Complaint Process

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Northwestern Health Sciences University provides a complaint process to allow students to challenge certain actions related to their educational experience at Northwestern. Any student who believes that another student or an employee of the University has subjected him/her to treatment that violates written University policy may seek to have his/her complaint addressed.

Complaints involving the arbitrary or capricious assignment of grades must be handled through the Grade Appeal Policy (see sections 5.7.2, 6.6.2 and 7.7.1 of the Student Handbook (pdf).

Certain actions are not covered by this complaint process such as allegations of harassment or discrimination (see 3.5 Harassment and 3.10 Non-Discrimination Policy of the Student Handbook (pdf).


Most student complaints can be resolved by discussions with the person or group involved. When this approach is unsuccessful, or seems undesirable or inappropriate, the student must summarize the complaint in writing, including a requested remedy, and submit it to the Vice President of Student Affairs. Receipt of complaints will be acknowledged in writing within seven calendar days. The Vice President of Student Affairs will consult with the student, and either assist the student with resolution of the complaint, or refer the written complaint to the appropriate supervisor or academic dean.

The complaint will be investigated and an appropriate course of action determined. Information disclosed during a complaint will be handled with discretion and disclosed only on a need-to-know basis in order to investigate and resolve the complaint.

The facts of each incident will determine the response to each complaint. Previous or repeated behavior may be taken into consideration. Responses to complaints range from resolution by informal discussion to more serious action, up to and including termination of employment or dismissal from the academic program. Resolution of the complaint will be documented and placed in the student and/or employee’s file, and copied to the Vice President of Student Affairs. The Vice President of Student Affairs will notify the student in writing when the complaint has been resolved.

A full list of policies can be found in the Student Handbook (pdf). 


Dr. Emily Tweed, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Phone: 952-887-1381

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