Student Concerns

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The School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences upholds values that include institutional responsiveness, and social justice, diversity, and equity. The goal of the student concerns process is to resolve issues fairly by working together toward a reasonable resolution.

On this page, you will find information for reporting a concern, resources provided by the University of Washington, links to the Student Code of Conduct and other valuable information.


Concerns about an IAS classroom experience

Students should follow these steps with regards to concerns about an IAS classroom experience:

All conversations and records relating to concerns or grievances will be treated as confidential.

  1. Students are encouraged, wherever possible, to resolve concerns or difficulties informally and directly either in person or in a written communication with their instructor. This communication should specify the nature of the concern, relevant information and dates and, if possible, include documentation.

  2. If the concern is not resolved through communication with the instructor, the student may request a consultation with the Associate Dean of Student Support and Curriculum no later than ten class days after their discussion with the instructor.  This communication should include a copy of the appeal to the instructor.

  3. The Associate Dean will meet with the student and may facilitate a conversation between the student and the instructor (or, in some cases, the Division Chair) to seek clarity and, if possible, resolution of the concern.

Should a student’s complaint not be resolved, there are relevant formal complaint processes through which a student may seek redress: Written Grade Appeal, Bias Incident Report, Sexual Harassment or Discrimination, Student Conduct Office, etc.


Concerns about a Final Grade in an IAS class

Students should follow these steps to appeal a grade for an IAS class:

  1. Students should first discuss the matter with the instructor before the end of the following academic quarter (not including Summer Quarter).

  1. Students who are not satisfied with the instructor's response may submit, no later than ten class days after their discussion with the instructor,* a written appeal to the Associate Dean of Student Support and Curriculum (see below) with a copy of the appeal to the instructor.

* This time may be extended by the Associate Dean in exceptional circumstances, such as the situation in which the student did not learn of the appeals process deadlines in time.

  1. Within ten calendar days of receipt of the appeal, the Associate Dean shall consult with the instructor to determine whether the evaluation of the student's performance was fair and reasonable or whether the instructor's conduct in assigning the grade was arbitrary or capricious. 
  1. Should the Associate Dean believe the instructor's conduct to be arbitrary or capricious and should the instructor decline to revise the grade, the Associate Dean, with the approval of the voting members of the SIAS faculty, shall appoint an appropriate member, or members, of the faculty to evaluate the student’s or students’ performance and assign a grade. The Dean shall serve as an objective observer of the review process and shall inform the Executive Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs of this action.
NOTE:  Once a student submits a written appeal, this document and all subsequent actions on this appeal shall be recorded in written form for deposit in a department (or college) file.
(Updated 12/03/2020)

Misconduct by Other Students

Students who are aware of, or victims of, misconduct on the part of other students—either behavior misconduct or academic misconduct (plagiarism and cheating)—should contact the Office of Student Conduct. Such misconduct will be investigated according to procedures established in the UW Student Conduct Code. Student Life (formerly known as Student Engagement) has an online tool to make reporting alleged incidents of student misconduct easier for faculty, staff, and students.

Reporting a concern about sexual harassment or discrimination

Title IX, Washington State law, and University of Washington policy prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, pregnant or parenting status, and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) identity.

Students who need to report a concern about sexual harassment or discrimination should contact SafeCampus at 206-685-7233.   [You can call SafeCampus anytime (24 hours a day / 7 days a week).] 

You can find more information about reporting on the University of Washington’s Title IX website.  

Bias Incident Reporting

Bias incidents are acts or behaviors motivated by the offender's bias against any combination but not limited to identities such as age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

While these acts do not necessarily rise to the level of a crime, a violation of state law, University policy, or the Student Code of Conduct, a bias act may contribute to creating an unsafe, negative, or unwelcome environment for the victim; anyone who shares the same social identity as the victim; and/or, community members of the University.

The UW Tacoma's Bias Incident Reporting Website is a resource for anyone who needs to report an incident of bias or wants to explore and better understand issues like bias and discrimination, and how to effectively respond.

