The institution has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and is responsible for demonstrating that it follows those procedures when resolving student complaints.

Compliance Judgment:  In compliance

Narrative 

East Carolina University (hereafter, ECU or the institution) has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and can demonstrate that it follows those procedures when resolving student complaints. East Carolina University believes in addressing written student complaints in a fair and efficient manner.  The institution has a number of different processes for complaints and appeals that depend on the issue involved.  Procedures for academic and non-academic student complaints and inquiries are publicly posted for students on the Dean of Students website. The procedures assist students in determining the appropriate method of dealing with complaints and apply to all ECU students, including distance education students, as stated on this website.

Student Complaints and Inquiries

The Office of the Dean of Students provides guidance to the student who makes an inquiry or who believes that there is reason to make a complaint. The Dean of Students’ office assists the student by helping the student determine the nature of the complaint and/or the appropriate faculty or staff member or department that should receive the initial complaint.

Informal Complaints (Grievance)

Prior to bringing forward a complaint against an ECU office or representative acting within his or her role or carrying out his or her duty, students are encouraged to make a good-faith attempt to resolve the grievance and to do so within 30 days of the incident in dispute.  This attempt may be made with the party directly involved with the disputed matter, with relevant departmental administrators, or with the head of the department or unit in which the complaint arises. If consultation with the department chair/director does not resolve the complaint, then the complaint should be made to the appropriate dean or vice chancellor of the college or division.

At this level of review, complaints must be in writing and contain appropriate documentation. The Associate Vice Chancellor/Dean of Students accepts complaints submitted either in paper copy or completed online.  The Dean of Students’ office will provide a response to the complaint.

Please note that there are cases when it is appropriate to go directly to the formal grievance resolution process described below.

Formal Complaints

Should a situation arise in which a student is unable to resolve his or her grievance informally, the University’s formal complaint (grievance) process may be employed. This process, outlined below, should be initiated within 30 days of the failed informal resolution, if applicable, or of the incident itself.

Step 1

The East Carolina University student complaint form must be completed and can be presented to the Associate Vice Chancellor/ Dean of Students, or filled out online from the website, Dean of Students:  Student Complaint Form.

Step 2

Upon receipt of the formal grievance, a designee is appointed by the associate vice chancellor/dean of students to investigate the dispute. If the grievance involves an ECU office or representative acting within his or her role or duty, the investigator determines the involvement in the investigation of pertinent supervisors, department chairs and deans.  Depending upon the grievance, pertinent data (interviews, etc.) will be gathered by the investigator or the ECU office involved in the grievance. These data are then presented to the department for resolution.

If the grievance is based on personal misconduct by a faculty member or other ECU employee, the investigator gathers pertinent information and presents it to either the Provost (faculty complaint) or the Director of Employee Relations & Staff Development (staff complaint).

Procedures for Formal Complaints Related to Specific Areas

Title IX: Sexual Misconduct: Students have two avenues to submit complaints about protected class discrimination, harassment or retaliation. If the complaint is against another student, the student is directed to submit the complaint to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students using the general student complaint form, or by contacting the Office of the Dean of Students.  Complaints against University employees are submitted to the Office for Equity and Diversity using a grievance form accessible online, or by contacting the Office for Equity and Diversity.

In the case of discrimination and harassment complaints and any other complaint against another student, the student is directed to submit the complaint online via an incident reporting form or by calling the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. 

Appeals

There are formal established appeals processes in place for student complaints that involve an appeal of a variety of University policies.  The following are policies and procedures for the areas in which students are most likely to make an appeal:

    Suspension and Readmission Policy

    Graduate Academic Appeals

    Undergraduate Grade Appeals

    Graduate Student Grade Appeals

    Parking Appeals

    Judicial Appeals (Student Code of Conduct)

    Academic Integrity Appeals (Student Affairs)


Complaints
Against ECU (Unresolved within the Institution)

If a complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting East Carolina University's procedure described above, students are directed to file a complaint with the following agencies:

The University of North Carolina General Administration, Post-Secondary Education Complaints, c/o Assistant Director of Licensure and Workforce Studies, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688, (919) 962-4558, or via e-mail at studentcomplaint@northcarolina.edu.

