University Communication to Students about Complaint Processes and Policies
Liberty University communicates to residential and distance education students its complaint processes and policies through multiple avenues. One avenue is through the annual Consumer Information Disclosure email that is sent to all residential and distance education students (over 100,000) and to all employees by the Financial Aid Office. In the body of this email students are advised that a link provided will take them to the Office’s Consumer Information Disclosure webpage (https://www.liberty.edu/financeadmin/studentfinances/index.cfm?PID=21792) where another link will take them to information about how to file a complaint as well as details regarding complaint policies and procedures. This annual disclosure email is sent electronically and tracked for audit purposes in the administrative software system (Banner) by timestamping the date of the disclosure in the individual’s record stored in Banner. Additionally, this annual disclosure provides direct access for students, families and employees to appeal and complaint policies in twelve areas including satisfactory academic progress appeals, scholarships, general appeals, state grants, student loans (including disclosure of Federal Student Loan Ombudsman contact information), complaints to the Office of Inspector General, continuing education benefits, state agency consumer complaint contact information (which includes 109 agencies and contacts among the 50 states and territories), sites for resident and online student complaints, and complaints to the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (the authorized State Reciprocity Agreement–SARA- agency). The Financial Aid Office also communicates complaint process and policy information to all students on its Appeal and Complaint Policies webpage (https://www.liberty.edu/financeadmin/studentfinances/index.cfm?PID=19260).
Webpages that contain information about complaint processes and policies may be accessed by on campus students by searching the word “complaint” on www.Liberty.edu or by visiting www.Liberty.edu/complaints. This site instructs students regarding how to submit a written complaint, and it provides a link to submit a written complaint through the student complaint form. It also includes links to the following offices for other types of support: Online Student Advocate Office, Resident Student Advocate Office, Financial Aid Office, Student Accounts Office, Office of Disability Academic Support, Office of Equity and Compliance, College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Law, Registrar’s Office, and Dean of Students. When a student submits a written complaint on this page, it takes the student to a specialized form designed to help track and route complaints across the university. Student complaint process and policy information is also available at this location. Furthermore, information about complaint processes and policies is introduced to all undergraduate students in orientation sessions for new students and reiterated again in new-student coursework such as UNIV 101: University Core Competencies (residential) and UNIV 104: Instructional Technology for Successful Online Learning (distance education).
Liberty University’s Online Student Advocate Office also communicates information about complaint policies and procedures to distance education students through its Student Advocate Office - Forms and Downloads webpage (https://www.liberty.edu/online/student-appeals-forms-and-downloads/) and FAQ page (https://www.liberty.edu/online/prospective-students-faqs/). Additionally, Liberty’s Resident Student Advocate Office has a webpage (https://www.liberty.edu/sao/) that contains links to resident to a complaint procedures webpage (https://www.liberty.edu/sao/index.cfm?PID=38912) designed especially for answering their questions and it provides information and links to common questions. Both the Resident and Online Student Advocate Office webpages have links that can direct the student to www.Liberty.edu/complaints where they can submit a written complaint.
Official Student Complaint Oversight and Monitoring
Student Complaint Review Committee. To further enhance Liberty University’s monitoring and tracking of student complaints, the University has created the Student Complaint Review Committee to oversee and coordinate the regular review of student complaint patterns. The membership of the committee includes staff representing each office noted above that receives students’ complaints. This committee meets regularly to review complaint logs, searching for patterns or themes found within the logs, and develops recommendations to University administration and offices that handle student complaints to develop a suitable response or resolution. This committee also examines policies and standards for the review and resolution of student complaints to determine whether adjustments to policies or processes are in order.
Possible sanctions for Student Honor Code violations are stated in the Student Honor Code, which is under the purview of the Office of Community Life.
Appeals that are submitted through the complaint form as student complaints will be handled through the complaint process unless there is a separate published policy and process to handle such an appeal (example: Honor Code Appeals, Grade Appeals, Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals, Scholarship Appeals, etc.) at which point the student will either be directed to the correct process or the complaint will be converted to the correct form.
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