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Complaint Policy

Official complaint policy for the university.

In a spirit of continual improvement, Cardinal Stritch University recognizes the value of information provided by students, employees, and others in assessing the University’s performance. Most issues of concern are resolved informally and relationally, consistent with our Franciscan values of caring community, compassion, and peacemaking.

When addressing a problem or issue informally and relationally, individuals are asked to speak to the person most directly responsible for the matter. If the issue cannot be resolved at that level and an individual wishes to pursue the issue further, he or she may move up the “chain of command,” one step at a time, from individual faculty or staff member, to department chairperson, and finally to the appropriate dean or vice president. The Student Success Center is available to advise students and members of the community as to the appropriate people and procedures. The Human Resources Department is available to advise employees regarding resolution of concerns.

When concerns cannot be resolved informally, or additional review is required or requested, complainants are invited to file the grievance procedure best suited to their particular situation. Links to specific grievance procedures are provided below.

The formal complaint process is reserved for times when the complainant believes that informal processes have not yielded an appropriate resolution and there has been a significant violation, or exists a significant flaw, in the University’s standards, policies, and procedures such that the complainant believes he or she is not being treated fairly and/or the situation creates unnecessary hardship. Where there are grievance procedures, the complainant is expected to utilize those first, engaging in a formal complaint only when a relevant grievance procedure does not exist, or when the formal complaint process is the final step of the grievance procedure.

Academic-related grievances, appeals, and concerns

  • View Academic Catalogue in regards to:
    • Appeal of admissions decision - your admissions counselor will guide you through the process
    • Appeal of dismissal from one’s major - undergraduate or graduate catalog: "Academic policies-academic grievances"
    • Grade appeals - undergraduate or graduate catalog: "Academic policies-academic grievances"
    • Appeal of academic dismissal from university - undergraduate or graduate catalog: "Academic policies-academic grievances"
    • Appeal of Plagiarism findings - undergraduate or graduate catalog: "Academic policies-academic grievances"
  • Review Registrar in regards to:
    • Academic residency requirement waiver (asking to waive the requirement that the last 30 credit hours must be taken at Stritch) - form available through Office of the Registrar
    • Appeal to take course at another university and transfer it to Stritch, after one is a Stritch student - form available through Office of the Registrar
    • Appeal to register with an account balance - contact accounting manager in CBM, University bursar in other undergraduate programs
  • Medical withdrawal - contact the director of student support

Financial appeals, grievances, and concerns

  • An academic counselor will guide through process for the following appeals: 
    • Appeal of charges (CBM): Non-medical 
    • Appeal of charges (All Colleges but CBM): Non-medical
  • Contact the director of student support in regards to Appeal of charges: medical withdrawal 
  • Appeal to participate in commencement with an account balance
    • Contact business office for non-CBM
    • Contact accounting manager for CBM students
  • Contact the Director of Financial Aid in regards to:
    • Scholarship appeal
    • Financial Aid concerns not covered above

Program integrity rule/consumer protection

Review the Complaint Process in regards to the following items: 
  • Alleged violations of State consumer protection laws that include but are not limited to fraud and false advertising
  • Alleged violations of State laws or rules relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions
  • Complaints relating to the quality of education other State or accreditation requirements
  • Additional recourse for Online students

Ethics/treatment of self and others

  • Please consult the Campus Safety Policies in regards to:
    • Harassment
    • Disability accommodation or grievance
    • Sexual abuse/assault
  • Whistleblower’s policy
  • Veteran’s benefits
  • Title IX complaint: Accommodation of medically required pregnancy-related needs, gender equity in athletics or other programs - contact the senior director of student success
  • Discrimination - contact the senior director of Student Success Center

Student Life appeals, grievances, and concerns

  • Consult with Studen Life in regards to:
    • Appeal of student conduct sanction - a coordinator of Residence Life for residence hall matter, director of Student Affairs for non-residence hall matter
    • Medical waiver of meal plan - contact the director of Student Affairs
  • Consult with Residence Life in regards to: 
    • Residence hall residency requirement waiver - contact admissions counselor
    • Housing assignment - contact a coordinator of Residence Life
  • Appeal to participate in co-curricular activities while on probation - contact the senior director of Student Success Center

Complaints Process

The online complaint form goes automatically to the Student Success Center. Complaints cannot be made anonymously. The Student Success Center determines if a grievance or other resolution process more appropriately applies. Cases are referred back to appropriate grievance coordinators as appropriate, with clarification and support to the complainant.

If a formal grievance process doesn’t apply, or is exhausted and doesn’t preclude a formal complaint, the issue may be referred to the complaint committee, which is comprised of a broad range of academic and administrative areas of the University.

Filing a Complaint

Individuals must follow procedures as outlined in the University’s Student, Faculty, or Employee Handbooks, and University Catalogs. The University regularly reviews its policies and procedures in each of these areas to ensure their clarity and consistent application, compliance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, as well as best practices. It is the complainant’s responsibility to familiarize him/herself with these policies and seek further clarity and assistance from the appropriate University department, where necessary. The Student Success Center is available to assist students and community members in determining the appropriate process; the human resources office serves this function for employees.

Grievances and complaints must be in writing, and must not be anonymous, using the electronic submission form or by printing and mailing a completed copy of the complaint form.

Whether through a grievance or complaint process, an impartial examination of the situation will occur and a response to the complainant will be provided in a timely manner. After the decision is rendered, an analysis will be done by the department(s) involved to clarify or improve processes as appropriate.

An aggregate report, containing data from formal complaints and grievances, will be prepared semi-annually by the senior director of student success. This report will highlight trends, and potential areas requiring further review.

Individuals filing a complaint will be treated with dignity, and their privacy honored to the extent possible to investigate and resolve a complaint. Retaliation against an individual filing a complaint in good faith is strictly prohibited, and will result in disciplinary action for any employee or student engaging in such retaliatory behavior.