College for Creative Studies community members (faculty, staff, students, associate people) who wish to file a formal complaint concerning experiences at the College or with a College employee may seek resolution by filing an Informal Complaint or a Formal Complaint. This policy includes the process to make an Informal Complaint and a Formal Complaint, as well as the process to make a complaint to external agencies regarding CCS. The policy does not replace existing policies for making Title IX Sexual Misconduct reports, financial aid appeals, judicial processes, grade change process, or the Academic Suspension Appeal process. Student complaints are tracked by the College and reports are issued to appropriate departments to enable improvement and to help ensure a high quality of student experience. Formal complaints are reported annually to the College’s accrediting bodies.
The purpose of this policy and process is to ensure that students may lodge complaints in a nonthreatening manner, free from retaliation.
Policy Table of Contents
- Types of Complaints
- Complaint Resolution
- To File an Informal Complaint
- Informal Complaint Resolution Process
- To File a Formal Complaint
- Formal Complaint Resolution Process
- External Complaints
Types of Complaints
There are four types of complaints:
- Academic complaints (could include course content, faculty interactions, library services, academic student support, etc.) which are managed though the Office of Academic Affairs,
- Non-academic complaints (could include facilities, admissions, financial aid, academic advising and registration, student services, residence life, etc.) which are managed through the Student Affairs Office by the Dean of Students.
- Hate/Bias/Discrimination Complaints (could include instances of discrimination in hiring/promotion, hate speech, exclusionary behavior, posting of discriminatory imagery, etc.) which are managed through the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion.
- Employment or personnel complaints (could include workplace conflict, supervision challenges, employment disputes, etc.) which are managed by the Director of Human Resources.
Complainants may pursue either an informal resolution to their complaint or a formal resolution. Complainants are encouraged, but not required, to pursue an informal resolution to their complaint prior to filing a formal complaint with the College.
To File an Informal Complaint
To file an informal complaint, the complaint should be made to the faculty or staff person most directly involved with their concerns or that employee’s direct supervisor. The complaint may be made verbally or in writing.
Informal Complaint Resolution Process
The informal complaint process should include establishing the manner in which the complaint will be addressed. If the proposed resolution process does not sufficiently rectify the situation, a formal complaint can be filed after an informal complaint has been made. Filing an informal complaint is not necessary prior to filing a formal complaint but may provide a more expedient resolution
Students looking for guidance on engaging in the informal resolution of their complaint should consult with the Dean of Students, Dean of Academic Affairs, Assistant Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, or Director of Human Resources.
To File a Formal Complaint
Those dissatisfied with an Informal Complaint Resolution or who choose not to utilize that process can file a Formal Complaint using an online Complaint Form. Formal Complaints must be filed in writing through the Complaint Form found here. The form will prompt the complainant to include their name, date and time of incident, contact information, and a detailed description of their complaint. Identifying information is required to file a Formal Complaint, filing an anonymous complaint may prevent the College from conducting an investigation and providing a resolution. If the complaint is related to Hate/Bias/Discrimination the form found here provides more detailed options for this type of complaint.
Formal Complaint Resolution Process
- Once a Complaint Form has been filed, the complainant will receive an email confirming receipt of the complaint.
- If additional information or follow up questions are required, the complainant will be notified and either a written response will be solicited or a meeting will be scheduled.
- Within 30 business days, the College will provide a written response. The response indicates if the complaint was “founded” or “unfounded”
- A “founded” complaint is a complaint that the College’s investigation deems to require further action and resolution. Founded complaint responses will include how the College will address the complaint.
- An “unfounded” complaint is a complaint that the College’s investigation deems not to require any further action to be taken. Notice of an unfounded complaint decision will conclude the investigation.
- If a response is not provided after 30 business days, the complainant will be notified that additional time is required. The notification will include an explanation for the delay in resolution.
- Appeal: An appeal must be filed in writing and must provide a detailed explanation of the basis for the appeal.
- Complainants may appeal the findings to:
- Academic Appeals should be directed to the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs.
- Non-Academic Appeals should be directed to the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services.
- Hate/Bias/Discrimination Appeals should be directed to the President.
- Employment or Personnel Appeals should be directed to the Vice President for Business and Administration
- The College will respond to an appeal within 10 business days of receipt of the appeal.
- Complainants may appeal the findings to:
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
Procedures for expressing concerns related to the compliance with NASAD requirements can be found at: https://nasad.arts-accredit.org/accreditation/accreditation-materials/protocols/expressing-concerns/.
Higher Learning Commission
Procedures for filing a complaint with HLC can be found at: https://www.hlcommission.org/Student-Resources/complaints.html.
Department of Education
To file a complaint with the Department of Education and/or Office of Civil Rights, students should contact the Michigan Department of Education at: http://www.michigan.gov/mde/.