Grievance Process

Academic Accommodations and Other Grievances

If any student, employee, applicant or campus visitor feels that they have been discriminated against, harassed or retaliated against by a student, employee, or third-party because of disability, they are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and/or file a complaint under the Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

Iowa State University is committed to ensuring that its learning and working environments are free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. ISU will take steps to prevent the recurrence of any discrimination and to correct discriminatory effects on the complainant and others.  The university strictly prohibits and will not tolerate retaliation against individuals due to their assertion of their protected civil rights, including the filing of complaints of discrimination, participation in an investigation of such a complaint, and/or for requesting accommodations. Individuals who believe they are experiencing this form of retaliation are strongly encouraged to contact ISU's Office of Equal Opportunity.

Iowa State University’s Student Accessibility Services (SAS) is the office on campus that is responsible for addressing the needs of students with disabilities. In order to receive disability accommodations, students and applicants must submit the required documentation described in SAS’s Applying for Accommodations Procedures.  The grievance process applies and must be followed whenever a student or applicant for admission alleges that the university and/or a university employee has denied or otherwise not provided approved reasonable accommodation(s).  Students experiencing difficulties with accommodations should contact SDR staff in a timely manner and follow the process outlined at SAS's Accommodation Grievances/Appeal Processes (for class-related concerns) for assistance. This policy is listed below. 

Please note:  Employee accommodation-related grievances should be directed to ISU’s Office of Equal Opportunity.

Student Accommodation Grievance Process

  1. Student accommodation grievances must be filed in writing to the Director of Student Accessibility Services (SAS), at 1076 Student Services Building and/or The written grievance shall include:
    1. The name and contact information of the student/applicant.
    2. A detailed description of the situation, and the resolution desired.
    3. The student/applicant may also identify any relevant documentation, evidence, and/or witnesses.
  2. The grievance should be submitted to the Director as soon as possible, and in any event within thirty (30) calendar days of the challenged decision/action unless the student/applicant can show good cause for the delay.
  3. If the Director determines that the grievance can be resolved informally, the Director will try to do so by working with the student, relevant SAS staff and any other necessary individuals (i.e. faculty member).
  4. The Director shall complete any informal review within seven (7) calendar days. If informal resolution is ineffective or impractical, the Director will refer the matter to the Associate Dean of Students or designee for formal review.
  5. In matters receiving formal review, the Associate Dean of Students will review the grievance and investigate the matter. The investigation may include, but is not limited to, review of relevant written materials and interviewing, as necessary, the student/applicant, SAS staff and any other necessary individuals (i.e. faculty member or department chair) as determined by the Associate Dean of Students or designee.
  6. The Associate Dean of Students will complete the formal review and make a decision within seven (7) calendar days of receiving the grievance and will distribute a written decision to the impacted parties.
  7. Within three (3) calendar days of receipt of the Associate Dean of Student’s decision, any impacted party may appeal the decision to the Dean of Students or designee. Such appeals must be submitted to the Dean in writing to the Office of the Dean of Students at 1010 Student Services Building and/or
  8. The Dean will review the relevant written materials and may interview any individual deemed necessary. The Dean may consult with the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs and/or the Senior Vice President and Provost in rendering a decision.
  9. The Dean will issue a written decision to the affected parties within seven (7) calendar days of receiving the written appeal. The decision of the Dean shall be the final decision of the university.

Please note:  All notices, meeting requests, updates, and other communications relating to the university's process will be provided electronically through ISU email accounts, as described in the university's Email, University Communications Policy. It is expected that email will be received and read by the recipient within a reasonable amount of time, as email communications may be time-sensitive.