To ensure customer service excellence and in accordance with federal regulations and policy set forth by The Higher Learning Commission, Arkansas Tech University developed a procedure by which faculty and staff utilize an online web form to log general written student complaints that are not associated with existing formal appeal processes.
Will Cooper, associate dean of student conduct in the ATU Division of Student Affairs, drafted the procedure. He emphasized that the form is for faculty and staff who receive general written complaints, under the parameters below, to log them. The form is not intended to be used by students to report a general complaint.
The procedure, which will be reviewed on an annual basis, defines a complaint as:
- By a student
- Must be in writing
- Delivered by hand, via U.S. mail, facsimile or electronic mail
- Signed by the student (i.e. not anonymous)
- Not be an appeal or a grievance for which a defined process already exists
- Related to ATU’s mission (Arkansas Tech University is dedicated to student success, access, and excellence as a responsive campus community providing opportunities for progressive intellectual development and civic engagement. Embracing and expanding upon its technological traditions, Tech inspires and empowers members of the community to achieve their goals while striving for the betterment of Arkansas, the nation and the world.)
Any individual who was enrolled at ATU, but who has graduated or otherwise left the university, may also avail themselves of these procedures provided that any such complaint is made within three months of the individual leaving the university and the acts or omissions being complained of occurred while the individual was a registered student.
The procedure states that it would be reasonable to log general complaints involving the following topics:
- Class scheduling
- Financial aid
Student issues that fall under an existing formal and established complaint/appeals process will continue to follow those existing processes. This procedure should identify those general student complaints and resolutions that do not already have an existing process.
As such, these issues should be directed to the existing processes and excluded from complaint log submissions by faculty and staff members:
- Satisfactory academic progress
- Academic petitions (scholarship appeals)
- Suspension appeals
- Final course grade appeals
- Graduate student termination appeals
- Sexual harassment
- Violations of the academic integrity policy
- Violations of the student code of conduct
- Affirmative Action/EEOC
Complaints from applicants to the university, visitors and relatives of students are also excluded since the purpose of the log is to record complaints from enrolled students.
Each division of the university has a compliance designee. The duties of the compliance designee include, but are not limited to:
- Sending out a monthly e-mail to all faculty/staff within their functional area reminding them to submit complaints they have received via the proper web form
- Training and providing guidance to new faculty/staff within their area concerning the procedure and expectations
- Collaborating with the Division of Student Affairs staff member maintaining the log to ensure procedure compliance
Each individual faculty/staff member submits their own forms, not the compliance designee.
The compliance designees are:
- Academic Affairs: Andrea Eubanks
- Administration and Finance: Cheryl Moody
- Advancement: Christi Brown
- Athletics: Emily Tripp
- Enrollment Management: Brandi Collins
- Student Affairs: Will Cooper
Faculty and staff are encouraged to approach their compliance designee with any questions or concerns regarding the general complaint log procedure.