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Olin Hall, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

University of Denver

Student Complaint and Grievance Procedures

A variety of channels exist at the University of Denver to resolve problems that a student may encounter. Specific processes such as those for tuition appeals, academic decisions or grade appeals are listed below.

Occasionally, a student will encounter a problem on campus that he or she does not know how to resolve. When this happens, students should always try to work out the problem by first discussing it with those most involved with the issue. Dealing with concerns in the most direct and honest fashion should always be the first step toward resolution. Most problems are resolved when a student makes an appointment with a faculty or staff member and calmly and honestly communicates his/her frustrations or concerns.

If a problem still exists, the resources and formal processes listed below are available.

Sometimes DU students find they are particularly pleased with how something has been handled for them, how they were assisted by a particular staff member, the positive experience they had in a specific class or some other outstanding thing that happened to them at DU. As a student, you should know that the same avenues used to lodge a concern can also be used to provide a written compliment or note of appreciation.

Academic Decisions (Excluding Grade Appeals)

Students may petition for an exception to academic policy through the Academic Exceptions processes or file a grievance of an academic decision through the Academic Grievance process. Additional information is available on the following pages:

Grade Appeals

Grade appeals must be based on problems of process and not on differences in judgment or opinion concerning academic performance. Additional information may be found on the following pages:

Tuition Appeals

The reversal of tuition and fee charges associated with the withdrawal from a course are governed by the University's published tuition refund dates and percentages, which are posted on the Registrar's website. In the case of extenuating circumstances that are beyond the student's control, a student may appeal for an exception to the posted dates and percentages. Information related to submitting an appeal may be found on the following Web page:
Tuition Appeal

Ombuds Office

The Ombuds Office at the University of Denver provides confidential and informal assistance to faculty, staff, students and others having a problem with or within the University of Denver.

Ombuds Office
University of Denver
303-871-4712
Ombuds@du.edu
http://www.du.edu/ombuds

Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation

Concerns or complaints pertaining to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation should be directed to the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity:

Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity
2199 S. University Blvd.
Denver, Colorado 80208
303-871-7436
http://www.du.edu/equalopportunity/

Complaint Procedures may be found here:
http://www.du.edu/equalopportunity/complaints/index.html

Online or Distance Learning Programs

Complaints regarding online or distance learning programs offered by the University of Denver may be directed to the Office of the Registrar:

Office of the Registrar
2197 S. University Blvd.
Denver, Colorado 80208
303-871-3897
Registrar@du.edu

Other Complaints or Grievances

Complaints or grievances that cannot be resolved by the relevant office or procedures above may be directed to the Office of the Chancellor. Formal complaints should be in writing and include a clear description of the issue and description of the efforts to resolve the concern. Complaints should be directed to the following address:

Office of the Chancellor
University of Denver
2199 S. University Blvd.
Denver, Colorado 80208
303-871-2111
chancellor@du.edu

Complaints to External Agencies

Several external agencies are also available to students who have exhausted all other opportunities for resolution.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education regulates Colorado institutions of higher education. Their complaint policy may be found here: http://highered.colorado.gov/Academics/Complaints/

Through distance learning and other programs, the University of Denver provides instruction throughout the world. Students may direct concerns or complaints to regulatory agencies in their state. A list of U.S. state education regulatory agencies can be found on the State Contacts page.

Complaints regarding the institution's ongoing ability to meet the criteria of institutional accreditation may be directed to the Higher Learning Commission. Individuals interested in bringing an appropriate complaint to the attention of the Commission should take some time to compile a complete submission, as outlined below. There is no complaint form.

  1. Write a cover letter directed to the Commission containing a brief narrative of the facts of the complaint. In most cases, such a narrative need be no longer than a few pages.
  2. Indicate in your complaint why you believe the issues raised in your complaint are accrediting issues. If possible, please review the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation on the Commission's website prior to writing this section.
    You should also indicate how you believe the Commission can assist you with this matter. Remember that the Commission cannot assist you in understanding your tuition bill, arranging for a refund of tuition, obtaining a higher grade for a course, seeking reinstatement to an academic program, etc.
  3. Attach documentation to support your narrative wherever possible. (For example, if you make reference in your complaint to an institutional policy, include a copy of the policy with your complaint.) Helpful documentation might include relevant portions of the catalog, letters or email exchanged between you and the institution, learning agreements, etc.
  4. A few reminders:
    • Please type your complaint or print very neatly.
    • Please do not use abbreviations or nicknames (e.g., NMS or USC or U of N).
    • Sign and date the cover letter.
    • Include contact information for future correspondence, with a street address.
    • If you are writing on behalf of someone else (son/daughter or client), be sure to provide that person’s consent in writing to allow you to communicate with the Commission on his/her behalf.
  5. Mail the letter and its attachments to the Commission’s office at 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1413. The Commission does not have an online complaint system and does not accept complaints via email.

Please note that the Commission will not consider those complaints that are not in writing and do not contain the elements noted here. The Commission’s complaint policy precludes it from considering matters more than 5 years old.

The Commission will acknowledge your complaint within thirty days of receiving it and let you know whether your complaint is complete and whether it raises issues that are related to accrediting requirements or whether it is an individual dispute outside the jurisdiction of the Commission’s complaint policy.

Email questions to complaints@hlcommission.org.