How to File a Complaint

Pursuant to 34 CFR § 668.43(b) (Code of Federal Regulations), an institution of higher education must “provide students . . . with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle the student’s complaint.” 

Kenyon College’s mission is to build strong foundations for lives of purpose and consequence  based on engaging in spirited, informed, and collaborative inquiry. Implicit in this mission is a respect for each member of the community, including ourselves, and the contribution of these voices to its intellectual vitality. However, living in a close residential setting naturally leads to interpersonal conflict. When these conflicts do arise, students are encouraged to take responsibility for resolving these conflicts through clear and open communication based on a common assumption that members of our community are acting on good intentions but are fallible and likely to make mistakes. If these conflicts are not resolved through these communications, students are encouraged to reach out to appropriate personnel to discuss concerns, grievances, and complaints. 

At times, an issue may involve a number of different areas and students may feel uncertain which procedure to follow; in this case they should seek advice from the Dean of Student Development, the Ombudsperson, or V.P. for Student Affairs. If an issue cannot be resolved by Kenyon College’s internal processes, students may choose to file a complaint with the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Students who reside in other states may appeal to their state of residence. Please see the contact information for each state agency that would handle the complaint. You may also contact our accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission

A. Issues related to academic affairs or other matters involving the teaching faculty 

a. A student with a complaint should first attempt to resolve the issue through discussion with the instructor. 

b. If this fails to resolve the issue, the student may present the grievance to the chair of the department or program, and request their assistance in resolving the issue. 

c. If the chair of the department or program is unable to resolve the matter, the student may present the complaint to the Provost. The Provost will invite the opinions of all parties involved, will ascertain matters of fact, and will make a determination about the disposition of the matter. Final judgment rests with the Provost.

d. In matters involving disputes of the final grade, if the chair of the department or program is unable to resolve the matter, the student may present the complaint to the Associate Provost that works with the Committee on Academic Standards (CAS).  The Associate Provost will collect specified information about the case and present it to the CAS for a determination. More information about appealing a final grade

e. Students may find it useful and appropriate to consult with the Dean of Academic Advising and Support. 

B. Student violations of academic integrity

Any form of violation to academic integrity should be referred, in order, to the 1) instructor of the course 2) chair of the department.  Depending on the nature of the violation the case is then referred to the 3a) Associate Provost  for minor “Tier 1” infractions, or 3b)  the Academic Infraction Board (AIB) for more significant “Tier 2” or “Tier 3” infractions. Please refer to the Academic Integrity section of the Course Catalog for details of the infraction system.

Questions regarding violations of academic integrity should be referred to the Office of the Provost at 740-427-5117.

C. Nonacademic complaints against students requiring adjudication and possible disciplinary action 

Violations of Kenyon College’s Student Code of Conduct should be brought before the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities by contacting James Jackson, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 740-427-5140 or

D. Grievances under section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act

Rights to review and inspection of educational records maintained by the college that contain information directly related to the student. 

E. Issues related to student organizations and student government

Such grievances should be taken first to the executive body of the group concerned. Students are encouraged to consult with the advisor of the organization. Utilizing any student governing body and its advisor is encouraged.  In some cases, complaints of this nature may appropriately be brought to the attention of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. 

F. Issues related to student affairs

Complaints concerning Student Affairs services may be initiated by pursuing any of the following options: (1) the student may discuss their complaint directly with the responsible staff member; (2) the student may discuss their complaint with the staff member’s supervisor or department head; (3) the student can utilize the Ombuds office or Campus Mediator program for advice and assistance; (4) the student can approach the appropriate committee of Student Council to discuss their concern with the committee.

G. Grievances related to student worker

a. Complaints regarding the on-campus employment by the College should first be directed to the student’s direct supervisor. 

b. If this fails to resolve the issue, students can direct concerns to the Ombudsperson. 

H. Services provided by the Office of the Ombudsperson

a. The Ombudsperson can listen, offer information about Kenyon’s policies and procedures, accept suggestions from people who seek confidential channels for raising responsible concerns, and work for orderly and responsible change in systems.

 b. The Ombudsperson is a good source of support for those who may want to examine their options for dealing with a particular concern or who may wish to learn how to resolve problems on their own. 

c. The office provides feedback on trends, issues, policies, and practices equitable to all parties without breaching confidentiality. 

d. The Ombudsperson does not act as an advocate for either side in dispute, but strives to consider and fairly present all sides of a situation. 

I. Grievances related to discrimination and harrassment

Complaints alleging discrimination or harassment carried out by employees, students, and or third parties that are based upon disability, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, age, military or veteran status, and family relationship to an employee of Kenyon College may be filed with a designated administrator. For assistance and guidance regarding allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, or discrimination you may contact the Office of Civil Rights at 740-427-5820.

K. Concerns regarding Kenyon employee conduct

Kenton maintains a whistleblower hotline and policy to ensure the integrity of its operations.

The Campus Conduct Hotline is intended to encourage and enable employees and others to raise serious concerns internally so that Kenyon College can correct inappropriate conduct and actions. If you need guidance or are concerned about a specific activity, decision, or action, call the hotline, 24 hours a day, 7-days a week at 1-866-943-5787. All calls are anonymous. 

L. General grievances of complaints

a. Students may submit a complaint to a general online system

b. Students complaints will be automatically received by one individual associated with the category of complaint the student chooses. 

c. Student complaints will be referred to the most appropriate employee on campus to address or resolve which may or may not be the employee who originally receives the complaint. 

d. Employee’s will receive reminders by email of the student complaint every 7 days until marked resolved within Etrieve

e. Student complaint summary reports will be reviewed annually by senior staff in February.

f. Summary reports of complaint categories will be posted on the IR office website annually. 

Complaint Summaries

Student Issue Log Report, Spring and Fall 2020

Students may submit a complaint to a general online system using the link below. Students complaints will be automatically received by one individual associated with the category of complaint the student chooses.