We encourage you to use the online Academic Complaint Form to submit your complaint—it will automatically route your complaint to the correct office. However, you’re not required to use that form. If you’d like to send your complaint via email, letter, etc, instead, please carefully review the instructions below, as well as the questions from the online form that are listed at the bottom of this page.

If your concern involves discrimination, civil rights violations, or sexual misconduct/harassment, please contact the WOU Office of Human Resources (503-838-8963 or hr@wou.edu).
If your concern involves allegations of Title IX violations, please contact the WOU Title IX Coordinator (Heather Mercer, 503-838-8490, mercerh@wou.edu).

Action Tips
Step 1:
Instructor
If you haven’t already, we strongly encourage you to talk to your instructor about your concern. However, we understand that this isn’t always possible or appropriate, so it is not required.
Step 2:
Division Chair
Notify the division chair of your concern, then meet with them to discuss a resolution.
  • If your concern involves program admission or bullying and/or abusive behavior, please begin at step 3 (college dean).
  • A list of division chairs and the subjects/majors they are responsible for can be found at wou.edu/provost/student-grievances/academic-units/
  • If the instructor is also the division chair and you are not comfortable talking to them about your concern, you may skip this step.
  • Before you talk to the division chair, think about how you want your concern to be resolved. What action would you like the instructor and/or WOU to take?
  • There is no time limit for submitting a complaint; however please keep in mind that a delay in submitting a complaint could limit the university’s ability to investigate and respond.
  • You may submit a complaint anonymously. This may limit the university’s ability to respond or act upon the complaint; however, the university will investigate the complaint to the extent that is reasonable in relation to the scope of the information that was provided.
  • If the division chair is unable to resolve your concern, they can help you bring your concern to the next step, the appropriate college dean. If you prefer, you may send your concern to the dean’s office yourself without help from the division chair.
Step 3:
College Dean
Notify the dean of your concern, then meet with them to discuss a resolution.
  • A list of academic deans and the divisions they are responsible for can be found at wou.edu/provost/student-grievances/academic-units/
  • Before you talk to the dean, think about how you want your concern to be resolved. What action would you like the instructor and/or WOU to take?
  • If the college dean is unable to resolve your concern, they can help you bring your concern to the provost. If you prefer, you may send your concern to the Provost’s Office yourself without help from the college dean.
Step 4:
Provost
Notify the provost of your concern, then meet with them and the college dean to discuss a resolution.
  • The Provost’s Office can be reached at 503-838-8271 or provost@wou.edu. The office is located in the Lieuallen Administration Building, Room 202.
  • Before you talk to the provost, think about how you want your concern to be resolved. What action would you like the instructor and/or WOU to take?
  • The provost’s decision is generally final. The two exceptions are explained in Step 5.
Step 5:
HECC
Appeal to HECC
(only in cases with a violation of law)
  • In some circumstances, the student may bring an academic complaint to Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC):
  • Note: In some situations, the instructor may be able to appeal the provost’s decision through the grievance process that is part of the faculty collective bargaining agreement. If this occurs, you will be provided with information about that process.

The information provided in an academic complaint may be protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Employees at Western Oregon University are required by federal law to report any incident of sexual misconduct. If your complaint describes an incident of sexual misconduct that has occurred to you or another student, we must report that information to the Office of Student Affairs. Reporting this information helps the university to safeguard students and get students the help and support needed. You have the right to maintain your privacy. If you would like additional information about sexual misconduct response at WOU, including information on who you can talk to that is not required to report such incidents, please visit wou.edu/student/sexualmisconduct-resources

 

Additional information from HECC regarding student complaints:

Students should attempt to resolve any grievances they may have with their school first. Should attempts to resolve these problems with appropriate school officials fail, or should the student be dissatisfied with the final outcome of the college complaint process, then the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), can respond to a formal complaint. Students may contact the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, 3225 25th St. SE, Salem, OR 97302 or by sending an email to complaints@hecc.oregon.gov. Students may also access the HECC Complaints web page Opens in new window or the complaints page at NC-SARA’s website. Opens in new window

 

1 For the Academic Complaint Process, bullying or abusive behaviors include: threatening or intimidating behavior or words (written or oral); obscenities/profanities (verbal or gestures) directed at a person; threatening or obscene gestures, jokes, or cartoons; degrading a person or a group on the basis of a personal or cultural characteristic; taunting, jeering, mocking, or humiliating another person through acts or words; screaming and/or yelling at others; insulting someone, especially in the presence of others; or endangering the safety of an individual or individuals.

