Student Complaint Procedures

SUNY Old Westbury believes that the vast majority of complaints can be resolved informally by addressing the person and/or department involved.

Before filing a formal student complaint, the student must have attempted to resolve the issue with the manager of the department involved.

In addition, complaints against faculty cannot be pursued through the processes listed here. Student complaints about faculty members shall be made to the Chair of the Department in which the faculty member teaches. If the student believes that the Chair has not resolved the issue, the student may appeal to the Dean of the appropriate academic school.  If a violation of the Statement of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities contained in the Faculty Bylaws is alleged, students show follow the procedures described in Appendix II, Part V, Section C of the Bylaws.

The processes and procedures listed below are designed to resolve problems for students who are having difficulties with other students or staff that cannot be resolved through the informal report and resolution process, or that students choose to have investigated and adjudicated in a formal setting. Although the processes included here are confidential, a student's identity cannot be withheld from the person(s) identified as the source of the problem.

Type of Complaint


Academic issues: Grade & Degree Appeal

A student may appeal specific grades and degree requirements. Students are directed to the appropriate personnel and processes to consult for specific appeal processes.

Discrimination or Harassment

This discrimination and harassment policy and procedure is designed to provide all members of the College community with a process for reporting incidents of discrimination or harassment, and to provide for prompt and effective response to and resolution of reports of discrimination or harassment.

Title IX

In addition to the policy and procedure outlined above, the College conforms to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681), an all-encompassing federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The College’s policy follows the spirit and letter of all federal and state laws concerning access to student records. Within certain statutory limitations, students, upon reasonable notice, may review their “education records” containing information directly related to themselves. This policy also outlines how a students may challenge the accuracy of factual information in their records.

Student Conduct

The Code for Student Conduct addresses issues of student conduct and the processes by which such incidents and complaints are made, addressed, and resolved.

Administrative Offices/Functions

Administrative units across the campus have individualized procedures regarding fielding and reviewing student complaints.  Students can review those procedures and direct complaints to the relevant/appropriate contact shown.

Criminal Activity

Complaints involving matters of a criminal nature, including but not limited to assault, theft and/or suspicious activity, should be directed to the University Police Department at 516-876-3333.

SUNY Old Westbury participates in Federal student aid programs that are authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Participating institutions must be legally authorized to operate within the state in which it is located. 34 CFR § 600.9 requires states to have a “process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning the institution including enforcing applicable State laws.” 34 CFR § 668.43(b) requires that institutions

“make available for review to any enrolled or prospective student upon request, a copy of the documents describing the institution’s accreditation and its State, Federal, or tribal approval or licensing. The institution must also provide its students or prospective 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 a student’s complaint.”

To comply with this regulation, SUNY Old Westbury provides the following information to our prospective and current students:

State University of New York
Central Administration
State University Plaza
Albany, NY 12246
Room 977, Education Building Annex
Albany, NY 12234

Out-Of-State Students studying in online courses yet residing outside of New York State can contact the appropriate authorities in their state of residence.  Contact information for every state is available from the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO).

3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Contact the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202.