Filing a Student Complaint Against an Oregon Public University
NOTE, January 2018: The complaint process has changed; new guidelines will be posted in the near future.
The first course of action for students filing a complaint against an Oregon-based public university listed in ORS 352.002 is to make a good faith effort to resolve the complaint directly with the university involved. Documentation indicating this has been done must be must be provided to Commission staff prior to beginning the complainant review process.
NOTE: For students who have not exhausted the complaint process at the institutional level, resources on the process are typically available on the institution’s academic catalog, website or student handbook.
The Commission investigates and resolves complaints against Oregon public universities related to discrimination as defined by ORS 659.850, and retaliation as defined by ORS 659.852.
The Commission does not intervene in student grade disputes at public universities, unless the student believes the grade dispute has resulted in or is the result of discrimination or retaliation against the student.
Oregon law prohibits any form of retaliation against any student who submits a complaint against an Oregon-based institution. This includes students who have not filed a formal complaint through the Commission, and those filing a complaint directly with the institution. If the student is fearful of retaliation, please contact Kia Sorensen.
The Commission cannot investigate or review an anonymous complaint.
The Commission cannot offer any legal advice during the complaint investigation. Any information received shall not be interpreted as legal advice or consultation.
The following agency intake process is used for review of student complaints against Oregon public universities:
- Student will submit an inquiry to Commission staff.
- If the institutional complaint process is not exhausted, then the complaint is referred back to the institution.
- If the institutional complaint process is exhausted, then Commission Staff asks student to submit information pertaining to complaint and information release.
- The institution submits additional information and suggests appropriate resolution.
- If resolution acceptable, complaint STOPS HERE. If not resolved, process continues to next step.
- HECC and institution negotiate in good faith to resolve the complaint. If necessary, HECC or its designee investigates the complaint, and may recommend mediation.
- HECC issues letter to student informing the student of the complaint process outcome.