 

Questions on the Online Academic Complaint Form

Information about Complaint

Please list the name(s) of the instructor, professor, or employee this complaint is about.

If you don’t know their name, or if your complaint is not about a specific person, you can leave this question blank.

What is your complaint about?

Select all that apply

  • Grades, assignments, exams, syllabus
  • Admission to a program or major
  • Academic advising
  • Anything else that impairs learning
  • Other

Please select the program or major that you applied to (or plan to apply to).

  • Education (teacher licensure program)
  • Health Sciences
  • Pre-law
  • Pre-nursing
  • Any other undergraduate major, including undecided
  • Bilingual/ESOL Education
  • Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leader
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Homeland Security and Community Preparedness
  • Instructional Design
  • Interpreting Studies
  • Operational Leadership
  • Reading Endorsement
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • Teaching
  • Teaching: Secondary Licensure Track (elementary)
  • Teaching: Secondary Licensure Track (middle/high)
  • Contemporary Music
  • Criminal Justice
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education
  • Education
  • Information Technology
  • Management and Information Systems
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Special Education
  • Other (please specfiy)

Is this complaint about a specific class?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure

What is the class subject?

The beginning of the course number/code; for instance, ED in ED 101.

  • A
  • ANTH
  • ARE
  • AS
  • ASL
  • BA
  • BI
  • CA
  • CH
  • CJ
  • COM
  • CS
  • CSE
  • D
  • DHHE
  • EC
  • ED
  • ENG
  • ENT
  • ES
  • EXS
  • FLM
  • FR
  • FS
  • FYS
  • GEOG
  • GERO
  • GL
  • GS
  • H
  • HE
  • HST
  • HUM
  • ICS
  • IDS
  • INT
  • INTL
  • IS
  • LIB
  • LING
  • LIT
  • ML
  • MS
  • MTH
  • MUE
  • MUEN
  • MUP
  • MUS
  • OL
  • PE
  • PH
  • PHL
  • PS
  • PSY
  • R
  • RC
  • SOC
  • SPAN
  • SPED
  • SSC
  • SUST
  • TA
  • WR
  • Other

What is the course number?

The 3-digit number that follows the subject; for instance, 101 in ED 101.
If unknown, leave blank.

What is the name / title of the class?

If unknown, leave blank.

What is the CRN for the class?

If unknown, leave blank.

Description of Complaint

Describe your complaint in detail. Some questions to consider: What happened? When? (e.g., a date, a term, start and end dates, etc.) Where? (e.g., in the classroom, via email, etc.) Other than you and the instructor, was anyone else there? If so, who?

Are there are any web pages or other documents, etc that help to explain or illustrate your complaint? If so, please list / describe them below.

How do you want your concern to be resolved? What action would you like the instructor and/or WOU to take?

Is there any other information you’d like to share?

Does your complaint involve any of the following situations?

This information will help us route your complaint to the right person or office.
Select all that apply.

  • Bullying or abusive behaviors by an instructor or professor [Send your complaint to Step 3 – College Dean]
  • Discrimination (including Title IX issues)*
  • Civil rights violations*
  • Sexual misconduct or harassment*
  • None of the above

* If your concern involves discrimination, civil rights violations, or sexual misconduct/harassment, please contact the WOU Office of Human Resources (503-838-8963 or hr@wou.edu). If your concern involves allegations of Title IX violations, please contact the WOU Title IX Coordinator (Heather Mercer, 503-838-8490, mercerh@wou.edu).

Your Information

You may submit this complaint anonymously by skipping the questions in this section.

Please note that submitting anonymously will limit WOU’s ability to respond or take action. For instance, we wouldn’t be able to change your grade, refund fees, or discipline an employee. If you are requesting a grade change or other action, please be sure to include your name and contact information.

  • First name (preferred)
  • Last name / family name
  • Preferred phone
  • Preferred email
  • V-number

Contact

Office of Academic Affairs

503-838-8271 | or e-mail: provost@wou.edu | Location: Lieuallen Administration Building, Room 202