Complaint process

As a SARA member institution, Bluffton University has an established procedure to address student concerns and complaints.The procedure varies based on the type of concern being raised.

      • Students with concerns about grades should use the grade appeal procedure found in the Catalog
      • Students with concerns about disciplinary issues or the conduct process may follow the procedure outlined in the Student Handbook or contact Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Julie DeGraw (degrawj@bluffton.edu or 419-358-3248).
      • Title IX concerns should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator, Julie DeGraw (degrawj@bluffton.edu or 419-358-3248), or one of the Title IX Deputy Coordinators: Scott Sharik (shariks@bluffton.edu or 419-358-3377) or Iris Neufeld (neufeldi@bluffton.edu or 419-358-3322).

        Confidential counseling and support are available either through the on-campus Health and Counseling Center (statonr@bluffton.edu or 419-358-3449) or through Crime Victim Services (877-867-7273). Crime Victim Services can also provide a trained victim’s advocate. Assistance making a police report is available by calling the Bluffton Police Department at 419-358-4050.
      • FERPA rights are outlined on the registrar's webpage. FERPA concerns should be directed to the Registrar Iris Neufeld (neufeldi@bluffton.edu, 419-358-3322). Students have the right to file FERPA complaints with the U.S. Department of Education at:
                      Family Policy and Compliance Office

                      U.S. Department of Education
                      600 Independence Avenue S.W.
                      Washington, DC 20202-4605

      • Requests for ADA accommodations should be directed to the Counselor for Disability Services Jacqui Slinger at slingerj@bluffton.edu or 419-358-3215. Julie DeGraw, vice president for student life and dean of students (degrawj@bluffton.edu, 419-358-3248) is the official ADA coordinator for Bluffton University.

For other Concerns/complaints, contact Registrar Iris Neufeld (neufeldi@bluffton.edu, 419-358-3322). Issues not resolved at the institutional level, may be pursued with several organizations:

  • The student may file a grievance with the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
  • Students may contact our accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission.
      • The student may appeal to the portal entity of the home state of the institution through NC-SARA. The state portal entity will notify NC-SARA of the appealed complaint and will also notify the portal entity of the host state where the student is location. For Ohio, that contact information is:

        Matt Exline
        Assistant Director of Program Approval Operations
        Ohio Department of Higher Education
        25 South Front Street
        Columbus, OH  43215
        614.728.3095
        mexline@regents.state.oh.us