Safety Concerns  - SafeCampus (206-685-7233)

Urgent safety concern?  Call SafeCampus (24/7) at 206-685-7233 or call 911.

SafeCampus’ mission is to foster a safe and supportive UW community. SafeCampus strives to help faculty, staff and students prevent violence and be prepared to respond when it occurs.  With SafeCampus, students have support. You can call SafeCampus anytime (24 hours a day / 7 days a week) — no matter where you work or study — to anonymously discuss safety and well-being concerns for yourself or others. 

They'll listen to your concerns and provide individualized care, support and safety plans tailored to your situation. Their caring, trained professionals will talk you through your options and connect you with additional resources when requested.

All calls are private. You can call them anonymously and choose to share as much or as little information as you want.

For more information, go to the SafeCampus website.

Reporting Discriminatory or Harassing Behavior by a University Employee (Faculty and Staff)

The University specifically prohibits discriminatory or harassing behavior against any member of the University community. Students who believe they have been discriminated against by an employee on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or military status should refer to the procedures for Resolution of Complaints Against University Employees. The University invites anyone to make a bias incident report if you feel you need to report an incident of bias or want to explore and better understand issues like bias and discrimination, and how to effectively respond.

Other Student Resources

If your concern is not related to the above, or is not resolved within SIAS, below are other resources available to students.

Disability Resources for Students

Disability Resources for Students (DRS) is dedicated to ensuring access and inclusion for all students with disabilities on the UW Tacoma campus.

Any enrolled student at UW Tacoma who has an appropriately documented physical, emotional, or mental disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities (including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working), is eligible for services from DRS.  

For more information, please go to the Disability Resources for Students website.

Teaching and Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC supports the development of all UW Tacoma students on their pathways to academic success and beyond. TLC consultants work collaboratively with students in writing, math, science and statistics, helping them to develop the skills, strategies, knowledge, and confidence necessary for academic success.

For the TLC's hours and other information, please visit the Teaching and Learning Center website.  

Office of Student Advocacy and Support

The Office of Student Advocacy and Support provides referral and support services to students, using a case management model. The purpose of this office is to assist student in developing strategies to overcome and address barriers that prevent them from achieving their educational goals. 

For more information or to make a request to meet with the caseworker, please visit the Student Advocacy and Support website.

Counseling and Psychological Services

It is common for students to experience times when they feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of college, work, family, and relationships. Counseling & Psychological Services is here to help students cope with stresses and personal issues that can interfere with their ability to perform in school.

Counseling & Psychological Services provides free counseling to currently enrolled UW Tacoma students and consultation to faculty and staff. 

For more information about the services provided, including how to make an appointment and walk-in hours, please visit the Counseling and Psychological Services website.

UW Tacoma Office of the Ombud

The Office of the Ombud is a place where all members of the University of Washington community (including students) can seek information, consultation, and assistance. Each year, the Ombud Office collaborates with hundreds of individuals who are facing challenges. They provide a safe environment to voice concerns and develop constructive options to address the situation.

For more information, including how to make an appointment, please visit the Office of the Ombud website.

University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO)

The University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO) investigates complaints that a University employee has violated the University’s non-discrimination and/or non-retaliation policies. A UCIRO investigation may be requested either by an individual with a complaint about a University employee or by the administrative head of a University organization.

For more information about UCIRO and the complaint intake process, visit the UCIRO Website.

Questions/Need Assistance?

Erica Cline, Associate Dean for Student Support and Success

Dean for Student Support and Curriculum

Ingrid Walker, Ph.D.

The SIAS Associate Dean for Student Support and Curriculum's responsiblity is to manage and resolve escalated student complaints, review, and standardize processes and policies regarding student complaints, create opportunities for student feedback, represent SIAS in discussions with Disability Resources for Students and the Student Conduct Office, and act as the liaison to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Dr. Ingrid Walker at

To request changes to this page, please contact