Department of Education Complaint Process
The University of Illinois at Chicago is committed to respecting all members of the University community and providing a quality educational experience for all students. Further, federal regulations require institutions of higher education to disclose information for filing complaints. The information below is intended to provide both institutional and external contact information to current and prospective students.
If complaints cannot be resolved at the college level or with the help of Student Ombuds Service (see below), the formal mechanism to register student complaints is through the Student Academic Grievance Procedures. They define an administrative process through which students may seek resolution of complaints or grievances regarding academic standing during their enrollment at UIC. Examples of complaints addressed by this process include but are not limited to grade disputes and program dismissals. Note that these procedures may not be used for decisions made as a result of the Student Conduct Process, described below.
If a complaint cannot be resolved within the college or the student prefers to speak to someone outside of the college, students have access to several services within the Office of the Dean of Students (DOS). The Student Ombuds Service within the Office of the Dean of Students provides an impartial advocate for fairness who investigates student complaints. The Ombudsperson may serve as a counselor, go-between, mediator, or informal fact finder. Some of the matters which may be addressed by this service include grade disputes / grievance procedures, student record errors, billing / financial issues and registration problems.
The Student Conduct Process within the Office of the Dean of Students is also available to any student, university employee, or community member with a complaint about a UIC student. They can file a student misconduct incident report or academic integrity incident report form regarding possible violations of the University Standards of Conduct, which is included in the Student Disciplinary Policy.
The Office for Access and Equity strives to increase access to employment, programs, and services in an environment free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. As part of the Office of the Chancellor, the Office for Access and Equity (OAE) is the office charged with reviewing and addressing complaints of harassment and/or discrimination. This includes sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and retaliation. Students may file a complaint internally using the established reporting process on the OAE website.
UIC is committed to maintaining a barrier-free environment so that individuals with disabilities can fully access programs, services, and all activities at UIC. Students with complaints or concerns about accessibility issues on campus can submit an Online Report of UIC Accessibility Issues available at the UIC Disability Resources website. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) receives these reports and follows up with different units on campus based on the nature of the complaint. If the student experiences discrimination based on disability it should be reported directly to the Office of Access and Equity (OAE).
If a student's complaint cannot be resolved by the University, a complaint may be filed with the Illinois Board of Higher Education, which regulates higher education institutions in Illinois, through their Complaint System; or the student may contact the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), UIC's regional accrediting agency, through their Complaint Process.
Online Education Complaint Resolution
Students enrolled in Online or Distance Education courses are encouraged to contact their respective college office to seek advice. Since the University of Illinois at Chicago has been approved as an institutional participant in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) initiative by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), students enrolled from participating SARA states, as indicated by the State Authorization webpage, follow the SARA Complaint Resolution Process. Such students may contact the Illinois Board of Higher Education (the Illinois SARA portal agency) with complaints that were not resolved through the student campus complaint procedures described above by accessing the IBHE online complaint system.
Students enrolled in programs in states outside of SARA contact their own state agencies with complaints that were not resolved through the student UIC campus complaint procedures described above. Online students with questions about complaint procedures may also contact UIC Extended Campus at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (312) 355-0423. Listed below are the state agencies for states or U.S. territories not currently participating in SARA.
California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education
Florida Commission on Independent Education
Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
New Jersey Commission on Higher Education
PO Box 542
Trenton, NJ 08625
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs
124 Halsey Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102
New York Office of College and University Evaluation New York State Education Department
New York State Department of State Division of Consumer Protection Consumer Assistance Unit
5 Empire State Plaza, Suite 2101
Albany, New York 12223-1556
Student Complaint Procedures
Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education
PO Box 1900
San Juan, PR
Puerto Rico Department of Justice
San Juan, PR