Student Grievance and Complaints Policies and Procedures

Student Grievance and Complaints Policies and Procedures

UNCSA provides several means by which a student may address complaints and grievances. Students are advised to put their concerns in writing and carefully document the events that led to the complaint or grievance. As it is sometimes confusing as to which of the routes listed below should be followed, students are advised to contact the Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Office for advice on the procedure to follow. Concerns should be expressed as soon as possible after the event occurs; some of the procedures have specific deadlines for filing grievances and/or complaints. 

A student who believes that he/she has been treated with substantial unfairness should initially attempt to resolve the matter by the end of the academic semester (fall, spring, or summer) following the academic semester when the alleged incident occurred (e.g., if the incident occurred during spring semester, the initial attempt must be completed by the last day of the final summer term) by communicating in writing the allegations to the administrative officer most directly concerned, excluding the person accused of the improper act. Links to the relevant academic and non-academic policies for grievance and complaints are listed below. 

This officer is likely to be a Director, a Department Head or Dean. In the case of an allegation against a faculty member, the Dean shall be the first avenue of appeal. The final step in the informal review for all students shall be the Dean or Administrative Cabinet to whom the accused ultimately reports. The officer should attempt immediately to discover the truth of the allegation and in the case of valid complaints, should seek resolution by discussion, counseling, mediation, or agreement of the parties, or by administrative action. The nature of the grievance and any information about it should be treated with the utmost confidentiality and with sensitivity to the issues involved.

At the end of efforts to resolve the grievance, the officer should record the complaint in a written statement identifying the grievant, the conduct complained of, the name of the accused person, the outcome of the information inquiry, and should maintain a copy in the office’s complaint files to be made available to other appropriate officials if needed.

If the issue is still not resolved, please follow the process outlined in the Complaint and Grievance Policy #805.

Complaint and Grievance Policy #805

Policies that may affect and/or be related to above Complaints Policies and Procedures

Other Resources 

Normal inquiries or concerns such as those involving admission requirements, educational programs, etc., should be addressed directly to the appropriate office at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

For complaints that do not fall into the categories above, follow the UNCSA Student Grievance Policy #805.

If you are taking any UNCSA courses, and you have a complaint about your experience with UNCSA, you are first encouraged to follow the UNCSA process for student complaints located in Policy 805. This process asks that you first try to reach a resolution with the instructor or other party involved in the issue, before taking the issue to the dean, and, finally, the Provost’s Office.

Karen Beres
Vice Provost & Dean of Academic Affairs
1533 S. Main St
Winston-Salem, NC 27127-2738
Telephone: 336-631-1546
Website: UNCSA Student Grievance Policy

If UNCSA’s resolution procedures does not lead to a satisfactory resolution of the grievance, students may utilize:

a. The University of North Carolina System Complaints

Complete the Student Complaint Form (PDF) per the Student Complaint Policy (PDF) and submit the compliant to

North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints
c/o Student Complaints
University of North Carolina System Office
910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688
Telephone: 919-962-4550
Email: studentcomplaint@northcarolina.edu
Student Complaint Process website: https://www.northcarolina.edu/complaints

b. SACSCOC Student Complaint Process
UNCSA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Students may follow the SACSCOC Complaint Procedure. The contact information for SACS is:

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
Telephone: 404-679-4500
Website: http://sacscoc.org

c. SARA-NC Complaint Process
UNCSA is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement – North Carolina (SARA-NC) which is the portal for the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority. Students may follow the SARA-NC Complaint Process and use the SARA-NC Complaint Form (PDF). SARA-NC does not resolve complaints about student grades and student conduct violations. These complaints fall under the jurisdiction of institutional policy. The contact information for SARA-NC is:

SARA North Carolina
North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority
P.O. Box 14103
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Telephone: 855.SARA.1.NC (855-727-2162)
Telephone: 919-549-8614, ext. 4667
Email: complaint@saranc.org
Website: http://www.saranc.org

If a student wishes to contact the state portal entities for his or her home state, contact information for state authorization liaisons in each SARA state can be found on the NC-SARA website. State by state contact information for agencies responsible for receiving student consumer complaints is available online.

If you are residing outside of North Carolina while attending UNCSA, in many cases you can file a complaint in the state where you are residing. As required by federal regulations, we direct you to a list of resources compiled and updated by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.