Student Complaints and Concerns

Commonwealth University makes every effort to resolve student complaints internally, using policies and procedures outlined in the current University Catalogs, Student Handbook, and Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines Web Page. This page lists available resources for resolving issues, concerns, complaints, and appeals in a timely, fair, and efficient manner.

All Commonwealth students should review the Commonwealth University Student Handbook as a point of reference for how to maintain a positive, healthy, inclusive, and responsible campus experience. Students who have issues, concerns, or complaints can seek redress through the relevant policy and procedures and appeal unresolved or disputed outcomes through progressive steps, where provided in the procedures (e.g., academic grievance, academic integrity, non-academic grievance, student conduct, ADA, harassment and discrimination, and sexual misconduct).

Students

  • Please use one of the appropriate expandable menus below to submit a concern or complaint.

Faculty & Staff

Concerns and complaints received in administrative or academic offices should be documented via this form (faculty and staff use only) and resolved where possible or referred per applicable policies / responsible areas.

If you have a concern regarding a particular student (not a general complaint), please use CU Succeed for documentation. Questions regarding CU Succeed may be directed to CUSucceed@commonwealthu.edu.

Additional guidance for faculty and staff on handling student complaints and concerns can be found in these training videos:

Academic Complaints & Concerns

The purpose of the academic grievance procedure is to provide students with a system by which to grieve complaints of alleged academic injustice(s) relating to grades and/or professional responsibilities as related to academic policies found in the Policies, Rules and Procedures and the Pilot. This process is not a disciplinary proceeding for any of the involved parties, although the findings may lead to disciplinary investigation or action under a different university policy. Students should read the Academic Grievance Procedure and follow the process outlined in the policy.

Academic integrity refers to the adherence to agreed upon moral and ethical principles when engaging in academic or scholarly pursuits. The university's academic integrity policy is part of an effort to nurture a community where trust, honesty, and personal integrity guide all of our dealings with one another. The following policy sets a standard for all of us to live up to and exceed.

The Commonwealth University official designated to respond to allegations of copyright infringement on the part of individuals at Commonwealth University, in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The act requires the complainant to include certain information in a complaint, and providing that information in the initial contact may help speed resolution of the complaint.

Commonwealth University desires to resolve student complaints and concerns in a timely, fair, and efficient manner in accordance with University policies. If the complaint cannot be resolved through University channels, the student may go to one of Commonwealth University's state approval and licensing entities: Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education; the Pennsylvania Department of Education; or Commonwealth University's accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Unresolved complaints may be filed with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education once all other avenues have been exhausted. The link above provides information on the Commission's complaint policies and procedures.

To comply with federal regulations, Commonwealth University provides the following information to our prospective and current students:

Commonwealth University participates in Federal student aid programs that are authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Participating institutions must be legally authorized to operate with the state in which it is located. Title 34 CFR §600.9 requires states to have a "process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning the institution including enforcing applicable State laws." Title 34 CFR §668.43(b) requires that institutions "make available for review to any enrolled or prospective student upon request, a copy of the documents describing the institution's accreditation and its State, Federal, or tribal approval or licensing. The institution must also provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint."

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE)
Academic and Student Affairs Division, Office of the Chancellor
2300 Vartan Way, Suite 207
Harrisburg, PA 17110
PASSHE Complaint Process

Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)
Division of Higher & Career Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Postsecondary and Adult Education
333 Market Street, 12th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717-783-8228 | Fax: 717-722-3622
PDE Student Complaint Procedure

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: 267-284-5011
Email: info@msche.org | Spanish: españolinfo@msche.org
General Link: www.msche.org
MSCHE Complaint Process

Commonwealth University strives to provide the highest quality educational programs available but recognizes the importance of providing an opportunity for students to make an appeal if a conflict does arise. As a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) participating institution, CU has agreed to abide by the SARA student complaint process. (Student complaints regarding grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by institutional policy and Pennsylvania laws, not through the SARA State Portal Entity.)

Distance education students who have a grievance, complaint, or concern should attempt to resolve the issue internally in accordance with PRP 3592. Students who are unable to resolve the issue through the faculty member, department chair, and/or the dean may submit a complaint using the Academic Grievance Form

Please note that grievances, complaints, or concerns submitted via this process with regard to a particular course, program, or department may be forwarded and discussed with the faculty member, department, or academic dean for resolution.

Distance education students who are unable to resolve the issue internally may contact the SARA Portal Entity of Pennsylvania within two years of the incident regarding the complaint. The PA Portal Entity will collaborate with the SARA Portal Entity of the state where the student is located to resolve the issue. California is not a SARA-member state at this time. A student participating in distance education while located in this state should appeal to the appropriate agency specified in the "Student Complaint Information by State and Agency" document.

All other current, former, or prospective students who feel that their grievances, complaints, or concerns cannot be resolved by the University in accordance with PRP 3592 and the resources provided by the Dean of Students may file a complaint with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (State System) by completing in its entirety the Student Complaint Form.

Information regarding the PASSHE Student Complaint Process may be found at: https://www.passhe.edu/student-complaints.html

Complaints not resolved at the State System level may be appealed to the University’s accreditor, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) according to the MSCHE Complaint Process.

Student Complaints, Conduct, & Concerns

To report an issue or incident regarding a student's conduct, please fill out the online form (depending on your home campus):

These reports will be directed to the Office of Student Conduct.

