Complaint and grievance procedure

Approved by vote of School of Business Faculty May 2022

Approved by vote of School of Business Staff April 2022

Approved by vote of School of Business Faculty Council April 2022

In accordance with the University of Washington’s Resolution of Complaints Against University Employees (Administrative Policy Statement 46.3), the School of Business at the University of Washington Bothell outlines their internal complaint procedure for undergraduate students below. It is our hope this procedure helps students resolve their concerns with faculty and staff quickly and effectively in order to preserve our inclusive and collegial School of Business community.

Who should follow this procedure?

Students who believe they have experienced unfair treatment, inappropriate behavior, or a substantive injustice in the administration of academic or university policies may, except as noted below, seek resolution of their complaints under this policy.

What is the timeline for voicing a complaint?

Timely resolution of complaints is beneficial for students, faculty and staff; therefore, students are encouraged to bring their complaint to the attention of the appropriate party within 10 days of the incident.

Where do students go to get assistance?

The Student Success Team members, including the advising team, are available to assist students to navigate through this process of resolving complaints. The University Ombud may also be consulted at any point.


  • Graduate students should follow the Informal Conciliation and/or Formal Complaint process outlined in Memo 33: UW Graduate School Academic Grievance Procedure.
  • Students seeking a grade appeal.
  • Students involved in disciplinary proceedings for misconduct, including plagiarism and cheating, should refer to the Student Conduct Code.
  • Students seeking resolution related to Disability Resources for Students (e.g., difficulties in obtaining or receiving your accommodations).
  • Students seeking to resolve financial matters (e.g., student fees, parking citations).
  • Students seeking to file a CARE Report to reach the Bias Support Team, CARE, Emergency Funding, Student Conduct, UWB Victim Advocacy Services.

Complaint procedure for undergraduate students

To ensure timely responses, students, faculty and staff must use their UW email address in email communications.

Note that meetings may occur in-person or thru a UW-associated video platform (i.e., Zoom). Meetings are not expected to be recorded.

Step 1: Student-faculty/staff discussion

The student is encouraged to attempt to resolve the complaint directly in conversation with the faculty or staff member. The student should make an appointment and state that the purpose is to discuss a complaint. Either the student or faculty/staff member may request another person be present during the discussion. Most conflicts can be resolved at this stage. If students do not feel comfortable speaking directly to the faculty or staff member, they may choose to speak directly to their supervisor (see below).

Step 2: Associate dean meeting(s) with student and/or faculty/staff

If a resolution is not achieved in Step 1, complaints should be brought to the associate dean (Academics) or, if the associate dean is the source of the conflict, then the student should go to the Dean.

The student should request a meeting by email using their UW email and include an explanation of the situation to date. The associate dean will first obtain information from all parties and, where appropriate, include the academic area chair or staff supervisor in the meeting and subsequent communications. If all parties are amenable to a joint discussion, then the associate dean will convene a joint meeting to discuss and achieve a resolution. If all parties are not amenable to a joint discussion (e.g., student wishes to remain anonymous), then the associate dean will meet with the parties separately in order to reach a resolution.

If needed, the associate dean may include a representative from the Office of the Ombud to assist with informal resolution. Disputes resolved in Step 2 need no official reporting but should be documented at the unit level by the supervisor.

Step 3: Mediation by the dean or Ad Hoc Committee

If resolution is not achieved in Step 2 and the student wishes to continue to seek a resolution, complaints should be brought to the dean of the School of Business within 10 days of the last meeting in Step 2. The student will submit a written summary of the grievance and request an appointment by email. A copy of the summary should also be provided to the person concerned in the complaint and the associate dean. Receipt of the student’s complaint will be acknowledged in writing by the dean, and the review process will commence within 10 working days of its receipt.

The person concerned may, at this time, request that an ad hoc committee mediate the resolution instead of the dean. The committee would consist of two faculty members of the Faculty Council and two student representatives from the Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement Council. Additionally, if a staff member is involved, two staff representative from the school will be invited to the committee. Other faculty, staff and students may be selected if these members are not available or are parties to the grievance.

The mediator (dean or ad hoc committee) will meet with the student to understand the student’s ongoing concerns. The mediator will also gather additional information and may request a response to the issues raised in the grievance from any individuals believed to have information considered relevant to the situation, including faculty, staff and students, within appropriate university policies and applicable state and federal regulations.

The review by the mediator will usually be limited to the following considerations:

  1. Were the proper facts and criteria brought to bear on the decision? Were improper or extraneous facts or criteria brought to bear that substantially affected the decision to the detriment of the student?
  2. Were there any procedural irregularities that substantially affected the outcome of the complaint to the detriment of the student?
  3. Given the proper facts, criteria, and procedures, was the decision one which a person in the position of the decision maker might reasonably have made?

The mediator will normally complete a review of the grievance and issue a decision on the situation in writing within 45 days. That decision is final. All reasonable measures will be taken to finalize the process as soon as practicable. The student will be informed by the mediator that the complaint has been resolved, and of any outcomes pertaining directly to the student. If any part of the complaint resolution involves disciplinary action of a faculty or staff member those actions shall remain confidential.

University policies that guide this Grievance & Complaint Policy & Procedure

Retention policy for complaint and grievance materials

  • If the matter is resolved all materials created including recordings will be destroyed immediately.
  • If the matter continues to a disciplinary action, all materials and recordings will be retained per legally approved retention requirements pending the outcome. See the university General Records Retention Schedule.

Faculty, staff and student conduct issues

Faculty and staff should report student misconduct observed or suspected to Student Conduct.