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Student Complaint and Resolution Policy

As liberal arts institutions in the Benedictine tradition, CSB/SJU seeks to live the values of an engaged and transformative community, attentive listening, and respect for persons. We encourage students to address any concerns or issues they encounter as soon as possible. This policy provides a procedure to help ensure that the student is heard and a resolution can be identified. Should a complaint arise, the policy asks the parties involved to first use an informal resolution process to attempt to settle the alleged disagreement or violation within the department or office. If the issue cannot be resolved informally or when informal action is not allowed by federal regulations, the formal resolution process as stated in the policy can be initiated.

Student initiate the complaint process when there has been a claimed violation of policy, regulation, or established practice. Complaints fall under two categories: academic and non-academic. This policy does not include complaints regarding College/University employment, student conduct procedures under the Student Handbook, academic progress or grades or admission decisions.

Resolution under this policy may include student reinstatement or other corrective action for the benefit of the student, including refunds, but may not award monetary damages or, unless related to the dispute resolution and grievance procedures, direct disciplinary action against any employee of the College.

This policy does not limit the College’s right to change policies, regulations, or practices related to the provision of academic or non-academic services and education.

A student in the graduate program with the School of Theology can use the process identified in their handbook to initiate a complaint.


Academic Complaints:

Academic complaints include issues brought by students regarding the institutions’ delivery of their education and academic services. Academic complaints in this policy do not include disputes on academic misconduct or grade appeals. However, if these policies and/or procedures are believed to be violated, a student may choose to follow this complaint process.

The procedures for these student complaints are located at the appropriate links:

Non-Academic Complaints:

Non-academic complaints include those issues brought by students regarding the institutions’ delivery of non-academic services. This policy does not include disputes related to admissions and financial aid decisions,  residential life issues related to housing assignments and roommate concerns) sexual misconduct, or harassment, bias, and discrimination. The procedure for these complaints is located at the appropriate links:


Informal Resolution for Student Complaints:

The first step of any resolution should occur between the student and the appropriate parties within the department, office, or site involved in the complaint.  A third party (e.g., other faculty, the department chair, staff member, hall director, etc.) may be appropriate when holding these conversations. The policy encourages this process to be done as soon as possible.

Students completing online course work are urged to speak by phone or e-mail or other electronic messaging portals with the relevant supportive offices or they can follow the steps above.  Students attending the college as distance education students, regardless of their state of residence, should contact the State Portal Agent at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education if their complaint is not resolved informally with their professor or through the CSB/SJU complaint processes.

If no informal resolution is reached within the office, department, or site involved in the complaint, a student may seek informal resolution by talking with staff in Academic Affairs (if an Academic Complaint) or Student Development (if a non-Academic complaint).

Formal Resolution for Student Complaints:

If the complaint is not resolved following informal procedures, a student may choose to officially document the complaint to see formal resolution. Students may file both academic and non-academic complaints through this process as defined by this policy.

  1. Students must submit, using the online format, an explanation of the complaint including 1) a full description of the concern, 2) a description of the informal procedure or previous steps to attempt resolution, and 3) a statement of requested resolution. Students will be asked to provide their contact information for further discussion. Copies of relevant evidence or material should be included.
  2. Students can select where the complaint is to be directed:
    If an Academic Complaint, the student should send the form to one of the following:
     If it is an academic issue that involves his/her work as a student, the concern will be directed to the Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Advising
     -If it is an academic issue that concerns a faculty member or staff, the concern will be directed to the Dean of Faculty.
     -If it is an academic issue that concerns distance learning, the concern will be directed to the Academic Dean.
     -The Provost will be made aware of any Formal Academic complaint.
    If a non-Academic complaint, the form will be sent to the Dean of Students at CSB or SJU depending on the student’s enrollment status.
    If the concern reaches more than one area, a student can select “multiple issues” and that concern will be directed to the appropriate person or persons.
  3. The appropriate officer receiving the complaint will complete or designate someone to complete an investigation of the matter. It is the responsibility of the investigator to inform all parties involved of the formal complaint. Please note, any personal/medical information will remain confidential. The investigator may request a consultation with the parties involved or external parties to collect relevant information. All parties will have the opportunity to provide the investigator with information or evidence relevant to the complaint.
  4. Upon completion of the investigation, a resolution will be decided by the appropriate officer. Decisions made by the institutional officers are final and may not be appealed. This policy allows no retaliation. The investigator should be notified immediately should retaliation occur. If retaliation is implied or occurs, the institutions will take appropriate action, up to and including termination of employment if an employee is found to have retaliated. Students will be held accountable for retaliation through the Student Handbook and related disciplinary procedures.

Institutional Records and Management of Student Complaints:

Upon resolution, the investigator completes a report to be stored electronically with the initial formal submission, additional evidence, and details on the final decision regarding the complaint. Meetings once per semester between Student Development  and Academic Affairs senior leadership will discuss formal complaints and resolutions to identify any necessary changes to institutional policies and/or actions. Additional meetings may occur as needed.

The tracking system for academic complaints will be maintained in the Provost’s Office; the tracking system for non-academic complaints will be maintained by respective Student Development offices at CSB/SJU. All information submitted and collected as part of the formal process will be saved.

For emergencies on campus:
Dial 911

CSB Department of Security

SJU Life Safety Services

Where should your complaint be directed? If the concern reaches more than one area, a student can select "multiple issues" and that concern will be directed to the appropriate person or persons. (The Provost will be made aware of any formal academic complaint)