IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED
For immediate concerns related to persons making threats to harm themselves or others; that pose a significant threat to the University and/or its community; or for other emergency issues, please immediately contact the University Police Department
at 601.266.4986 or 9-1-1. Matters requiring immediate action are referred to the Critical Incident Response Team.
LEARN ABOUT THE
Campus Action Referral and Evaluation System
WHAT IS THE MISSION OF CARES (Campus Action Referral and Evaluation System)?
USM CARES are a team of campus professionals who respond to reports of concern regarding the academic progress and well-being of students.
HOW CARES CAN HELP?
By using this portal, you enable CARES to proactively respond to concerns about any disruption to a safe and productive living and learning community. We reach out to students quickly and make sure they connect with the resources useful in their situation. We address issues including (but not limited to) situations of self-harm, family difficulties, stress management, mental health concerns, academic performance problems, addictions, Code of Conduct violations, Title IX issues, Clery Act related issues and/or issues of academic integrity (e.g. plagiarism).
For a list of policies and laws related to the types of issues that CARES helps address, please review the Policies and Procedures page.
SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
Report a Concern, Violation, or Problem
To report any concerns about academic performance, behavior, or personal well-being of students, click the button below.
Report an Academic Integrity Concern
The University is tracking cases related to academic integrity to better determine (1) where more education might be needed, and/or (2) where individual students are involved in multiple violations.
Violations of the University’s academic integrity policy that result in a change to any student grade should be reported using this form.
Report an Issue to the Dean of Students
This form provides an avenue for all faculty, staff, and students to report non-emergency incidents to the Dean of Students Office.
Incidents may include (but are not limited to):
- Violations of the Student Code of Conduct
- Violations of local, state and federal laws
- Classroom Disruptions
- General complaints/conflicts/concerns
Reports will be responded to within 3 business days. If you have any questions regarding any incident please contact the Dean of Students office via phone by calling 601.266.6028, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by stopping by Room 231 of the R. C. Cook Union.
Report Sexual Misconduct
Employees have a duty to report any incident of sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment or assault to the Title IX Coordinator. See the Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Harassment Policy. For information about the procedures that apply to resolving reports of the occurrence of such matters, see the Procedures for the Resolution of Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Harassment policy.
Please click below to provide information regarding any situation involving sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or sexual assault:
Campus Security Authority (CSA) Incident Report
Under Federal Law (The Clery Act), the University is required to report annual statistics for crime and safety on campus. If you have an emergency situation, please call 911. Persons designated as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) are required to report certain illegal conduct. If you are a designated CSA who is aware of criminal activity and it is not an emergency, please click below to report the incident or behavior.
Request Absence Authentication
Students are responsible for attending class and acknowledging absences to their professor pursuant to the terms of the class attendance policy set forth in the syllabus. If a professor requests that you have absences authenticated, contact the Office of Student Ombudsman Services for assistance by filling out the Notice of Absence Form.
Request Pregnancy/Childbirth Accommodations
Students requesting disability accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Accommodations: see contact information below. Need more information, review the Pregnant and Parenting Student Rights page.
Mr. Scott Dossett
Director, Office of Disability Accommodation
Bond Hal 144, Hattiesburg Campus, Campus Box 8586
If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Compliance and Ethics at 601-266-4466 or click the button to email.
NOTE: For information about required Student Disclosures, select Student Consumer Information Disclosures
- Concern- Enables an individual to express worry regarding an issue considered important which necessitates reassurance.
- Complaints-Provides the means for an individual to express their dissatisfaction about action or lack of action relative to a matter either academic or non-academic in nature. Typically dissatisfaction regarding a service, faculty, or product provided.
- Grievance-Allows an individual to allege a violation of their rights without a rational basis or in bad faith. Some grievances focus specifically on certain areas such as discrimination or sexual harassment.
- Appeal-Permits an individual to make a formal request asking for a change in a decision that has been made. Appeals occur after an action has been taken against an individual that the individual deems unfair or a violation of their rights
Sometimes students have complaints about University services, employees, and/or offices. If you are a student and have a complaint that does not fall into one of the other categories listed below, please complete this form, and we will respond to your complaint.
