To assist University of Alabama students in submitting university-related complaints and appeals, the Division of Student Affairs maintains a website, sa.ua.edu/contact/complaints-and-appeals/, which directs students to the most appropriate and effective venue or appeals process to handle student complaints. Links are provided to the process for academic appeals, academic misconduct, academic reinstatement, academic suspension and probation appeals, financial aid appeals, freshmen residency exemption, library fines, meal plan exemptions, parking appeals, and office of student judicial appeals.The University’s UAct website provides links to offices and individuals who assist members of the campus community in reporting concerns about discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence, retaliation, abuse or neglect of a child under the age of 18, hazing, fraud and ethical compliance, and alarming/threatening behaviors having the potential to negatively impact the UA community.
Internal Complaint Process for Students Regarding Educational Programs and Courses
Students who wish to submit a complaint regarding graduate or undergraduate educational programs at The University of Alabama, or for courses and activities taking place outside of Alabama, must complete this form and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org to facilitate an effective response. Any supporting documentation, such as emails or other correspondence, should be included in order to help others understand the events leading to the complaint. The complaint should state what, if any, remedy is sought and should be addressed to:
Dr. Kevin Whitaker
Executive Vice President and Provost
254 Rose Administration Building, Box 870114
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0114
Telephone: (205) 348-4890
Complaints Regarding Educational Programs
In addition to the above-mentioned internal complaint process, a student may file a complaint alleging a violation of one or more of the following three categories:
1. Complaints that allege a violation of state consumer protection laws:
- This includes, but is not limited to, giving false or misleading information to a student.
2. Complaints that allege a violation of state law or rule relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions:
- Access contact information related to the University’s authorization to provide postsecondary education in Alabama and other U.S. states and territories.
3. Complaints relating to the quality of education or other state or accreditation requirements:
- The University of Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, educational specialist and doctoral degrees. More about the University’s status with its regional accrediting agency is available at http://oiraservices.ua.edu/content/oie/accreditation.
- Selected academic programs at the University have also been accredited by specialized accrediting agencies.
Courses/Activities Taking Place Outside of Alabama
Students enrolled in online courses and programs, or a supervised field experience taking place outside of Alabama (i.e., practicum, student teaching, clinical, etc.), must first use the University’s above-mentioned internal complaint process prior to filing a complaint with a state agency or agencies.
The state of Alabama is a member of National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) and The University of Alabama is an approved NC-SARA institution. As such, the University follows an established common set of standards among member states for offering postsecondary distance education. Confirm whether the state where the course/activity in question took place participates in NC-SARA.
- NC-SARA States — If, after exhausting all available institutional processes, a student’s complaint remains unresolved and the state where the course/activity took place is an NC-SARA state, the student may file a complaint to the Alabama State Portal Agency. The Alabama State Portal Agent is part of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) and handles complaints resulting from the University’s distance education courses and programs taking place in other NC-SARA states. “Distance education” means instruction offered by any means where the student and faculty member are in separate physical locations. It includes, but is not limited to, online, interactive video, or correspondence courses or programs. The Alabama State Portal Agency also handles complaints regarding supervised field experience (i.e., practicum, student teaching, clinical, etc.) taking place in a state participating in NC-SARA. Complaints dealing with grades and/or student conduct will not be considered by Alabama State Portal Agent. Please note that if a student has not utilized all available internal procedures allowed by the University, she/he will be referred back to the University to complete the process. Complaints should be submitted in writing by completing this form.
- Non-NC-SARA States — If, after exhausting all available institutional processes, a student’s complaint remains unresolved and the state where the course/activity took place is NOT an NC-SARA state, the student may make a complaint to an agency in the state where the course/activity took place. This includes, but is not limited to, online, interactive video, or correspondence courses or programs, and supervised field experiences (i.e., practicum, student teaching, clinical, etc.). Access a list of appropriate agencies for each state in which the student may file a complaint.
Contact Information for Complaints with Accrediting Agencies
The University expects that any student complaint will be filed in accordance with the University’s internal complaint process and procedures before resolution is sought from the University’s accreditation body. The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist, and doctoral degrees. For information on accreditation status, contact: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097; (404) 679-4500; www.sacscoc.org.
- to learn about the accreditation status of the institution;
- to file a third-party comment at the time of the University’s decennial review; or
- to file a complaint against the University for alleged non-compliance with a standard or requirement.
The University of Alabama School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Students who wish to file a complaint regarding The University of Alabama School of Law and ABA accreditation standards should complete this form available on the Law School’s website. For information on how to file a complaint with the ABA regarding accreditation standards contact:
ABA Chicago Headquarters
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654
|ABA Washington DC Office
740 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
Contact Information for Complaints Regarding State Consumer Protection Laws
The University expects that any student complaint will be filed in accordance with the University’s internal complaint process and procedures before resolution is sought from the Alabama Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection. Students who wish to file a complaint regarding a consumer-related issue may contact the Alabama Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-5658 or may refer to https://ago.alabama.gov/ConsumerComplaint to file an online complaint or may contact the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection at the following addresses:
Post Office Box 300152
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
501 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36104