Missouri Western State University is committed to delivering quality instruction and service. In doing so, the institution encourages members of the campus community, as well as all its many constituents, to report concerns and cases where university programs, policies and services need improvement.
Informal Feedback/Complaint Process
In most instances, grievances can be resolved through an informal process. This begins by talking with the individuals involved as well as the appropriate unit director or academic department chair. Types of grievances that may be covered by the informal complaint process include teaching or supervision, facilities, university service, program information, or the behavior of an employee or student. Through the informal complaint process, individuals discuss the issue with the appropriate faculty/ staff member, administrator, campus police official, or the director of the service unit involved. They receive information that responds to their questions, concerns and complaints, and leads to an agreeable resolution. If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, individuals will be encouraged to file a formal, written complaint with the appropriate dean or divisional vice president.
Formal Complaint Process
Individuals may use the formal complaint process when a question, concern or grievance cannot be resolved informally. The formal complaint should be received within 10 days after the informal process fails to achieve a resolution acceptable to the individual and the university. Formal complaints must contain: the name of the individual filing the complaint; the name of the staff member, faculty member, administrator, or service director against whom the complaint is lodged; the action or inaction addressed by the complaint; a statement of the facts and nature of the complaint; the date(s) of the incident(s); the resolution sought by the individual filing the complaint; and the complainant’s signature. The Policy Guide and Student Handbook outline formal university policies and procedures.
Individuals who wish to file a formal complaint may do so by visiting https://www.missouriwestern.edu/feedback/feedbackconcern-form/.
Complaints to State and Accrediting Agencies
If a grievance is not resolved through informal or formal means, a complaint can be registered with the state of Missouri and/or the university’s accrediting agency.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education serves as a clearinghouse for postsecondary student complaints. Visit http://www.dhe.mo.gov/documents/POLICYONCOMPLAINTRESOLUTION.pdf for the MDHE’s complaint policy and instructions about how to file a formal complaint. Note that the policy states that students who wish to file complaints with the department must first exhaust all informal and formal avenues provided by the institution to resolve disputes.
In addition, Missouri Western State University’s accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission, accepts complaints about institutions. Visit https://www.hlcommission.org/HLC-Institutions/complaints.html for instructions to file a formal complaint. The commission has established a clear distinction between individual grievances and complaints that appear to involve broad institutional practices. When a complaint raises issues regarding the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the HLC’s Criteria of Accreditation, the commission forwards the complaint to the institution and requests a formal response.