Student Complaint Policy
Date Enacted or Revised: Revised July 7, 2014; January 5, 2016; March 2018; April 2018; January 21, 2021
McNeese State University recognizes the value of information provided by students, employees, and others in assessing the institution’s performance. This policy serves to address significant violations of the institution’s standards, policies, and procedures. This policy is in accordance with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Principles of Accreditation Standard 12.4 (student complaint procedures).
Any student who is unclear about which type of procedure would be most appropriate in a given case should feel free to discuss the following options with a dean or with the vice president for student affairs.
Procedure for Handling General Complaints
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 Student Handbook, which includes the Code of Student Conduct and Students’ Rights and Responsibilities, as well as policies and regulations governing the University or specific University entities.
Procedure for Handling Complaints Involving Special Policies
- 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; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Grade appeals should be handled in accordance with the Grade Appeals Procedure found on the Academic Regulations page of the online Academic Catalog.
- Students wishing to file appeals related to academic suspension and financial aid eligibility should follow the procedure outlined on McNeese’s Office of Financial Aid website: http://www.mcneese.edu/finaid/how-to-appeal.
- Complaints and appeals related to NCAA regulations should follow the procedures applicable to NCAA or conference guidelines. Contact the McNeese State University NCAA compliance coordinator, (337) 475-5296, email@example.com.
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 is in writing and signed by the complainant. The University will not act on anonymous complaints or complaints forwarded to the University.
For a timely review by staff, the complainant is responsible for including the following in the written complaint:
- A statement describing the complaint in the clearest possible terms. If possible, indicate the relevant policy or procedure in question.
- A clear and concise written description of the evidence upon which the complaint is based (materials and adequate 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.
- A description of any action that may have already been taken to resolve the issue or any persons who have worked with complainant on the issue.
- An acknowledgment that University staff may send a copy of the complaint to the person(s) involved.
- Complainant’s signature.
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 authority and if there is adequate documentation. McNeese will inform the complainant regarding the disposition of the complaint to include one of the following:
- 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.
- 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 depending on the circumstances and nature of the complaint. Upon completion of the review, the complainant will be notified regarding one of the following:
- The complaint is without merit.
- A resolution will be suggested.
The response is submitted to the complainant and forwarded to the president. Records regarding student complaints are kept in the offices of the dean of student services, the vice president for student affairs, and the president.
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 or deliver courses electronically.
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.
This policy is distributed via the Academic Advisory Council, Administrative Advisory Council, and the University Policies webpage.