Institutional Effectiveness & Public Disclosure
Concerns and Issues
POLICY FOR STUDENTS
After students have exhausted appropriate appeals processes by communicating with faculty and staff directly involved in the issue at hand, students may lodge formal complaints, in writing, using the Student Complaint Form available on the website and in the Student Development Office.
- Student Affairs Issues (e.g., housing, food service, student activities, athletics, intramurals, spiritual life, parking): Complaints should be directed to the vice president for student development.
- Academic Affairs Issues (e.g., faculty, courses, schedules, transcripts, information technology, registration): Complaints should be directed to the vice president for academic affairs.
- Business Affairs Issues (e.g., financial aid, workstudy, student accounts, bookstore, physical facilities and grounds): Complaints should be directed to the vice president for business and finance.
The vice president (student development, academic affairs, business and finance) will respond to complaints within a reasonable time. Should the response be unsatisfactory, or should a complaint arise for an area not listed above, a formal written complaint may be submitted to the Office of the President.
POLICY FOR THE PUBLIC (Persons other than Students)
After persons other than students have exhausted appropriate appeals processes by communicating with college personnel directly involved in the issue at hand, persons may lodge formal complaints, in writing, using the Complaint Form for the Public (Persons other than Students) available on the website and in the Office of the President. The President or his/her
assignees will respond to complaints within a reasonable time.
Formal written complaints that may affect the accreditation status of the college should be submitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The complaint form is available on the Commission’s website (http://www.sacscoc.org/pdf/081705/complaintpolicy.pdf). Following is a statement taken from the SACSCOC policy statement titled, “Complaint Procedures against the Commission or its Accredited Institutions”: “Because the Commission’s complaint procedures are for the purpose of addressing any significant non-compliance with the Commission’s standards, policies, or procedures, the procedures are not intended to be used to involve the Commission in disputes between individuals and member institutions, or cause the Commission to interpose itself as a reviewing authority in individual matters of admission, grades, granting or transferability of credits, application of academic policies, fees or other financial matters, disciplinary matters or other contractual rights and obligations. Nor does the Commission seek redress on an individual’s behalf. Furthermore, the Commission will not serve as a grievance panel when the outcome of
institutional grievance or appeal processes is unsatisfactory to the complainant.”
Complaints related to the application of state laws or rules related to approval to operate or licensure of a particular professional program within a postsecondary institution shall be referred to the appropriate state board (i.e., State Board of Health, State Board of Education, and so on) within the Tennessee State Government and shall be reviewed and handled by that licensing board. See applicable information at http://www.tn.gov; then search for the appropriate division.
Complaints related to state consumer protection laws (e.g., laws related to fraud or false advertising) shall be referred to the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs and shall be reviewed and handled by that unit (http://www.tn.gov/consumer/).
Please see the College Catalog for official details on this topic.