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How to File a Grievance as an Undergraduate at Columbia College

Students of Columbia College who wish to register a complaint about professional misconduct of faculty should utilize the following procedures to ensure that their concerns are addressed in an appropriate manner. If at any time a student believes that this process is not working in a constructive or timely fashion, the student may always call the dean of the College.

  1. A student should speak first with the class dean, who will work with the student to review the claim, establish the substance of the complaint and make a decision on how to best address the student's concern. If the instructor is not a member of the Arts and Sciences faculty, the class dean will help the student identify the appropriate faculty and the right procedures, which vary by school.
  2. If appropriate, the class dean will then refer the student and the complaint to the dean of academic affairs who, working with relevant faculty, will investigate the matter fully and attempt to resolve the matter.
  3. If the matter remains unresolved and the dean decides that further action is warranted, he or she may refer the matter to the vice president of arts and sciences.
  4. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of these informal procedures at the College level, or believes that a direct complaint to the Office of the Vice President for Arts and Sciences is more appropriate for the filing of an initial complaint, the student may utilize formal grievance procedures available to them at any time by submitting a grievance in writing following the process described at

Time frame: A student should ordinarily bring any concern or complaint within 30 days of the end of the semester in which the offending conduct occurred or by the beginning of the following semester. The school process ordinarily will take 30 days.

University Ombuds Office: If a student wishes complete confidentiality, any concern may be raised with the University's Ombuds Officer, a neutral complaint handler for the University. The office offers a range of options and communication channels. Students, however, must be aware that the Ombuds Office has no authority to adjudicate a complaint; it is there as a confidential resource to students, faculty and administrators to advise on various avenues of redress and to mediate disputes, if both parties agree.

Additional Information and Feedback: For more detailed information on Columbia College's grievance policies, please visit College students can also email any comments, questions or concerns they have about these procedures to a specially created email address that can be found at the Columbia College website.

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For information about filing a grievance as an undergraduate at the School of General Studies, please click here.



Published: Apr 11, 2005
Last modified: Apr 11, 2005

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