General Complaint Policy
To file complaints regarding Davidson County Community College’s operations, policies, procedures, or to seek appeals for decisions made regarding admission to the College, financial aid, academic suspension, code of conduct or other matters, follow the resolution process below.
The College values prompt resolution of complaints/appeals. Individuals are encouraged to raise a complaint/appeal within five (5) workdays following the event or decision giving rise to the complaint on a matter. A work day is defined as any day the College is in operation as specified in the College calendar.
Process for Complaint Resolution
Typically, most complaints can be resolved informally through communication between the individual and appropriate College personnel. As a first step, the individual should meet with the College employee with whom the individual has a complaint or dispute. Should that not be appropriate or feasible, the individual should meet with the employee’s supervisor. In the meeting, the individual should identify the complaint and the specific action being sought to resolve it. In a situation where the complaint does not concern a specific employee, the individual should contact the College employee with administrative responsibility for the policy, procedure, or operation at issue. Every reasonable effort should be made to resolve the matter informally and in a timely manner. Should that not be possible or appropriate, the individual may proceed to Step Two.
If the complaint cannot be resolved through the process described in Step One, the individual should file a written complaint/appeal with the appropriate vice president or executive director within 5 work days following the conclusion of Step 1. If the complaint/appeal directly involves a vice president or executive director, the President will designate some other member of the administration to receive and hear the Step Two complaint/appeal.
The letter shall identify:
- the name of the individual filing the complaint/appeal,
- a concise statement of the nature of the complaint/appeal,
- reasons for dissatisfaction with the decision from step one/decision from other process, and
- the specific action or resolution sought by the individual.
The following individuals from Student Affairs are available to assist individuals with writing a complaint/appeal:
- Director, Student Services, Davie Campus
- Dean, Student Success
After receiving the letter, the administrator will:
- review the complaint/appeal,
- interview the parties, as necessary,
- offer to call a hearing to gather additional information, and
- issue a resolution.
Within 10 workdays of receiving the complaint/appeal, the administrator will provide a written decision on the complaint/appeal to the individual or call a hearing. This time limitation may be extended by mutual agreement. If a hearing is called, the administrator will contact the individual to arrange a date.
If a hearing is deemed necessary, the individual and College may each, if they choose, be accompanied at the hearing by legal counsel. The individual must notify the College in advance of his or her wish to be accompanied by legal counsel. The individual and College may present evidence in the form of documentation and/or witness testimony. The administrator reserves the right to set reasonable limitations as to the length of the hearing.
Within 10 workdays following the hearing, the administrator will provide a written decision on the complaint/appeal to the individual. This time limitation may be extended by mutual agreement. All documents considered at Level Two shall constitute the record of the complaint/appeal.
Step Three – Final Appeal
If the individual is not satisfied with the decision of the administrator at Step Two, the individual may appeal that decision to the President. The appeal shall be in writing and delivered to the President within 5 workdays of the individual’s receipt of the administrator’s written decision from Step Two. The final appeal shall include
- the written complaint/appeal described in Step Two,
- a concise explanation of the basis of the final appeal, and
- the action/resolution being sought.
The President will review the record from Step Two, interview parties as necessary, and issue a decision. The President’s review will be based upon the record of the complaint/appeal. The president, may, in his or her discretion, request the parties to give a brief written or oral summary of their contentions if deemed necessary to understanding the facts/issues in the case. The President’s decision is final and shall be made in writing to the parties within 10 workdays. This time limitation may be extended by mutual agreement.
Time Periods and Limitations
Reasonable efforts shall be made by all parties to expedite the complaint/appeal process. If there is no mutual written agreement to extend the time limits, and if a complaint/appeal is not taken to the next step within the specified time period of this policy, the right of the individual to further appeal is terminated.
Davidson County Community College maintains a comprehensive record of all written complaints/appeals. Vice Presidents and Executive Directors are responsible for ensuring that all written complaints/appeals filed in their respective areas are documented in the College’s electronic Complaint Log. The College uses the complaint log to assess complaint/appeal patterns for indications of institutional policy, process, or quality issues. The following information regarding complaints/appeals is recorded in the Complaint Log:
- date of receipt,
- individuals involved in resolving the complaint,
- category of the complaint,
- summary of the complaint/appeal with general details and
- final resolution.
The Complaint Log is protected to ensure the maintenance of privacy and confidentiality. Informal complaints are not documented in the Complaint Log.