Academic Catalog

Grievance Policy

A grievance is a claim that an egregious academic action or decision involved alleged unfair or irresponsible behavior. Examples of grievances might include perceived staff or instructor misconduct, unfair treatment, or misleading information, or where there might be a perceived arbitrary, capricious, or unequal application of University policy. The grievance process should not be used for academic appeals, e.g. appeals of an earned grade, or Title IX issues.

The university has established procedures beginning at the department level for settling grievances. The Grievance Policy is in place to provide a procedure to address academic or administrative issues that require investigation or resolution. For example, a grievance may arise because of a decision or action made by an instructor or administrator, which is thought to be in violation of Aspen University’s policies, or constitutes arbitrary, capricious or unequal application of University policy. The grievance process requires that all parties make a good faith effort to resolve all issues. The following is the Grievance Policy procedure:

Student Grievance Procedure
Step 1: Informal Resolution
The student is encouraged to resolve the issue informally with the instructor or administrator involved. If the issue is with an instructor, make every effort to resolve it prior to contacting an Academic Advisor for information regarding contact information for the appropriate administrator.

If an Informal Resolution does not solve the issue, the student should contact their Academic Advisor for a Grievance Reporting Form.

Step 2: Informal Supervisor Intervention
The student will complete Section 1 of the Grievance Reporting Form and return it to their Academic Advisor for initial review and finalizing with the student. The Academic Advisor will discuss with their manager to resolve any outstanding questions before the Academic Advising Manager forwards the form on to the appropriate supervisor for review. The supervisor will contact the student directly to resolve the issue within 10 days, complete Section 2 of the form, and return the form to the Academic Advising Manager. If resolved satisfactorily, the Academic Advising Manager stores the form into the student’s file. The Academic Advisor returns the completed form to the student for their records.

If the informal intervention does not reach a resolution or if the student has requested to initiate the formal grievance process, the student should complete Section 3 of the Grievance Report Form and submit the completed form to their Academic Advisor.

Step 3: Formal Grievance Committee Intervention
Upon receipt of a completed Grievance Report Form, including Section 3, the Academic Advisor will notify the Manager to request the Aspen University Grievance Committee be convened.

The Grievance Committee will conduct an initial review of the grievance to determine whether it sets forth information and allegations that reasonably suggest a need for further action. If necessary, the Grievance Committee may require additional information. If the requested information is not received within 15 calendar days of the request, the grievance may be considered abandoned.

If the Grievance Committee determines the grievance information and allegations does not require further action, the individual filing the grievance will be notified with an explanation within 30 days and the grievance may be closed.

If the Grievance Committee determines the grievance information and allegations does require further action, The Committee will facilitate a resolution for all parties within 30 days.

Step 4: Decision Appeal
A decision made by the Grievance Committee may be appealed to the Provost. The Provost will discuss with other leadership as appropriate and render a decision in writing within 30 days. The Provost’s decision is final. The individual filing the grievance will be updated throughout the grievance process.

Aspen University Grievance Committee
The Aspen University Grievance Committee will at a minimum consist of the Registrar, Director of Student Services, and other members of administration or leadership as deemed appropriate based on the nature of the grievance. Impartial instructors, staff, administrators, or third-party experts may be invited to serve the Grievance Committee on an as-needed basis, specific to the situation at the University’s discretion. Individuals about whom the grievance is made will not be a member of the Committee or the decision process. Sufficient opportunity will be provided for individuals named in the grievance to respond. Records of all grievances are kept on file at Aspen University.

Formal Written Grievances
Written grievances must contain the following on the Grievance Reporting Form:

  • an explanation of the basis for the grievance;
  • relevant dates, names and a succinct description of the actions that occurred;
  • copies of any available documents or materials that support the allegations

In the case where the complainant’s name is requested to be kept confidential, the University will consider how to move forward and whether the complaint sets forth reasonable and credible information that an infraction has occurred and whether the individual’s identity is necessary to investigate. Anonymity is respected at the discretion of the University.


Registering a Complaint with the State

If you have a complaint that cannot be resolved exhausting the University's grievance procedure, you may contact the Colorado Commission on Higher Education online here, send the complaint to 1600 Broadway, Suite 2200, Denver, CO 80202, or call (303) 862-3001.  You may contact the Arizona State Board for Private Post-Secondary Education online here, send the complaint to 1740 West Adams Street, #3008, Phoenix, AZ, 85007, or call (602) 542-5709.

You may also click on the map found here if you prefer to contact the state of your residence.