Student Complaint Resolution Process

Submitting a Complaint

A student may file a complaint by submitting a written statement (via email or printed) to the Dean of Students

  1. Complaints must be filed within one academic year of the alleged incident. Students interested in submitting a complaint after one academic year should request an exception from the Dean of Students. 

Review Process

  1. Within 10 business days of receiving a complaint, the Dean of Students or designee will review the written statement and meet with the student. The Dean of Students or designee may advise the student on additional information that is needed for review. 
    • The Dean of Students or designee will advise on the burden of proof, which requires the student submitting a complaint to establish proof of their claim by a preponderance of the evidence, or a “more likely than not” standard.
  2. Within 10 business days of the initial review meeting, the Dean of Students or designee will provide a written summary of the initial review meeting and next steps to the student.

Findings & Resolution

  1. Upon completion of the initial review meeting, the Dean of Students or designee will review the complaint and documentation and determine the appropriate response and resolution. Findings may include:  
    • The complaint would be more appropriately processed by another institutional body. The Dean of Students or designee will refer the complaint to the appropriate entity. Information will be provided to the student regarding the referral and any additional complaint processes required.
    • Additional information is requested in order to render a decision on the complaint.
    • There is not sufficient evidence to support the claims specified in the student’s grievance or complaint. Rationale will be provided.

If there is sufficient evidence to support the students’ complaint, information regarding the resolution will be outlined by the Dean of Students or designee. 

If a student is dissatisfied with the initial findings of their complaint, they may request in writing that the complaint be elevated to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for review and reconsideration.

The Dean of Students or designee will retain a written copy of each official complaint received and acted on by the institution pursuant to state regulations on document archival.

Students have three additional options if they have a complaint that they believe has not been adequately addressed or resolved after exhausting the University’s complaint resolution procedures:

  1. Students can file a complaint with the UNC System Office. 
  2. In many cases students who reside legally outside of North Carolina while attending UNC Asheville can file a complaint in the state where they are residing. A list of contacts at state higher education authorization agencies is compiled and updated by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.  
  3. Students can also contact UNC Asheville’s regional accrediting agency, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).  
    • Students are advised to consult the SACSCOC Complaints Policy Statement for information on qualifying conditions and procedures for filing an accreditation-related complaint.