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Policy 10.12
Student Complaints

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Responsible Official: Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Administering Division/Department: General Policies
Effective Date: April 01, 2013
Last Revision: January 28, 2015

Policy Sections:


Emory University is committed to receiving and addressing written student complaints against the university, its faculty, staff, or administrative personnel in a timely manner. Appropriate procedures are described below and should be adhered to in response to student complaints. Students should first attempt to resolve their complaints with the office most directly responsible for the action being challenged. Each school at Emory has an office of Student Services that can further assist students and direct them within their specific school if they are uncertain about where to start. In addition, students may use Ask John Emory (http://www.emory.edu/CAMPUS_LIFE/askjohnemory/) to assist with routing complaints if they are uncertain or wish to log a confidential complaint, so that they may remain anonymous.



This policy applies to current and former students that choose to make a formal written complaint against the university, its faculty, staff, or administrative personnel.

Policy Details

Documentation of Complaint

Student complaints must be submitted in writing and accompanied by relevant documentation describing 1) the specific action, practice or decision that is being challenged, 2) the individuals involved in or with knowledge of the action, practice or decision at issue, 3) the impact of the decision, 4) what resolution is desired, and 5) why it should be granted.

Complaint Resolution

Except in situations involving allegations of discrimination or harassment (where students may file complaints directly with the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs), Emory encourages each student to pursue complaints against faculty, staff or administrative personnel at the school or department level. Each school has its own procedures as described in the student handbook or school’s catalog. Academic or other concerns usually begin with student service personnel in each school who then typically route the concerns to the appropriate school authority. Student concerns can be effectively handled by school personnel who have expertise in the academic discipline involved, familiarity with the faculty/staff, and who have experience in handling similar school decisions made regarding its students.

To expedite a prompt resolution, complaints should include current contact information of the individual filing the complaint. In most cases, responses to the complaint, including the final decision, will be provided in writing within 30 days of receipt of the complaint. However, exceptions to this timeframe may be allowed with reasonable and regular communication to inform the student of the current status of the complaint.

Record Retention

The designated school or department representative for reporting purposes should retain the written complaint along with the resolution of the complaint, and any additional supporting documentation including emails, or other communication. In addition, an action log of all complaints received should be maintained each year.  This action log is collected by the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness as a part of the Annual Report process. A sample is available below.



A complaint is a written description of a problem or concern. Student complaints can be categorized into four major areas: Academic, Non-academic, Discrimination/Harassment (equityandinclusion.emory.edu/), or Appeals of any of the previously mentioned areas.

If a student has a complaint involving discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct against an Emory employee, the complaint can be made directly to the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs. Otherwise, a complaint should be filed with and handled by the relevant school or department.

The “handling official” is the person designated in each school or department to address the complaint.

Related Links

Contact Information

Clarification of Policy   Office of the Provost  404-712-2564  hmugg@emory.edu 

Revision History