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Grievance Policy & Procedures

Office of the Dean of Student Life

Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) takes seriously the concerns and grievances of its students. LRU will provide a prompt response to all written complaints, including those complaints alleging discrimination or harassment based on race, age, religion, physical or emotional disability, or sex (which includes gender discrimination, sexual orientation, sexual misconduct). NOTE: If the complaint alleges sexual misconduct (including but not limited to sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, stalking, sexual assault, rape, and/or intimate Partner Abuse), the complainant should immediately refer to LRU’s policies on Sexual Misconduct. In such cases, the University is mandated to report allegations under the Clery Act.

LRU will work to resolve student grievances as quickly as possible; however, the time period for resolution will depend largely on the nature of the grievance and the response required. It is the goal of LRU that written grievances will be resolved within a period not to exceed 60 days; however, the time period for resolving grievances will depend largely on the facts and circumstances at issue and may be expanded where necessary and appropriate to reach a resolution.

LRU defines a Grievance as any claim raised by a student (Complainant) alleging violations of LRU's policies or procedures, including but not limited to improper, inappropriate, arbitrary, discriminatory, harassing or violent conduct by a faculty member, staff member, student or any other individual present on campus (Respondent).

Lenoir-Rhyne University Grievance Resolution
Lenoir-Rhyne University is committed to the success and satisfaction of all prospective and enrolled students. If you have a concern or grievance, as a first step we encourage you to utilize our internal process by following our procedures outlined in the University Student Handbook.

If you have questions regarding student grievances, or if you would like to request a Student Grievance Form, please contact:

Becky Sharpe, Division of Student Life
LR Box 7484
Cromer Center, Room 205
Hickory, NC 28603

Post-Secondary Education Complaints Resolution
The Licensure Division of the University of North Carolina System Office serves as the official state entity to receive complaints concerning post-secondary institutions that are authorized to operate in North Carolina. If students are unable to resolve a complaint through the institution's grievance procedures, they can review the Student Complaint Policy (PDF), print out and complete the Student Complaint Form (PDF) and submit the complaint to:

North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints
c/o Student Complaints
University of North Carolina System Office
910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688
For more information, send an email to studentcomplaint@northcarolina.edu.

NC Independent Colleges & Universities Complaint Process
Should our internal grievance process fail to provide a satisfactory resolution, students may continue the grievance process with the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice.

Grievances can be submitted electronically or by mail:
Consumer Protection Division
Attorney General’s Office
Mail Service Center 9001
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
Telephone for NC Residents: 877.566.7226
Telephone for Outside of NC: 919.716.6000
En Español: 919.716.0058
Access to online general complaint form

SACSCOC Student Complaint Process
Lenoir-Rhyne is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). If for some reason the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved, the next step would be to file a complaint with Lenoir-Rhyne University’s accrediting agency. Students who file a grievance with the accrediting agency should follow the SACSCOC Complaint Procedure.

The contact information for SACS is:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
Telephone: 404.679.4500

SARA-NC & NC-SARA Grievance Process
On November 2, 2016, Lenoir-Rhyne University was approved by SARA-NC to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. A “State authorization reciprocity agreement,” SARA is an agreement between two or more States that authorizes an institution located and legally authorized in a State covered by the agreement to provide postsecondary education through distance education or correspondence courses to students in other States covered by the agreement.

Due to evolving changes in higher education regulations, this information is reviewed quarterly and subject to change based on legislative and administrative revisions by each state. Currently, Lenoir-Rhyne University will no longer be able to offer online programs or courses for students residing in Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Supervised Field Experience
Courses and programs incorporating a “supervised field experience” are covered by the provisions of SARA. Under SARA a “supervised field experience” means a student learning experience under the oversight of a supervisor, mentor, faculty member or other qualified professional, located in the host state, who has a direct or indirect reporting responsibility to the institution where the student is enrolled, whether or not credit is granted. Examples include practicum, student teaching, or internships. However, see below regarding programs for licensed professions.

As a participating institution in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement – North Carolina (SARA-NC), students may also file a grievance through SARA-NC by following their Complaint Process. SARA-NC does not resolve complaints about student grades and student conduct violation. These complaints fall under the jurisdiction of institutional policy. The Student Complaint Form (PDF). may be submitted by mail to:

SARA North Carolina
North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority
P.O. Box 14103
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Telephone: 855.SARA.1.NC (727-2162)
Telephone: 919.549.8614, ext. 4667

Professional Licensure
Disclaimer Statement: NC-SARA does not deal with professional licensing board approval for any courses or programs leading to professional licensure. If you are not a resident of North or South Carolina, and you are taking an online course or program leading to professional licensure, Lenoir-Rhyne University cannot guarantee whether the course or program meets requirements for professional licensure in your state. Lenoir-Rhyne recommends that you consult with our program contact or the appropriate licensing agency or board in your state or territory – including states participating in NC-SARA – prior to beginning your course of study. Please click to review national licensing bodies or email our program contact about licensure below:

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy
LR Faculty Contact: Professor Richard Greene

Athletic Training
National Athletic Trainers' Association
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Michael McGee

Clinical Mental Health Counseling
National Board Certified Counselor
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Neal Gray

Dietetic Internship
Commission on Dietetic Registration
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Julie Covington

U.S. Department of Education
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Amy Rottmann

National Council of State Boards of Nursing
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Kerry Thompson

Occupational Therapy
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Toni Oakes

Physician Assistant
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Wesley Reid

School Counseling
American School Counseling Association
LR Faculty Contact: Dr. Neal Gray

If a student wishes to contact the state portal entities for his or her home state, contact information for state authorization liaisons in each SARA state can be found on the NC-SARA website. State by state student complaint contact information for agencies responsible for receiving student consumer complaints is available online.

Normal inquiries or concerns such as those involving admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs, etc. should be addressed directly to the appropriate office at the Lenoir-Rhyne University.

LRU's Grievance Policy is not intended to replace those policies and procedures pertaining to grade appeals or academic integrity violations. For more information on academic integrity policies and procedures, please refer to The Cub or the University Catalog. All such matters will be handled in accordance with those policies and procedures.