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 3003
3-4097, (404) 679-4500, or via the SACS website.

Complaints about East Carolina University may also be filed with the student's state of residence by referring to the following list of state agencies.

Examples of Dissemination of Policies and Procedures

The institution primarily utilizes the ECU undergraduate catalog (index), graduate catalog (index), and institutional webpages to disseminate information related to student complaints and appeals.

The Dean of Students Office has a Dean of Students - Policies, Rules, Regulations, and Procedures webpage, listing a variety of policies affecting students along with a Student Complaints and Inquiries webpage providing information about how to address student complaintsAny student with a complaint follows the procedure and submits a form either electronically or by visiting the office of the Dean of Students.  The Dean of Students Office keeps an electronic record (Dean of Students - electronic record) of student complaints originating through this portal. 

Academic integrity procedures are outlined in the undergraduate catalog (Academic Integrity) and graduate catalog (Academic Integrity), and on the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities: Academic Conduct Process webpage.

Academic policy appeal procedures for undergraduate students are outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog (Academic Policy Appeal Procedures) and on the Office of the Registrar webpage: Academic Appeals.

Academic policy appeal procedures for graduate students are outlined in the Graduate Catalog (Academic Policy Appeal Procedures) and on the Graduate School webpage: Appeals Procedure.

Grade appeal procedures for undergraduate students are outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog (Grade Appeal Policy) and on the Office of the Registrar webpage: Grade Appeal Policy.

Grade appeal procedures for graduate students are outlined in the Graduate Catalog (Grade Appeal Policy) and on the Graduate School webpage: Grade Appeal Procedure.

The Student Code of Conduct (Student Conduct Process) is available on the University Policies, Regulations and Rules webpage: Student Conduct Process and from a link on the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities: Non Academic Conduct Process webpage.

Policies for student conduct in residence halls are available in the Resident Handbook and on the Campus Living webpage.

The university policy on discrimination and harassment is located within the Office for Equity and Diversity: University Policies webpage, along with an online grievance form. These policies are also linked from the undergraduate catalog (discrimination and harassment policy) and graduate catalog (discrimination and harassment policy).

Financial Aid appeal policies are located on the Office of Student Financial Aid webpage.

Parking and transportation ordinances are located on the Parking and Transportation Services webpage along with the online system for submitting parking appeals

Sample Documentation of Complaints and Appeals

The following documents provide specific examples of how the policies and procedures regarding complaints and appeals are followed at the University and how those complaints and appeals are resolved:

Appeals

Other Complaints

Complaints received by UNC-General Administration

 

Additional examples of the resolution of complaints through the prescribed process are provided in the Resolution of Complaints table.

To register anonymous complaints regarding any matter at the university, the Report A Crime and ECU Cares programs are available to students through the East Carolina University Policy Department and Dean of Students Office. The on-line reporting system cannot track the person or the address from which the report is made. The system is monitored daily and is provided to afford students an outlet for reporting incidents when they feel intimidated or are reluctant to register complaints through more formal channels. 

The University Behavioral Concerns Team is the campus threat assessment team at East Carolina University.  This team receives reports of concerning behavior exhibited by individuals on campus, either through ECU Cares or as reported by team members.  Those reports are assessed to determine the level of threat to members of the campus community, and an appropriate intervention plan is enacted and monitored to mitigate the threat and provide support to the individual of concern.  Examples of complaints resolved by the University Behavioral Concerns Team are provided.

The University Discrimination and Harassment Policies are administered through the Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity. Grievance procedures and the Office for Equity and Diversity grievance form are posted online. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity is the location for the Title IX Coordinator, and the Dean of Students Office is the location for the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for student complaints. In respect to discrimination and harassment complaints made against students, the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs/Dean of Students is responsible for the process and procedures.

