Official Written Student Complaints
University Policy Number 3016
Related Law & Policy: N/A
This policy applies to all students of George Mason University. Information regarding the filing of complaints by prospective students, the provision of which is federally mandated, is also provided herein.
II. POLICY STATEMENT
Students who wish to file an official written complaint must do so by following appropriate procedures as outlined in the “Additional Information and Procedures for Policy 3016” document. Complaints not filed pursuant to the procedures outlined in this policy shall not be designated as official written student complaints. Nothing in this policy shall prohibit students from seeking informal resolution of a grievance or complaint by contacting directly one or more appropriate units within the University.
An ‘official written student complaint’ is:
- a complaint filed by a student that is described and covered under University Policies 1201, 1202, or 1203;
- a written academic complaint concerning an academic matter, or any appeal of an academic action, filed by a student pursuant to university, college/school, or departmental procedures; or
- any other formal, written complaint from a student that is submitted through the Student Complaints System, which is accessible via https://complaints.gmu.edu.
For purposes of this policy, Mason defines “student” as an individual who has gained admission to the University and is currently enrolled in at least one course or who maintains an active student status within the University’s Student Information System.
Students shall use procedures identified by the University for filing any complaint that they wish to be considered a formal written complaint. Students seeking resolution but not wishing to file a formal written complaint shall contact directly the unit(s) associated with the specific issue. Prospective or current students wishing to file a complaint with Mason’s state portal entity or accrediting agency should consult the information provided in the “Additional Information and Procedures for Policy 3016” document.
All official written student complaints shall be maintained in the appropriate office (as described below), including records of how the complaints were addressed and how they were resolved.
The Vice President for Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics shall ensure that their organization maintains a complete and accurate log of all official written student complaints filed pursuant to University Policies 1201, 1202, and 1203. Logs shall be provided to the Office of the Provost upon request.
The Office of the Provost shall ensure that all appropriate academic and other organizational units have identified points of contact and that these units have published procedures for receiving, addressing, and resolving complaints referred to them.
Deans shall ensure that their colleges/schools maintain a complete and accurate log of all official written academic complaints as defined in this policy. Logs shall be provided to the Office of the Provost upon request.
Senior leaders shall identify the point of contact for receipt of complaints through the Student Complaints System. They shall also report the identity of that individual, and any changes to such assignments of duty, to the Office of the Provost in a timely manner.
Senior leaders of all organizational units at the university (including the President, Provost, Senior Vice President, and college/school deans) shall ensure that their organizations:
- publish and maintain policies and procedures for resolving student complaints that are routed to them via the Student Complaints System; and
- submit, through procedures established by the University, information regarding the resolution of complaints routed to them via the Student Complaints System
With the exception of student complaints which fall under an employee’s mandatory reporting obligations (e.g., reports of sexual misconduct under University Policy 1202), University employees who receive student complaints through means other than those established for filing an official written student complaint shall not be required to re-route or treat such complaints as official written student complaints.
The Office of the Provost shall maintain this policy and shall ensure that appropriate monitoring and logging of cases within the case management system is completed by the appropriate and responsible parties. The Office of the Provost shall also facilitate annual reviews of the student complaints system contact list and of the information published in student complaints website.
Individuals serving as complaint system contacts who receive a complaint about personnel issues shall ensure that the supervisor of the employee who is the subject of the complaint is involved in the resolution. If a complaint system contact receives a complaint about themselves, they must immediately forward the complaint to their supervisor and the other system contact for their unit and subsequently recuse themselves from any further involvement in the complaint.
The President, Provost and Executive Vice President, and Senior Vice President shall ensure compliance with this policy.
A. Effective Date: August 1, 2021
This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Provost and Executive Vice President and the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration.
B. Date of Most Recent Review:
VII. TIMETABLE FOR REVIEW
This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed following changes to federal regulations or SACSCOC requirements.
Carol D. Kissal
Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance
Mark R. Ginsberg
Provost and Executive Vice President
Date approved: June 29, 2021