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University Student Complaint Policy

Title University Student Complaint
Policy Number UAD0023
Policy Type University
Category Administrative
Subcategory 1  
Subcategory 2  
Subcategory 3  
Approval Date 2/19/2019

Gayle B. Ward, JD
Vice Provost
Division of Student Affairs

Brenda L. Weddington
Chief Enrollment Management Officer
Division of Student Affairs

Applies To RUSH University Students

RUSH University embraces a philosophy of respect and accountability as supported by the I CARE values (Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect and Excellence). Rooted in these I CARE values, the Student Complaint Policies and Procedures are meant to balance a supportive and equitable process to assist students with submitting complaints. According to the Higher Learning Commission Institutional Records of Student Complaints (HLC, 2018), "An institution shall make available an account of the student complaints it has received, its processing of those complaints, and how that processing comports with the institution's policies and procedures on the handling of grievances or complaints."

To this end, the University strives to provide a seamless complaint process experience by making available to the student body a convenient online complaint submission process and a toll-free hotline phone number through the NAVEX Global Student Complaint Portal* (hereafter "Student Complaint Portal"). The Student Complaint Portal and Hotline offers students a confidential as well as an anonymous mechanism to submit their complaints.

The University's Student Complaint Policies and Procedures should:

  1. Provide clear instructions on how to submit a formal student complaint;
  2. Distinguish the various types of student complaints, (i.e., examples of academic versus non-academic complaints)
  3. Provide a list of external agencies to report student complaints.

*NAVEX Global is a third-party hosted resource with secured servers and is not hosted by RUSH University.

Executive Summary  

Definition of Terms

Academic Violation: Any form of academic dishonesty that violates ethical principles of the academic community that may include instances of cheating, fabrication, or plagiarism.

Chair: chief administrative officer of an academic program or department.

Complainant: student who files a complaint.

Dean: chief administrative officer of a college.

Disruptive Conduct/Behavior: Inappropriate conduct or behavior on university premises or at offsite affiliates location that interrupts learning or interferes with the activities of others and is not conducive to the learning environment.

External accrediting and regulating agencies: Agencies that set higher education standards and issue accreditation and authorization for Rush University to offer all degree programs and specializations.

Faculty/Instructor: any person authorized by appointment to teach courses offered at the university or involved in a capacity to assess or evaluate student's academic or scholarly work.

Formal Complaint Process: A written documented complaint submitted either through the Student Complaint Portal or through another formal process for review and adjudication for resolution.

Grade Appeals: A formal process by which a student may dispute the final grade received in a particular course that was unable to be resolved in consultation with the faculty of record.

Informal Complaint Process: The process to informally meet with all parties involved in the complaint to come to a mutual understanding and decision to successfully resolve the issue(s).

Provost: University Chief Academic Officer

Respondent: person(s) against whom the complaint was filed

Student: any person actively enrolled in RUSH University in a course offered for credit.

Student Complaint Portal: The RUSH University Complaint Portal is used to report and track student complaints.

Title IX: The Higher Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities, admission and employment.

  • Sexual Harassment: Unwelcomed sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
  • Sexual Misconduct: Sexual violence including sexual assault, incapacitation for sexual purposes, sexual exploitation, relationship violence, and in some instances, sexual harassment.
  • Sex Discrimination: Unjust or prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their race, color, religion, national origin, creed, age and/or disability as defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation.

Policy Statement

RUSH University endeavors to provide an environment where student concerns are addressed and resolved in a manner that fosters both respect and equality. The University encourages students to seek informal and formal procedures to allow students the flexibility to adjudicate their complaints, depending on the nature or seriousness of the complaint(s). No retaliation or reprisal shall be tolerated against a student for submitting, in good faith, a complaint either on an informal or formal basis.

All student complaint submissions will be kept confidential to the extent possible to provide thorough investigations, maintain campus safety and to ensure compliance with federal, state or local policies. Submission of complaints through the Student Complaint Portal are not meant to override any existing policies or procedures such as grade appeals, student professionalism code of conduct, Title IX, Discrimination and Harassment or any policy established by law or the university. The Student Complaint Portal is designed to work interdependently with existing student policies and procedures. Students are encouraged to file their complaint as soon as possible to ensure that all practical information is collected and available to resolve and improve the student's experience.

