Student Complaint Process

Washington State University Student Grievance Process

If a WSU student has a complaint or problem, the University offers several remedies.

First, we suggest following the procedure listed under WSU Academic Rule 104:

“Students having complaints about instruction or grading should refer them first to the instructor. If the complaint is not resolved, then the student may refer the complaint in writing to the chairperson of the department in which the course is offered by the end of the last day of the following semester (excluding summer term). The chair’s decision shall be rendered within 20 business days. After the chair’s decision, the student or the instructor may appeal to the Dean’s Office. Complaints must be presented in writing to the dean within 20 business days of the chair’s decision. The written statement should describe the complaint, indicate how it affects the individual or unit, and include the remedy sought from the dean. The decision of the dean is the final step and shall be made within 20 business days.

“The University Ombudsman is available at any stage for advice or assistance in resolving academic complaints. At the branch campuses, the procedure is identical except that the academic area coordinator shall substitute for the department chair and the campus dean shall substitute for the college dean.”

In addition, complaints about discrimination/sexual harassment can be directed to WSU’s Office of Compliance and Civil Rights (CCR).

If students have exhausted WSU’s complaint processes without resolution The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) has authority to investigate student complaints against specific schools. WSAC may investigate complaints against WSU having to do with the University not following published policy or state law. Visit the WSAC Student Complaints website for information regarding the WSAC complaint process.

This includes students from any state excluding California. California residents please contact: Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education Complaint Form

WSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. This commission’s complaint process is here: Complaints Regarding Member or Candidate Institutions.

WSU is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA serves as a national leader in enhancing quality and consumer protections in interstate postsecondary distance education. Students should begin the complaint process with WSU and if resolution is not found, the student should contact the institution’s home state SARA Portal Entity. NC-SARA maintains a directory of SARA State Portal Entities and the formal student complaint process.

There’s a separate process for WSU graduate students: Graduate Student Grievance Procedures (pdf).