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Student Complaints Review

Student Complaints Review

Authority: 
President
Date enacted or revised: 
Rev. July 7, 2014
McNeese State University recognizes the value of information provided by students, employees, and others in assessing the institution's performance. This policy for review of student complaints is for the purpose of addressing significant violation of the institution's standards, policies, and procedures and is not a forum for addressing routine suggestions or for remedying individual grievances that can more appropriately be resolved through the institution's grievance procedures. The University has established grievance procedures for students and expects individuals to attempt to resolve grievance issues through procedures established according to the situation.

Student Responsibilities
Students should first attempt to resolve their disputes with the individual, followed by the individual's immediate supervisor. Students are responsible for being familiar with the Code of Student Conduct [http://www.mcneese.edu/policy/code_of_student_conduct] and the Student Rights and Responsibilities [http://www.mcneese.edu/policy/student_rights_and_responsibilities] policy.
 
Exclusions to this Policy
  1. Complaints or grievances related to issues of sexual misconduct, harassment, bullying, or discrimination of any kind should follow procedures applicable to those policies. For issues of this nature, contact McNeese's Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) at BBC, Room 404; (337) 475-5428; (337) 562-4227 TDD/TTY, Hearing Impaired; (337) 475-5960 FAX; cdo@mcneese.edu
  2. Appeals related to Academic Suspension and Financial Aid Eligibility are not, properly speaking, complaints. Students should follow the procedure outlined on McNeese's Financial Aid website: http://www.mcneese.edu/finaid/how-to-appeal.

Procedures for Filing a Complaint
Complaints about significant violations of a McNeese standard, policy, or procedure must be submitted in writing by the complainant and addressed directly to the appropriate vice president at McNeese State University. The University will not consider a particular communication to be a serious complaint requiring a response under this policy unless it in writing and signed by the complainant. The University will not act on complaints submitted on behalf of another individual or complaints forwarded to the University.

In general, the University will acknowledge a written complaint within 20 business days or a reasonable period after its receipt by the appropriate vice president. Complaints should be addressed to the appropriate vice president responsible for the issue at hand (Academic and Student Affairs; Business Affairs and University Services; University Advancement).

For a timely review by staff, the complainant is responsible for including the following in the written complaint:
  1. A statement describing the complaint in the clearest possible terms. If the situation describes a grievance issue rather than a complaint, appropriate grievance procedures will be advised. If possible, indicate the relevant policy or procedure in question.
  2. A clear and concise written description of the evidence upon which the complaint is based (materials and documentation used to support a complainant's allegations should be limited to and directly related to the reported case). The evidence should state relevant and provable facts.
  3. A description of any action that may have already been taken in an attempt to resolve the issue or any persons who have work with complainant on the issue.
  4. An acknowledgment that University staff may send a copy of the complaint to the person(s) involved.
  5. Complainant's signature.
  6. Complainant must provide adequate documentation.
Within 30 business days after acknowledging receipt of the complaint and under the direction of the appropriate vice president, McNeese State University personnel will review the complaint and its documentation and determine whether it is within the scope of University policies and jurisdiction and if there is adequate documentation. McNeese will inform the complainant regarding the disposition of the complaint to include one of the following:
  1. The complaint will not be processed further. The complaint is not within the scope of University policies and jurisdiction or there is inadequate documentation to raise questions concerning the complaint.
  2. The complaint has sufficient substance to warrant further review. McNeese will make every effort to expedite the review; however, the time required to conduct the review may vary considerably depending on the circumstances and nature of the complaint. The complainant will be notified regarding one of the following:
    • The complaint is without merit.
    • A resolution will be suggested.

The report of the appropriate vice president will be forwarded to the President, and the complainant will be notified of the decision.

Note: Complaints sent directly to the President may be forwarded to the appropriate vice president for a response. Complaints directed in this way may take longer to resolve.

Addendum for Distance Education Students Not Domiciled in Louisiana
Some states require that this policy reflect student complaint provisions unique to residents in those states outside Louisiana. McNeese State University complies with student complaint requirements of states outside Louisiana in which the University is authorized to offer academic programs.
 
After following the above procedures, distance education students domiciled in a state other than Louisiana should refer to the State Board of Higher Education or Board of Regents in their home state for procedures for filing complaints.
 
See for States with unique provisions.