Student Complaint Portal:

  • When a student files a complaint through the Student Complaint Portal or through the Student Complaint toll-free call center, the student will receive a unique user name and are asked to choose a password.
  • Students can return to the Student Complaint Portal again either by internet or telephone and access the original report to add more detail or answer questions posed by a university representative to further help resolve any open issues.
  • Once a complaint is filed through the Student Complaint Portal, the University will review or refer the complaint to determine the appropriate follow-up. At all times, the complaint will be kept confidential to the extent possible to allow for proper investigation. Only individuals with legitimate reasons will have access to the filed complaint.
  • If the student complaint is required to be referred to a specific contact person or process (i.e., Title IX or Grade Appeals), the student will be notified that the complaint has been referred to the appropriate area for further review and the complaint will be facilitated through that specific process. However, the student complaint ticket will remain open until the complaint has been finalized and closed.
  • If a decision is not rendered after progressing through the appropriate steps, leadership of the specific area will be notified for additional review unless an existing policy dictates a different course of action.
  • Students also have the right to file a formal complaint with external accrediting or regulating agencies affiliated with Rush University if they believe that this matter was not resolved in earnest. Links to these accrediting and regulatory agencies are listed in this policy.
  • A submission of a formal student complaint can be anonymous or non-anonymous. Anonymous complaints will be investigated to the degree that the institution has enough information to proceed with an investigation.
  • All non-anonymous complaints should contain the following information:
    • The student complainant should include his/or her name, student identification number, contact information, including telephone number and email address on the form.
  • All complaints should contain the following information:
    • The name of the alleged student, employee, faculty, department, etc., involved in the complaint.
    • A detailed written statement that describes the nature of the complaint, including the date, day, approximate time and location of the occurrence.
    • The date of submission of the complaint will be documented in the Student Complaint Portal.

Informal Resolution

Students should begin the informal process by addressing their complaint directly with the staff, faculty or other students involved with the complaint. (Note: this requirement does not apply to alleged cases of harassment, violence, sexual misconduct, discrimination or situations that are governed by the University Academic Honesty Policy).

Formal Resolution

In the event the student is not able to resolve their complaint through informal means, the student should file a formal written complaint using the Student Complaint Portal or by reporting their complaint through the Hotline. The University will review all complaints submitted through the Student Complaint Portal.

*Academic Complaints (non-exhaustive)

Harassment and Discrimination

RUSH University promotes and maintains an environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community, free of unlawful discrimination, including the prevention of harassment and sexual misconduct. RUSH University's prohibits sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct involving students. Students should report these type of incidents to Nancee Hofheimer, Title IX Coordinator and follow the procedures in the Prohibition against Sexual Harassment in RUSH Programs and Activities.

Nancee Hofheimer
Title IX Coordinator
RUSH University Medical Center

Disruptive Conduct/Behavior Complaints Against Staff, Faculty & Other Students

The Code of Conduct sets the standards for expected professional behavior within the University and the Medical Center. Commitment to this Code is a shared responsibility of all faculty, staff and students within the RUSH University community to ensure the highest standards of behavior – whether in the classroom, the laboratory, or in the clinical setting – and that education obtained at RUSH provides a sound foundation for each student's future success as an academic, scientific or health care professional. Violations of these standards are subject serious and disciplinary sanctions. Students witnessing this type of behavior are encouraged to file a complaint via the Student Complaint Portal.

RUSH University makes every effort to review and resolve all student complaints that are reported in accordance with policies and procedures. There may be occasions under certain circumstances where the student believes that further action is required and that additional external review is needed to resolve their complaint. Listed below are external agencies that the student may contact for additional assistance. For other state authorization agencies please refer to the links listed below.


Links to Additional Resources

Academic Grade Appeals

Student Financial Concerns

Title IX and Conduct Policies

Title IX: Prohibition against Sexual Harassment in RUSH Programs and Activities

Student Conduct Policy – contact your specific college for the process on appealing a student conduct.

University Student Handbook
University Catalog
RUSH University Honor Code
Title IX Policy

Note: Some of the language in this policy was taken directly from:

The RUSH Honor Code, Prohibition Against Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Involving Students Policy and the Rush Academic Policy