Student Complaint Procedure
Concordia University takes seriously student concerns and complaints regarding the conduct of students, faculty and staff.
ISSUES INVOLVING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ARE NOT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF NOR COVERED BY THIS PROCEDURE. If this is a Concern or Complaint involving sexual misconduct (harassment, assault, stalking or similar conduct) it should be immediately directed to the University Title IX Coordinator at: 402-643-7192. The university’s Policy Against Sexual Misconduct and information on how to file a complaint concerning sexual misconduct can be found here.
ISSUES OF A LEGAL NATURE should be addressed with The Office of the General Counsel at (402) 643-7487 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following procedures provide guidance for resolving conflict between individuals relating to both academic and non-academic issues. Concordia University believes that all students should be treated with respect and dignity and should receive the best quality of services possible. Additionally, as Christians, we strive to respond to conflict biblically through use of Matthew 18 by encouraging both parties to listen to each other, think about the concerns expressed, and be open to resolving the issue.
Some concerns should be handled through formal appeal processes described in Section 4 below titled Appeals Not Related to the Student Complaint Procedure. These include Student Grade Appeals, Student Conduct Board Decisions, Student Status Appeals (probation and dismissals), Satisfactory Progress Status (financial aid), and Program Admission and Status.
Concordia University takes student concerns seriously. A "Concern" is defined as an initial unresolved question regarding some circumstance experienced by a student at the university. If you have a Concern, the first step toward a resolution is to work individually with the faculty or staff member most directly related to that issue. Many problems are easily solved this way.
In cases where it is not possible or appropriate to work directly with that person, or if the student is unable to reach a resolution, you may also address academic concerns with department chairs and program directors, or non-academic concerns with the supervisor of the university area where the issue is occurring. Undergraduate students should contact the Student Affairs Office for assistance in determining the appropriate supervisor. Students in graduate courses should contact their Student Service Representative.
If the issue remains unresolved after you have met with the individual and/or supervisor, you may submit a formal Complaint. A "Complaint" is defined as a written expression of dissatisfaction concerning a university employee, department, service, process, or administrative action that requires investigation and/or resolution. You must submit a signed complaint form with specific dates, names and facts to the persons listed below. Only Complaints that are submitted in writing will be managed by this procedure and recorded and archived by the university. All such Complaints will be treated in a confidential manner to the extent feasible while permitting Concordia University to thoroughly investigate the Complaint, involve appropriate supervisors when necessary, and take appropriate action.
Complaint forms should be submitted to:
- Undergraduate complaints should be submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics at (402) 643-7373 or gene.brooks.@cune.edu
- Graduate complaints should be submitted to your Student Services Representative. These contacts will provide guidance on the process for addressing your particular issue and will route your complaint to the appropriate following administrator:
- Course issues, academic dishonesty, program requirements, or admission to or dismissal from specific academic programs: Dean of the relevant college
- Student academic records: Registrar
- Academic services and resources, student disability accommodations or discrimination: Director of Student Academic Services
- Financial matters: Director of Student Financial Services and Student Success Center
- Parking Tickets, student life, treatment by another student, athletics, or FERPA: Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics
If your Complaint is not satisfactorily resolved through the formal complaint process listed above, you may make an appeal for a review of the decision to the designated administrative officer listed below based on the subject of the complaint. That administrative officer may convene an appellate board to review the decision depending on its subject matter and the related university policies.
All appeals must be submitted in writing and addressed to the designated administrative officer within five (5) business days after you have been notified of the decision. Your written appeal should state the basis on which the appeal is being made and should contain specific information and supporting documentation.
The following lines of appeal have been designed to assure students that they have been dealt with in a Christian manner that is in keeping with the purpose and the policies of Concordia University.
Appeals of Complaint Decisions
Appeals of Complaint Decisions should be made to the following administrators:
- Course issues, academic dishonesty, program requirements, or admission to or dismissal from specific academic programs: University Provost
- Student academic records: University Provost
- Academic services and resources: University Provost
- Student disability accommodations or discrimination: 504 Compliance Officer
- Financial matters: Executive Vice President CFO/COO
- Parking Tickets, student life, treatment by another student, athletics, or FERPA: Executive Vice President CFO/COO
The decisions of all appeals described above may be appealed to the University President.
Appeals Not Related to the Student Complaint Procedure
Several types of appeals may be submitted for issues that fall outside the Student Complaint Procedure. These include the following:
Student Grade Appeals
Any request for changes in a course grade after the grade has been recorded needs to proceed according to undergraduate faculty policy APH-2.381 or graduate faculty policy G-APH 2.400. Contact the undergraduate department chair or graduate program director for more details.
Student Conduct Board Decisions
Student appeals of conduct board decisions or sanctions should be submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics, who will form a Student Appellate Board. This procedure is described in the Undergraduate Student Handbook Code of Conduct and the Adult Learner Handbook Conduct Code.
Student Status Appeals
Appeals regarding academic dismissals and probations must be made to the University Provost.
Satisfactory Progress Status
Students who are ineligible for aid because they did not make satisfactory progress may request in writing within 15 days of notification a review of their situation. Appeals will be reviewed by the Director of Student Financial Services and the student will be notified of the final determination (APH 2.121).
Program Admission and Status
Students who wish to appeal departmental decisions regarding their admission or status in specific programs will follow procedures according to relevant academic policy, including Music (APH 4.160), Pre-Seminary (APH 4.180), Teacher Education (Education Handbook 4.140), DCE Internship Approval and Termination (Education Handbook 4.171 and 4.172). Appeals of decisions regarding the Lutheran Teachers Diploma, DCE Certificate, Director of Parish Music Certificate, Colloquy Certification, and Placement of Synodical Candidates are governed by Education Handbook 4.200. Appeals of decisions by the Education Intervention Board follow procedures described by Education Handbook Appendix C. Decisions related to initial admission to the institution may not be appealed.
It is expected that students will fully utilize any/all of Concordia University's administrative procedures to address concerns and/or complaints in as timely a manner as possible. On occasion, however, a student may believe that these administrative procedures have not adequately addressed complaints. If the complaint is still not satisfactorily addressed, students have the right to file a complaint with:
- The Higher Learning Commission ("HLC") of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools is an independent body responsible for the accreditation of programs offered by Concordia University. Accredited institutions are required to submit progress reports, monitoring reports, contingency reports, and annual reports, as well as to participate in focus visits. When a complaint raises issues regarding an institution’s ability to meet accreditation criteria, HLC will forward a copy of the complaint to the institution and request a formal response. Complaints may be filed with Higher Learning Commission online.
- If you believe that your Complaint continues to warrant further consideration after exhausting the review of either the administrators at Concordia University or HLC, you may contact the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. The commission may be contacted at PO Box 95005 Lincoln, NE 68509-5005 or by phone at (402)-471-2847
- The Office of the Attorney General for the State of Nebraska is authorized to investigate and prosecute violations of state consumer laws, including laws relating to deceptive advertising, credit, charitable solicitations, telecommunications, telemarketing and sales. The Attorney General’s Office cooperates with other states, the Federal Trade Commission and other federal agencies in addressing national consumer protection issues. Complaints may be filed with the Attorney General for the State of Nebraska:
Nebraska Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division
2115 State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Consumer protection hotline: 800-727-6432
Nothing in this disclosure should be construed to limit any right that you may have to take civil or criminal legal action to resolve your complaints. Concordia University has provided this disclosure in compliance with the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, as regulated in CFR 34, sections 600.9 (b) (3) and 668.43(b). If anything in this disclosure is out of date, please notify the Office of the General Counsel at Concordia University, 800 N. Columbia Ave., Seward, NE 68434.