College of Professional Studies

Student Complaint Policy and Procedures

The College of Health and Human Services (HHS) Complaint Policy applies to all students enrolled in an IPFW HHS program or taking a course offered by the College who have a complaint concerning actions or decisions of faculty or staff members of the College which are claimed to violate rights established in the IPFW Student Code under Part I except Part I.A.3 or Part I.A.4.   Complaints of discrimination or harassment (Part I.A.3 or Part I.A.4) do not fall under this policy and should be taken to the University Affirmative Action Officer.  Students may seek advice by meeting with the IPFW Dean of Students or the College of Health and Human Services Dean or designee.

When filing a complaint, the student must support the complaint and specify the remedy sought in writing on the Complaint Procedure Checklist Form. The student may seek the assistance of the IPFW Dean of Students in pursuing the appeal.  The student may have an advisor or friend present during all meetings with faculty members, administrators, and/or committees. The advisor or friend may advise the student but may not speak for the student during meetings.

Members of the Student Appeals Committee

The College of Health and Human Services Student Appeals Committee is comprised of one faculty member from each department of the College. 

Student Appeal Process

  1. An attempt should be made by the student to reconcile the concern or conflict informally with the faculty or staff member before filing a formal complaint.  The student should schedule an appointment with the course faculty or staff to discuss the action and try to resolve the issue.
  1. If meeting with the faculty or staff member does not resolve the issue, the student may seek informal mediation from the Program Director/Department Chair.  The Department Chair shall investigate, mediate, and suggest a resolution.  The Department Chair will send the decision concerning the complaint in writing to the student with any supporting documentation. 
  1. If the complaint remains unresolved, the student may continue to pursue the complaint with the Dean of HHS who shall investigate, mediate, and suggest a resolution.   The Dean will notify the Chair of the College Student Appeals Committee regarding the complaint and forward the written complaint from the student and all documentation of previous attempts to resolve the complaint. The Committee Chair will request the student and the instructor to submit detailed, written documentation substantiating evidence regarding the action in question.  After reading the documentation submitted by both parties, the College committee will meet separately with the student, the course faculty, and the Department Chair to clarify questions regarding the case.  Each party may bring an advisor or friend to the meeting with the committee.  The advisor or friend may advise the student, course faculty or Department Chair, but may not speak for the student, course faculty, or the Department Chair during meetings.  The College committee will deliberate and the Committee Chair will submit a written recommendation with documentation of their findings to the College Dean and notify, in writing, the student, faculty member, and Department Chair, of the committee’s recommendation.  Copies of the recommendation should be submitted to the Department Chair, the College Dean, members of the Student Appeals Committee, and the IPFW Dean of Students.
  1. The College Dean will consider all of the documentation and the recommendation of the College Student Appeal Committee.  The Dean will send a written notification with a recommendation to resolve the complaint to the student, faculty member, Department Chair, Student Appeal Committee members, and the IPFW Dean of Students.

If this informal process does not resolve the issue, the student may request a hearing before the IPFW Campus appeals Board.  See IPFW Student Code for this process at Appeals and Complaint Checklist.
Student Complaint Deadlines

A complaint must be initiated no later than the fourth week of the fall or spring semester immediately following the session in which the action being appealed occurred.  Following initiation of a complaint, decisions at each step listed below must be reported within 20 calendar days, provided this deadline falls within the regular student year (fall or spring semester).  If the deadline falls during the summer, the decision must be reported within 20 calendar days of the start of the fall semester. Each successive step in the appeals procedure must be initiated by the student within 20 calendar days of the completion of the prior step.  Time lines may be extended at the agreement of all parties.

Revised August 25, 2010                                        Complaint Policy Checklist