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Formal Complaint Procedure

Virginia International University Student Complaint Procedure

The life cycle of a complaint is made up of five stages, which the first stage encourages informal resolutions to address and resolve the student complaints as quickly as possible. In case the matters are unsolved or do not results in a satisfaction consequence, the matters can be escalated to the next stage. Certain complaints will receive immediate attention by the Department of Quality Assurance and a formal investigation will be launched, based on the urgency and sensitive nature of a given complaint.

Stage 1: Informal complaint

VIU team members maintain an open-door policy. Students may express concerns to any administrator. In order to resolve the problem at the earliest opportunity, all students are encouraged to address their complaints initially to VIU staff member involved or the other department responsible to oversee the immediate area causing the concerns. It is advisable for VIU staff members and department involved to briefly record the complaints in written and share with other departments if the case and experience could benefit to other departments.

For example, academic concerns will be handled by the instructors directly. Students should first discuss the problem with the instructor and then with the Dean of the School, if necessary. If the problem is not resolved at that level, the student should then contact the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Stage 2: Referral to Appropriate Executive

In the event that a complaint may not be resolved at the departmental level, the complaint will be escalated to the next highest level. If the complaint is academic in nature, it would be escalated from the faculty to the dean, and eventually the Provost level.  A complete list of possible escalation is below:

Department receiving Complaint Executive Level Escalation
Academic Affairs Dean VP of Academic Affairs
Accounting Executive VP of Finance & Technology
Admissions Executive VP of University Affairs
Business & Property Management Associate VP of Institutional Effectiveness & QA
Career Center VP of Academic Affairs
Human Resources Executive VP of Finance & Technology
Information Technology Executive VP of Finance & Technology
International Student Services Executive VP of University Affairs
Library VP of Academic Affairs
Marketing Executive VP of University Affairs
Online Education Executive VP of University Affairs
Quality Assurance Associate VP of Institutional Effectiveness & QA
Registrar Executive VP of University Affairs
Student Affairs Executive VP of University Affairs
University Affairs Executive VP of University Affairs

Stage 3: Complaint to Institutional Effectiveness & Quality Assurance Department

Students have various options to file complaints and suggestions for academic and non-academic matters to Institutional Effectiveness & Quality Assurance Department. There are three options that students can choose to file the complaints and suggestions.

  1. Online: Individuals can complete the online suggestion form on the website or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  2. On Campus: Suggestion boxes are placed at the front desk of each campus, along with business cards for the Quality Assurance team
  3. In Person: Students can walk in to discuss complaints with quality assurance department every day of the week.

Quality Assurance staff investigates the complaint, interviews the parties involved, find the related resources and provides the resolution. The complaint is logged and is forwarded to the related department to review, improve and enhance the quality of the education and services.

Stage 4: Referral to Office of the President

If the complaint or grievance may not be resolved at any of the previous three levels, a student is referred directly to the office of the President for resolution of their complaint.  The President and his support staff take the time to listen to the student or staff member, hear the grievances, and also receives a full, written report on the background of the issue from Quality Assurance and tries to find a fair and agreeable resolution for all parties.

Stage 5: Formal Written Complaint

At any time throughout the complaint process, at the written request of the student for issues that are academic in nature, an ad-hoc Grievance Committee comprised of the Provost, one senior faculty member, the Dean of the School, and other invited staff or faculty. The Committee will convene to address concerns which remain unresolved. The ad-hoc Grievance Committee will convene within ten (10) working days of a written request from the student. The student will be notified of the committee’s decision within three working days of the meeting.

If after following the above stated procedure, the student feels that his or her concerns have not been resolved, he or she may address these concerns in writing to the following organizations

State Council for Higher
Education for Virginia (SCHEV)
James Monroe Building, 9th Floor
101 N. 14th Street,
Richmond, VA 23219
Institutional Approval Coordinator
Accrediting Council for
Independent Colleges and
Schools (ACICS)
750 First Street NE, Suite 980
Washington, DC 20002