Grievance Procedure

Policy Title: Student Complaint/Grievance Policy
Policy Number: SAO.1100.2
Policy Owner: Dean of Student Affairs
Responsible Office: Student Affairs Office
Revision Date: 09/12/2022
      1. Purpose and Scope

        The purpose of Student Complaint/Grievance Policy is to outline the process for students wanting to submit a formal complaint or grievance and to effectively resolve issues which may arise on campus. Further, the policy defines a grievance and explains in what situations it is appropriate for a student to invoke one; and to ensure that all students receive fair and just treatment.

      2. Policy

        North American University (NAU) is committed to fair and equitable treatment of all members of the institution’s community through compliance with University policies, state and federal regulations, and standards of ethical and professional conduct. As such, NAU ensures that students have the right to formally report complaints or grievances regarding the University itself, or its faculty or staff or students. This includes NAU Distance Education students. All grievances and complaints will be taken into consideration.

      3. Definitions

        Complaint/grievance is an injustice or prejudice that a student or faculty or staff member inflicted upon a student. It can also be an issue concerning implementation of a University policy, procedure or practice.

      4. Procedures

        NAU encourages individuals to seek informal resolution to a complaint/ grievance. If a student decides to file a formal complaint/grievance, it needs to be done as soon as possible but not exceeding 20 business days from the date of the incident. Students must use the Student Complaint/Grievance Form available on the NAU website or from the Student Affairs Office. This form needs to be submitted to the Student Affairs Office by dropping off the form or emailing it to

        The Student Affairs Office reviews the submitted form. Depending on the severity of the complaint/grievance, Student Affairs Office either submits the form to the appropriate supervisor or convenes the Complaint/Grievance Committee. All communications during this process is conducted via the official NAU email.

        If Student Affairs Office deems the complaint/grievance can be resolved with a related party or a supervisor, the following steps are taken:

        Step 1:

        The Student Affairs Office informs the student via NAU email that his/her claim is being taken into consideration and who contacts him/her next.

        Step 2:

        The Student Affairs Office immediately informs the related supervisor/administrator.

        Step 3:

        Within two weeks of being informed by the Student Affairs Office, the supervisor determines the best course of action and informs the student via NAU email. The supervisor may contact the related parties during the investigation.

        The student has the right to appeal the decision to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Any appeal must be in writing and to be submitted to the University Administrative Secretary within five business days of receipt of the supervisor’s decision. The Provost Office’s decision is final.

        If Student Affairs Office deems the complaint/grievance to be a severe issue, the following steps are taken:

        Step 1:

        The Student Affairs Office informs the student via NAU email that his/her claim is being sent to the Complaint/Grievance Committee and the committee will be in contact with him/her.

        Step 2:

        The Complaint/Grievance Committee is formed by the Dean of Student Affairs and the Student Government Association (SGA) and is comprised of two faculty members and two staff members appointed by the Dean, and a student appointed by the SGA unless SGA President decides to serve her/himself. No one with a personal or professional interest in the outcome of the complaint/grievance is qualified to serve on the committee.

        Step 3:

        The Complaint/Grievance Committee meets to discuss the complaint/grievance and devise a solution or process, as appropriate, within 15 business days of the initial complaint. The committee may call a formal

        Step 4:

        The committee will inform the related parties of the next step or the decision via NAU email. The committee decision may be appealed to the Provost or President. Any appeal must be in writing and submitted to University Administrative Secretary within five business days of receipt of the committee decision.

        In the event that a grievance remains unresolved, students may submit a formal complaint to the University’s accreditor ACCSC, 2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 302 Arlington, Virginia 22201) or the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Information about the THECB Student Complaint process, including relevant state regulations, forms, and contact information, is available at the agency’s website: Students should note that these agencies do not accept anonymous complaints, and complaints should be related to the standards of accreditation established by the respective organization.

      5. Who Should Read This Policy
          • Students
          • Faculty and Staff
      6. Related Documents and References

        NAU Student Complaint/Grievance Form

        THECB Student Complaint Form

        THECB Student Complaint Webpage

        ACCSC Complaint Review Process Form