Complaint Process

Student Complaints

Northwestern 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.

Certain actions are not covered by this complaint process such as allegations of harassment or discrimination (see Title IX Student Policy).


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 within 20 class days of the incident, including a requested remedy, and submit it to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.  Receipt of complaints will be acknowledged in writing within 10 class days.  The Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students 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 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 if applicable, copied to the Human Resource Department.  The Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students will notify the student in writing when the complaint has been resolved.

If the complaint cannot be resolved using this policy and procedure at Northwestern Health Sciences University, you may contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (  The direct link to file a complaint at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education is listed here:

Documentation (new)

Written complaints will be documented by the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students.  A complaint log will be kept and will include the following:

  • Date of complaint
  • Name of complainant
  • Program / Department of complainant
  • Name of who the complaint is against
  • Program department of who the complaint is against
  • Names of others involved
  • Issue
  • Category of issue
  • Request of complainant
  • Action
  • Resolution
  • Date of Resolution
  • Additional documentation (if applicable)


Dr. Deborah Bushway, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Phone: 952-885-5405