Complaints & Grievances

Occasionally, a student will encounter a concern/problem on campus that they do not know how to resolve. Student complaint procedures (informal and formal) have been developed to guide the student through the process in an effort to resolve the issue as quickly and fairly as possible.  Complete procedures related to the student complaint process are outlined in UW-Parkside Administrative Policy #51 - Student Complaint.

Informal Complaint Resolution Process

When an issue develops, the student should always try to work out the concern/problem by first discussing it with those most involved in the issue. Many issues are settled or problems resolved when a student meets with a faculty/staff member and calmly discusses the concern. This meeting needs to occur within fourteen (14) days of the initial concern. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached within seven (7) days of the meeting, the student may then request a meeting with the Department Chair, Supervisor, or Dean who shall assist in finding a resolution within fourteen (14) calendar days.

There are times when it is not possible to initially address the person directly. At that point, the student should consider talking to the Department Chair, Supervisor, College Dean, or Dean of Students as the first step.

Formal Complaint Resolution Process

If the concern/problem is not satisfactorily resolved through the Informal Complaint Resolution Process, the student may file a formal complaint through the Dean of Students Office. The formal complaint must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students Office using the Formal Student Complaint Report Form.

The complaint must include the following:

  • Student’s name, address, email address, and phone number;
  • A full and complete description of the concern, including names of individuals, departments and/or programs involved;
  • A statement of confirmation that an informal resolution has been pursued;
  • A statement of the remedy requested.

Upon receipt of the complaint, the Dean of Students or designee will review the complaint for timeliness and appropriateness, and if warranted, move the complaint forward to the investigation and hearing process.

If the complaint is against a Faculty member, Academic Staff member, or University Staff member, the process shall follow the respective personnel grievance policy/procedure.

All other complaints shall be investigated by a complaint committee consisting of one faculty member appointed by the Provost’s Office, one administrative staff member appointed by the Dean of Students Office, and one student representative.

The Committee shall promptly initiate an investigation. In undertaking the investigation, the Committee may interview, consult with and/or request a written response to the issues raised in the complaint from any individual the Committee believes to have relevant information, including faculty, staff, and students. The student and any person towards whom the complaint might have been directed shall have the right to submit written materials to the Committee and suggest names of any one from whom they believe the Committee should hear. The Committee may assign any member who has been adequately trained to conduct any part of the investigation as the Committee determines to be appropriate.

Findings and Notification
Upon completion of the investigation, the Committee in consultation with the Dean of Students or designee, will prepare a final report containing a summary of the investigation, written findings and a proposed disposition. A copy of the report will be shared with the student and the party against whom the complaint is directed.

The Dean of Students shall take whatever actions are deemed appropriate based on the final summary report. The Dean of Students or designee shall report their decision in writing to the student, the Committee, and all other relevant parties. The decision of the Dean of Students or designee shall be final.

Complaint Log

Students who wish to register a complaint may do so through the Dean of Students Office. Anyone can complete a formal complaint form, which will be logged. The log will indicate the desired resolution plus the final disposition of the complaint. The Dean of Students Office will be responsible to maintain the log.


Students who believe they have been a victim of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability or sexual orientation, should contact Student Affairs or the Dean of Students Office.

Harassment: General & Sexual

Sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

General harassment is defined as systematic annoyances, threats, and/or demands, which inflict distress detrimental to the individuals directly, involved and create a hostile and demeaning environment. Harassment may be verbal, physical, or psychological. Verbal harassment includes name-calling, sexual or racial slurs and epithets, jokes, or other remarks that demean the victim and/or discourage the individuals' full participation in the University community. Physical harassment occurs when a person's body, possessions, or residence are threatened or violated. Other expressive behavior and psychological tactics of intimidation may violate the policy. Such behavior will not be tolerated and will be dealt with according to University policies. Student Affairs or the Dean of Students Office can provide assistance and counsel in these matters.

Student who believe they have been the victim of sexual or general harassment, should contact Student Affairs/Dean of Students Office at (262) 595-2598.

Program Integrity

Pursuant to the United States Department of Education’s Program Integrity Rule, an individual may file a complaint against any of University of Wisconsin System’s public institutions alleging a violation of one or more of the following categories with the University of Wisconsin System Administration (“UWSA”).

  • Complaints that allege a violation of state consumer protection laws that include but are not limited to fraud and false advertising;
  • Complaints that allege a violation of state law or rule relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions; and/or
  • Complaints relating to the quality of education or other State or accreditation requirements.

UW System Complaint Process for Program Integrity
Contact Information for Outside State Complaints Relating to Distance Learning or Correspondence Education (PDF)



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