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Student Complaints

Anglo-American University designates the Office of the Dean of Students as responsible for receiving, investigating and potentially resolving student complaints. When related to academic grade disputes, academic integrity issues, non-academic misconduct, financial need, disability, affirmative action, or sexual violence, harassment and discrimination, complaints will be referred to the appropriate office per Anglo-American University policies and procedures. No retaliation of any kind shall be taken against a student who articulates a complaint.

Scope: These guidelines apply to all University students regardless of school, or college, status, classification, or type.


Student: An individual student, a group of students, or student governments.

Complaint: A claim by a student alleging improper, unfair or arbitrary treatment. A complaint may address issues of institutional or program quality such as AAU’s compliance with the standards of the WASC Senior College and University Commission or other pertinent accrediting bodies.

Concerns or complaints about academic procedures or personnel must be filed with the appropriate unit:

  • School of Business Administration
  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • School of International Relations and Diplomacy
  • School of Journalism, Media and Visual Arts
  • John H. Carey II School of Law

Concerns or complaints about non-academic procedures or personnel must be filed with the appropriate unit:

  • Admissions Office
  • Career Development Center
  • Disability Support Services
  • Facilities/Operations
  • Finance
  • Housing and Residential Life
  • Information Technology
  • Library
  • Psychological Counseling
  • Student Life

If it is unclear as to where to direct a concern or complaint, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students.

Exclusions to these guidelines include complaints regarding academic grade disputes, academic integrity, non-academic misconduct, disability, affirmative action, sexual violence, harassment and discrimination. Such exclusions have specific policies and procedures that can be accessed in the following.

Academic grade disputes or academic integrity charges/appeals: are governed by the Academic Codex

Harassment, Discrimination and Grievances: The University condemns harassment and discrimination and maintains a “zero-tolerance” for harassment and/or discrimination. Students, faculty, and staff have the right to work and learn free of harassment and discrimination. The University will take all reasonable efforts to prevent and promptly correct instances of harassment or discrimination. Additionally, students, faculty and staff have the right to a structured process for resolving problems, complaints or grievances relating to the execution of institutional policies. For more information please see the Policy on Relationships, Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, and Harassment.

Procedures: Resolution of formal student complaints, other than the above referenced exclusions shall follow the process set forth below. The Office of the Dean of Students serves as the coordinating unit for this function.

Student complaint exists.

A student with a complaint that a policy or procedure has been incorrectly or unfairly applied, or a complaint against a person’s behavior, has recourse through this process. In most cases, complaints can be resolved informally.

Stage 1: Informal Resolution

Many complaints can be resolved through an informal process beginning with talking with the individual and his/her supervisor if necessary. Basic steps in the informal process include:

  •  Begin by discussing the matter with the staff, faculty, or department personnel in which the issue originated.
  •  If the issue is not resolved, the next contact will be the supervisor, department chair, or associate/assistant dean to investigate the issue and allegations.
  •  If you do not know where to begin an informal resolution, the Dean of Students will help you identify the appropriate office or individual.

Stage 2: Formal Complaint

If unresolved after following the appropriate informal complaint procedures, the student may choose to have the complaint “officially documented.” The student completes the Student Complaint Form.

The complaint must contain the following information:

  • Complainant’s name, AAU student I.D. number, mailing address, email address and telephone number.
  • A detailed description of the specific actions that constituted the complaint and the names and titles of those presumed to be responsible or at fault. It is necessary to demonstrate that one has already attempted to resolve the concern through the informal procedures.
  • The date(s) of the alleged improper activities or the condition developed. 
  • A list of witnesses, if any, including their contact information and the facts known by each.
  • Documentation that supports the complaint. 
  • Dated complaint form.

Typically all communications between the Complainant and the Office of the Dean of Students will be directed to the student’s official AAU email account.

Stage 3: Formal Complaint Resolution Process

Upon submission, the Dean of Students will investigate the complaint. Complaints may be referred to the appropriate School or business unit for investigation and proposed resolution. Where a complaint is referred to a School or business unit, the Office of the Dean of Students retains the right to approve any proposed resolution. The administrator will acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the complainant within 7 working days. Normally, complaints will be investigated and resolved within 30 working days. The Office of the Dean of Students will advise the complainant if that timeline will not be met. Once resolved, the student may appeal the resolution to the Vice President of Student Affairs.

Stage 4: Appeal

Appeals to the Vice President of Student Affairs must be received within 5 working days following communication to the Complainant of the resolution. The Vice President of Student Affairs may request additional information from the complainant and any involved college/school/division. The Vice President of Student Affairs will issue a written determination of the appeal which shall be provided to the complainant and the affected School or business unit or other individual. The Vice President of Student Affairs’ determination shall be final.

Resolution Options Outside of the University:

The University encourages any member of the University community who feels he or she has been subjected to harassment or discrimination to use the complaint procedure outlined in the Policy on Relationships, Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, and Harassment.

Additionally, individuals may file a civil lawsuit against the offending party.

Administration & Interpretation:

Tracking of student complaints will be used to generate an annual report from the Office of the Dean of Students. The report will identify any areas of quality improvement and make appropriate recommendations to improve the overall student experience. Such improvement efforts and outcomes will be monitored and documented.