In summary, East Carolina University has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and can demonstrate that it follows those procedures in resolving student complaints.

  

Documentation

 

Reference Title

Location

Academic Integrity Appeal

Academic Integrity Policy appeal

Academic Integrity Appeals (Student Affairs)

Academic Integrity Appeals

Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs/Dean of Students

920302 - Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students

Campus Living Webpage

Residence Hall Policies

Dean of Students - Electronic Record

DOS Stats 2012

Dean of Students ComplaintDining

Student Dining issue

Dean of Students - Policies Rules and Regulations

Dean of Students _ Policies and Procedures

Dean of Students: Student Complaint Form

Student Complaint

Dean of Students Website

Dean of Students website

Deputy Title IX Coordinator (for student complaints)

Dean of Students Title 9

ECU Cares

ECU Cares

Grade Appeal

Incorrect Grade Appeal

Grade Appeal (Complaints Received by UNC-GA)

ECU complaint_  Grade appeal

Graduate Academic Appeals

Graduate School Appeals Procedure

Graduate Catalog (Index)

grad

Graduate Catalog (Academic Integrity)

Grad Academic Integrity

Graduate Catalog (Academic Policy Appeal Procedures)

Graduate Student Appeals Procedure

Graduate Catalog (Discrimination and Harassment Policy)

Graduate Discrim Harass

Graduate Catalog (Grade Appeal Policy)

Graduate Student Grade Appeals

Graduate School Webpage: Appeals Procedure

Graduate School Appeals Procedure

Graduate School Webpage: Grade Appeal Procedure

Graduate Student Grade Appeal Procedure

Graduate Student Grade Appeals

Graduate Student Grade Appeals

Greek Life

FW_ ECU Complaint--Greek life

Grievance Form

Grievance Form

Incident Reporting Form

Incident Reporting Form

Judicial Appeal-Suspension Case Upheld

Student Code of Conduct appeal

Judicial Appeal Policy (Student Code of Conduct)

Student Conduct Processes

Medicaid Payment

ECU Complaint_  Medicaid

Office for Equity and Diversity: University Policies

EDC - Policies and Procedures

Office of Student Financial Aid Webpage

Office of Financial Aid - Appeals Process

Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities: Academic Conduct Process

Academic Integrity Appeals

Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities: Non Academic Process

OSRR Student Conduct Process

Office of the Registrar Webpage: Academic Appeals

Student Academic Appeals

Office of the Registrar Webpage: Grade Appeal Policy

Undergrad Grade Appeal Policy

Parking Appeals

Parking Appeals

Parking and Transportation Services Webpage

About ECU Parking

Report A Crime

Report-A-Crime

Resident Handbook

ResHandbook11-12

Resolution of Complaints Table

Resolution of Complaints

SACS Website

Commission on Colleges

Student Academic Appeal--Approved

Student Academic Appeal Approved

Student Academic Appeal—Not Approved

Student Academic Appeal Not Approved

Student Complaint Form

Compliant-Form-East-Carolina-University

Student Complaints and Inquiries

Dean of Students website

State Agencies

State Agencies

Suspension and Readmission Policy

Suspension and Readmission

Title IX Coordinator

Title IX Coordinator

Undergraduate Catalog (Index)

ugrad

Undergraduate Catalog (Academic Integrity)

Ugrad Academic Integrity

Undergraduate Catalog (Academic Policy Appeal Procedures)

Undergraduate Student Academic Policy Appeals

Undergraduate Catalog (Discrimination and Harassment Policy)

Undergrad Discrim and Harass Policies

Undergraduate Catalog (Grade Appeal Policy)

Undergraduate Grade Appeals

Undergraduate Grade Appeals

Undergraduate Grade Appeals

University Behavioral Concerns Team

University Behavioral Concerns Team

Complaints Resolved by the University Behavioral Concerns Team

University Behavioral Concerns Team

University Discrimination and Harassment Policies

Sex-Harass-Policy-REV

University Policies, Regulations and Rules Webpage: Student Conduct Process

PRR webpage Student Conduct Process