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 continues to take steps to create a more accessible and responsive 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 and improve 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).
If a student is not satisfied after working informally to resolve the concern, and resolution has not been achieved through one of the processes listed below, the student may use the form provided below to file a formal student complaint with the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Student complaints outside of the processes outlined below should be submitted online.
- must be initiated by the student affected and include their identifying information (not anonymous)
- submitted via this online form, after the complaint could not be resolved informally at the individual/department level
- cannot be a request for a decision (e.g. grade change, requirement waiver, etc.), an appeal to re-examine a decision, or a grievance for which a defined process is provided, including but not limited to the processes listed below
Other individuals (parents, relatives, employers, members of the public, etc.) are welcome to contact the Vice President for Student Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 Vice President for Student Affairs, an attempt will be made to resolve the issue in a timely manner by working with the student and the appropriate university authority. The assigned authority will document and submit to the Vice President for Student Affairs the steps taken to resolve the issue along with University's final decision.
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 Vice President for Student Affairs or designee, within five business days of submitting a report, they should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs at 319-273-2332 or email@example.com.
It is important to note after a formal 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 Vice President for Student Affairs will review the data to identify any trends/issues that warrant further investigation, revision to existing policies, etc.
Before a formal student complaint is filed a student must demonstrate they have already attempted and not achieved resolution through other University procedures as noted below.
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)
Graduate Assistantship Grievance Policy (website includes instructions on making a request)
Iowa College Student Aid Commission, 430 E. Grand Avenue Fl 3, Des Moines, IA 50309-1920. (877) 272-4456