This office is responsible for answering student inquiries and serving as a liaison between the student and the University departments where communication has broken down or is not yielding resolution. The Ombudsman staff provides students with information about University policies, regulations, and procedures. If problems occur, an Ombudsman staff member initiates a resolution of such problems and/or guides students through the University Grievance procedure.
The Ombudsman is the System’s Title IX Coordinator and ADA Coordinator. The Ombudsman can be contacted at 847-586-4056 or at the following emails:
- American InterContinental University & DigitalCrafts: Ombudsman@aiuniv.edu
- California Southern University: Ombudsman@calsouthern.edu
- Trident University International: Ombudsman@trident.edu
A grievance is a serious complaint that demonstrates that the student has been or is being adversely affected by: 1) inappropriate interpretation of University policies or 2) inappropriate response, lack of response, or decision by any person with administrative control and responsibility. Many issues can be resolved through discussion with the appropriate instructor or staff member, and students are encouraged to make contact at the first indication of a problem or concerns. If this fails to yield adequate resolution, students may submit their complaints through the Office of the Ombudsman.
Each member institution provides its internal process in their catalog and on their website.
Complaints to External Agencies
If students are unable to resolve their concerns through the internal grievance process, they may also pursue the grievance through the external regulators listed below. Although students are encouraged to begin the process with the Ombudsman, there is nothing which prevents the student from submitting a complaint to these agencies before submitting the concern through the University’s grievance procedure. Be advised, however, that certain agencies may require this as part of their process
State Regulatory Agencies
AIU Atlanta campus students may contact the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission, 2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220, Tucker, GA 30084-5305; 770-414-3300; https://gnpec.georgia.gov/student-resources/complaints-against-institution
AIU Houston campus students may contact the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Office of General Counsel, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, TX 78711-2788 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. THECB student complaint information is codified under 19 TAC §§1.110-1.120. An overview of the complaint procedure, how to submit a complaint, and the complaint form can be found here.
All other AIUS students: If the complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution’s grievance procedure, the student may file a complaint with the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education at 1740 West Adams Street, Suite 3008, Phoenix, AZ 85007; 602-542-5709, https://ppse.az.gov/student-complaint-procedure.
Arizona SARA Complaint Process: AIU is a member of the American InterContinental University System, which has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements through the Arizona SARA Council ("AZ SARA"). AZ SARA has jurisdiction over Arizona SARA-approved institutions in relation to non-instructional complaints. Instructional complaints, such as grade grievances, and those related to student conduct are not reviewed by AZ SARA and should not be submitted for review. Distance education students who reside in SARA states (currently all but California) may file a complaint with AZ SARA only after the student has first utilized AIU’s grievance process and the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education’s complaint process. Eligible complaints may be submitted to AZ-SARA at https://azsara.arizona.edu/complaints.
Complaints may be filed with the Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500; Chicago, IL 60604; https://www.hlcommission.org/Student-Resources/complaints.html
Consistent with the System’s Non‐Discrimination Notice and the U.S. Department of Education’s implementing regulations for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX") (see 34 C.F.R. § 106 et seq.), the System prohibits Sexual Harassment that occurs within its education programs or activities. The System is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which students, faculty, and employees work in an environment free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, or violence. The Sexual Harassment Policy prohibits sexual harassment including: Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment, Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking.
Administrators, faculty member, staff, students, contractors, guests, and other members of the System community who commit Sexual Harassment are subject to the full range of University discipline including verbal reprimand; written reprimand; mandatory training, coaching, or counseling; mandatory monitoring; partial or full probation; partial or full suspension; fines; permanent separation from the institution (i.e., termination or dismissal); physical restriction from System property; cancellation of contracts; and any combination of the same.
Please review the Sexual Harassment section under Title IX policy for more information.