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The United Stated Department of Education requires that each accredited institution of higher education maintain a record of student complaints received by the institution (34 CFR 602.16(a)(1)(ix)). As required by federal regulations, this record is made available to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The record will be reviewed by the Commission as part of the institution’s Self Study and Periodic Review Report evaluations.
Student Complaint Policy
Russell Sage College aims to provide an environment that fosters the personal and intellectual growth and development of all students where concerns can be discussed and resolved in a professional manner. The Russell Sage College complaint process encourages informal resolution through direct communication with the individuals directly involved. Formal complaints will be considered if the student has followed and exhausted the informal processes. Russell Sage College makes every effort to resolve student complaints internally, using policies and procedures outlined in the current Catalogs and Student Handbooks. It is expected that students will fully utilize any and all procedures to address concerns and/or complaints in as timely a manner as possible.
This Policy applies to all students (full time or part time, onsite or online) who are enrolled at Russell Sage College at the time that the complaint is filed. Parents, relatives, employers, agents, and other persons acting for or on behalf of a Student are not considered students under this policy.
Complaint Policies and Procedures
Concerns regarding the following matters should be addressed using the policies and procedures outlined.
- Academic Dishonesty Appeals: See Student Code of Conduct, Appendix A, Appeals
- Appeals Regarding Suspension or Dismissal for Academic Reasons: See Campus Policies in the College Catalog
- Discrimination and Harassment: See Campus Policies in the College Catalog
- Accommodations for Students with Accessibility Needs: See Campus Policies in the College Catalog
- Final Course Grade Appeals: See Academic Policies in the College Catalog
- Financial Aid Appeals
- Parking Tickets
- Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking: See Campus Policies in the Student Handbook
- Sexual Discrimination Concerns, Title IX Policy
- Sanction(s) imposed through the Student Conduct Board Hearing Process: See Student Code of Conduct, Section V, D.
Informal complaints (concerns or expressions of dissatisfaction or disagreement) should be handled through direct communication (conversation, email, letter) between the student and the individual or office involved. The majority of student complaints can be addressed through communication with the individual(s) involved.
If the issue remains unresolved, the informal complaint should be directed to the appropriate supervisor (see the Student Assistance Directory for guidance and contact information for the most common student concerns). Students may also consult with the Dean of Students on their campus if they are unsure about where or how to address a concern.
A student may file a formal complaint if (a) the issue remains unresolved after attempting an informal resolution or (b) the student has utilized one of the complaint processes described in point 1 above and believes the student has been unfairly treated, or that College/School procedures or policies have not been followed. Formal complaints must be made in writing and submitted via the online Student Complaint Form by a student (not by a parent or other agent). Formal complaints must be filed within one year of the occurrence that prompted the complaint.
Procedures for Filing a Formal Complaint
- Attempt an informal resolution of the matter as noted above.
- Complete the online Student Complaint Form.
- A student should expect a preliminary response from a College representative within five (5) business days (when the College is open) to seek any additional information required to address the concern.
Formal Complaint Review and Resolution Process
Formal complaints submitted via the online form are directed to the Office of the Provost and the Vice President for Student Life. These offices do not act as advocates for any party to a dispute, but are facilitators to ensure a fair process. They will then refer the complaints to the appropriate College official to review and resolve. Any individual who is named in a formal complaint will be notified and asked to provide information related to the complaint.
To comply with federal regulations, Russell Sage College will maintain a record of formal complaints and their resolution, including those complaints reported to external agencies. The record will be housed within the Office of Institutional Research and made available to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education evaluators for their review.
Retaliation against a student for filing a complaint is harassment and will be addressed as described in Sage’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy.
Student Assistance Directory
The following is a Student Assistance Directory that identifies common student concerns that can be addressed informally through the offices, departments and processes provided.
Academic Affairs Concerns
Concerns Involving an Instructor or a Course
In the event that a student has a complaint involving a course in which the student is enrolled (course policies, instruction, grading, etc.), the student should follow the procedures listed below:
- Meet or speak with the instructor. In the best interests of both parties, resolution ideally should be reached at this stage.
- If a resolution is not reached between the student and instructor, meet or speak with with the instructor’s department chairperson or program coordinator.
- Meet or speak with the Dean of the College.
Concerns Related to Administrative Departments or Personnel within Academic Affairs
Concerns regarding academic affairs administrators or departments should be addressed through department leadership (as identified via the links below) and then to the College Dean, if not resolved.
Students can access general Academic Policies in the College Catalogs regarding academic standing, degree requirements, course offerings, the application of transfer credits.
For assistance with directing academic concerns to the appropriate office or process, contact the Office of Academic Advising at [email protected].
Discrimination because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, disability or national origin in regard to programs, courses, activities, facilities, financial aid, or student employment.
Students can meet with any campus compliance officer regarding any of these concerns. Students may view the Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual harassment and Sexual assault Policy online in the College Catalog under Campus Policies. Individuals seeking a list of campus compliance officers can email [email protected].
Contact Director of Facilities John Zajeceskowski at [email protected] for assistance with directing concerns to the appropriate office or process.
Non-residential concerns regarding facilities can be addressed through the Maintenance department.
Note that residence hall facilities concerns should be addressed through the Director of Residence Life at r[email protected].
Information Technology Concerns
Most concerns related to IT (wireless access, Sage email issues, Moodle, SageAdvisor, campus computers) can be addressed by contacting the IT Help Desk at 518-244-4777, by submitting a ticket to the Service Center, or by checking the online Knowledge Base for common questions and solutions.
Contact the Director of Information Technology at [email protected] for assistance with directing concerns to the appropriate office or process.
Student Life Concerns
Contact Dean Sharon Murray at [email protected] on the Albany campus or Dean Stacy Gonzalez at [email protected] on the Troy campus for assistance with directing concerns to the appropriate office or process.
- Residence Life
Contact: Grace Giancola, [email protected]
- Accessibility Accommodations
- Disciplinary charges/procedures/sanctions related to Student Code of Conduct
- The Sage Shuttle
- All policies related to student rights and responsibilities are located in the Student Handbook.
- Concerns regarding student life administrators (including athletics, career planning, disability services, residence life, spirituality and wellness centers) should be addressed through department leadership. and then to the College’s Dean of Students, if not resolved.
- Building access
- Parking issues
- Student safety issues (cameras, blue lights, etc.)
- General information regarding Public Safety resources and policies is available in the Public Safety section of this website.
Public Safety Concerns
Contact Director of Public Safety at [email protected] for assistance with directing concerns to the appropriate office or process.
Student Services Concerns
Contact: Kelley Robinson, [email protected]
- Clarification of the Verification Process
- Satisfactory Progress Requirements to maintain Financial Aid eligibility
Contact: Kathy Scoville, [email protected]
- Privacy (e.g., FERPA violations)
- Questions re: registration policy or procedures
Contact: Kimberly Higgins, [email protected]
In the unlikely event that an issue cannot be resolved internally, students may file a complaint with their respective State Licensing Authority and/or the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. These agencies should be contacted only after the student has utilized the established informal and formal complaint processes.
State Licensing Authority Contacts
New York State Education Department
If you are a New York State resident or enrolled in an on-campus course or program, contact NYSED.
Directory of State Authorization Agencies and Lead Contacts
If you are an online or distance-education student, contact the agency in your state of residence.
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street,
2nd Floor West
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680
Code of Federal Regulations
34 CFR 602.16(a)(1)(ix)
34 CFR 668.43(b)