I. Scope

The “Program Integrity Rule” amendment of Title IV of the Higher Education Act, which took effect July 11, 2011, requires institutions of higher education authorized to offer postsecondary education in one or more states to ensure access to a complaint process that will permit students to address the following:

  • Alleged violations of State consumer protection laws that include but are not limited to fraud and false advertising;
  • Alleged violations of State laws or rules relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions; and
  • Complaints relating to the quality of education or other State or accreditation requirements.

II. Definition of a Formal Complaint

A formal complaint arises when a student believes, based on established College policies and procedures, that they have been treated in a capricious or arbitrary manner by a College official and informal methods of resolving the concern remain unaddressed or unsatisfactory.

Complaints not addressed through this process include:

III. Complaint Process

Earlham College strongly encourages all members of the community to engage one another within the spirit of Principles and Practices, which promotes integrity, peaceful resolution of conflict, as well as responsibility. Resolving concerns in an educational setting, particularly one as diverse as Earlham, requires patience, civility and a commitment to listening.

The vast majority of concerns arising from communication and misunderstanding, once addressed, can be resolved in a timely manner. Students are encouraged to go first to the source of their concern, be it a faculty or staff member, department or director. When concerns cannot be resolved satisfactorily, students may register a formal complaint to the respective office listed below.

IV. Filling a Complaint

Students may file a Formal Complaint in writing, addressed to contact named in the administrative area of the complaint. Students should specify the following:

  • Contact information of the person submitting the complaint;
  • Identity of the individual or department of concern;
  • A description of the specific individual behavior or action;
  • Brief outline of what steps have been previously taken, e.g., information regarding previous reports of discussions, whether any resolution occurred, with whom the student met, etc.;
  • The date or period of time in which the behavior occurred and the location of the incident;
  • A listing of all individuals who witnessed any part of the incident in dispute.

The College administrator assigned to the area of the complaint will review it and respond in writing to the student within 15 calendar days of the submission of the complaint.

Personnel in the offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar, Academic Affairs, Student Life, Athletics and Human Resources can address and resolve most if not all of the questions and concerns you may have:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Admissions eligibility & processes:

  • Contact the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, Erin Hutchinson, [email protected]

Financial aid, federal and institutional loans or aid, grants:

  • Contact the Assistant Vice President of Financial Aid, Kathy Gottschalk, in Tyler Hall.
    765-983-1217 or [email protected]

Final reports related to admissions or aid processes will be forwarded to Phil Betz, Vice President for Enrollment Management.

Academic Affairs

Academic programs or experience in the classroom:

  • Contact the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Tara Natarajan, in Carpenter Hall.
    [email protected]

Academic records, credits, transcripts, enrollment verification:

  • Contact the Associate Registrar, Julie Stout, in Carpenter Hall.
    765-983-1515 or [email protected]

Final reports related to academic concerns will be forwarded to Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Tara Natarajan.

Student Life

Student housing, student conduct, and health or counseling services:

  • Contact the Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students, Bonita Washington-Lacey, in Earlham Hall.
    765-983-1311 or [email protected]

Student life, student activities or leadership, bias response:

  • Contact the Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students, Bonita Washington-Lacey, in Earlham Hall.
    765-983-1311 or [email protected]

Sexual assault, harassment, stalking or intimidation:

Students may elect to contact any of the following:

  • Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students, Bonita Washington-Lacey, in Earlham Hall.
    765-983-1311 or [email protected]
  • Senior Director of Title IX; Interim Director of Academic Enrichment, Jenelle Job 765-983-1346 or [email protected]
  • Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Christopher Little, at the Public Safety Office in Bolling House.
    765-983-1465 or [email protected]
  • Richmond Police Department, City of Richmond Building, 50 N. 5th St., Richmond IN.
    In emergency, 911.
    765-983-7247 for non-emergency reports.

Final reports related to student and campus life concerns will be forwarded to Bonita Washington-Lacey, Vice President of Student Life & Dean of Students.

