Student Complaints

NOTE: All policies for distance learning, unless otherwise noted, are the same as for all university policies relating to faculty, students, courses and programs.

Complaints about any function or personnel or the University are usually handled through the normal administrative chain. Students can take the following steps to file a formal complaint.

  • Write a letter to the dean, department head or director responsible for the area of complaint.
  • In the letter include the details of the concern and the requested relief.
  • If you are unsure of the most appropriate way to address a specific complaint, contact the Dean of Students Office.

There are types of concerns that have procedures in place for addressing complaints. Some of these are described below.

Grade Appeal Procedures

The grade appeals procedure is designed to give the student the opportunity to correct an injustice. It should be utilized only when the student contends that the final course grade assigned by the instructor is arbitrary or capricious. It is not to be used to challenge grades on individual assignments. "Arbitrary or capricious" implies that:

  • The student has been assigned a grade on the basis of something other than his or her performance in the course; or
  • Standards utilized in the determination of the student’s grade are more exacting or demanding than those applied to other students in the course; or
  • The grade is based upon standards that are significant, unannounced and unreasonable departures from those articulated in the course description distributed at the beginning of the course.

The full procedure and additional information are available from the Office of the Registrar or the student's Advising Center.

Complaints of Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation

Radford University is committed to providing an environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community and that is free from harassment and discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, genetic information, against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities, or based on any other status protected by law. These procedures provide a prompt and equitable resolution for complaints or reports of discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, genetic information, against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities, or based on any other status protected by law, including complaints alleging sexual harassment or sexual misconduct prohibited by Radford University policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, an d Retaliation ("Discrimination Policy"). Any person who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination or harassment on any of these bases may file a complaint with Radford University as outlined in these procedures. These procedures also address any complaints or reports of retaliation against individuals who have filed complaints or reports of discrimination, who have opposed discriminatory practices, and those who have testified or otherwise participated in investigations or proceedings arising from complaints or reports of discrimination.

Complaints and reports of discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct should be made to the Radford University Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Diversity and Equity.

The full Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation Policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures are also available here.

Appeal a Campus Parking Citation

A campus parking citation can be appealed online.

Additional information is available at Parking and Transportation.

Complaints and Suggestions about Dining Services

Students can share complaints or suggestions about Dining Services online.

Graduate Student Grievance Procedure

Graduate students should examine the policies and procedures that will be used in their particular program/department/school. Graduate students should also note that the focus of any review undertaken as a result of a grievance will be on the process under taken to arrive at a decision; decisions themselves are not reviewedby external bodies. Questions about grievance policies and procedures should be directed to the student’s advisor and/or program/department/school director or chair.

The graduate student grievance procedure is designed to give the student the opportunity to correct a perceived injustice. It should be utilized only when the student contends that the process followed in reaching an evaluation or decision has been arbitrary or capricious. This procedure is not to be used for grades because a separate policy exists for course grades.

Situations that would be appropriate for the present set of procedures include but are not limited to concerns about the process associated with supervisory reviews that affect grades but are not grades in and of themselves. For the purposes of this set of procedures, "arbitrary or capricious" indicates that e.g.

  • The student has been given an evaluation on the basis of something other than his or her performance in the activity or of criteria unrelated to published professional standards; or
  • Standards utilized in evaluating the student’s progress are more exacting or demanding than those applied to other students in the program; or
  • The decision is based upon standards that are significant, unannounced and unreasonable departures from those articulated in the program handbook that has been made available to students.

The full procedure and additional information are available at the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)

Radford University accepts SCHEV oversight in resolving complaints from any student that is not resolved via Radford University internal procedures. Additional information about filing a complaint is available through the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).