Student Concerns and Complaints

Conflict Resolution and Management

The University Ombuds provides informal and impartial conflict resolution and management services for the University community and is an advocate for fairness.

Students, staff and faculty may raise concerns and complaints with the Ombuds on a confidential basis. Exceptions to confidentiality exist due to law and FGCU policy. The Ombuds will explain those exceptions at an initial meeting.

Individuals may characterize the issue they bring forward as an issue, a concern, or a complaint. Issues and concerns are generally thought of as more minor and complaints as more serious. Generally, issues and concerns will be dealt with informally. Complaints may be dealt with either informally or formally. The Ombuds will work with visitors to explain policies and procedures, define options, and help create strategies to resolve problems. The Ombuds offers feedback on systemic problems and provides feedback and requests for policy consideration to the President, administrators, faculty and staff.  

The Ombuds may use an array of informal strategies to identify options and attempt to resolve concerns or complaints. 

  • Informal Strategies

  • Formal Options

  • Student Concerns and Complaints

Academic Concerns

If the concern or complaint involves an academic issue, students are encouraged to raise their concerns with the faculty member involved. If the student is unsure how to best do this, they may seek the assistance of the Ombuds. In cases where the student is uncomfortable discussing the concern with the faculty member, they may raise the issue with the Department Chair. If the issue is not resolved at this level, the student may then raise the issue with the Dean of the appropriate college. If the student is unable to resolve the concern at this level, they may seek the assistance of the Ombuds. The Ombuds will review options with the student and may try to resolve the issue informally or advise the student about formal processes that may apply.

  • Access to Courses and Credit Granted Toward a Degree

Non-Academic Concerns

If the concern or complaint involves a non-academic issue, students should first try to resolve the issue with the department involved. If the student is unsure how to best do this, they may seek the assistance of the Ombuds. In cases where the student is uncomfortable discussing the concern with the faculty member, they may raise the issue with the Director of the Department. If the student is unable to resolve the concern at this level, they may seek the assistance of the Ombuds. The Ombuds will review options with the student and may try to resolve the issue informally or advise the student about formal processes that may apply.

The Ombuds can explain how formal processes work and works with parties to ensure processes are fairly administered. The Ombuds does not participate in any hearings as a representative or an advocate for students. Students can raise concerns or complaints about the fairness about a process with the Ombuds.

There are specific formal processes for certain student concerns and complaints.

  • Discrimination

  • Discrimination Based on Sex

  • Distance Education Students