The student complaints policy provides guidance as to how the University defines written complaints, the structure for communication and resolution of complaints, and the systematic means for documenting complaints and resolutions. A good faith effort will be made by the institution to reach a resolution that is beneficial to those involved in a formal complaint.
Written student complaint – any written complaint from a student to a member of the President’s Cabinet or an academic Dean. These complaints include but are not limited to complaints initially sent to a staff or faculty member, but did not reach resolution. If resolution is not reached after initially attempting resolution through a staff or faculty member, the student is responsible for making a written student complaint to a cabinet member or Dean. Written student complaints must be sent in one of the following formats: email, letter, or digital student complaint form located at the University website. There are two types of written student complaints, which are formal student complaints and satisfaction complaints. If a student verbally expresses a complaint that meets the criteria of a formal student complaint, the staff or faculty member receiving the complaint should document it in writing and follow the student complaint policy as if the complaint had been presented in writing.
Formal student complaint – any written student complaint that involves a faculty member, staff member, the payment or refund of a charge, student financial aid, a grade, harassment, hazing, student safety, Title IX compliance, or any other issue deemed by a Cabinet member or Dean to be at a severity level requiring in-depth investigation.
Satisfaction complaint – any written student complaint that involves an individual’s opinion, but does not provide enough information or is deemed by a Cabinet member or Dean to be at a severity level below meriting an in-depth investigation. Satisfaction complaints may evolve into a formal student complaint if the student wishes to continue the complaint after the initial attempt at resolution.
Resolution – the answer to or solution for the complaint. Resolution does not guarantee that the complainant receives the complainant’s desired outcome. Some resolutions may involve referring students to other existing appeals processes, such as the process for appealing a grade or disciplinary sanctions.
The student must submit an email, letter, or digital student complaint form to a member of the President’s Cabinet or an academic Dean.
When one of the administrators above receives a written student complaint, the administrator must respond to the student within 5 business days for the purpose of acknowledging receipt. If the administrator receives a complaint unrelated to the administrator’s area of oversight, the administrator must forward the complaint to the Office of the Provost for distribution to the appropriate party within 5 business days after receipt and communicate to the student that the complaint was forwarded. The receiving administrator must respond to the student within 5 business days of receiving the forwarded complaint for the purpose of confirming receipt.
For formal written complaints, the administrator will coordinate an investigation of the complaint and develop a resolution. The complaint will be investigated, including the source, consideration of previous efforts to resolve the issue, and evaluation of any circumstances surrounding the event or person. The administrator will send an email to the student within 10 days after initially acknowledging receipt of the complaint for the purpose of providing a written statement of resolution or to inform the student of the progress related to reaching a resolution, as well as a date by which resolution will be reached.
For satisfaction complaints that require additional information from the complainant, the administrator will send an email to the student within 10 days after initially acknowledging receipt of the complaint for the purpose of requesting additional information necessary for facilitating resolution. Within this 10-day time frame, the administrator will provide a written statement of resolution or will inform the student of the progress related to reaching a resolution, as well as a date by which resolution will be reached. All email correspondence regarding complaints will utilize LeTourneau University email addresses.
Upon receiving the resolution response to the written student complaint, the student has the right to appeal to successive levels of administration. Each successive level will have 10 days to respond after the appeal is received. For complaints that were not initially addressed by the President or Executive Vice President & Provost, the student must send the first appeal to the Executive Vice President & Provost. If the student is not satisfied by the Executive Vice President & Provost’s resolution response, the student may appeal to the President. The President’s decision is final.
If the student exhausts all internal complaint processes, a student may elect to appeal to external agencies.
All communication between the complainant and administration concerning student written complaints, whether a formal written complaint or a satisfaction complaint, will be sent to the Office of the Provost for communication tracking and archiving. If any complaint contains information that requires additional confidentiality, the President may choose to keep it on file in the President’s office. All complaint documentation will be maintained for 7 years after the final date of resolution. The student complaint log will include: