Policy on Student Complaints

Student Complaint Form PDF icon

The College of Pharmacy is committed to a policy of fair treatment of its students in their relationships with the administration, faculty, staff and fellow students. The purpose of this policy is to establish, implement and operate a student complaint procedure. This Policy shall be provided annually in writing to the first professional year class during the new student orientation, and to other professional year classes during the first week of classes in the fall semester. In addition, the policy shall be continuously accessible by students through the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy Website Policy on Student Complaints page under “Current Students”. Whenever possible, students should seek to resolve directly with the individuals involved those matters that serve as the basis for a student complaint. For those matters that the student is not able to resolve, relief may be sought through the following procedures:

If the subject matter of the complaint to be filed by the student is addressed by existing policy(s) of the University of Tennessee, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and/or the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, the student shall file the complaint with the responsible office, in the form and manner proscribed by that office.

Example One: If the complaint alleges that the student has been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, the complaint shall be filed with the Director of Equity & Diversity for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Example Two: If the complaint concerns academic dishonesty by a fellow student, the complaint shall be filed with a member of the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy Honor Council, in the form and manner proscribed by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Honor Code.

Example three: If the complaint concerns grades or academic progression (formal appeal) the complaint shall be filed with the College of Pharmacy Academic Standing and Promotion Review Committee. The Committee will investigate the complaint and make a recommendation for action to the Dean.

Information concerning filing of complaints, such as the three examples provided immediately above, is provided in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Student Handbook (CenterScope; https://www.uthsc.edu/centerscope/) and on the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy websites.

If the subject matter of the complaint to be filed by the student is not addressed by existing policy(s) of the University of Tennessee, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and/or the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, the student shall file a written complaint with the Executive Associate Dean for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy. The complaint must be in writing, signed and dated by the student filing the complaint and submitted using the "Complaint Form" available on the College website.

Upon receipt, the Executive Associate Dean shall review the complaint to verify that it meets the requirements for student complaints, as set forth in paragraph 2 immediately above. If the complaint does not meet the applicable requirements, the Executive Associate Dean shall request the student to prepare and submit the complaint in the form and manner proscribed. Upon receiving a complaint in the proscribed form and manner, the Executive Associate Dean shall, at the discretion of the Executive Associate Dean, take one of the following two actions:

  1. Refer the complaint to an administrator, department chair or faculty member in a position of being able to respond to the complaint. The person to whom the complaint is referred shall investigate the complaint and shall submit to the Executive Associate Dean a written response to the complaint, and if appropriate, include a plan of corrective action. The written response shall be submitted within five (5) business days (excluding holidays) of receipt of the complaint from the Executive Associate Dean. The Executive Associate Dean shall, within five (5) business days (excluding holidays) after receiving the written response, meet with the student to deliver and discuss the written response.
  2. The Executive Associate Dean shall investigate the complaint and prepare a written response to the complaint, and if appropriate, include a plan of corrective action. The written response shall be prepared within five (5) business days of receipt of the written complaint from the student. Within five (5) business days of completing the written response, the Executive Associate Dean shall meet with the student to deliver and discuss the written response.

If the student is not satisfied with the written response pursuant to paragraph 3 immediately above, the student may file an appeal with the Dean of the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy. The appeal shall be in writing in the form of a letter addressed to the Dean, and shall be signed and dated by the student submitting the letter of appeal. The letter of appeal shall specifically state the reason(s) why the student is not satisfied with the written response and the relief sought by the student. Simultaneous with delivery of the letter of appeal to the Dean, a photocopy of the letter of appeal shall be delivered to the Executive Associate Dean, who shall within five (5) business days (excluding holidays) of receipt of the letter of appeal deliver to the Dean the original written complaint filed by the student and the written response.

Upon receipt of the letter of appeal, the original complaint and the written response, the Dean shall review the compliant and within five (5) business days (excluding holidays) shall prepare a written decision on the letter of appeal. Within five (5) business days (excluding holidays) of completing the written decision, the Dean shall meet with the student to deliver and discuss the written decision. The Dean's decision is final. However, if a student complaint related to the ACPE standards for accreditation is unresolved, they may file a formal complaint to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education via email: csinfo@acpe-accredit.org as described in their policies on their website: http://www.acpe-accredit.org/complaints/.

The original written complaint and written response to the complaint, and if applicable, the letter of appeal and the written decision of the Dean shall be placed in a file on student complaints to be maintained by the Office of the Dean of the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy. A photocopy of all documents placed in the file on student complaints shall also be placed in the file on the student who submitted the original written complaint.

All aspects of student complaints shall be treated as confidential in accordance with University of Tennessee policies on confidentiality of student records. Notwithstanding this confidentiality requirement, the file on student complaints maintained in the Office of the Dean shall be made available to representatives of the accrediting agencies.

Grievance Procedure for the American Council for Pharmacy Education Accreditation Standards

Any student may bring a grievance or complaint related to the accreditation standards or the policies and procedures of the American Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Any student complaint lodged against the College of Pharmacy, or the pharmacy program, alleging a violation of the ACPE accreditation standards should be submitted in writing to the College’s Executive Associate Dean. The accreditation standards (“Accreditation Standards and Guidelines for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree,” Guidelines Version 2.0, Adopted: January 23, 2011, Effective: February 14, 2011) can be found in the ACPE accreditation website at: http://www.acpe-accredit.org/. Complaints from other institutions, students, faculty, or the public against a college or school of pharmacy, including tuition and fee policies, and as related to ACPE standards, policies or procedures, shall be placed in writing in detail by the complainant and submitted to the ACPE office as described at the ACPE website at: https://www.acpe-accredit.org/complaints/.

Contact Us

Student Affairs
Memphis and Nashville

James C. Eoff III, PharmD
901.448.6120 (office)
jeoff@uthsc.edu

Academic Affairs
Memphis and Nashville

Stephanie J. Phelps, PharmD
901.448.8780 (office)
sphelps@uthsc.edu

Student Affairs
Knoxville

Debbie Byrd, PharmD, BCPS
865.974.2398 (office)
dbyrd4@uthsc.edu

Academic Affairs
Knoxville

Peter A. Chyka, PharmD
865.974.2388 (office)
pchyka@uthsc.edu