Procedure 3F.2/11 Student Complaints

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Procedure 3F.2/11 Student Complaints


This procedure outlines the process to report complaints pertaining to improper, unfair or arbitrary treatment by an employee of the college. A complaint may involve issues with employee behavior, communication or other actions. It may also involve claims regarding unfair application of a college policy or procedure or a MinnState board policy or procedure.

This procedure is not intended for reports of sexual assault, harassment and discrimination, transfer appeals or to request an exception to policy. Please visit to find the reporting form.

Grade disputes- Grading decisions supported by published policies or written expectations of faculty are not grieveable.


Appeal: A request for reconsideration of an administrative decision.

Complaint: A written claim concerning a college issue brought by a student alleging improper, unfair or arbitrary treatment in either employee behavior or established policy and procedure.

Employee: A faculty, staff, supervisor, or administrator at the college

Retaliation: Retribution of any kind taken against a student for participating or not participating in a complaint.

Student: An individual who is enrolled at the college.

To Make/Resolve a Complaint
Note: All processes are subject to the time limits as listed within this policy.

Before submitting the complaint form, students should discuss their concern with the employee. The college encourages informal resolution of complaints through the student discussing the complaint with the employee(s) with whom the complaint exists. If the student feels the matter cannot be resolved through informal discussion, a formal written complaint may be filed. Students are strongly encouraged to seek resolution at a college or Minnesota State system level. If that is not possible, a student may contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education or the Higher Learning Commission for more information on their complaint processes. If you reside in another state, you may contact the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA).

Filing a Complaint

Complaints must be submitted in writing on the appropriate complaint form include the following:

  • The Reason for the complaint
  • Factual summary of complaint with supporting documentation
  • Steps taken toward resolution
  • Desired outcome as a result of the complaint

Submitted complaints will be reviewed by the supervisor of the staff or faculty. All decisions regarding the outcome of the complaint will be sent to the student in writing.


An appeal to the initial decision or outcome may be submitted if:

  • There is new information that was not available at the time of the original complaint.
  • The student has reason to believe that the original outcome was made using improper, unfair or arbitrary review OR a procedural error existed in the original review.

Documentation to support either must be included as well as all prior correspondence from the original complaint.

All appeals will be reviewed by the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. All decisions regarding the outcome of the appeal will be sent to the student in writing.

This decision is final and binding.

If the complaint involves a Minnesota State board policy, the actions of a college or university president, or issue of institutional or program quality such as an institution’s compliance with the standards of an accrediting or licensing agency, or a claim of consumer fraud or deceptive trade practice, a student may further appeal the college or university decision to the Chancellor. The decision of the Chancellor is final and binding.

Time Limits - The initial complaint must be presented within 15 business days after the semester in which the incident occurred.

The college will make every attempt to have responses to initial complaints and appeals completed within 15 business days.

By mutual agreement of the student and college personnel, time limits may be extended due to extenuating circumstances approved by the appropriate dean or vice president if a complaint is not presented within the established limits, it shall be considered waived.

If a complaint is not appealed to the next step within the established time limits, it shall be considered settled on the basis of the last decision.

Retaliation Prohibited: No retaliation of any kind shall be taken against a student for participating, or refusing to participate, in a complaint. Retaliation may be subject to action under appropriate student or employee policies.



08.2006 Adopted new procedure

05.2014 Change delegation and clarify procedure.
Changed timeline to submit a complaint from 20 days to 30 days and the timeline to appeal a decision from 10 days to 15 days.
Changed language concerning grade disputes from “stated expectations” to “written expectations.”

11.2016 Added required SARA language to procedure

07.2017 Technical changes, MnSCU to Minnesota State

06.2023 Updates to filing and appeal process



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