Resolving Student Concerns & Complaints
At Florida Gulf Coast University, we recognize that at times you may face challenges, and will need help in addressing them. There are different methods and departments that can help you resolve your concerns or complaints.
Addressing a Concern or Complaint
Students may raise concerns and complaints with the Ombuds on a confidential basis, see Student Disputes Resolution policy. Exceptions to confidentiality exist due to law and FGCU policy. The Ombuds will explain those exceptions at an initial meeting.
Individuals may characterize the issue they bring forward as an issue, a concern, or a complaint. Issues and concerns are generally thought of as more minor and complaints as more serious. Generally, issues and concerns will be dealt with informally. Complaints may be dealt with either informally or formally. The Ombuds will work with visitors to explain policies and procedures, define options, and help create strategies to resolve problems. The Ombuds offers feedback on systemic problems and provides feedback and requests for policy consideration to the President, administrators, faculty and staff.
The Ombuds may use an array of informal strategies to identify options and attempt to resolve concerns or complaints.
When you have a concern you can either reach out directly to the individual, department or college involved, or you may reach out to the Ombuds Office for assistance. There are a number of ways concerns can be addressed including a conversation, a facilitated conversation or a mediation.
Depending on the type of issue, there are different procedures you can follow.
- If the concern is academic in nature, meaning it relates to a course or a grade, you can contact the involved party to reach a resolution. If doing so is ineffective, you may contact the Ombuds Office for assistance. Additionally, if you are uncomfortable addressing the issue with the involved party, you may contact the Ombuds Office.
- If the concern is non-academic there might be different options you may pursue, depending on the nature of the issue. You are encouraged to contact the department involved for assistance with your issue. If you are unable to reach a resolution, you may contact the Ombuds Office.
- If your complaint involves sexual harassment, sexual violence, rape, sexual assault, sex discrimination, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, intimate partner violence or stalking please contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.
Students are encouraged to resolve concerns by contacting the campus office responsible for the area relevant to the complaint. If the student is dissatisfied with the response, the student may contact the relevant area supervisor, director, department chair, or dean for resolution. Nothing within this process precludes students from seeking counsel from an advisor of their choice.
Florida Gulf Coast University considers grievances filed using the following university procedures to be formal written student complaints. Academic colleges and other FGCU administrative units may establish their own informal policies and procedures for addressing reported student grievances. Procedures for resolution vary based upon the nature of the complaint.
If your complaint is academic, meaning it relates to grades or coursework, the first step would be to speak to the involved party. The involved party might be the professor or dean of the appropriate college. If you’ve already tried speaking with the involved party and the issue remains unresolved or if you feel uncomfortable speaking with the involved party, you can speak to the University Ombuds.
Review the 2020-2021 Academic Program catalogs.
Submitting a Grade Appeal
If your concern is related to a grade, and you have attempted to resolve the issue informally but were unsuccessful, you may submit a grade appeal. For instructions on the grade appeal process, please refer to the Registrar’s webpage.
Specific Grade Appeal Forms/ProceduresSome colleges have specific grade appeal policies and/or forms, please review this with your academic advisor.
If your concern doesn’t relate to a grade, or a class, here are some other processes you can review:
Florida State University Board of Governors Student Complaint Procedure
Florida Gulf Coast University is one of twelve state universities that comprise the Florida State University System governed by a statewide Board of Governors (BOG). The BOG’s internal policy is to respect the processes each university has established to address student complaints and to require that students exhaust all appropriate internal university processes before seeking an external review. However, after a student has exhausted all internal university processes, provided there is no avenue for external appellate review by a court, the BOG’s complaint form may be completed and submitted by those students asserting noncompliance with state law or Board regulations. The complaint form is posted at http://www.flbog.edu/contact/.
Additional University Resources
The Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) is responsible for overseeing the University’s response to internal and external complaints of harassment and discrimination brought by students and employees.
The Office of the University Ombuds works with students, faculty and staff to assist in problem solving and as an advocate for fairness.