Students may submit a formal complaint against a university official for the following: capricious, arbitrary, discriminatory or prejudiced acts from University officials, including JIU faculty (please refer to the Final Grade Appeals Policy for grade appeals of final course grades). The process is a two-step procedure: first, there will be an attempt to mediate the complaint, and, if mediation is unsuccessful, the filing of a formal complaint.
- A student who has a complaint (or grievance) against a faculty member, JIU staff member or fellow student will contact Student Affairs (StudentAffairs@jiu.edu; Jones Listens).
- Where possible, the student will be instructed to mediate this complaint by contacting the faculty member, fellow student or staff member (see Mediation Process which follows).
- Where the complaint cannot be mediated, the student will file a formal complaint with Student Affairs (see Formal Complaint Process and Investigation which follows).
- The party or parties identified in the complaint will be notified and will be instructed to submit a written response to Student Affairs (StudentAffairs@jiu.edu; Jones Listens).
- The JIU Office of Student Affairs (OSA) will review the complaint and the response(s) and issue a decision and resolution.
- The decision of the OSA is final.
PLEASE NOTE: Should the student complaint be against the Director of Student Affairs or the Office of Student Affairs, the Chief Academic Officer will act as the mediator/impartial third party to investigate and act on the complaint.
The mediation process provides students, JIU staff and faculty with a procedure in which a mutually accepted agreement between the parties involved can be reached using an objective, third party facilitator. The Director of Student Affairs (DSA) will act as the mediator unless the case is such that the DSA cannot be an impartial participant. The process is intended to resolve issues that involve simple errors or misunderstandings. A written record of the mediation process will be kept on file in the Office of Student Affairs.
Prior to submitting a formal complaint, the student should contact the DSA (StudentAffairs@jiu.edu; Jones Listens) who will counsel the complainant regarding resolution options and will help mediate the complaint by:
- Informing the accused person(s) of the nature of the complaint
- Identifying possible actions necessary for a final agreement between the parties
In such cases where a resolution cannot be solved by mediation, a written complaint must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs (StudentAffairs@jiu.edu; Jones Listens) within 30 days of the last written or documented communication between the student and university official regarding the occurrence and must include:
- Name, address, and phone number of the person filing the complaint
- Nature of the complaint
- Date of occurrence
- All evidence on which the complaint is based which includes supporting documentation which demonstrates the arbitrary, capricious, discriminatory or prejudiced acts, and
- Relief sought by the complainant
The formal complaint will be recorded in the student’s file and be reviewed and investigated by the Office of Student Affairs. The Office of Student Affairs will collaborate with university official(s) as necessary to collect and consider all evidence relevant to the appeal. Both the complainant and the accused parties will submit all supporting evidence and names of witnesses to be interviewed within 14 days of the filing of the complaint.
An investigation will be conducted within 14 days of the complaint submission by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). Upon completion of the investigation, a written report will be produced, which will provide details of the findings, recommended actions, or decisions. JIU’s OSA decision is final and will be communicated to the complainant in writing.
Please be advised that JIU must share summary information about all formal, written complaints with its accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission. No identifying information regarding individual complaints will be made available to anyone without the express permission of the complainant, except as required under applicable laws, rules, and regulations including those relating to accreditation and University governance.
Appeals of OSA rulings can be filed with the Chief Academic Officer within 14 days of the ruling. Appeals must be in writing and based upon a violation of the established policies and procedures for reviewing a complaint rather than on the outcome of the case. The Chief Academic Officer will have 14 days to review and render a final decision on the appeal. The Chief Academic Officer’s decision will be final. Documentation of the appeal and outcome will be filed in the OSA.