CIA is committed to treating all members of the community equitably and transparently in regard to their personal and professional concerns. Nevertheless, students sometimes feel they have been treated unjustly, and CIA is committed to listening to and acknowledging their complaints. The following policy and procedures have been designed to help ensure that students are aware of the way in which their problems with college policies, programs, services, and/or faculty and staff members can be addressed informally or through a more formal conciliation process when needed. 

Each student must be given adequate opportunity to bring problems to the attention of the faculty or staff member with the assurance that those problems will be given due consideration and treatment. This process also exists to inform the faculty or staff member of the details of a complaint and gives them an opportunity to respond in a reasonable manner. 


Complaint: A complaint is a statement, either written or expressed in person, stating the treatment they have received is not consistent with the College’s policies as stated in the student handbook. Complaints are often resolved informally or through meetings with those involved. A complaint may develop into a grievance if the issue cannot be resolved. 

Grievance: Different from complaints, grievances address more serious issues and may result in disciplinary action by the college. Most often, these allegations pertain to: 

  1. Admission to and treatment while enrolled in an academic program.

  2. Allegations of discrimination in areas other than sex or gender which is covered under the Title IX policy.

  3. Other matters of significance relating to campus living or student life, including, but not limited to:

    1. Membership in and/or admission to student clubs/organizations.

    2. Provision of student health services.

A student may not use the grievance procedure for grievances related to the following matters:

  1. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct

  2. Grade appeals

  3. Allegations of discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. It is important for students to follow the title IX process for these issues. 

  4. Student disciplinary proceedings outcomes

  5. Matters covered under other CIA policies that contain grievance, hearing and/or appeal procedures, such as the FERPA policy, financial aid appeal procedures, and CIA’s Code of Conduct

  6. Matters concerning the student in his or her capacity as an employee of CIA, which are resolved in accordance with the employment policies of CIA.”

Grievances are investigated by the appropriate administrator(s) who determine the outcomes for the issue. The faculty member in question, as well as, the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee will be involved in all deliberations, consultations and mediations, and in all resulting recommendations.

Any CIA student may express or file a complaint or grievance. All CIA faculty, staff, and students will refrain from any reprisal or threat of reprisal against any student registering a complaint or grievance.



NOTE: Complaints about sexual misconduct or Title IX violations must be addressed according to the following policies and procedures: Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Reporting.

Students who have concerns and complaints about academic progress policies, academic standing, or academic and grade appeals must file their complaint with the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Office. While discussing this matter in person is welcomed, it will assist the Assistant Dean of Students if you also describe the issue in writing. 

Concerns and complaints about code of conduct violations much follow the written policies regarding appeals found under the judicial process

All Other Complaints Regarding Faculty, Staff, or Administration of CIA will follow the process below:

Process 1: Informal Complaint

In general, any time a student feels that they have been wronged by a faculty/staff member, the student should follow the informal complaint process.

  • Step 1: The student should first contact the faculty/staff member to discuss the problem and attempt to resolve it. If the student is uncomfortable discussing the complaint with the faculty/staff member in question, the student should move to Step 2.

  • Step 2: If no mutually satisfactory solution can be reached with the faculty/staff member, or the student is not comfortable dealing with the faculty/staff member directly, then the student should discuss the problem with the faculty/staff member’s department chair/supervisor to attempt resolution of the problem.

  • Step 3: If the problem cannot be resolved in discussions with the faculty/staff member or department chair/supervisor, or if the faculty/staff member and the department chair/supervisor are the same individual, the student may discuss the complaint with the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. 

Any student needing advice on how to begin an informal complaint should consult their department chair, the Assistant Dean of Students.

Process 2: Formal Complaint or Grievance

If a student has a complaint against a faculty/staff member that has not been resolved through the informal complaint process, the student may then seek resolution through the following formal complaint process. Such complaints are made with an expectation that the college will formally investigate and provide a written summary of findings and action steps, if any. Students are normally required to go through the informal process before initiating the formal process.

  • Step 1: The student should state their complaint in writing to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs by clicking on this link.

  • Step 2: The complaint will be routed to the appropriate administrator who will investigate the complaint, which may include interviews with relevant persons, a record review, or other efforts that are necessary to form an accurate and factual basis for the resolution of the complaint. Once the investigation is concluded, the college will prepare a brief written report that summarizes the complaint, the college’s decision regarding the validity of the complaint, and a description of the remedial action, if any, that will be taken.

  • Step 3: The written report will normally be provided to the student complainant and any relevant persons within twenty business days of the filing of the formal complaint.

Appeal process

Student may appeal a decision by submitting a request to the Dean of Student Affairs within 10 business days of the decision. Depending on the issue, the appeal may be routed to the VP of Academic Affairs. Once an appeal is heard, the decision on the matter will be considered final.