Student Formal Complaints

Student Complaints

Iowa State University is committed to treating all students fairly. University policies that apply to students are in the University Policy Library. Academic policies are included in the University Catalog. There are policies within individual departments that are located on department websites.    

When a student has a problem on campus or feels they have been treated unfairly, the student should first try to resolve the issue with the faculty/staff member or department. Many issues can be resolved if a student makes an appointment with a faculty or staff member and communicates their concerns.

Filing a Formal Complaint

If the student is not happy after working to resolve the complaint, the student may use this website to file a formal complaint with the appropriate Dean or Senior Vice President. Formal complaints made via this website are tagged with the Net-ID used to login. This ensures that the complaint is clearly attributable to the student. 

Complaint Tracking

To meet Federal Regulations, a record of the formal student complaint and its disposition will be maintained in the office handling the complaint. All formal written student complaints received by Deans (including Dean of Students), Senior Vice Presidents, or the President will be tracked. Items to be collected include: date complaint received, student name, student Net-ID, a brief description of complaint, a summary of action taken by the receiving office, resolution/outcome, date review completed, and notations of any changes to university policy, practice, etc. resulting from the complaint.

The Senior Vice President for Student Affairs (SVPSA) office (or its designee) will annually collect information from the other offices and compile an Annual Institutional Summary of Student Complaints. The SVPSA office will also conduct a review of the data to identify any trends/issues that warrant further investigation, revision to existing policies, etc. Information on these issues shall be shared with the appropriate university office(s) for action. The information tracked will be made available to regulatory agencies and accrediting bodies, including the Higher Learning Commission as required in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and policies.

Review and Resolution Process

Once a formal complaint is received by a Dean or Senior Vice President, an attempt will be made to resolve the issue in a timely manner by working with the student and appropriate university employee(s) to assure a fair process. It is important to note that a student might not be satisfied with a complaint that is deemed “resolved.”  Questions related to the student complaint process and resolutions should be directed to the Office of the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs.

If the student is unsatisfied with attempts to resolve the complaint within the University, the student has the option to file a complaint externally with the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the university’s accrediting body the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), or the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (1-877-272-4456).