Student Grievances


In order to make improvements to services and in teaching and learning, Luther College recognizes the need for formal processes that enable the College to integrate learning from student complaints.

Terms and Definitions

Formal Complaint

A grievance directed to senior administrative representatives of Luther College about the institution and/or its operations that a student wishes to have formally resolved.

Recipients of Formal Complaints

  • Academic Affairs: Provost of the College
  • Student Affairs (including Student Life, Residence Life, Wellness, Counseling Services, Health Services, the Student Handbook, and the Student Code of Conduct): Dean of Student Engagement
  • Student Employment: Vice President for Enrollment Management and Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Dining Services: Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Financial aid: Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Other Complaints:
    • Provost Office
    • Dean of Student Engagement
    • Vice President for Development
    • Vice President for Enrollment Management
    • Vice President for Finance and Administration
    • Vice President for Mission and Communication
    • Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer
  • Students may also seek additional information regarding Luther College or file a complaint with the Iowa College Student Aid Commission online or by phone at 877-272-4456

Procedures and Guidelines

Initiating a Formal Complaint

Prior to submitting a formal complaint, a student should make every attempt to resolve disagreements with the person(s), department(s), or office(s) involved.

Complaints related to the following categories require the use of an online form in order to be considered as a formal grievance: Academic Affairs; Student Affairs (including Student Life, Residence Life, Wellness, Counseling Services, Health Services, the Student Handbook, and the Student Code of Conduct); Student Employment; and Dining Services. Any complaint regarding a category described above that is received by a means other than though an online form will be classified as informal and will not be considered under this policy.

Signed complaints that are not related to a category described above must be submitted either in writing or electronically from a Luther College email address to an officer of the administration, listed above,  in order to be considered as a formal grievance.

All complaints, regardless of their mode of submission, must include the following information: (1) student name; (2) student identification number; (3) student email address; (4) description of the grievance, including place, time, and other involved parties, as applicable; (5) what steps have been taken to resolve the grievance to date, and (6) requested outcome.

Addressing Formal Complaints

Formal complaints will be addressed in a timely manner by the recipients identified above. Students will be notified of the institution’s response to the complaint. The resolution process for some complaints may involve other individuals, as described below, in addition to the recipients of the formal complaint.

Academic Affairs: Associate Dean of the College, Registrar, Director of the Center for Academic Enrichment, Director of the TRIO Achievement Program, Executive Director of the Center for Global Learning, and the Heads of Academic Programs

Student Affairs: Assistant Dean for Student Engagement and Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Assistant Dean and Director of Residence Life, Director of Counseling Services, Director of the Career Center, Director of Student Activities and Dahl Centennial Union, Medical Director of the Health Service, Director of the Nena Amundsen Lifetime Wellness Program, Assistant Dean for Student Engagement and Director of Case Management, and the Director of Campus Safety and Security

Student Employment: Work Study Coordinator, Director of Financial Aid, and the Director of Human Resources

Dining Services: General Manager of the Culinary Team

Records Maintenance

Records of formal complaints will be maintained by the appropriate administrative office for a period of ten years. Each record will include (1) the date that the complaint was received, (2) a description of the complaint, (3) steps taken by the administrative office to resolve the complaint, (4) any final decisions or resolutions reached by the College regarding the complaint, and (5) any changes to college policies or processes based upon the complaint.


The Dean of Student Engagement will prepare an annual report describing the aggregated student complaints for review by the President of the College and the Cabinet. The annual report will contain the total number of complaints received by each of the categories described above, as well as a summary record for each complaint. The annual report will not contain any personally identifiable information of any persons involved in the complaint. The annual report will be stored in the Office of the President, and it will be available for review by the Higher Learning Commission as part of any comprehensive or special evaluation pertaining to the accreditation status of Luther College.

Relation to Other College Grievance Policies

This policy is not a substitute for policies related to student sexual misconduct or discriminatory and harassing behavior described in the Student Handbook. This policy does not replace the policies related to Academic Evaluation or Final Grade Appeals outlined in the Faculty Handbook and College Catalog, respectively.

Confidentiality and Record

Confidentiality shall be maintained to the greatest extent possible within the requirements of addressing and resolving formal complaints – only those individuals with an immediate need to know may learn of the identity of the parties involved. Any attempt by a faculty member, staff member, or a student to penalize or retaliate in any way against a complainant or witness is prohibited specifically by this policy and will be treated as a separate incident subject to the appropriate corrective action.