The student complaint procedures are established to address concerns that arise within the University community. There are various procedures available to students depending upon the complaint. A complaint is a concern regarding a policy or procedure that has been inappropriately or unjustly applied or a charge against an individual's behavior.
The following issues are not subject to the student complaint procedures but should follow established University policy governing each area as delineated in the Student Handbook and UIU Catalog(s):
All other complaints may use the Informal and Formal Student Complaint procedures as spelled out here.
Most complaints can be worked through informally by addressing the concern with the person involved and his/her direct supervisor or department head. The steps would include:
Formal Grievance Procedures
The University provides procedures to insure that all student grievance and complaints will be given a fair hearing. The following procedures have been established as the formal grievance or complaint procedures.
- The student will initiate the formal process by completing the Student Complaint Form on the UIU website. www.uiu.edu/studentlife/complaint/complaint.html
When the form is submitted the student will receive the following message: “The Dean of Student Development has been forwarded your complaint. Our goal is to assist you as soon as possible. If you have not heard from someone within five working days, please contact the Dean of Student Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563 425 5214."
The Dean of Students will review the submissions and ensure the complaint is directed to the appropriate supervisor/department head for further investigation and the assignment of a hearing committee. The supervisor/department head will conduct an investigation which includes gathering written statements from all parties involved. The documentation will be held on file until the complaint is resolved through the formal procedures.
Hearing Committee Selection and Procedures
When a hearing is requested in writing to the University, the student bringing the grievance will have the right to select one person of a three-member hearing committee from among University employees or the University student body.
The administrative head of the University division containing the unit where the complaint is alleged to have occurred will be able to select one person from among University employees to be a member of the three-member committee.
The two persons who have been selected under (1) and (2) above will then select a third person, from among University employees or the University student body, who will serve as chairperson of the committee.
Should the two persons not be able to agree on a chairperson, the Dean of Students and the chairperson of the Faculty Judicial Board will be responsible for recommending another procedure to select a chairperson or may assume authority to designate a UIU employee to serve as the chairperson.
A verbatim record will be kept of the hearing and a copy of the record will be made available to both parties.
In case of disagreements concerning interpretations of procedures, the judgment of the chairperson of the hearing committee will prevail.
Each party to the dispute will be entitled to have one or two representatives, plus not more than five observers, present at the hearing, unless the aggrieved party requests a private hearing, in which case no observers may attend.
After a period of private deliberation, the hearing committee will make the decision by simple majority vote, with the chairperson as a voting member. The vote will be taken by secret ballot.
The chairperson of the hearing committee will submit in writing the committee recommendations to the supervisor/department head for final action.
The supervisor/department head will make necessary hearing arrangements.
The supervisor/department head will notify the Dean of Students as to the outcome of the formal process. The Dean of Students will utilize the informal and formal complaint process to document the numbers and kinds of complaints the University is receiving to determine if there are specific issues or concerns that need to be addressed. Any significant number of common complaints will be forwarded on to the appropriate administrator for resolution.
External Complaint Process
For cases that cannot be satisfactorily resolved internally using the above procedures, Upper Iowa University is required to provide both current and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting body and the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in a student's resident state:
Student Complaint Information by State and Agency (pdf file, opens in new window)