Procedure on Student Complaints

(A) INTRODUCTION

  1. The College strives to provide every student with a successful and positive educational experience. As part of an effort to continuously improve the College while also resolving legitimate student concerns, the College maintains this student complaints procedure. This procedure does not apply to issues covered by College Policy 3354: 1-60-01 on discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, retaliation and Title IX; 3354: 1-60-02 Discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, Title IX and retaliation complaint; or Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity (rule 3354:1-42-01 of the Administrative Code) or that policy's associated procedures; neither does it apply to issues covered by the Student Conduct Code or student judicial system.
  2. The Office of Institutional Equity retains concurrent jurisdiction to investigate any allegations that may violate College Policy 3354: 1-60-01 on discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, retaliation and Title IX; 3354: 1-60-02 Discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, Title IX and retaliation complaint.
  3. In this procedure, “days” means weekdays other than College holidays, winter leave days or days the College is closed due to weather, emergency or another reason.

(B) STUDENT COMPLAINTS (TRI-C.EDU/CONCERNS)

  1. The student complaints process does not apply to grade disputes, which are addressed in the College’s procedure on grade disputes (3354: 1-30-03.13).
  2. Any student who is dissatisfied with an aspect of their collegiate experience involving a faculty member or other employee may seek  resolution of the matter with the College, as follows:
    1. The student must initiate the matter orally with the employee who is the focus of the complaint. Should the student express to the Office of Student Affairs a reluctance to approach a College employee for fear of reprisal, the student may initiate the matter with the Office of Student Affairs, who will immediately notify the employee and attempt to resolve the matter informally.
    2. The employee who is the subject of the complaint will meet with the student or review the student’s complaint with the Office of Student Affairs, listen to the facts and circumstances surrounding the complaint and provide a response to the student.
    3. In the event the student is not satisfied, the student may appeal by explaining the complaint fully, in writing, through the concern reporting system at tri-c.edu/concerns, to be reviewed by the supervisor of the individual who is the focus of the complaint.
    4. The Office of Student Affairs will facilitate a resolution with the student and employee (or the appropriate supervisor will meet jointly or independently with the student and employee who is the focus of the complaint) within 15 days following receipt of the complaint. The appropriate supervisor will review the facts and circumstances and provide a written response to the student.
      This decision will be final. The decision shall determine if the complaint was substantiated or unsubstantiated. The appropriate supervisor shall  send a copy of the decision to the campus president and to the Office of Student Affairs for appropriate recording and resolution. In the event the complaint involves the campus president, the decision shall be sent to the Office of the Provost.
    5. The student, employee and appropriate supervisor may reach an informal resolution of the complaint. If a resolution is reached, both parties must agree in writing and the records are maintained by the Office of Student Affairs in the College’s concern reporting system.
    6. The appropriate supervisor shall send the investigation summary and decision or informal resolution to the Office of Human Resources. The Office of Human Resources shall review the findings. If the finding is substantiated, the Office of Human Resources shall evaluate the complaint to determine if a violation of the Employee Code of Conduct occurred and if sanctions are appropriate based on the Employee Corrective Action Procedure. An unsubstantiated finding shall be stored in the employee’s digital file, which is not a part of the employee’s file but can be referenced to show pattern, habit or routine.

  3. Any student who is dissatisfied with an aspect of their collegiate experience involving a student who is not an employee of the College may seek resolution of the matter with the College, as follows:

    1. The student may initially attempt to resolve the concern using dispute resolution efforts.

    2. In the event the student is not satisfied, the student may appeal by explaining the complaint fully, in writing, through the concern reporting system at tri-c.edu/concerns, to be reviewed by the Office of Student Affairs to determine if the complaint is properly addressed under section 3354-1-30-03.5 of the Student Conduct Code.

    3. The president or their designee is hereby directed to take all steps necessary and appropriate for the effective implementation of this procedure.

Effective date: May 17, 2021
Prior effective dates: Sept. 3, 2010; March 25, 2019
Procedure amplifies: 3354:1-30-03