Student Complaints and Grievances
The University of New Mexico takes student complaints seriously and has processes in place to ensure those complaints are investigated thoroughly. The information on this page provides a brief overview of complaint processes. For detailed information, please see the Student Grievance Procedure portion of the UNM Student Handbook.
Academic Complaints and Disputes
In the event a student has a complaint in connection to the academic process, the student should first pursue informal dispute resolution with the appropriate faculty or department chair. The process is detailed in the UNM Student Handbook, under Student Grievance Procedure, Section 2.2. Most conflicts are amicably resolved through this route.
Formal Appeal Process
If the informal complaint process is not successful or is otherwise unsatisfactory, a student may pursue a formal complaint with the University directly. The process is detailed in the UNM Student Handbook, under Student Grievance Procedure, Section 2.3, and involves submitting a written complaint to the appropriate Dean.
External Complaint Process
If a student is dissatisfied with the University’s proposed resolution or final decision, the student may file a complaint with the New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) and with the University’s accreditation agency, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). If you are a student located in another state, please see the State Higher Education Contact table.
Important Deadlines in the Complaint Process
- An informal resolution process must be pursued by the student within 4 weeks (28 days) after the student becomes or should become aware of the matter. (Student Grievance Procedure, Section 2.2.C).
- A formal appeal to the appropriate Dean (as defined in Section 2.2.A of the Student Grievance Procedure) must be brought by the student within two weeks (14 days) following the conclusion of the informal resolution process. (Student Grievance Procedure, Section 2.3)
- A formal appeal of a Dean’s decision may be brought by either the student or faculty member within two weeks (14 days) following that Dean’s decision. (Student Grievance Procedure, Section 2.3.F) The appeal of a Dean’s decision is made to the University Provost.
- For complaints made to the New Mexico Higher Education Department, a student must submit a complaint form within 3 years of his or her last date of enrollment. See the NMHED site for complete details.
- For complaints made to the Higher Learning Commission, a student must submit a complaint no later than 5 years after the initial matter arose. See the HLC site for complete details.
Discrimination, Harassment and Accessibility Complaints
If you have either observed or been the target of sexual harassment or discrimination — whether based on race, sex, gender, disability, religion or other protected status — you may file a complaint with the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity. Students also have access to the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center for issues involving sexual assault, violence, bullying, and intimidation.
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