Records & Publications

Complaints Against the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Type of Policy: 
Administrative
Effective Date: 
August 2014
Last Revised: 
March 2015
Review Date: 
August 2017
Policy Owner: 
Library Learning Excellence
Contact Name: 
Catherine Murray-Rust
Contact Title: 
Vice Provost Learning Excellence and Dean of Libraries, SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison
Contact Email: 
catherine.murray-rust@library.gatech.edu
Reason for Policy: 

Adherence to SACSCOC Policy: Complaint Procedures Against SACSCOC Or ITS Accredited Institutions

Policy Statement: 

The primary purpose of the SACSCOC complaint procedure is to acquire valuable information regarding an accredited institution’s possible non-compliance with accreditation standards, policies and procedures rather than to resolve individual disputes.

Scope: 

The SACSCOC complaint procedures are for the purpose of addressing any significant non-compliance with the Commission’s standards, policies or procedures. The procedures are not intended to be used to involve the Commission in disputes between individuals and member institutions, or cause the Commission to interpose itself as a reviewing authority in individual matters of admission, grades, granting or transferability of credits, application of academic policies, fees or other financial matters, disciplinary matters or other contractual rights and obligations. Nor does the Commission seek redress on an individual’s behalf. Further, the Commission will not serve as a grievance panel when the outcome of institutional grievance or appeal processes is unsatisfactory to the complainant.

Procedures: 
Procedures for Filing a Complaint Against an Institution
Complete the Commission’s Complaint Formhttp://sacscoc.org/pdf/081705/complaintpolicy.pdf
Sign and Send to the President of SACSCOCPresident
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, GA 30033
The Commission will neither entertain complaints that are not in writing or which are anonymous, nor will it consider complaints sent electronically or through facsimile transmission. If a complainant has a demonstrated disability that prevents submission of a formal complaint in accord with these guidelines, he or she should contact SACSCOC’s Coordinator of Communications and External Affairs for assistance.
Procedures for Filing a Complaint against SACSCOC Board of Trustees or its Staff
Complaint against a Commission staff member or an agency representative, such as an off-site or on-site visiting team memberSubmit a written complaint to the President of SACSCOC that includes a description of the specific complaint accompanied by documentation supporting the allegation.
Complaint against the President of SACSCOCSubmit a written complaint to the Chair of SACSCOC Board of Trustees that includes a description of the specific complaint. It should be addressed to “SACSCOC Chair of the Board of Trustees” at the SACSCOC Atlanta address
Complaint against SACSCOC or a member of its Board of TrusteesSubmit a written complaint to the Chair of SACSCOC Board of Trustees that includes a description of the specific complaint. It should be addressed to “SACSCOC Chair of the Board of Trustees” at the SACSCOC Atlanta address
Responsibilities: 

Complaints against an Institution

  • The Commission will acknowledge a formal written complaint within 15 business days of its receipt
  • Within 60 calendar days after acknowledging receipt of the complaint, Commission staff will review the complaint and its documentation and determine 1. Whether it is within the scope of Commission policies and is accreditation related, 2. If there is adequate documentation in support of the allegations, and 3. Whether the complaint raises significant questions about the institution’s compliance with Commission standards.
  • If there appears to be sufficient evidence of significant non-compliance or if Commission staff are unable to determine compliance, then one of the following actions may be taken by the President of SACSCOC 
    • Authorize a Special Committee to visit the institution
    • Forward the case directly to the Board of Trustees and its standing committees for review and action
    • Include the case in an upcoming scheduled visit to the institution
    • Request additional information
  • Individual complaints will be retained in the Commission files. Should a number of individual complains suggest a pattern of concern which may evidence a significant lack of compliance with the Principle that was not evident from any one individual complaint, the Commission may renew its considerations of the matter for whatever action may be appropriate.

Complaints against SACSCOC Board of Trustees or its Staff 

  • The SACSCOC President will acknowledge the complaint within 10 working days of its receipt
  • Following review, the SACSCOC President will inform the complainant of action within 30 days of receipt of the complaint

Complaints against the President of SACSCOS

  • The Chair of the Board of Trustees will acknowledge the complaint within 20 working days of its receipt and will designate a committee composed of members of the Executive Council to investigate the complaint and recommend action to the Chair.
  • The Chair of the Board of Trustees will review the Council’s action and inform the complainant and SACSCOC President of action within 45 days of receipt of the complaint.

Complaints against SACSCOS or a member of its Board of Trustees

  • The Chair of the Board of Trustees will acknowledge the complaint within 20 working days of its receipt and will designate a committee composed of members of the Executive Council to investigate the complaint and recommend action to the Chair.
  • The Chair of the Board of Trustees will review the Council’s action and inform the complainant and SACSCOC President of action within 45 days of receipt of the complaint.
Enforcement: 

SACSCOC is interested in ensuring that member institutions maintain ongoing compliance with Commission standards and policies outside the institution’s scheduled formal review. Therefore, if an individual has evidence of an institution’s significant non-compliance with Commission standards, policies or procedures, the individual should inform the Commission using these procedures.

