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Addressing Student Academic Complaints

Effective Date: November 2008
Last Update: April 2009
Responsible University Officer:
  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Owner:
  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Contact:

Printed on: . Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.


Each campus will develop and maintain processes for the good faith review and resolution of student academic complaints. The campus's student academic complaint processes will:

  • encourage informal resolution of alleged violations at the lowest unit level;
  • allow for a formal resolution mechanism if not resolved informally; and
  • provide for appeal to a final decision maker.

The final decision following appeal is not appealable further within the University.


Student academic complaints are brought by students regarding the University’s provision of education and academic services affecting their role as students and must be based on a claimed violation of a University rule, policy, or established practice.

Student academic complaints do not include student complaints regarding:

  • their University employment
  • disciplinary action under Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code
  • grades
  • University admission decisions

Relief Available

Resolution of complaints under this policy may include student reinstatement or other corrective action for the benefit of the student, including refunds, but may not award monetary damages or direct disciplinary action against any employee of the University.

This policy does not limit the University’s right to change rules, policies, or practices related to the provision of academic services and education.


To implement Board of Regents Policy: Conflict Resolution Process for Student Academic Complaints, and to comply with law, including Title IX. This provides a framework for resolving student academic complaints that includes a simple and fair process that allows for both informal and formal resolution of conflicts.





  1. I don't agree with the grade I received from my instructor. Is there anything I can do?

    If you are not able to get an explanation for the grade from your instructor, consult the appropriate director for undergraduate students or department chair. Students also may wish to seek assistance from the Student Conflict Resolution Office. An instructor's judgment is assigning a grade is not a subject for a formal hearing, and can only be reviewed through these informal processes.

  2. A student has a complaint about sexual harassment by a University employee. Where should the student go?

    A student with a complaint of sexual harassment by a University employee (1) can seek assistance from the campus equal opportunity office or (2) can bring a student academic complaint under this policy and procedure, where applicable. If the student chooses the latter, the University will provide training for resolving the complaint under this procedure to all administrators and other staff who are authorized to investigate or resolve student complaints of sexual harassment. Colleges can contact the Office of General Counsel (612-624-4100) or the campus's equal opportunity office to arrange the training.


Primary Contact(s)
Twin Cities
Suzanne Bardouche


Student Academic Complaint
Complaints brought by students regarding the University’s provision of academic services and education affecting their role as students.


Ensure that campus has processes consistent with policy.
Office of the General Counsel
Provide legal advice to the University and provide legal representation to the University respondent when the student is represented by a lawyer.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Ensure that campus has processes consistent with policy.



April 2009 - Added question and answer to FAQ about what to do when Students have a complaint about sexual harrassment by University Employees.
November 2008

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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on July 19, 2012