Consumer Information

UT provides student consumer information in accordance with federal regulations set forth in the Higher Education Amendment Act and the amended Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008. An institution offering distance education is required to provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency, and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student’s state.

Internal Contacts

For questions or concerns about online learning at UT, contact Dr. Jennifer Gramling, Director of Online Programs at 865-974-0655 or jgramlin@utk.edu.

External Contacts

Since 1897, UT has been continuously accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

  • To access the Commission’s complaint policy, procedures, and the Complaint Form, see Complaint Procedures Against the Commission or Its Accredited Institutions. To file a complaint, a student must complete the Commission’s Complaint Form and send two print copies to the President, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097.
  • The Tennessee Higher Education Commission serves as the coordinating body for the state’s universities, public colleges, and Colleges of Applied Technology.

State Authorization and Consumer Protection

There are laws in each state that govern an institution of higher education’s ability to offer programs in that state. The University of TN, Knoxville operates in the state of Tennessee, and under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, commonly known as SARA.

For a list of states in which the University of Tennessee is authorized to deliver online education to students, visit the UT System’s State Regulatory Authorization page.

Complaint Resolution Policies and Procedures for Non-Tennessee Resident Students in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement States, Commonly Known as SARA.

Student complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), must first be filed with the institution to seek resolution. UT strives to employ a fair and expeditious process for resolving student grievances and complaints.

Complainants not satisfied with the outcome of the Institution’s internal process may appeal, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization/request-for-complaint-review.html).

For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards (http://www.nc-sara.org/content/sara-manual) have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA.

For a list of SARA member States, please visit the NC-SARA website (http://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions). Students residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective State of residence for further instruction for filing a complaint.

SARA consumer protection provisions require the home state portal entity to investigate and resolve complaints of dishonest or fraudulent activity by a provider and of operating a course or program contrary to practices set forth in the C-RAC Guidelines. Complaints regarding student grades or student conduct violations are not covered by SARA.

Additional Information for Consumers

As part of the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)), otherwise known as the Clery Act, qualifying incidents reported to university police from various sources, including Campus Security Authorities (CSA), are required to be annually published and made available to the campus community.

The UT Police Department provides details on the Clery Act and campus crime statistics.