Policies of CSU-Pueblo

University Policy

CSU-Pueblo Logo
Policy Title: Student Complaint Policy Category: Student Affairs
Owner: Vice President for Enrollment Management, Communications and Student Affairs Policy ID#: 12-004-00
Contact:
Dean of Student Affairs
Web: http://www.csupueblo.edu/StudentLife
Email: marie.humphrey@csupueblo.edu
Phone: 719-549-2919
Effective Date: 12/6/2016
Supersedes Policy ID#: 00

PURPOSE OF THIS POLICY

The Policy is designed to help assure our students a quality education, provide excellent student support services, and help the University identify any serious or systemic problems or issues affecting the quality of student affairs. The principles and procedures are intended to help CSU-Pueblo identify patterns of conduct that raise a legitimate concern with respect to the University’s academic programs or administrative functions, and to comply with obligations imposed by federal regulations for receiving, responding to and tracking student complaints.

APPLICATION OF THIS POLICY

This Policy applies to all students who are enrolled at Colorado State University-Pueblo at the time that the complaint is filed in accordance with the Policy.

DEFINITIONS USED IN THIS POLICY

Student: an individual who is currently enrolled full-time or part-time, or was enrolled at the institution within the previous two semesters (one academic year) when the underlying facts and circumstances of the complaint first occurred, and who has not been suspended or dismissed, or otherwise is required to re-apply for admission. Parents, relatives, employers, agents, and other persons acting for or on behalf of a Student are not Students within the meaning of this Policy.

Student Complaint: Any written complaint made and signed with an identifiable signature by a Student and received by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs that alleges the University has violated its own policy to the detriment of the Student filing the complaint.

Disagreement with an administrative decision, or the outcome of an appeal of that decision, is not a complaint. The complaint must be in writing on the Student Complaint Form and must not already be covered by another existing policy or process.  Please refer to Student Concern and Complaint Resolution Matrix for details.

POLICY STATEMENT

Colorado State University-Pueblo is committed to treating all students fairly and respectfully. The University’s policies that apply to Students are published annually in the Catalog, in addition to those found in other resources from individual departments and offices. In an instance of perceived violation of a University policy, a Student may file a complaint in accordance with this Policy.

In addition, students always have the option to use the CSU System’s Compliance Reporting Hotline for use when the subject matter of the complaint concerns alleged fraud, abuse, waste of University resources, or violation of any law or regulation by the University in connection with its official business functions.

Colorado State University is committed to treating all students fairly and respectfully. The University’s policies that apply to Students are published annually in the General Catalog, in addition to those found in other resources from individual departments and offices. In an instance of perceived violation of a University policy, a Student may file a complaint in accordance with this Policy.

POLICY PROVISIONS

When a student encounters a problem on campus that they do not know how to resolve, they should always try to work the problem out by first discussing it with those involved. Dealing with concerns in the most direct and honest fashion should always be the first step toward resolution. Many problems are resolved when a student makes an appointment with a faculty or staff member and calmly and honestly communicates their concerns. See Pack Guide/Student Concern and Complaint Resolution Matrix for contacts and processes on resolving student concerns 

If however, after consulting with the associated offices, an issue or problem still exists, a student may initiate the formal complaint procedures at CSU-Pueblo. All formal complaints must be submitted on the official Student Complaint Form and must be signed by the Student (including electronic or digital facsimile signatures clearly attributable to the Student--for example, the Student’s name in an email message received from his or her CSU-Pueblo email account).  The Student Formal Complaint Form is available on the website: www.csupueblo.edu

Procedures for Filing a Written Complaint

  1. The student should first make a substantial attempt at an informal resolution of the matter.
  2. Complete the Student Formal Complaint Form found at csupueblo.edu which includes: 
    1. Description of the issue that is the basis for the complaint, including the steps that have been taken to informally resolve the problem.
    2. Inclusion of any relevant documents the student would like to be reviewed.
  3. The complaint and supporting documentation can be submitted to the Dean of Student Affairs by filling out the complaint form.
  4. The Dean of Student Affairs Office will notify the student with an acknowledgement that the complaint was received.

NOTE: All Student Complaints must be submitted on the official Student Formal Complaint Form. Email submission of the form with included signature is appropriate.  A complaint reported by other means (telephone, etc) will not be considered as submitted for review.

Complaint Review and Resolution Process

The Dean of Student Affairs is not an advocate for any party to a dispute, but is an advocate for a fair process. Acting as a neutral, third party to assure a fair process, the Dean of Student Affairs or her/his designee will determine the appropriate University Vice President or other official to refer the signed complaint to for further review and resolution:

  • Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs

Following receipt of the signed, written complaint form, the relevant administrator (or designee) will investigate the complaint and respond in writing to the student with his/her decision within 30 business days of receipt of the complaint whenever possible. The intent of the University is always to reach a decision in as timely a manner as possible.

If the matter is still not resolved to the Student’s satisfaction, other resources that may be available to the Student include appeal to agencies external to the University, including the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

A record of the complaint and its disposition will be maintained in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

Complaint Tracking

The Office of the Dean of Student Affairs will track each submitted Student Complaint, and will maintain a record that includes, at a minimum, the following information:

  • The date that the Student Formal Complaint Form was received;
  • The Student(s) identified with the Complaint;
  • The nature of the complaint, including a copy of the Student Formal Complaint Form and supporting documentation, to be retained for two (2) years after its final disposition;
  • The University officials who were asked to address the complaint and the steps taken to resolve it;
  • The final resolution or disposition of the complaint;
  • Any external actions taken by the complainant of which the Office of Dean of Student Affairs becomes aware.

The information tracked will be made available to regulatory agencies and accrediting bodies, including the Higher Learning Commission and the Colorado Department of Higher Education, as required in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and policies.

All materials reviewed are protected, where appropriate, by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations.

COMPLIANCE WITH THIS POLICY

Failure to comply with this policy may result in no action being taken with respect to the subject matter of a complaint, or other disposition by the Dean of Student Affairs. Where such failure also causes a violation of rules and policies regarding student or employee conduct, disciplinary action may result in accordance with the applicable rules and policies.

RELATED LAWS, POLICIES & PROCEDURES:

  1. Catalog
  2. Pack Guide
  3. Student Concern and Complaint Resolution Matrix 

REFERENCES

Code of Federal Regulations 34 CFR 602.16(a)(1)(ix)