Grievance Form [PDF]

Informal Complaint Resolution Time Frame

In the case of an informal complaint, the appropriate dean will seek resolution with the concerned parties within 14 days of the complaint. If additional time is required, all parties will be notified and provided with an explanation of the reason for the extension of the 14-day period. All complaints are documented in a complaint log that includes the date and nature of the complaint along with the information and date of resolution. This log is housed and maintained in the respective dean’s office.


Formal Grievance

When a complaint cannot be resolved informally by the appropriate parties, a formal grievance may also be filed with the appropriate dean or the director of financial aid. A Grievance Form is available on VanderCook’s website and must be printed and signed before the form is submitted. The candidate has the right to appeal any decision to the college president.


The complainant and respondent are afforded equal rights and access to information throughout the complaint resolution procedure, including timely updates regarding the status of an investigation. These rights include the following:


• The opportunity to speak on their own behalf.

• The opportunity to identify witnesses who can provide information about the alleged misconduct.

• The opportunity to submit evidence on their behalf.

• The right to have an advisor present at any meeting or interview.

 • The opportunity to request alternative arrangements for a hearing process so that the requesting party is not in the same room at the same time with the other party, but is able, at a minimum, to hear the other party’s testimony.

• The opportunity to review any information that will be offered by the other party in support of the other party’s position (to the greatest extent possible and consistent with FERPA or other applicable laws).

• The right to not be cross-examined or questioned directly by the other party.

• At the discretion and direction of the individual or individuals resolving the complaint, the opportunity to suggest questions to be posed by the individual or individuals resolving the complaint and respond to the other party.

• The right to be informed of the outcome of the process (to the greatest extent possible and consistent with FERPA or other applicable laws).

• The opportunity to appeal the outcome of the process. Both parties must notify the other at least 72 hours prior to the time of the hearing if they intend to have legal representation present.


Notification must be made in writing via email or letter.


Prompt, Fair and Equitable Resolution

Parties should expect that the college’s investigation and resolution procedures begin promptly and proceed in a timely manner. The college will promptly respond to any and all alleged and suspected violations about which the college knows regardless of where the conduct or issue occurred. The college is committed to providing prompt, thorough, fair, and impartial investigations that treat individuals with respect, dignity, and sensitivity. Formal Grievance 


Resolution Time Frame 

The college will strive to complete the resolution procedure, including the imposition of any sanctions, within 30 calendar days of receiving the report, or the date on which the college becomes aware of an alleged violation. Any pending criminal investigation or criminal proceeding may have impact on the timing of the college’s investigation, but the college will commence its own investigation as soon as is practicable under the circumstances. The college reserves the right to commence and/or complete its own investigation prior to the resolution of a criminal hearing. Formal Complaint Filing Deadline A grievance must be filed by the grievant within 30 business days of the act the grievant is reporting. Appeal Process Either party has the opportunity to appeal the decision of the dean or Standards Committee. A written appeal to either the dean or the president of the  college must include a thorough explanation of the reason the decision is unfair or unjust. Initial academic or financial aid appeals should be made in writing to the appropriate dean or the director of financial aid within 14 days of the disputed decision and shall be responded to within 30 business days of the appeal.


Further appeals may be made in writing and submitted to the college president within 14 days of notification of the disputed decision. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to:

• Dismissal from the college due to poor scholarship, unacceptable behavior, or violation of academic honesty rules.

• Termination of federal and / or state financial aid eligibility.

• Failure to be admitted to the teacher education program.

• Failure to be admitted to student teaching.

• Failure to be entitled for the Illinois Professional Educator License.

 • Failure of an exit requirement.


Based upon the circumstances of the situation, the president may establish a hearing procedure. If a formal appeal appears warranted, a hearing committee, comprised of three faculty and/or staff members and two mutually agreed-upon candidates, will review the decision. The candidate and VanderCook have the right to representation by an attorney throughout the appeal process. Both parties must notify the other at least 72 hours prior to the time of the hearing if they intend to have legal representation present. Notification must be made in writing via email or letter.




Title IX Officer

Angela Presutti-Korbitz



Undergraduate Dean

Stacey Larson Dolan



Graduate Dean

Dr. Robert L. Sinclair




Dr. Roseanne Rosenthal



Director of Financial Aid

Sirena Covington


Filing Complaints Directly with the State of Illinois and Higher Learning Commission
VanderCook College of Music is committed to addressing student complaints timely and effectively, in accordance with the College’s student grievance procedures. If a student believes that the procedures have not adequately addressed his or her concerns, students may also file external complaints with the State of Illinois Board of Higher Education, or the Higher Learning Commission at the following link:
IBHE Complaints
HLC Complaints


NC-SARA Complaint Information

The above processes should be followed when making a complaint regarding course content or grades in online, hybrid and traditional instruction.  Complaints regarding transfer credits in online / distance education may be filed with NC-SARA at the following links:






VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288