The U.S. Department of Education requires higher education institutions that receive federal funds to provide students and other interested parties with appropriate information regarding the filing of complaints.
Students and other interested parties who have complaints regarding institutional policies and practices, should contact the Dean of Student’s Office, Strom Thurmond Center, second floor. Complaints may be submitted by letter. The Dean of Students will determine the appropriate channel for addressing the complaint and forward it on, when necessary, to the relevant department.
The appropriate department will provide the student with an acknowledgment of receipt of the complaint within 15 business days of the receipt of the complaint. This acknowledgment may take written or verbal form based on the nature of the situation. Within 30 business days after receipt of the complaint, the appropriate department of the University will provide the student and the Dean of Students with the institutional response to the complaint.
If the complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, or if the complaint cannot be resolved through contact with the Dean of Students office, the student should file a written statement, i.e. formal complaint, summarizing their concerns to the appropriate university Vice-President. Each Vice-President will maintain a record regarding the names of complainants, date of complaints, the nature of complaints, and a supporting file reflecting actions taken in response to complaints. Formal complaints (written statement filed with a University Vice-President) and those responses and supporting files will be forwarded by the individual division heads to the President’s office.
Complaints regarding the institution that cannot be resolved at the institutional level, particularly state related policies and procedures or accrediting concerns, should be filed by the complainants to the S.C. Commission on Higher Education or the appropriate agency.
The University recognizes the sensitive and confidential nature of many student complaints and as a result documentation and correspondence about written student complaints are kept confidential. This information is shared with other departments only on a need-to-know basis.