Options for Student Complaints Concerning Faculty Action

This page is designed to outline the College of Education policies and procedures regarding student complaints concerning faculty action, and to direct students to other campus resources. If your course instructor is a Teaching Assistant and not a faculty member, please follow the procedures outlined on the Student Complaints Concerning Actions By Teaching Assistants page.

Current Complaint Procedures in the College of Education

If a student has a complaint regarding a faculty action, these are the recommended procedures for that student in the College of Education:

  1. Document your concerns; if possible, include dates, locations, context, and as much detailed information as you can remember. Keep copies of all correspondence and document all contacts. Reporting concerns or complaints can be difficult, and you may benefit from additional support during this time. Talking with someone often helps to lessen isolation and may help you to develop productive strategies and make decisions. Please see the “Additional Resources for Student Complaints or Concerns” section below; you are always welcome to seek assistance from other campus offices listed there, whether or not you follow these College of Education procedures.
  2. If possible, speak or write directly to the faculty member against whom you have a complaint. Be prepared to clearly articulate your concerns and the resolution you are seeking.
  3. If you cannot resolve the problem or are uncomfortable talking directly to the faculty member you have a complaint about, talk to the faculty member’s Departmental Chairperson (sometimes called the DEO). That person’s name and contact information is provided in the course syllabus.
  4. If the problem remains unresolved, meet with an Associate Dean in the College of Education. Undergraduates and Masters level students in the teacher education program should contact the Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Student Services, N201 LC, 335-5591. Other undergraduate students and graduate students should contact the Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, N201 LC, 335-5261.
  5. If there is still no resolution, file a written statement with the Dean of the College of Education, N201 LC, 335-6111.
  6. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of an academic complaint against a faculty member by the Dean of the College of Education, you may ask the Office of the Provost,  111 Jessup Hall, 335-3565, to review the matter.
  7. If your complaint concerning a faculty member’s action cannot be resolved through the mechanisms described above, you may file a formal complaint of violation of the Statement on Professional Ethics and Academic Responsibility as described in the University Operations Manual.

Additional Resources for Student Complaints or Concerns

Campus Offices

You are always welcome to seek assistance from other campus offices, which are available regardless of whether you choose to follow the College of Education’s procedures. These offices are listed below:

Office of the University Ombudsperson, 308 Jefferson Building, 335-3608. This office is a confidential resource for any member of the community with a problem or concern and can assist in answering questions, understanding options, referrals to other offices if needed, and resolving conflicts or concerns. 

Office of Student Accountability, 203 IMU, 335-1527. This office can assist when you believe there has been a violation of the Code of Student Life. Office staff can discuss options available for reporting incidents to the appropriate authorities, assist victims of assault or harassment by a university student, and can also direct you to educational programs on a variety of related topics.

Graduate students may contact the Associate Dean of the Graduate College, 205 Gilmore Hall, 335-2144.

Undergraduate and graduate students may contact the Dean of Students, 135 IMU, 335-1162.

Office of Institutional Equity (OIE).  This office is available to you if you have an issue or need a resource regarding an incident of bias, harassment, discrimination, or sexual misconduct.

University Counseling Service, 3223 Westlawn S., 335-7294. This office offers free, confidential counseling services to University of Iowa students. The UCS assists students with any personal, emotional, or academic issues that prevent the attainment of academic and personal goals. The UCS is staffed by licensed psychologists and psychologists-in-training.

To make informed choices, it is important to be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements when consulting campus resources.  The confidentiality of all parties will be protected to the greatest extent possible. However, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed in all cases, and legal obligations may require the university to take some action, even when a party has requested confidentiality. If maintaining confidentiality is a priority, you may wish to consult the two resources marked “confidential” above, or one of the resources listed on the website of Confidential Resources at the University of Iowa.

Published Resources

The University of Iowa and the College of Education have clear policies designed to protect student rights and address student complaints. You may obtain copies of relevant policies from several locations including:

Last updated: July 2023