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Southeast Missouri State University

Complaint Resolution

Southeast Missouri State University is committed to offering high quality academic programs and student-centered services focused on student success. To ensure that students are treated fairly and have the opportunity to share concerns about their experiences at Southeast, the University maintains processes and procedures through which students can appeal certain decisions and voice their concerns. You are expected to follow existing appeal procedures where appropriate. If your concern does not fall under an existing appeal procedure, seek an informal solution as described below. As a final recourse, you may file a formal complaint.

Appeal Procedures

Appeal procedures are in place for grades, financial aid decisions, academic suspension, parking tickets, textbook rental fines, and judicial decisions by the Office of Student Conduct. Go to the links below to learn more about how to file a formal appeal for any of these areas.

Grade Appeal Procedure
Financial Aid Appeal
Academic Suspension Appeal (page 24 of the Undergraduate Bulletin)
Parking Ticket Appeal
Textbook Rental Appeal
Judicial Appeal

Harassment and Discrimination

“If you have a complaint against a Southeast Missouri State University faculty or staff member or visitor for discrimination or sexual harassment, contact the Assistant to the President for Equity and Diversity Issues. For more information, go to the Office of Equity and Diversity Issues website.

If you have a complaint against a Southeast student for sexual harassment, sex discrimination, sexual assault, or bullying, you should contact the Office of Student Conduct at 573-651-2264.

Informal Complaint Process

Where an appeal process does not exist, consider resolving your concern informally. This begins by talking with the individuals involved as well as the appropriate unit director or academic department chair. Types of grievances that may be covered by the informal complaint process include teaching or supervision, facilities, university service, program information, or the behavior of an employee or student. Through the informal complaint process, you can discuss the issue with the appropriate faculty or staff member, administrator, campus police official, or the director of the service unit involved. If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, you may submit a formal complaint following the process below. A formal complaint must be filed within 120 days of the incident.

Formal Complaint Process

A formal complaint should be filed with the Dean of Students using the form below. Formal complaints must contain: the name of the individual filing the complaint; the name of the staff member, faculty member, administrator, or service director against whom the complaint is lodged; the action or inaction addressed by the complaint; a statement of the facts and nature of the complaint; the date(s) of the incident(s); the resolution sought by the individual filing the complaint; and the complainant's signature. The Dean of Students will forward your complaint to the appropriate individual or office for response.

Formal Complaint Form

Complaints to State and Accrediting Agencies

If a grievance is not resolved through informal or formal means, a complaint can be registered with the state of Missouri and/or the university's accrediting agency.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education serves as a clearinghouse for postsecondary student complaints.
Visit http://www.dhe.mo.gov/documents/POLICYONCOMPLAINTRESOLUTION.pdf for the MDHE's complaint policy and instructions about how to file a formal complaint. Note that the policy states that students who wish to file complaints with the department must first exhaust all informal and formal avenues provided by the institution to resolve disputes.

In addition, Southeast Missouri State University's accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, accepts complaints about institutions. Visit http://www.ncahlc.org/Information-for-the-Public/complaints.html for instructions to file a formal complaint. The commission has established a clear distinction between individual grievances and complaints that appear to involve broad institutional practices. When a complaint raises issues regarding the institution's ongoing ability to meet the HLC's Criteria of Accreditation, the commission forwards the complaint to the institution and requests a formal response.

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