Grievances And/Or Appeals
If you have a complaint that is not resolved by the parties involved, you may file a grievance.
There are two types of grievances, informal grievances, and formal grievances.
Informal Resolution of a Student Grievance
Most types of dissatisfaction can be resolved through an informal face-to-face discussion between the people involved, and students should typically start with this strategy. If that discussion is not satisfactory, the student should next try to discuss the matter with that person’s immediate supervisor (e.g., chair of an academic department, the director of a university service office, etc.). For appropriate contacts, please click here. If the concerns are more serious or are not resolved informally, students may exercise formal grievance and appeals processes.
Formal Resolution of a Student Grievance
Some situations always lead to a formal process: grade appeals (see the Office of the Provost’s page for details); appeals originating in the student judicial council and/or the Office of the Dean of Students; and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
These formal grievances always involve submission of a written grievance and various steps through the process. For these situations, students should follow the procedures included in the links below:
- Academic Status Appeal
- Admissions Appeal
- Campus Lighting Comments
- Chartered Organizations - Judicial Decision Appeal Procedure
Discrimination or Harassment Complaints
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Financial Aid Suspension Appeal
- Grade Appeal
- Graduate School Appeals and Grievance Process
- Parking Ticket or Traffic Citation Appeal
- Residence Life Housing Contract Appeal
- Residence Life Conduct Appeal
- Scholarship Cancellation Appeal
- Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment Appeal
- Student Code of Conduct Violation Appeal
- Tuition Refund Appeal
COMPLAINT TO ACCREDITING or AUTHORIZING AGENCY
Regional Accrediting AgencyA complaint with our regional accrediting agency – the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) – can be filed when there is evidence to support noncompliance with a SACSCOC standard or requirement. Please review the Commission’s complaint policy, procedures, and complaint form.
The SACSCOC contact information is below:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
1866 Southern Lane Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
Phone: (404) 679-4500
Fax: (404) 679-4558
State Authorizing Agency
- conduct or behavior on the part of the University of Southern Mississippi or any of its agents, representatives or employees that constitute dishonest or fraudulent behavior, including providing false or misleading information to a student
- the operation of programs (including distance education) contrary to practices expected by institutional and/or programmatic/specialized accreditors
[The University of Southern Mississippi has a number of programs that are accredited by professional, discipline-specific accrediting bodies. Accredited programs at USM are listed at https://www.usm.edu/about/accreditation. Contact the Office of the Provost for additional information on program accreditation.]
Please review the MCAA Student Complaint Process.
The MCAA contact information is below
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39211-6453
COMPLAINTS SPECIFIC TO NON-MISSISSIPPI RESIDENTS TAKING ONLINE COURSES
If your complaint has been escalated through the grievance and appeal process and cannot be resolved, please review these points of escalation applicable to students taking online courses from outside of the state of Mississippi. Please note matters regarding grades and conduct cannot be escalated beyond the institutional level.
SARA Member state
Director of Accreditation
Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39211
If an issue cannot be resolved institutionally, students residing outside the state of Mississippi who do not reside in a SARA member state may file a complaint about The University of Southern Mississippi with their State by referring to the list of State Agencies on the U.S. Department of Education website. For a list of SARA member states, see the SARA States & Institution page.
COMPLAINTS SPECIFIC TO STUDENTS
TAKING ONLINE COURSES THROUGH MSVCC
Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC)
Identifying A Course as a MSVCC Course: Review to find out how to determine if you are taking an MSVCC online course.
COMPLAINTS SPECIFIC TO STUDENTS
RECEIVING SPECIFIC TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID
Active Duty Receiving Tuition Assistance or Spousal Assistance
Veteran Using Montgomery or Post 9/11 GI Bill
File a complaint with the Department of Veterans Affairs relative to an institution failing to follow the Principles of Excellence relative to recruiting or marketing practices, accreditation, financial issues, student loans, post-graduation job opportunities, change in degree plan/requirements.
Student with a Private Student Loan
File a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Current Student Receiving Federal Financial Aid
File a complaint with the Department of Education Ombudsman.