Communication Proficiency Policy and Complaint Procedure

In accordance with State Board of Higher Education Policy 609 (Communication Proficiency, Dickinson State University has a policy in its Dickinson State University Faculty Handbook (section II.A.3., Communications Proficiency Policy) which provides for the screening of faculty members to determine their proficiency in both written and verbal English at the time of initial employment. This policy is to ensure that students will have instructors whom they can understand both verbally and in writing.

The Dickinson State University policy also provides a procedure for students to register complaints if they cannot understand the English used by an instructor in classroom instruction. The Dickinson State University Faculty Handbook outlines in section II.A.3.4 the following procedure.

Students (and faculty) affected by the language proficiency policy may register complaints related to the provisions of this policy (the inability to understand the English used to communicate by the instructor) with the academic department/school chair. Formal complaints requesting action will be specified in writing. Informal complaints can be discussed verbally with the department/school chair.

The departmental/school chairs in consultation with the Dean will recommend whatever action is deemed necessary to address the complaint (both formal and informal) and the Dean will    implement recommended action.

If the plan of action and/or development program regarding communications (language) proficiency does not produce the desired results in the estimation of students and/or personnel involved in the initial complaint within a reasonable period of time, an additional appeal may be made directly to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost for further action.

Students may discuss their complaint regarding communication proficiency with the Vice President for Student Affairs and secure help with this issue from this office before approaching a department chair with their concern.