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Complaint and Grievance Procedures

Student Grievance Policy

King University seeks to maintain effective and supportive relationships between students and faculty/staff members within the University. Students are encouraged where possible to seek resolution through informal means as a first‐approach to resolving the issue at hand. If all other forms of redress failed to correct the situation, students may seek recourse through the formal grievance process.

A grievance:

  • Is defined as a formal written document submitted by a student against the institution alleging possible non-compliance with institutional policy and/or procedure, or an unjust violation of the students’ rights.
  • May be filed when a student believes a process was not followed correctly. For example, if a student feels he or she was denied the opportunity to have a concern addressed through an established policy and/or procedure.

A grievance is not:

  • In response to a decision by the Honor Council or Student Conduct Administrator; this is known as an appeal which is outlined in the Student Conduct Process in the Student Handbook.
  • In response to an appealed decision from the Honor Council that was upheld through the appeal process.
  • The avenue for a student to complain about the actions of another student; this type of complaint is handled through the Student Conduct Process as outlined in the Student Handbook.
  • the proper avenue for filing a complaint regarding violations of the Relationship Conduct Policy, sexual harassment, or discrimination on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or disability; this type of complaint is addressed through the Relationship Conduct Policy as noted in the Student Handbook.
  • A student’s appeal of a course grade. This action is handled through the grade appeal process described in the King University Academic Catalogue (http://registrar.king.edu) and does not fall under the University‐wide Grievance Procedures.

If a student is uncertain as to whether or not he should file a formal grievance, he/she is encouraged to meet with the Director of Safety and Security, Dean of Students, the Vice President for Student Affairs, or the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officers to consult, ask questions, and seek advice. Meetings of this nature do not initiate the formal grievance process.

Students who wish to file a grievance must begin by submitting a “Student Grievance Form” with an attached letter explaining their grievance. These forms are available online at http://students.king.edu or a paper copy may be obtained from the Student Affairs Office. Completed grievances should be returned to the Office of the Dean of Students; this office will serve as the clearinghouse for any submitted grievances and direct received grievances to the appropriate office/administrator. If a student wishes to file a grievance against the Dean of Students, the grievance should be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Completed grievances should include the “Student Grievance Form” and a separate hand‐written or typed letter explaining the grievance. All grievances should be written as a letter to the appropriate University official and signed by the grieving student. The letter should include the following:

  • Description of situation and any facts crucial to fully understanding the issue;
  • Explanation of previous steps you have already taken to resolve the problem;
  • Names of individuals you believe are responsible and why;
  • Date situation occurred; and
  • Any individuals who witnessed or have knowledge of the incident/event/issue.

All grievances must be filed within eight business days after the incident/event/issue causing the grievance occurred. After filing a grievance, the student will be contacted within ten business days with an initial response; although, often progress will be made sooner than the ten‐day time frame. During the entire grievance process every effort will be made to respect confidentiality.

The appropriate University official will be assigned to investigate the grievance, and communicate with the appropriate students, staff, or faculty to address the problem, as is warranted. Resolution of the grievance will occur once the final response or outcome is determined. The student filing the grievance will be notified of the action or non‐action that will be taken in response to the grievance.

The above mentioned procedures are for the allowance of student grievances when a student feels he or she is personally afflicted by significant and/or pervasive treatment and seeks fair resolution. Complaints about University policies, simply in their nature or definition, are not to be addressed through this process. Rather, students should initiate contact with the Dean of Students.

Students who file a grievance will not be subject to adverse actions by any school official as a result of initiating a complaint. Please note the attached policy and form:

Additional information is also available in the King University Student Handbook.


Complaint Procedure for Students Enrolled at Tennessee Instructional Locations

Should the institution not be able to resolve the student complaint, the student has the right to contact the state of Tennessee and its appropriate agency to determine the course of action.  Complaints can be filed with the following agencies in Tennessee:

  • 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 Boards of Health, State Board of Education, and so on) within the Tennessee State Government and shall be reviewed and handled by that licensing board (http://www.tn.gov, and then search for the appropriate division);
  • For students attending programs in Tennessee, 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/). For out-of-state students using distance learning programs, complaints related to consumer protection laws shall be filed using the Tennessee NC-SARA Portal form: http://tn.gov/assets/entities/thec/attachments/ComplaintForm.pdf

Complaint Procedure for Students Enrolled at Out-of-State Instructional Locations

Virginia
Students enrolled in academic programs in Virginia should follow the student complaint procedures outlined in the King Student Handbook. Students who follow King grievance policies without resolution of their concern may, as a last resort, contact a staff member of the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) to file a complaint about the school.

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
101 N. 14th St. 10th FL
James Monroe Building
Richmond, VA 23219
Tel: 804.225.2600


Complaint Procedure for Students Enrolled in Distance Education Programs

For out-of-state students using distance learning programs, complaints related to consumer protection laws shall be filed using the Tennessee NC-SARA Portal form: http://tn.gov/assets/entities/thec/attachments/ComplaintForm.pdf


Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Complaints regarding accreditation standards, policies, and procedures can also be made by contacting the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia  30033-4097, telephone: 404.679.4500.  The Commission’s complaint policy, procedure, and the complaint form may be found on their website,  http://www.sacscoc.org/pdf/081705/complaintpolicy.pdf