Student Complaints and Inquiries

Consistent with our mission statement of being grounded in the belief that education is a liberating force which makes it possible for the individual to live a life of meaningful activity, of personal satisfaction, and of service to others as a neighbor and a citizen, we are committed to providing students access and assistance to resources if a concern, complaint, or appeal arises. It is the policy of Lander University to prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, pregnancy, religion, sex, veteran's status, and genetic information in regard to the administration of all campus programs, services and activities including intercollegiate athletics, and the admission of students, employment actions, or other sponsored activities and programs including obligations of Title IX. Please reference the below types of complaints and the accompanying process for each.


General administrative complaints

General administrative complaints are those complaints that do not fit into a discriminatory category and can be instructional or non-instructional complaints. The Vice President of Student Affairs or appointed designee provides assistance to any student with a complaint by helping the student determine the nature of the complaint and by ensuring the student has recourse through the appropriate policies and procedures impacted by the complaint. Complaints for which there are no formalized committee structures or procedures are handled in an expeditious manner. In most situations, resolution should be sought through an informal process in which the student discusses the complaint directly with the individual (faculty/staff/department representative) involved. These complaints generally follow the chain of command for resolution. Some types of complaints can be anticipated and are specifically addressed by standing committees or through other administrative policies and procedures. A student concerned about a policy or procedure of a particular department/division/college on campus being incorrectly or objectively followed has recourse by filing a complaint. Below are the steps in addressing a complaint or inquiry for which there is no formalized committee structure or procedure.


Protocol for Instructional Complaints:
  • Discuss issue directly with faculty member involved to resolve matter on an informal basis. If not resolved then,
  • Meet with department chair and faculty member to resolve issue on an informal basis. If not resolved then,
  • Meet with college dean to resolve issue. If not resolved then,
  • Complete and submit a “Student Complaint & Inquiry Form” to the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee.


Protocol for Non-Instructional Complaints:
  • Discuss issue directly with person involved to resolve matter on an informal basis. If not resolved then,
  • Meet with supervisor (move up chain of command) to resolve issue on an informal basis. If not resolved then,
  • Continue to move up chain of command and meet with next higher level supervisor to resolve issue. If not resolved then,
  • Complete and submit a “Student Complaint & Inquiry Form” to the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee.


Title IX complaints

Title IX prohibits sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and retaliation. (Pregnancy is also covered by this policy.) Dating violence, domestic violence and stalking are also considered sexual violence and are processed through the university’s formal Title IX complaint procedure. Additional information on the Title IX policy, including the Title IX Compliant Form, may be accessed on the Title IX page.


Discrimination/bias complaints

While sex-based discrimination falls under Title IX, students are also protected against other forms of discrimination such as on the basis of age, color, sexual orientation, national origin, race, religion, genetics, and veteran’s status. If you feel that you have been subject to discrimination based on any of the above, please submit a Complaint Form.


Disability-related complaints

Lander University prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The University is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Sections 503/504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Additional information on the Americans with Disabilities Act Policy. Students who wish to file a complaint may do so by emailing the ADA Coordinator. Additional information and contact details may be referenced with the Students with Disabilities page.


The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education responds to formal complaints from students against public, independent non-profit and proprietary institutions of higher education in South Carolina when a Student Complaint Form is filed. However, the Commission has limited authority over public and non-profit independent colleges and universities and cannot offer legal advice or initiate court proceedings. The Commission may not review student complaints in the following situations:

  • where the complainant has retained legal counsel or legal action.
  • where the complaint is related to course grades, academic sanctions, or discipline/conduct matters unless the student can prove that the institution did not comply with its policies and procedures for appeal.
  • where another governmental agency has a process or jurisdiction to mediate the complaint
  • if the complaint was submitted to the Commission anonymously.