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Student Complaint Policies and Procedures

St. Thomas University uses a decentralized model in recording and resolving student complaints.

The Business Office.

The Business Office handles disputes related to financial matters specific to charges billed to student accounts. All financial disputes are made in writing. Students must complete a Request for Appeal available at http://web.stu.edu/Portals/0/ReqApp.pdf, the Bobcat Enrollment Center or the Business Office. When completed, this form with its supporting documents can be returned or faxed (305-474-6930) to the Bobcat Enrollment Center.

Ombudsman’s Services

For written academic complaints, undergraduate and graduate main campus and online students and faculty are expected to follow the Academic Grievance Process (see pp. 92-94) found in the current student handbook (https://www.stu.edu/Portals/students/Student%20Affairs/docs/handbookstudent.pdf).

Main Campus Undergraduate Programs: The Office of Student Affairs works to resolve student academic and non-academic concerns/complaints for undergraduate students.

Undergraduate Ombudsman
Mr. Richard McNab
305.628.6554 | rmcnab@stu.edu

Main Campus Graduate Programs: The Deans have appointed an ombudsman for graduate students. Each faculty ombudsman has been assigned to serve students from a different school than their own in order to avoid any conflict of interest.

Main Campus Graduate Ombudsman by School

Biscayne College Dr. Leslee Higgins
305.474.6072 | Lhiggins@stu.edu
School of Arts and Education Dr. Gary Feinberg
305.628.6578 | gfeinberg@stu.edu
School of Business Dr. Adrienne Vynne
305.628.6569 | avynne@stu.edu
School of Science Dr. Mary Carter-Waren
305.628.6653 | mcarter-waren@stu.edu
School of Theology Dr. Susan Massey
305.474.6997 | smassey@stu.edu

Undergraduate and Graduate Online Programs Ombudsman

Dr. Thelma Cole
305.474.6879 | tcole@stu.edu

Student Complaint Log. The office of OIT maintains the Student Complaint Log in a Share Point that can be accessed only by the Ombudsmen, Deans and the Provost. The Ombudsmen enter comments in the student’s data file documenting the concern, all follow-up information, and the resolution.

Contact Information:
Mr. Rudy Ibarra
V.P. & Chief Information Officer
Office of OIT
305-628-6633
ribarra@stu.edu
16401 N.W. 37th Ave.
Miami Gardens, Fl 33054

Student Affairs.

For non-academic complaints, students are expected to follow the Student Grievance Policy (see pp. 102-105) found in the current student handbook (https://www.stu.edu/Portals/students/Student%20Affairs/docs/handbookstudent.pdf)

Each Student Affairs office logs the grievance in the Student Complaint Log – Student Affairs. If the grievance is related to a student behavioral infraction, information related to the case/grievance is also documented in the University’s online judicial platform.

The Office of Information Technology (OIT).

OIT uses a centralized Help Desk service for faculty, staff, and students to log and process all technology related service calls, requests, and complaints. The Help Desk uses a Trouble Ticket system developed in-house to document, assign, track, and notify users via email of service requests and resolution status. After hours, St. Thomas uses a Voice Mail transcription and notification service so the requests can be automatically routed to the night-time technician on campus for faster resolution. The Trouble Ticket system runs automated status reports on a daily basis so the support team can see all the pending tickets and their status in one convenient format.

Contact Information:
Phone: 305-628-6610; E-mail: helpdesk@stu.edu

The School of Law.

Student complaints in the School of Law are handled by the School’s Student Affairs Office. The procedure is set out in the Law Student Handbook (see p. 46) at https://www.stu.edu/Portals/students/Student%20Affairs/docs/2015-Student-Handbook.pdf and the Complaint Form (https://www.stu.edu/Portals/law/docs/students/Complaint.pdf).


State Consumer Protection Agencies

In addition to these internal policies and procedures designed to assist students with issues or complaints, some states where St. Thomas offers online programs require information regarding their consumer protection policies and procedures related to student complaints be made available. These states and their contact information are listed below:

Alaska

The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) processes complaints alleging violations of state institutional authorization law relative to postsecondary institutions or programs in Alaska. A student is encouraged to pursue the complaint/grievance process at their institution prior to contacting ACPE. This process is outlined in the institution’s Student Complaint Website. To request a complaint form, please send an email to: EED.ACPE-IA@alaska.gov.

For questions or assistance relative to complaints please contact:

Kierke Kussart
Program Coordinator for Institutional Authorization
907-465-6741
EED.ACPE-IA@alaska.gov

Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
PO Box 110505
Juneau, AK 99811-0505

Maryland

St. Thomas is registered with the Commission through June 30, 2016 to enroll Maryland students in fully online distance education programs listed below. The Commission’s registration of these fully online programs is not an authorization of the institution to operate in Maryland or an approval or endorsement of the institution’s programs.

St. Thomas is subject to investigation of complaints by the Office of the Attorney General or the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Complaints should be directed to:

Maryland Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
200 St. Paul St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-528-8662/888/743/0823 (toll free)

Available at http://web.stu.edu/ImportantLinks/ConsumerInformationPortalHEOA/StudentComplaintInformation/tabid/5933/Default.aspx