Troy University
SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation
4.5 The institution has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and is responsible for demonstrating that it follows those procedures when resolving student complaints. (See also Commission policy Complaints Procedures for the Commission or its Accredited Institutions.) (Student complaints)
 
X Compliance   Partial Compliance   Non-Compliance

Narrative:  

Troy University is in compliance with this Federal Requirement. Troy University has clearly stated and widely disseminated policies and procedures informing students how and where to report formal complaints/grievances. Complaints/grievances fall into three basic categories and are reported and handled according to the category. These categories are academic, non-academic and harassment incidents.

Academic complaints/grievances are reported through the appropriate academic leadership for resolution beginning with the faculty members, then department chairs, and associate deans/deans as appropriate. Information regarding the policies and procedures for students who wish to purse academic complaints and grievances are detailed in the Undergraduate Catalog and the Graduate Catalog. The Student Handbook (Oracle) refers students who wish to purse academic complaints and grievances to follow the prescribed policies and procedures outlined in the catalogs.

The most common student academic complaints are related to grades and readmission questions. The appeal process is located on page 17 of the 2008-09 Undergraduate Catalog and page 15 of the 2008-09 Graduate Catalog and is provided below. The grade appeal policy for Troy University is the same for both undergraduate and graduate students. The same process is followed for all academic related complaints and appeals:

Grade Appeals

Faculty members have the authority to grade student work and to assign grades; these are academic judgments. A faculty member’s syllabus enumerates student academic performance expectations and consequences. Faculty members render academic judgments when a student’s academic performance violates established standards or fails to meet stated expectations. Academic judgments, made by faculty, are based on academic content, course requirements, and student performance. Students may not appeal grades based on allegations concerning the competence of a faculty member, the fairness of examinations, the difficulty of a course, or other matters of a purely academic nature. Grades for individual assignments and exams may not be appealed. While it s recognized that faculty hold the right and responsibility to grant a grade, a student who receives a course grade that he or she believes to be unwarranted for reasons other than those listed above may appeal that grade using these stated procedures.

Step 1. Within the first four weeks of the start of the following term or semester in which the grade is received, the student shall have informally appealed the grade to the instructor. If that instructor is not teaching at Troy University during the term following issuance of the grade, the student will make contact with the instructor through the department chair to informally appeal the grade. In the case of a course taught through Global Campus or Campus, students should contact their home campus to determine the person designated by the appropriate college dean to assist the students with their appeals.

Step 2. If the issue is not resolved at this informal level and the student wishes to pursue the appeal, the student shall request in writing a meeting with the respective department chair. This request shall be addressed to the department chair and shall be received no later than the end of the fifth week of instruction for the term or semester following issuance of the grade. The request must summarize the student’s complaint and the student’s informal appeal to the instructor. In the case of a course taught through Global Campus or eCampus, students should contact their home campus to determine the person designated by the appropriate college dean to assist the students with their appeals.

Step 3. Within two weeks of receipt of the request, the department chair shall discuss the appeal with the student and with the instructor, separately or at the same time. If the department chair upholds the decision, the matter is closed. The decision is final.

Step 4. If the department chair does not support the decision of the instructor, the matter shall be appealed within two weeks of the department chair’s decision to the designated associate dean or dean of the college. The department chair will forward the appeal package to the designated associate dean or dean. The designated associate dean or dean will empanel three full-time faculty colleagues from the department and/or discipline to review the matter. The decision of this panel shall be final and binding on all parties.

Note: Students may not use this procedure to appeal grades resulting from violations of academic honesty. Students should refer to the Oracle, the University’s official student handbook for these appeals.
(Source: 2008-09 Undergraduate Catalog)

Non-academic complaints/grievances are submitted to the Dean of Student Services for addressing appropriate action/resolution. This policy/procedure is identified in the Student Handbook (Oracle), pages 21-22.

Harassment complaints/grievances are reported in accordance with the procedures stated in the following publications:

The University follows these policies regarding student complaints and takes the review and disposition of these complaints seriously. The Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Administration as well as the Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business Affairs (and designees for both senior vice chancellors) regularly review the policy and procedures for non-academic and harassment complaints. The Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost and his designees regularly review the policy and procedure for academic complaints through his associate provosts (Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Dean of Graduate Studies) and college deans to ensure that these policies and procedures are in place for each University student.

Samples of academic and non-academic student complaints are provided, and additional samples may be reviewed in the office of the Troy Campus Dean of Student Services and the Associate Provosts’ Office, also located on the Troy Campus. Samples of harassment complaints and the University’s adherence to its policy regarding these kinds of complaints will be made available upon request from the Office of Human Resources. Additional examples of the University’s adherence to its policy for reviewing academic complaints can be provided by the Associate Provosts and deans of the academic colleges upon request.

In summary, Troy University is in compliance with this Federal Requirement.

 

Supporting Documentation Location
ePolicy Manual http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/epolicy/
Faculty Handbook, 2008 Edition http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/Faculty-Handbook-2008-Edition.pdf
Graduate Catalog, 2008-2009 http://www.troy.edu/catalogs/0809grad_pdf/
Samples of Academic and Non-Academic Student Complaints http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/04-05/
Staff Handbook http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/TroyUniversityStaffHandbook.pdf
Student Handbook (Oracle), 2006-2007 Edition http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/Oracle-Student-Handbook.pdf
Undergraduate Catalog, 2008-2009 http://www.troy.edu/catalogs/0809undergrad_pdf/

 

Last Updated: 09/08/2008