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Elizabeth Bergman wrote:
>
> What do you do when you receive a serious complaint about a professor or
> when the same complaint about a professor is repeated by several students?
>
> At our learning center, as with most of you, I am sure, we have heard
> plenty of whining about assignments, teaching styles, etc.  We have always
> redirected the students to the task at hand.  However, there were rare
> occasions when the complaint was so serious that the students wanted to
> know the procedure and hierarchy for making a formal complaint (see the
> department chair, and then, if necessary, talk to the Dean of Academic
> Affairs).
>
> We do not have a mechanism for our learning center to report complaints to
> Academic Affairs because we want to maintain a good working relationship
> with faculty.
>
> How does your learning center handle complaints?
As the Director of the Learning Center at my college, I am obligated to
report any cases of harassment or questionable conduct on the part of
faculty to my supervisor, the Dean.  As a supervisor myself, I have a
moral, ethical and professional responsibility to my employer (the
institution and the Board of Regents)and to the students to do so.

When students report to me questionable practices/conduct, I tell the
student(s) that I must report to my boss what I have been told. I ask
permission and tell them that I will not use his/her/their
name(s)without permission, but that I am duty-bound to report the
problem.  If the student wants the situation addressed, I will offer to
go with them to the appropriate office (the Dean of Student Services
Office) to discuss the matter with the Dean.

My failure to report such instances would constitute liability on my
part in case of a future lawsuit.  Once I have reported the behavior(s),
then it is my boss's (the dean's) responsibility to investigate and take
appropriate action.

This is standard procedure at most institutions of higher education and
should be outlined in your Administrative Procedures and Policy Manual
and/or Employee Handbook.
Gail Platt