Situations may arise in which a student believes that he or she has not received fair treatment by a representative of the University or has a complaint about the performance, actions, or inaction of the staff or faculty affecting a student. There are mechanisms in place for the reporting and resolution of complaints regarding specific types of concern (student conduct, honor system, bias, grade dispute, harassment and discrimination, for instance), and these should be fully used where appropriate. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from faculty advisers, deans’ offices in the College or Business School, or the Office of the Dean of Students when evaluating the nature of their complaints and deciding on an appropriate course of action.
The complaint process outlined below is meant to answer and resolve issues arising between individual students and the University and its various offices when a mechanism for reporting and resolution of the specific type of concern is not already in place. A complaint cannot be filed on behalf of another person. A complaint should first be directed as soon as possible to the person or persons whose actions or inactions have given rise to the problem—not later than three months after the event.
For complaints in the academic (i.e., classroom) setting, the student should talk personally with or send a written complaint explaining the concern directly to the instructor. Should the student and instructor be unable to resolve the conflict, the student may then turn to the chair of the involved department (in the Wake Forest School of Business, this would be the dean) for assistance. The chair (or dean) will communicate with both parties, seek to understand their individual perspectives, and within a reasonable time, reach a conclusion and share it with both parties. If the student’s complaint is not resolved by these procedures, the student should consult with the Office of Academic Advising for assistance. The Associate Dean for Academic Advising will consult with the parties to obtain a resolution. Finally, a student may appeal to the Committee on Academic Affairs which will study the matter, taking input from all parties, and reach a final decision concerning resolution.
For complaints outside the academic setting, the student should talk personally with or send a written complaint explaining the concern directly to the individual involved. Should the student and individual be unable to resolve the concern, the student may then turn to the appropriate administrative channel for assistance, which may be an immediate supervisor, department head, or Dean. The immediate supervisor, department head, or dean will meet or communicate with both parties, seek to understand their individual perspectives, and within a reasonable time, reach a conclusion and share it with both parties. Finally, a student may appeal to the vice president with administrative responsibility for the issue that is the subject of the concern. The vice president will study the matter, work with the parties, and reach a final resolution. Students uncertain about the proper channels are encouraged to seek advice from faculty advisers, deans’ offices, or the Office of the Dean of Students.