Public safety and human resources:

  • Public Safety:
    Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Christopher Little, at the Public Safety Office in Bolling House.
    765-983-1465 or [email protected]
  • Student employment, work-study:
    Contact the Associate Director of Career Education & Student Employment Center for Career Education, Lea Staedtler
    [email protected]

Tuition and fee payments and refunds:

  • Contact the Associate Vice President of Accounting / Controller, Carrie Ervin, in the Accounting Office, in Carpenter Hall.
    765-983-1758 or [email protected]

Final reports related to finance and operations will be forwarded to Stacy Davidson, Vice President of Finance and Administration.


  • Contact the Director of Athletics, Adam Hutchinson, in the Athletics and Wellness Center. [email protected]

Final reports will be forwarded to President, Anne Houtman.

If unsure or your concern isn’t listed:

  • Contact the Office of Student Life, in Earlham Hall, at 765-983-1311.

Some student concerns or complaints may pertain to alleged violations of State consumer protection laws such as fraud and false advertising, alleged violations of State laws or rules relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions, and complaints relating to the quality of education or other State or accreditation requirements. Additionally the College has designated a Title IX Coordinator to oversee complaints related to sexual harassment, and ADA Coordinators (for employees as well as students), to address complaints related to violations of varying disability regulations, and the provision of accommodations.

V. Appeals

If within ten calendar days of receipt of the administrator’s decision, the complainant remains unsatisfied, he or she may appeal by submitting the following:

  • Copy of the original complaint in writing;
  • Copy of the administrator’s decision in writing;
  • Statement of reasons indicating how the decision is unsatisfactory.

This information should be submitted to the Vice President in the respective area of the initial complaint. If the administrator or focus of the complaint is the Vice President, the student may submit the appeal to the Director of Human Resources who will determine an alternative administrator of the appeal, in consultation with the President. The process of appeal will be limited to a review of the basis for the administrator’s original finding, only, i.e. whether procedures in reviewing the original complaint were followed. The complainant will receive the outcome of the appeal in writing within 30 calendar days of the assignment of the appeal.

Records of all formal complaints will be maintained by the Director of Human Resources.

VI. Procedures for Annual Complaint Review

Annual review of formal complaints will occur on or about June 10 or each year. This review will be led by the Director of Human Resources and the designated review team. Patterns of concern, indicating remediation of processes or procedures will be forwarded to the divisional Vice President(s), with copies to the President, for his or her review.

VII. Filing Complaints Outside of Earlham College

If a complaint has not been properly addressed within the College, it may be filed with other organizations at the state, regional or national levels. In such cases, the following independent resources are available to the student:

State of Indiana

Indiana State Commission on Higher Education
101 West Ohio Street, Suite 550
Indianapolis IN 46204
317-464-4400 ext. 0

Institutional and Academic Program Accreditor

Earlham College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Contact HLC at (800) 621-7440 ext. 198 or www.ncahlc.org  for further information.

Department of Education

For assistance related to civil rights, you may contact the U.S. Dept. of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) headquarters office in Washington D.C. or the OCR enforcement office serving your state or territory. Contact the enforcement offices if you wish to file a complaint (or use our online complaint form) or if you need technical assistance on a problem or assistance to prevent civil rights problems.

The OCR office for Indiana is located at:

Chicago Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
John C. Kluczynski Federal Building
230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604

Telephone: 312-730-1560
FAX: 312-730-1576; TDD: 800-877-8339

The OCR National Headquarters is located at:

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100

Telephone: 800-421-3481
FAX: 202-453-6012; TDD: 800-877-8339
Email: [email protected]

Policy specifications

Last revision: 12/11/2023
Responsible office: Student Life
Academic Affairs
Title IX
Disability & Accessibility Services
Effective date: 07/11/2011
Related policies: Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy
Sexual Harassment Policy
Sexual Harassment Policy Violations Grievance Procedures
Accommodation of Students with Disabilities
Associated division(s):
Associated audience(s):
Associated container(s):
Policy home: https://earlham.edu/policy/student-consumer-complaint-process