In the spirit of providing our students a quality education, offering an appropriate array of support services, and supporting student concerns, the University of Northern Iowa has taken steps to create a more accessible student complaint process. The student complaint procedures outlined below are established to address concerns that arise within the University community. In addition, the University has a federal obligation to track student complaints to help us monitor the quality of our operations and services.
When a student encounters a problem on campus or feels they have been treated unfairly, the student should first try to resolve the issue informally with the faculty/staff member or department directly involved. Many issues can be resolved by making an appointment with a faculty or staff member and calmly and honestly communicating the concern(s).
Several areas within the university have defined processes to respond to student concerns or complaints directly related to their area, including, but not limited to:
Academic Grievance (website includes link to file complaint)
Academic Suspension Appeals (website includes email address to send complaint)
Student Conduct (website includes link to file complaint)
Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct (website includes link to file complaint)
Undergraduate Student Request (document includes instructions on making a request)
Bias Incident Response (website includes link to file complaint)
Student Employee Grievance Policy (website includes instructions on making a request)
Graduate Assistantship Grievance Policy (website includes instructions on making a request)
If a student is not satisfied after working informally to resolve the concern, and their concern does not fit into one of the above listed processes, the student may use the form provided below to file a formal student complaint with the Dean of Students office.
Students are also encouraged to bring concerns and related issues to the attention of Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) through standing committee structure. NISG meetings are open to the public and many ideas are brought forward in these forums. NISG regularly meets with the Vice President for Student Affairs with the opportunity to bring forth campus-wide student concerns.
Student complaints outside of the processes identified above and using this online form must meet the following criteria:
- an individual currently enrolled full-time or part-time
- a person recently enrolled at the institution in the previous two semesters (when the underlying facts and circumstances of the complaint first occurred)
- an alumnus/ae who earned a degree from the institution in the previous two semesters (when the underlying facts and circumstances of the complaint first occurred)
- must be initiated by the student affected
- submitted via this online form, after the complaint could not be resolved informally at the individual/department level
- signed/identified by student (not anonymous)
- not a request for a decision (e.g. grade change, requirement waiver, etc.)
- not an appeal to re-examine a decision
- not a grievance for which a defined process is provided, including but not limited to the processes listed above
Other individuals (parents, relatives, employers, members of the public, etc.) are welcome to contact the Dean of Students Office (email@example.com, or 319-273-2332) for assistance and support in addressing concerns related to the University experience and connections to other university resources.
Once a formal student complaint under this process is received by the Dean of Students, an attempt will be made to resolve the issue in a timely manner by working with the student and the appropriate university employees and/or offices to assure a fair process.
When appropriate, a complaint may be referred directly to the department involved. Complaints related to a specific academic college may be forwarded to the appropriate college Dean. All other academic complaints, or if the appropriate academic department can not be determined will be sent to the Office of the Provost. Please note a student’s complaint may be forwarded to the department it can best be addressed by.
If the student making the complaint has not heard from the Dean of Students, or designee, within five business days of submitting a report, they should contact the Dean of Students Office at 319-273-2332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is important to note after a complaint has been reviewed and an outcome determined, a complaint may be deemed “resolved” even though a student may not be satisfied with the outcome.
In accordance with the Higher Learning Commission Policy FDCR.A.10.030 – Institutional Records of Student Complaints, the University of Northern Iowa has established the above outlined student complaint procedures. The University of Northern Iowa is required by law to share information about the complaints with its accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; however, individual identities will not be revealed without the express permission of the complainant or as required by law.
The Dean of Students Office will review the data to identify any trends/issues that warrant further investigation, revision to existing policies, etc.