Students are encouraged to begin resolving a complaint or appeal at the level at which the complaint or appeal originated. In many situations, informal discussions produce a mutually acceptable solution. When such solutions are not forthcoming in a timely manner, students should follow TWU’s Academic/Administrative Complaints and Appeals policy [PDF] (Policy 1.18).
To initiate a written complaint, students should complete the TWU Academic/Administrative Complaint and Appeal Form [Word]. All initial complaints or appeals (Level 1) should be made in writing no later than ten class days after the date of the decision or action that is the subject of the appeal, unless otherwise stipulated in state or federal law. The ten days for appeals at each level do not include weekends, holidays, or days between academic sessions. Addendums that concisely document the complaint are permissible. It is recommended that completed documents and attachments be scanned and emailed from the student’s TWU email address to the appropriate office.
To select the appropriate office to initiate the process, consult the Procedures for Academic/Administrative Complaints and Appeals of TWU Decisions document [Word]. The faculty member or administrator receiving the complaint will respond within ten class days, not including weekends, holidays, or days between academic sessions. In some situations, review and decision may require a longer period of time. It is expected that the faculty member or administrator will communicate with the student regarding any need for additional time.
If the reply resolves the complaint to the satisfaction of the student, the process is completed. It is recommended that the student document acceptance of the decision by completing and returning the complaint form.
If the reply does not resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the student, the student may appeal the decision. The next level in the sequence of offices for each type of complaint is outlined in the procedures. Appeals at each level must be made in writing no later than ten class days after the date of the decision at the previous level unless otherwise stipulated in state or federal law. The faculty member or administrator receiving the appeal will respond within ten class days.
Each administrative/academic office should maintain a copy of their response to the complaint or appeal for their records. An accrediting body may request to review any complaint and associated resolution.
After exhausting internal university procedures, students may also file complaints with the following external entities:
- Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools [PDF]
- Out-of-State Complaint Contacts (Distance education students only.)
Distance Education Students
The United States Department of Education (USDOE) requires that institutions comply with any applicable state approval or licensure requirements in each state in which distance education instruction is delivered. Students have the right to file a complaint against institutions when these requirements are not followed or when students suffer the loss of tuition and fees as a result of unfair business practices. TWU is required to provide both current and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting body and the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in a student’s resident state.
If the student filing the complaint is located in another National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) state, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) will notify that state about the complaint. If the student is located in another state that is not a member of NC-SARA, the THECB will not notify that state about the complaint. Find out if your home state is a member of NC-SARA. If the student is a non-Texas resident and from a non-NC-SARA state, they may continue to pursue a complaint with the following Out-of-State Complaint Contact.
Civil Rights Complaints
For the grievance process associated with discrimination and sexual misconduct, please contact the Office of Civility and Community Standards through Student Life.
Texas Woman's University Accreditation
Texas Woman's University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Texas Woman's University.
page last updated 12/2/2016 1:35 PM