Optional: To report suspected instances of noncompliance with this policy, please visit Georgia Tech’s EthicsPoint, a secure and confidential reporting system, at: https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/en/report_custom.asp?clientid=7508

Policy History: 
Revision DateAuthorDescription
March 2015Library Learning and ExcellenceUpdate to Procedures Section
August 2014Library Learning ExcellenceNew Policy
External Review Reason: 
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Compliance Reporting Reason: 
SACSCOC Complaint Procedures Against SACSCOC or Its Accredited Institutions

Copyright

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Georgia Tech Library Policy Manual

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Please see the Library Policy Manual for more information about Library Policies.

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Policy on Institute Policies

Type of Policy: 
Administrative
Effective Date: 
October 2012
Last Revised: 
February 2015
Review Date: 
January 2017
Policy Owner: 
Legal Affairs and Risk Management
Contact Title: 
Policy Specialist
Contact Email: 
policylibrary@gatech.edu
Reason for Policy: 

Recognizing the need for a common, consistent, and transparent process for Institute policies to be thoroughly reviewed, maintained, and made available to the campus community, Georgia Tech has adopted this Policy on Institute Policies (also known as the Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process) to promote policy awareness, compliance, and accountability.

Policy Statement: 

Institute policies at Georgia Tech must have Institute level approval. In order to do this, Institute policies need to be reviewed and approved by the appropriate committees and authorizing bodies. All Institute policies will be reviewed and approved as described below (Procedures: Institute Policy Development & Life Cycle Process).

As part of this process, each Institute policy will be made available in the appropriate forum for comment from the campus community. The Policy Steering Committee will ensure that Institute policies that affect both academic and administrative constituents receive cross-comment from those constituents.

Once an Institute policy has been approved, it will be published and made publically available on the Policy Library. Campus-wide announcements will be made for new policies or changes to policy, when appropriate.

All Institute policies will be subject to review by the Policy Owner every three years after adoption or substantial revision, or when there is a change in applicable law, regulation, or Board of Regents policy, whichever comes first.

Scope: 

This policy applies to all Georgia Tech faculty and staff members.

Procedures: 
Step 1. Determine Policy Scope and Type
Policy Scope and Type

Scope: The Policy Steering Committee can help a Policy Owner or Champion determine if a policy is an Institute or a department policy. Only Institute policies are approved using the Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process. Departments have their own procedures for approving their department policies.

Type: The Policy Steering Committee determines whether an Institute policy is Academic or Administrative.

 

Step 2. Initiate Policy Development
For new or substantial revision to Institute Policy only

If the proposed policy is either a new Institute policy or a substantial revision to an existing Institute policy then:

 

Step 3. Policy Process Tracks
Academic Policy Tracks

The policy review process for Academic Policies is established and administered by the Faculty of Georgia Tech. There are two standard policy approval tracks for Academic Policies:

Administrative Policy Track

The policy review process for Administrative Policies is established and administered by the Institute Policy Steering Committee. There is one standard policy approval track for Administrative Policies:

Flow Chart

For information on how all three of these Institute policy approval tracks interact with one another, please see the complete Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process flowchart.

 

Step 4. Policy Publication and Communication
Policy PublicationOnce adopted, Institute policies are published in the relevant section of the Policy Library, as well as highlighted in the Policy Library’s Recently Updated Policies section.
Policy Communication

All new or substantial revisions to Institute policies are communicated to the campus community through a standard policy communication plan that includes various print and electronic publications.

While it is primarily the responsibility of the Faculty Statutes Committee, the Student Policy Owner, or the Administrative Policy Owner to identify if more targeted policy communications are needed, Institute Communications and the Institute Policy Specialist will work closely with these groups to develop more targeted communications strategies, if needed.

 

Step 5. Policy Review
Review Cycle

All Institute policies should be reviewed by the Policy Owner every three years after adoption or substantial revision, or when there is a change in applicable law, regulation, or Board of Regents policy, whichever comes first.

The Policy Steering Committee will coordinate three year policy reviews to be conducted by the Faculty Statutes Committee, Student Policy Owner, or the Administrative Policy Owner. This does not prevent more frequent review of policy by the above individuals, if desired.

After review, if a substantial revision must be made to a policy, begin again at Step 2.

 

Responsibilities: 

Legal Affairs and Risk Management
Legal Affairs and Risk Management is responsible for maintaining the Policy Library.

Policy Steering Committee
The Policy Steering Committee is responsible for:

  • Overseeing the Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process.
  • Determining Institute policy need and type (Academic or Administrative) and whether revisions are editorial or substantive.
  • Reviewing and approving new Administrative Policies and changes to current Administrative Policies, as described in the Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process.
  • Facilitating communication between Academic and Administrative Policy stakeholders during policy review.
  • Ensuring that there is an effective and appropriate communication plan in place to make the affected campus constituents aware of Institute policy changes.
Enforcement: 

All faculty and staff members must abide by this policy in the development of Institute policy. If a faculty or staff member violates this policy, the member must begin work with the Institute’s Policy Specialist to correct the policy violation within three months of awareness or notice of violation.

Policy History: 
 Revision Date Author Description
 01-07-2015 Legal Affairs and Risk ManagementRevisions
 10-01-2012 Legal Affairs and Risk Management New Institute Policy

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