4.5 Student complaints
The institution has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and is responsible for demonstrating that it follows those procedures when resolving student complaints. (See Commission policy “Complaint Procedures for the Commission or its Accredited Institutions.”)
Judgement of Compliance:
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) has adequate procedures in place for addressing written student complaints and follows those procedures when resolving complaints. Those procedures are described in several university publications and web pages as described below.
A student may appeal a grade that he believes is arbitrary, unfair, or malicious following the procedure described in the Undergraduate Catalog (“Grade Appeal Process”) and the Student Handbook (“Grade Appeal Procedure”). Graduate Students follow the procedure described in the Graduate Catalog. If the issue is not resolved in conversation with the instructor, the student may file a formal appeal to the Faculty Grade Appeals Committee (section 5.4.1: b,c,d) or the Graduate Council. In a recent grade appeal, the student’s appeal was denied by the Grade Appeals Committee, and she appealed to the Chancellor. The Chancellor concurred that the grade was not arbitrary, unfair, or malicious, and upheld the grade.
University policy regarding racial or sexual harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation are published on the University’s Academic Affairs website and in the Undergraduate Catalog, the Graduate Catalog, and the Student Handbook. The policy on Affirmative Action is published on UTC’s Human Resources page. The Equity and Diversity office investigates each complaint of discrimination. The 2010 report to the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation regarding Title VI activity and complaint processing indicates the number and nature of complaints processed by the Chief Diversity Officer (Director of Office of Equity and Diversity) and the resolution of those complaints.
The Student Code of Conduct defines student rights and responsibilities and describes due process for students alleged to have violated the code. Any necessary disciplinary procedures are administered by the Dean of Students office. Records of disciplinary actions are maintained in that office. In a recent case, a student was charged with unlawful use and possession of alcohol on University property and placed on disciplinary probation. Since she is under the age of 21, her parents were also notified, in accordance with Tennessee State law.Complaints related to the implementation of non-academic university policies may be submitted to the appropriate committee or office. For example, food service fees may be appealed to the Food Service Committee. Other complaints may be filed in the Dean of Students office. Detailed procedures are posted on the Dean of Students web page and are available in the Dean’s office. Records related to such complaints are also maintained in that office. Students may appeal parking fines online.
- 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog, Grade Appeal Process
- Student Handbook, Grade Appeal Procedure
- 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog, Grade Appeal
- Faculty Handbook, Faculty Grade Appeals Committee
- Graduate Council
- Student Grade Appeal
- Statement of Commitment to Diversity and Equal Opportunity
- Academic Affairs Website
- Affirmative Action Policy
- TSAC Title VI Report 2010
- Student Handbook, Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Code of Conduct Case
- Complaints Procedures
- Dean of Students Web Page
- Parking Appeals