About

​​​​Student​ Complaints

The first course of action for students filing a complaint against an Oregon-based public university, community college, private postsecondary career school or private college, university or online degree program is to make a "good faith" effort to resolve the complaint directly with the institution involved. 

Title IX Law is a federal civil rights law in the United States that was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. It prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education programs that receive federal financial assistance.

Role of Title IX Coordinators: responsible for ensuring compliance of Title IX law; ensuring nondiscrimination, including a nondiscriminatory environment; ensuring gender equity within their institutions; ensure the recipient’s compliance with Title IX’s administrative requirements; knowledge of policies and procedures on sex discrimination; coordinating implementation and administration of procedures for resolving Title IX complaints; educating the college community on how to file a complaint alleging a violation of Title IX; investigating complaints; provide training and technical assistance on college policies related to sex discrimination.

Section 504/American with Disabilities Act: is a federal civil rights law from the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that states: “No otherwise qualified individual with disabilities in the United States. . . shall solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”.

Role of Section 504 Coordinators: responsible for the oversight for the requirements under state and federal disability discrimination laws, regulations and guidance in order to provide the college district about proper policies, procedures, and practices; monitors, implements and ensure compliance with state and federal laws, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA); protects qualified individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability.

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), in partnership with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), offers support, training, technical assistance and dispute resolution for students, schools, districts, community colleges, parents and interested parties regarding civil rights and equal opportunity. For more information, please contact Karin Moscon, ODE Civil Rights Specialist, 255 Capitol Street N.E., Salem, OR. 97310; phone 503-947- 5706; or Luis Juarez, HECC Education Specialist, 3225 25th Street S.E., Salem, OR. 97302; phone 971-375-5231. 

Note: For students who have not exhausted the institutions' grievance process, resources are available on each individual institutions website, academic catalog or student handbook.

The Commission may only receive written complaints from students for postsecondary programs, private independent non-profit colleges, public universities and community colleges for matters where the Commission’s authority is designated by statute and administrative rule. All other complaints will be referred back to the institution of origin or may be referred to the US Department of Education or other authority.

The Commission investigates and resolves complaints against Oregon public universities and community colleges related to discrimination, as defined by ORS 659.850, and retaliation, as defined by ORS 659.852​.

Students can file complaints against private career schools under ORS 345.120 and ORS 345.240​. Students who attend institutions online may also file or have their complaints referred to the proper authority through HECC. Please see the contact information below, or write to complaints@hecc.oregon.gov.​

We recommend that you contact a complaint specialist before submitting any documentation. 

​Type of Program ​Contact Person ​Contact Information
​Community Colleges Luis Juárez ​​
503-947-2430
luis.juarez@state.or.us​
​Private Career School Tabatha Heater​
503-934-3480
tabatha.heater@state.or.us​
​Public University Kia Sorensen​ 503-947-2448
kia.sorensen@state.or.us​
​Private College, University
and Online Degree Program
Sean Pollack​ 503-947-5925
sean.pollack@state.or.us​
​Financial Aid Holly Willeford​ ​541-687-7466
holly.j.willeford@state.or.us
All-degree granting private postsecondary institutions offering academic programs in Oregon, or to Oregon students from outside the state, must be approved by the HECC, Office of Academic Policy and Authorization, excluding institutions that are exempt from HECC regulations.