The United States Department of Education, pursuant to 34 CFR § 668.43(b), requires institutions of higher education authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act to make available for review to any enrolled or prospective student, upon request, a copy of the documents describing the institution’s licensure and accreditation. The institution must also provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its state approval or licensing entity and any other relevant state official or agency that would appropriately handle a student’s complaint. Roger Williams University and Roger Williams University School of Law (collectively, “University”) provide the following information in accordance with the above requirements:
State Licensure and Accreditation Information
The University was originally chartered in 1956 and is licensed by the State of Rhode Island as an institution of higher education.
The University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (“NECHE”) and has been since 1972. In addition, Roger Williams University School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association (“ABA”). Other University schools and programs hold various other accreditations, a comprehensive list of which is available at http://www.rwu.edu/about/accreditation.
Copies of the documents describing the University’s licensure and accreditation may be obtained by contacting the University’s Office of General Counsel, One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809.
Recommended Content of Complaints
A complaint should contain the complainant’s contact information, including name, address, telephone number, and email address and specify whether the complainant is a prospective, current, or former student. Complaints should contain as much detail as possible, including the names of individuals involved, dates, supporting documentation, and requested remedy.
Internal Complaint Process
The University recommends that students and prospective students first file complaints internally before resolution is sought from the University’s state licensing entity or accreditor. Internal complaints may be filed with the University administrators referenced below. Complainants who are unsure where to file internal complaints may contact Richard Hale, Chief of Staff, or the Office of General Counsel, One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809.
Prospective Student Complaints
Roger Williams University prospective students may report all complaints to the Vice President for Enrollment Management, One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809.
Roger Williams University School of Law prospective students may report all complaints to the Assistant Dean of Admissions, 10 Metacom Avenue, Bristol, RI 02809.
Roger Williams University Student Complaints
Roger Williams University students may report complaints to Roger Williams University students may report complaints to the applicable vice president, dean, or department head having jurisdiction over the matter. For example, academic matters may be reported to the dean of the applicable school and student matters may be reported to the Dean of Students. Contact information for vice presidents, deans, and department heads is located on Roger Williams University’s website http://www.rwu.edu/.
Roger Williams University School of Law Student Complaints
Roger Williams University School of Law students may report complaints to the applicable dean or department head having jurisdiction over the matter. For example, academic matters may be reported to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and student matters may be reported to the Assistant Dean of Students. Contact information for deans and department heads is located on the School of Law’s website http://law.rwu.edu/.
External Complaint Process
If a complaint is not resolved satisfactorily internally or if the internal complaint process is not utilized, a student or prospective student may file a complaint with the University’s state licensing entity and/or accreditor.
State of Rhode Island Complaint Process
The Rhode Island Department of Attorney General has established the following complaint process related to receiving and resolving complaints for all institutions that are legally authorized to provide post-secondary higher education in Rhode Island that are not subject to regulation by the Rhode Island Department of Education or other state agency:
- Violations of state consumer protection laws (e.g., laws related to fraud or false advertising) will be referred to the Consumer Protection Unit within the Department of Attorney General and shall be reviewed and handled by that Unit.
- Violations of state laws or rules related to approval to operate or licensure of post-secondary institutions will be referred to the appropriate Division within the Department of Attorney General and shall be reviewed and handled by that Division.
- Complaints relating to quality of education or accreditation requirements shall be referred either to NECHE, the entity with primary responsibility for accreditation of Rhode Island institutions of higher education, or a specialized accreditor with oversight of particular programs.
Rhode Island Department of Attorney General
150 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903
Telephone: (401) 274-4400
Accreditor Complaint Process
NECHE responds to complaints regarding allegations of institutional conditions that raise significant questions about the institutions’ compliance with the NECHE Standards for Accreditation. NECHE’s Policy and Procedures for the Consideration of Complaints against Affiliated Institutions is available at https://cihe.neasc.org/sites/cihe.neasc.org/files/downloads/POLICIES/Pp11-Consideration_of_Complaints.pdf.
New England Commission of Higher Education
3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100
Burlington, MA 01803-4514
Telephone: (781) 425-7785
Facsimile: (781) 425-1001
The ABA has designed a complaint process to bring to the attention of the ABA any facts and allegations that may indicate that an approved law school is operating its programs of legal education out of compliance with the ABA Standards for the Approval of Law Schools. Information on how to file a complaint is available at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/accreditation/complaint_proceedures.html.
Office of the Consultant on Legal Education
American Bar Association
321 N. Clark Street, 21st Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
Telephone: (800) 285-2221
Online Learning Complaint Information for Students and Prospective Students Residing Outside of Rhode Island
Students and prospective students that reside outside of Rhode Island and are enrolled in or have contacted the University requesting information concerning admission to the University’s Online Learning Program may also file complaints with their state approval or licensing entity and any other relevant state official or agency that would appropriately handle a student’s complaint. Contact information for out-of-state agencies is available at http://www.sheeo.org/sites/default/files/Complaint%20Process%20Links%2012-2012.pdf.