Upon occasion, a student may have a concern that he or she needs help resolving. If the concern is a final grade, the instructor is the first person to contact. The full process is described in the Final Grade Appeals section below. If there is some other issue, the university has a process that assures a prompt resolution.
Salem’s students have the right to be heard and the right to have any issues addressed timely. The university has a strict non-retaliation policy; so, lodging a complaint is not a stigma. While no one likes complaints, the university learns from constructive student feedback and seeks to improve its performance accordingly.
The following steps are to be followed.
Grievances and Complaints Related to Specific Courses
Other Grievances and Complaints
If the grievance or complaint involves any person listed above, then the student shall begin with the next higher person listed. For example, if the matter relates directly to the student’s interaction with the dean or director, then the student will begin the process with a statement to the Provost, either in person or by email.
Student complaints regarding Final Grades are handled as specified in Final Grade Appeals. Other complaints are handled as specified in Other Grievance Procedures.
Salem operates in conformance with the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) guidelines. Unresolved complaints resulting from distance education courses may be forwarded to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC), which is West Virginia’s SARA “portal entity.” WVHEPC will investigate and resolve allegations of dishonest or fraudulent activity, including the provision of false or misleading information. The SARA process for resolving complaints is as follows:
Students have the right to appeal their final grades in courses if they believe their grades reflect a capricious, arbitrary, or prejudiced academic evaluation, or reflect discrimination based on race, sex, age, handicap, veteran status, religion or creed, sexual orientation, color, or national origin. The posted grade shall remain in effect until the appeal procedure is completed. The following procedure will be used to handle the appeal.
This procedure is to be completed within 15 calendar days. If a grade change is approved, the University will ensure the
change is recorded in the student’s official academic record.
To submit a complaint, please contact:
Mrs. Barbara McClain
Executive Assistant to the President
223 West Main Street
Salem, WV 26426
Please provide the following information about your grievance:
You will receive a written reply acknowledging your submission within five (5) business days. This reply will indicate the steps the university is taking to address the matter.
You also may make a formal complaint to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission:
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
1018 Kanawha Boulevard, East – Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25301
WVHEPC’s Student Complaint process is described at: http://www.wvhepc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Student-Complaint-Process-revised-3.pdf
Information on submitting a complaint to Salem is available in the catalogs, which may be downloaded: