How does Samford CARE?

Samford’s mission begins with a commitment to “nurture persons”, which includes paying attention to the academic, mental, emotional and spiritual concerns of students and responding to those concerns with compassion and support. One of the distinctive characteristics of our campus culture is the thoughtful and thorough efforts made to identify students that need help, to connect them with the right resources and to invest in their long-term healing and success.

Samford Cares for students in many tangible ways, but mostly through people.

  • Faculty
  • Health Services and Counseling Services Staff
  • Office of Spiritual Life & Student Affairs Staff
  • Residence Life Staff
  • The CARE Team

What is the CARE Team?

The CARE Team (Communicate, Assess, Resource, Educate) is a group of faculty and staff members from across campus that exists to help students of concern remain successful in and out of the classroom. The CARE Team connects students that are experiencing unusual stress or challenges with a variety of resources to help address their concerns. These resources include, but are not limited to: University Counseling Services, Academic Success Center, Disability Resources, Public Safety, Residence Life, Title IX Officer, Student Involvement and Office of Spiritual Life.

Who is a “Student of Concern”?

Students of concern typically demonstrate behaviors that include but are not limited to, extended absences from classes, physical illness, emotional distress or any behavior that causes another member of the community concern.

What Happens When a Student of Concern is Referred?

When the Care Team receives a referral, they will gather additional information and implement a plan of care for the student based on their assessment. The plan of care typically includes some combination of outreach and support from resources on campus like the Academic Success Center, Counseling Services, Disability Resources, Residence Life and the Office of Spiritual Life.

How Does the CARE Team Find Out about Students of Concern?

The CARE Team receives referrals from a variety of sources. Faculty, staff, peers and parents can submit their concern for a student online, by email or phone. The CARE Team encourages everyone to say something if they see something that concerns them.

As a note, the CARE team is not meant for immediate emergencies. In emergencies, call Safety & Security at 205-726-2020.

Looking for a Non-Mandated Reporter?

If your concern is related to a sexual assault and you want to talk with a non-mandated reporter to ensure confidentiality, resources are available.

Why Refer?

The CARE team can provide additional resources and individualized help to students who are experiencing difficulties.

Student Complaint Process

Code of Values

“We as the Samford University community affirm the value of a peaceful and purposeful community, founded on the moral and ethical integrity of students, staff and faculty. We commit ourselves to the Christian values on which Samford University was founded. We expect that our commitment to mutual responsibility and a spirit of cooperation will create a community that is orderly, caring and just.”

Specific Complaint Policies and Procedures

Students are encouraged to resolve complaints at the appropriate level of disagreements. When registering concerns or complaints, students must follow the appropriate procedures. If a student has any question about the applicable procedure to follow for a particular complaint, the student should contact the Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Support. For any of the following matters, the student should refer to the proper resource:

  • Grade Appeals: Office of the Registrar
  • Academic Petition Form is for students seeking exceptions to academic policy. Examples include adding/dropping a class after the add/drop period, graduation requirement exception, etc. Office Registrar
  • Title IX: Title IX Coordinator
  • Disability Accommodation Grievance Procedures: Office of Accessibility and Accommodations
  • Law Student Complaint Resolution Policy: Director of Law Student Services
  • Anonymous Complaints may be submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA). The VPSA office is not an advocate for any party to a disagreement, but is an advocate for a fair process. Acting as a neutral party, the VPSA or his designee will attempt to resolve complaints by directly working with the student and appropriate employees to assure a fair process. Complaints that cannot be resolved informally, may be referred to other university officials for resolution. A record of a complaint and resolution will be maintained in VPSA office.

Other Student-Related Complaints

If a student is unable to resolve an issue, the student may submit a written complaint through the Student Complaint form. Forms submitted without contact information cannot be processed. A student who has a complaint that a policy or procedure has been incorrectly or unfairly applied in his/her particular case, or a complaint about the behavior of a University employee that does not fall within any of the categories specifically listed above, the complaint will be handled as follows:

Informal Resolution

Students are encouraged to speak directly with the employee most concerned with or responsible for the situation that is the cause of the complaint. If this communication does not lead to a resolution, or such a discussion is not deemed appropriate, the student may submit a written complaint through the Student Complaint form.

Formal Complaint

The student complaint form is to be used by any student who wishes to file a grievance about his/her perceived treatment/interaction with a member of the university community or a service offered at the university.

Receipt of the complaint will be acknowledged within fifteen (15) days. The appropriate university administrator will then review the matter. A final written determination, including any proposed resolution, will be sent to the student within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the complaint. A complete record of formal complaints will be kept by the relevant University office.

Submit a Student Complaint Form

Distance Learning Student Complaints

Students enrolled in online courses and programs, or a supervised field experience taking place outside of Alabama (i.e., practicum, student teaching, clinical, etc.), must first use the above-mentioned internal complaint process. Additionally, if an online student’s complaint related to certain consumer protection provisions cannot be resolved internally though Samford’s student complaint process, the complaint may be eligible for additional review pursuant to the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). Learn more about this process.

Submit a CARE Team Form Submit a Bereavement Form Support Samford CARES