Getting Help with Concerns or Complaints

Need help or advice? If you cannot get the information you need from your advisor, program director or department chair (click here for a list), the Graduate School staff can answer questions and help you to determine what your next steps will be. Contact the Graduate School (828-262-2130) or if you are in Boone, stop in at our office (232 John E. Thomas Building).

If you prefer to talk to someone else, the Dean of Students, JJ Brown, is available to help graduate students with questions and concerns as well.

Below is a list of situations students sometimes need help with:

Appealing Grades

All students follow the same grade appeals process. There are strict timelimits to appealing a grade, so if you are considering this, you should check into the specifics immediately. Because grades are a faculty issue, grade appeals start in the department and if not resolved there, go to the academic dean (click here for a list).

The most up-to-date information on the process can be found on the Academic Affairs website.

Appealing Dismissal from an Assistantship

If you have been dismissed from your job as a graduate assistant, and you feel you have been treated unjustly, you have the right to appeal in writing (via email or on paper). Contact Monica Rose in the Graduate School (RoseMD; 828-262-2173) or stop in at the Office (232 John E. Thomas Building).

Appealing Dismissal from a Program (Academic Suspension, Denial of Candidacy)

If you are academically ineligible to continue because of poor grades or denial of candidacy, you can request to return on probation. Each situation is reviewed individually, and not all requests are granted. You must start with your department chair or program director, who can petition the Graduate School on your behalf. [read more]

Equity, Harassment or Discrimination Concerns

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance can assist you with concerns or complaints. The office is located in the ground floor of IG Greer Building, and the entrance is on the west side of the building.

Getting Assistance with a Disability

If you have a disability and may need reasonable accommodations (alternate testing, readers, scribes, etc.) in order to have equal access to the University's courses, programs and activities, please contact the Office of Disability Services (828.262.3056).

Reporting or Dealing with Student Misconduct

The Code of Student Conduct outlines the process for reporting misconduct, or if you are a TA, dealing with misconduct in your classes. TAs should discuss the situation with their assistantship supervisors before doing anything.

If you need advice on how to proceed, you can contact the Student Conduct Office or stop in on the 2nd floor of the Plemmons Student Union.

Reporting a Concern about Research Practices or Misconduct

Concerns related to the conduct of research at Appalachian can be reported anonymously by calling the Director of Research Protections at (828) 262-2130. All reports will be investigated. More information can be found on the Research Protections website.

Requesting or Appealing Residency for Tuition Purposes

All graduate student requests related to residency are coordinated by the Registrar’s Office. If you are denied residency for tuition purposes, you have the right to appeal in writing to the University Residency Appeals Board. That appeal must be received by the Registrar’s Office in writing on paper by the deadline. If you are denied by the board, you can appeal to the State. For more information, see https://registrar.appstate.edu/students/nc-residency/graduate-students.

Further Avenues of Appeal or Complaint

If you cannot get resolution on your complaint about your experience at Appalachian through the above processes, you have the right to contact the senior administration, the UNC system, or other government offices.

Graduate students are officially students in the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies. Day-to-day tasks associated with graduate education are the responsibility of Robert Sanders, Associate Dean. Dr. Sanders reports to Max Poole, Dean of the Graduate School.

Graduate programs and faculty are housed within the academic colleges at Appalachian, and students who have concerns about the department or faculty may need to work with appropriate chair or academic dean (click here for a listing). All academic deans and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies report to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Senior Administration

Academic Affairs

  • Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs: Darrell Kruger
  • Contact for Concerns: Vice Provost Mike Mayfield (828) 262-2070

Chancellor's Office

  • Chancellor: Sheri N. Everts
  • Contact for Concerns: Acting Chief of Staff Hank Foreman (828) 262-2040

Concerns about Online Courses for Students who do not Reside in NC

If you are residing outside of North Carolina while taking online courses at Appalachian, you can also file a complaint in the state where you are residing. As required by federal regulations, the Registrar's website(link is external) contains a list of resources.

Regional Accreditation

Appalachian State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Appalachian State University.

NOTE: The purpose for publishing the Commission's address and contact numbers is to enable interested constituents (1) to learn about the accreditation status of the institution, (2) to file a third-party comment at the time of the institution's decennial review, or (3) to file a complaint against the institution for alleged non-compliance with an accreditation standard or requirement(link is external).

Other inquiries or complaints about the university should not be addressed to the Commission's office.