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Policy 3110
Recording Student Complaints

Date of Current Revision: August 2012
Responsible Officer: Senior Vice President for Student Affairs & University Planning


This policy is designed to provide a standard for recording and collecting student complaints across all divisions of the university.


The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.


This policy has been developed in accordance with guidelines from JMU's regional accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), regarding student complaints filed against the university.


This policy relates to student complaints made to the university that are not covered by other university procedures for filing complaints, but which concern the student's role as a student.


A written, signed complaint filed under this policy. Written complaints include emails sent from a university account which includes the sender's name and contact information.

Complaint Log
A written record of collected student complaints maintained within the appropriate office. The log must contain the following elements: Date of complaint, name of complainant, description of the complaint and response.

Student Complaint
A written complaint submitted by a student under this policy. Written complaints include emails sent from a university account which includes the sender's name and contact information.

A currently enrolled student at the university, including part-time, full-time, for credit, not for credit, undergraduate, graduate, or continuing education.


Any student may initiate a complaint alleging violation of existing policies or established practices as applied to the student concerning his or her role as a student. However, if a student's complaint is addressable by other procedures described in university policies or procedures, those must be followed.

Each division of the university is responsible for accepting written student complaints.

All divisions accepting complaints under this policy must maintain a complaint log of all written student complaints. The complaint log must be compiled in a format that can be provided to the appropriate division head upon request. See the attached Student Complaint Log Form for an example.


Complaints shall be filed within six months of the most recent alleged violation, or they will be dismissed as untimely. Anonymous complaints and complaints filed on behalf of another person will be dismissed. Complaints that are appropriately handled by a different procedure on campus will be returned to the student with a referral to the appropriate office or procedure.

Each division will determine the level (e.g., by office, by department, by academic unit) at which student complaints are collected and logged.

Each division shall establish a procedure to resolve complaints by students concerning their roles as students, and shall post such procedures so that students may access them.

Upon request by the division head, the logs will be provided by the offices accepting student complaints.

All complaint logs should be maintained for a minimum of five years.


Each division is responsible for developing and maintaining its own process for collecting and logging student complaints.

Division heads are responsible for ensuring that their respective divisions have a student complaint procedure which includes a log of written student complaints.


Persons who do not comply with this policy are subject to discipline, up to and including termination.


Students complaining about actions concerning matters unrelated to their roles as students may complain directly to the appropriate office, but there is no requirement that any such office keep track of student complaints as opposed to complaints from any other parties.

Students complaining about actions covered under other policies and procedures (e.g., grade appeals, discrimination, harassment, judicial code violations, honor violations, etc.) are required to use those procedures.


While the authority to interpret this policy is granted to the president, it is generally delegated to Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and University Planning.

Original Version: August 2012
Approved by the President: August 2012

Student Complaint Log

Index of Terms
Student Complaint
Complaint Log