Tennessee Tech developed a complaint process to ensure the concerns of students or prospective students are resolved fairly and promptly.
Whenever possible, students are encouraged to seek an informal resolution of the matter. However, if an informal approach is neither successful nor advisable, students may file a formal written complaint.
Complaints or concerns regarding the following specific issues must be filed in accordance with the procedures set forth in the applicable Tennessee Tech policies:
- Undergraduate Academic Fresh Start, Tennessee Tech Policy 1205
- Graduate Academic Fresh Start, Tennessee Tech Policy 275
- Grade Appeals Policy, Tennessee Tech Policy 218
- Traffic, Parking, and Safety Enforcement, Tennessee Tech Policy 415
- Student Conduct, Tennessee Tech Policy 302
- Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment, Tennessee Tech Policy 141
Process for Filing Title VI Complaints, Tennessee Tech Policy 142
- Sexual Misconduct, Tennessee Tech Policy 143
Complaints not covered by one of the policies set forth above may be filed in accordance with Tennessee Tech Policy 301, Student Complaint.
Please note the complaint must be filed within ten (10) business days of the event giving rise to the complaint, absent extraordinary circumstances.
How to File a Complaint
To file a complaint, a student should complete the online Student Complaint Form.
At a minimum, the complaint should contain:
- The student's name and official Tennessee Tech email address
- The date of the alleged action or occurrence
- A summary of the grievance or objection
- A list of other persons who may provide information
- Any supporting documentation
- The resolution or outcome sought
Students may file an anonymous complaint by typing the word "Anonymous" in the identification section of the student complaint form. However, students should be aware that anonymous complaints are often more difficult to resolve.
Complaint Resolution Process
- Within five (5) business days of receiving the complaint, absent good cause, the student will meet with a staff member from the Executive Director for Student Affairs Office.
- The student must submit all relevant documentation within ten (10) business days of the date the student files the complaint.
- The staff member will notify appropriate persons and request any information or further documentation needed to resolve the complaint.
- The staff member may attempt to resolve the complaint by encouraging discussion between the student(s) and other students or third party members of the university community or by taking the appropriate action to resolve the complaint.
- A review of the complaint with the supervisor(s) or others in the line of supervision of third parties, if applicable, may be used when deemed appropriate and beneficial to the process.
- Absent good cause, the staff member assigned to the complaint will file a final written resolution or a finding of "unresolved" in the Executive Director for Student Affairs office within fifteen (15) business days of the date the student submits the relevant documentation. If there are circumstances requiring an extension of this deadline, the staff member assigned to the complaint will notify the parties involved.
- If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint, the student may appeal the outcome within five (5) business days of receiving the final written resolution or finding of "unresolved." The student must file with the Executive Director for Student Affairs a Written Request for an appeal committee review.
- The appeal committee will consist of five representatives who will serve a one-year term. These representatives will comprise: two student members appointed by the SGA president; one member appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs; one member appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs; one member appointed by the Vice President for Planning and Finance.
- Absent good cause, the appeal committee will issue a final written decision within twenty (20) business days of the date the student submits the appeal. If there are circumstances requiring an extension of this deadline, the chair of the committee will notify the parties involved. The committee's decision will be final.
Complaints Concerning Accreditation or Fraud
Students or prospective students who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation or violations of state law unresolved by Tennessee Tech may submit a complaint to the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Division of Consumer Protection. https://www.tn.gov/commerce/consumer-affairs.html.
In addition, unresolved complaints regarding accreditation may be made to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, telephone: 404-679-4500.
Unresolved complaints regarding fraud, waste or abuse may be made by contacting the Tennessee Comptroller of Treasury or by calling the Tennessee Comptroller's Hotline for Fraud, Waste and Abuse at 1-800-232-5454.
Complaint Resolution Policies and Procedures for Non-Tennessee Resident Students in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement States, commonly known as SARA
Student complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), must first be filed with the institution to seek resolution.
Complainants not satisfied with the outcome of the Institution's internal process may appeal, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization/request-for-complaint-review.html).
For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards (http://www.nc-sara.org/content/sara-manual) have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA.
For a list of SARA member States, please visit the NC-SARA website (http://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions). Students residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective State of residence for further instruction for filing a complaint.