Complaint Guidelines

Complaint, Appeal and Grievance Guidelines

Freed-Hardeman University strives to provide educational opportunities, experiences, and services that are of the highest quality. Occasionally, there may be those who have complaints that they wish to share with the University. The University views such complaints as potential opportunities for improvements.

All complaints should first be routed through the appropriate complaint, appeal, or grievance process as outlined in the University’s Undergraduate Catalog, Graduate Catalog, and Student Handbook. Depending on the nature of complaint, the matter should be brought to the attention of the office directly responsible for that area of the University for informal resolution. Formal complaints, appeals, and grievances should be well-documented and move through the appropriate campus process prior to appealing to any off-campus authority. Complaints to off-campus authorities may be routed as noted below:
  • Complaints related to quality of education or accreditation requirements shall be referred to the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (SACS), (http://www.sacscoc.org/pdf/081705/complaintpolicy.pdf);
  • Complaints related to the application of Tennessee state laws or rules related to approval to operate or licensure of a particular professional program within a postsecondary institution shall be referred to the appropriate State Board (i.e., State Boards of Health, State Board of Education, and so on) within the Tennessee State Government and shall be reviewed and handled by that licensing board (http://www.tn.gov, and then search for the appropriate division);
  • Complaints related to state consumer protection laws (e.g., laws related to fraud or false advertising) shall be referred to the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs and shall be reviewed and handled by that Unit (http://www.tn.gov/consumer/).
  • Complaints related to the application of other state laws or rules related to approval to operate shall be referred to the appropriate State Board within your home state of residence and shall be reviewed and handled by that licensing agency.  Refer to the Home State Complaint Resolution webpage for information regarding the various state agencies.  
Student Academic Grievance Procedures

Effective:  June 1, 2005

Revised:  March 10, 2014

Any grievance concerning grades, competencies, course syllabi, class absences, or other academic matters should be discussed informally with the faculty member, as appropriate. If the grievance is not resolved in this fashion or if the student does not feel comfortable discussing the grievance informally, the following procedure must be followed:

  1. The student will register the complaint in writing using the Academic Grievance Form, available on the FHU website, in the dean's office, or in the graduate program director's office. The completed form should be submitted to the associate vice president for academics within ten (10) school days of the alleged incident. The associate vice president will route the form to the appropriate faculty member. The faculty member must respond in writing, using the Academic Grievance Form, within five (5) school days of receipt of the grievance. The Academic Grievance Form should be returned to the associate vice president for academics.
  2. If the faculty member's response does not resolve the complaint, then the student may request to the associate vice president for academics that the written grievance be submitted to the appropriate department chair (undergraduate students) or graduate director (graduate students). (Skip to Step 3 if there is no department chair.) This request must be made within five (5) school days of the faculty member's written response. The department chair or graduate director must respond in writing within five (5) school days of receipt of the grievance form. The Academic Grievance Form should be returned to the associate vice president for academics.
  3. If the response of the department chair or graduate director does not resolve the complaint, then the student may request to the associate vice president for academics that the written grievance be submitted to the appropriate dean. This request must be made within five (5) school days from the time of the written response of the department chair or graduate director. The dean must respond in writing within five (5) school days of receipt of the grievance form. The Academic Grievance Form should be returned to the associate vice president for academics.
  4. If the dean's response does not resolve the grievance, then the student may request that the written grievance be submitted to the vice president for academics and enrollment management. This request must be made through the associate vice president for academics within five (5) school days of the dean's written response. The vice president for academics and enrollment management must respond in writing within five (5) school days of receipt of the grievance form. The Academic Grievance Form should be returned to the associate vice president for academics. The vice president for academics and enrollment management's ruling is final.
Academic Grievance Form