The Office of the Dean of Students assist students with a wide range of situations, issues, or concerns that may have potential to adversely affect their academic success or holistic growth as a student at BU. This may include prolonged absence, impacts of medical or personal emergencies, resource insecurities, mental health or behavioral concerns, help connecting to resources both on campus or locally, or referrals from the campus community for students of concern. Whether you need assistance, are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, or have general questions, the Office of the Dean of Students is one of the many campus resources available to assist you.

If you or a student is experiencing difficulties and would like assistance, please complete the form below or call the Office of the Dean of Students at 570-389-4734:

CU Reporting Form

To file a complaint or concern with the Bloomsburg Community Government Association (Student Government), please utilize the CGA contact form.  To file a complaint or concern with the Lock Haven or Mansfield student government, please contact the Dean of Students.

To report any observed or alleged acts of hazing committed by or directed towards any University students, please fill out the online form (depending on your home campus):

These reports will be directed to the Office of Student Conduct. The reporter can remain anonymous or provide contact information if they desire to speak further with a staff member from the Office of Student Conduct.

The purpose of this procedure is to provide students with a system by which to grieve complaints of alleged injustices relating to violation, misinterpretation or discriminatory application of non-academic policies and procedures, and/or the conduct of professional, non-professional and student employees.  Students have both informal and formal channels options within the policy.

Informal Student Complaint Process

Students who wish to lodge a complaint about a faculty or staff member not covered by the procedures in the above-listed sections, academic catalogs, and/or student handbook are encouraged to address the complaint informally by:  

  • Seeking to resolve the issue with the faculty or staff member directly; if that fails,
  • Seeking to resolve the issue with the help of the department chair or the staff member's direct supervisor; if that fails 
  • Seeking advice from the Dean of the Students about how to resolve the issue informally and, if warranted, information about the formal complaint process.

Formal Student Complaint Process

Formal complaints against an employee, student, contractor, or vendor not covered by the procedures in the above-listed sections, academic catalogs, and/or student handbook may be filed using the Commonwealth University General Student Complaint Form.

Discrimination, Harassment, & Sexual Misconduct

Students, Faculty, staff or other parties wishing to officially register a university grievance under the Americans with Disabilities Act may do so by submitting a statement to the ADA Coordinator in the Human Resource Office. The grievance should be filed within 45 days of the alleged violation and must include the issue(s), the grievant’s name, telephone number, address, date the complaint is submitted to the coordinator, and the date of the alleged violation.

The University has established the Harassment and Discrimination Policy to promote an educational and work environment that is free from all forms of harassment and discrimination, whether because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, or veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. The University is committed to freedom of thought, discourse, and speech and the attainment of the highest quality of educational and academic pursuits. Nothing in the policy is meant to infringe upon the First Amendment or other constitutional rights of any individual.

Unlawful harassment or discrimination in any context is unacceptable but of particular concern to an academic community in which students, faculty and staff must rely on bonds of intellectual trust and dependence. Therefore, unlawful harassment or discrimination will not be tolerated. Those inflicting such behavior on others are subject to the full range of institutional disciplinary actions, up to and including separation from the University, also in addition to any legal action that may accompany such acts.

Students, faculty, staff and third-party vendors are permitted to file complaints under this policy against non-students to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and should contact the Office of DEI for directions regarding filing a formal complaint.

All complaints of discrimination and harassment against students should be filed with the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office of Student Conduct using the online Bloomsburg Incident Report, Lock Haven Incident Report, or Mansfield Incident Report (depending on your home campus). Upon receipt of the report, the appropriate administrator will review the matter and take proper steps to address the concern in accordance with university policies and procedures. Complaints falling within the Sexual Misconduct Policy will be forwarded to the Title IX Office.

Students who feel threatened/intimidated or unfairly treated solely based on race, religion, sexual preference, sexual identity or gender may file an online Bloomsburg Incident Report, Lock Haven Incident Report, or Mansfield Incident Report (depending on your home campus) with the Office of Student Conduct. The information provided will be reviewed and depending on the information may result in investigations by a law enforcement agency and/or the Office of Student Conduct. All reports will be kept on file and reviewed periodically in order to identify any potential patterns or areas/locations of concern. If you feel you need immediate police assistance contact either the Town Police or University Police Department at:

  • Bloomsburg Campus: 570-389-2211
  • Lock Haven Campus: 570-484-2278
  • Mansfield Campus: 570-662-4900

You can also report your concern directly to the Office of Student Conduct.

Commonwealth University strongly encourages prompt reporting of sexual misconduct to the police. Commonwealth University also recognizes that individuals who experience sexual misconduct have the right to decide whether to file a criminal report with the police or whether to file a report with the University (via the Title IX Coordinator, the Office of Student Conduct, or the Office of the Dean of Students), an anonymous report, or no report at all.

For additional information regarding Title IX and the the Sexual Misconduct Policy, filing a report, available resources, and more visit the Title IX Office webpage.

Criminal Activity

Complaints involving matters of a criminal nature, such as assault, battery, and theft should be directed to the University Police Department at:

  • Bloomsburg Campus: 570-389-2211
  • Lock Haven Campus: 570-484-2278
  • Mansfield Campus: 570-662-4900
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Questions?

If you are unsure of which process applies to a particular issue, contact us.