Written Complaint

Definition of a Written Complaint - a written doucment received via email, letter, or the official MGA complaint link (https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?MiddleGAState&layout_id=2) or the Ethics and Compliance Reporting Hotline (https://www.mga.edu/internal-audit/ethics-compliance.php) where the sender is identified as a student and for which 1) the complaint refers to a specific staff or faculty member; 2) a policy or practice; 3) an incident regarding another student; or 4) any other written communication from a student about a specific complaint that can reasonably be addressed by a member of the university administration or their designee. Anonymous complaints to faculty, staff, or university officials shall be logged into MGA files maintained by Student Affairs and shall be directed to the attention of vice presidents for their information and to encourage conversation around these concerns to relevant members of the institution. When the communication of a complaint is oral but reveals a topic of concern, a student should be directed to submit the matter in writing via the official complaint form found at https://www.mga.edu/student-affairs/complaints.php.  

Grievances/Complaints Policies And Procedures

The Middle Georgia State University Student Code of Conduct reads, "Laws, statutes, and regulations at the national, state, and local levels grant public institutions the authority to establish standards reasonably relevant to the lawful missions, processes, and functions of the institution. Such standards are not intended to prohibit the exercise of a right guaranteed by the Constitution or a law of the United States to a member of the academic community." Middle Georgia State University Student Code of Conduct, Introduction, https://www.mga.edu/student-affairs

Middle Georgia State University committed to a policy of fair treatment of its students. A grievance or complaint is a situation in which a student feels that the treatment he/she has received is not consistent with the University’s policies.

Students are encouraged to initially seek an informal resolution of these matters directly with the faculty or individual(s) involved when possible. When an informal resolution is not possible, students should file a written complaint by completing and submitting the student grievance report form. The form preferably should be submitted electronically but may be saved in pdf format and e-mailed as an attachment to vpsa@mga.edu

Note: The basis on which a grade was awarded may not be challenged or appealed under this grievance process but through the grade appeal process found in the university catalog and the Final Grade Appeal form.   

A written complaint should include all of the following:

  • Nature of the complaint
  • Date and time of the incident
  • Full names of all individuals involved
  • The policy or procedure that was violated

When received electronically or via email, the grievance report form will be forwarded to the university official associated with the issue. Each official, upon receipt of the grievance, shall investigate the circumstances and attempt to resolve the issue. If unable to do so, the official will refer the matter to the next level of responsibility as indicated below:

  1. Instructor or staff member
  2. Department chair or director
  3. Dean or assistant vice president
  4. Associate provost or vice president

Middle Georgia State University prohibits specific forms of behavior that violate federal and state laws and regulations, including but not limited to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent executive orders, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Accordingly, a Student Grievance that involves a claim of discrimination/discriminatory harassment based on:  race, color, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), sexual misconduct, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin, religion, age, genetic information, disability, and/or veteran status, will be administered by the Chief Officer of Campus Culture and Community/Title IX Coordinator. Upon receipt of the grievance, the Director (or designee) shall investigate the circumstances and attempt to resolve the issue. If unable to do so, the Director may refer the matter to the Vice President for Student Affairs or other appropriate University official to make a recommendation to resolve the issue.

If the grievance involves a question of judgment or opinion not covered by University policies, the vice president for student affairs, the affirmative action officer, and other appropriate University official shall, after interviewing the student and all other parties involved, discuss the matter and make recommendations to the provost to resolve the issue. There shall be no retaliatory action taken by any person against a student of the University as a result of the student seeking redress under any of these procedures or for participating in any investigation as a complainant or witness.

Formal Grievance Hearing

The purpose of a formal grievance hearing is to hear the complaint of a student who has exhausted all other normal channels, but who has not received satisfaction. The student may appeal in writing to the president. The president will appoint a Grievance Committee of at least three persons, including a chair. The committee will meet within five working days after receiving the complaint to discuss the merits of the complaint and shall notify the parties concerned within ten working days of either its decision or of the time and place of a hearing if one is to be granted.

Formal grievance hearings shall be conducted during normal working hours and a tape recording shall be made of the proceedings. The Grievance Committee decision shall be made and reported in writing to the president and the student within ten business days. The student may appeal the decision of the Grievance Committee to the president. Such appeal shall be in writing and shall be made within ten business days. The decision of the president shall be communicated to the student in writing within ten business days of receipt of the appeal. The president’s decision shall be final.