Purpose

The purpose of this document is to:

  •  Present Counseling Center policy for addressing student complaints.
  •  Explain our procedures for addressing how we review and resolve student complaints in a timely manner.
  • Explain how we summarize the number, type and resolution of complaints we have received in the three years prior to the HLC comprehensive visit.
  • Explain our mechanism for tracking and aggregating student complaint information.
  • Explain how we study the pattern of student complaints to determine whether improvements in our programs or processes might be appropriate. 


Policy

The Counseling Center and Division of Student Affairs will address and systematically process student complaints that it receives in a timely manner.

In addition, the Code of Student Community Standards states that each Ferris State University student has the right to initiate a complaint that may bring about an investigation and/or disciplinary action involving another member of the University academic community.

Procedures

If a student has a complaint, the recommended general strategy is for that student to first contact the Counseling Center with the issue at hand, unless there are good reasons for not doing so, such as a desire to maintain anonymity with the Department.

The University Directory and the Counseling Center website are two means to contact the office to make a complaint.  Another is to contact: 

 

Renee L. Douglas, MA, LLP, Interim Director - Phone (231) 591-5968

Counseling Center

 

Student Anonymity (Confidentiality)

If, for any reason, a student does not want to personally or directly contact a staff member to discuss a complaint, they may contact the person in the next highest level of authority, which would commonly be the supervisor (director, dean, associate vice president, or vice president).  The student can request an appointment to meet with the director/dean/associate vice president/vice president and/or send a signed written description of the issue or problem and request that their identity be kept confidential.  That request will be honored unless there are over-riding reasons to do otherwise.

Advice to Students -  Steps to Submitting a Formal Written Signed Complaint:

 

Step 1:

 First try to resolve your complaint informally by talking with a staff member in the department most directly connected to your complaint.  The staff member may request that you provide additional documentation if necessary, or schedule an appointment to address your concern.

Step 2:

If you want to submit a formal written signed complaint please do so to the Director of the Counseling Center.  If you are not sure who the appropriate person is, simply ask any staff member for assistance.  The written signed complaint must include the following information

  • The actual complaint (be as specific as possible), and
  • The specific outcome you are seeking.

Step 3: 

The Counseling Center Director or designee will address the complaint with the individual in a timely basis and to the best of his/her ability.  Appropriate actions and steps will be taken; if necessary, to resolve the issue for the good of the student and the department with the goal of service improvement.

 Step 4:

If the problem remains unresolved, the Director or staff member may refer the student to the Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee.

General Information for Addressing Student Complaint from other areas:

All student concerns are taken seriously at the Counseling Center and the overall Division of Student Affairs. Students are encouraged to attempt to resolve non Counseling Center complaints by visiting or calling the following areas to directly resolve their concern with the appropriate staff members.  Counseling staff are usually able to refer students to appropriate offices.

Issues related to academic transcripts, transfer credits:

Contact Admissions and Records at (231) 591-2100 located on the second floor of the

Timme Center for Student Services.

Issues regarding Rankin Student Center room reservations and event hosting:

Contact the Rankin Student Center at (231) 591-2679.

Issues related to University Recreation:

Contact the Student Recreation Center at (231) 591-2679.

Issues related to school closures for severe weather or other emergencies:  Contact the FSU Communications Center (ext. 2100), visit the Ferris homepage, or the MyFSU webpage.

Issues about on-campus housing (residence halls/apartments):

  • Generally, if a student has a complaint they should bring it to the attention of their Residence Advisor (RA) in the Residence Halls or Community Advisor (CA) if they live in one of the campus apartments.
  • If there is a concern about the Hall Director, students can speak with the Assistant Director of Housing.
  • Students may also speak with the Director of Housing. 

The main Housing number is (231) 591-3745 and specific numbers for each Residence Hall (to contact the appropriate Hall Director) are listed under "Residence Halls" in the University Directory.  Contact the Housing Office for campus apartment concerns.

Process for Summarizing the Number, Type and Resolution of Student Complaints

  • Each Director within the Division of Student Affairs uses an Excel spreadsheet to record the number, type and resolution of student complaints they receive.  An example of this spreadsheet is provided below.
  • Twice per year, all complaints are sent to the Executive Secretary to the Vice President of Student Affairs who aggregates the data into a master document.
  • This data is then studied to see if patterns emerge which reveal a need for improvements in our programs, activities or services.

  • The Division of Student Affairs Student Complaint Report