  A “Functional Area” is any unit providing programs or services to NC State students, including all colleges and student support units.

2.3  The “Complaint Website” is the University’s official webpage which lists the University processes for which a student may submit a Written Student Complaint.

3.  RESPONSIBILITIES

3.1  The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (“Provost’s Office”) has overall oversight and responsibility for this regulation and the Complaint Website, including collecting, disseminating to Functional Areas for response, tracking, analyzing, and reporting on Written Student Complaints.

3.2  Each Functional Area must designate a staff/faculty member to receive and address Written Student Complaints submitted through any of the processes listed on the Complaint Website. Designated contacts in Functional Areas are responsible for timely and effectively responding to, tracking, and reporting to the Provost’s Office or its designee on assigned complaints for their area.

3.3  At least annually, the Provost’s Office or its designee must generate, evaluate, and distribute to the Provost, the Vice Chancellor and Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, the Dean of the Graduate School, and the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine a summary of reported Written Student Complaints to assess and take any necessary actions related to, or as a result of, complaints submitted through one of the processes listed on the Complaint Website.

3.4  All records associated with written student complaints are retained in accordance with the University of North Carolina’s General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule.

4.  PROCEDURES FOR RESPONDING TO WRITTEN STUDENT COMPLAINTS

Before submitting a Written Student Complaint, NC State encourages students to approach appropriate NC State administrators, faculty and staff regarding their concern. In many instances, NC State personnel may be able to resolve the issues quickly and efficiently without the need for a formal process.

The procedure for handling the typical Written Student Complaint is as follows:

Step 1. NC State students may submit a Written Student Complaint through one of the processes described on the Complaint Website.

Step 2. Once the Written Student Complaint has been submitted, the University will assign the complaint to the appropriate person or Functional Area for review.

Step 3. The assigned person/Functional Area or designee will review the Written Student Complaint and determine the appropriate course of action. If no other policies, regulations or rules govern the handling of the particular complaint, the assigned person/Functional Area or designee shall, as appropriate, investigate, communicate with the student, and issue a written response or decision to the student in a timely manner.

Step 4. The assigned person/Functional Area or designee will update the Provost’s Office or its designee about progress toward resolution and when the matter has been closed. The Provost’s Office or its designee will monitor this process to ensure a timely response from designated responders.

5.  OTHER REMEDIES

The existence of this procedure does not bar a student from also filing claims in other forums to the extent permitted by state or federal law.