Expressing Concerns

In all its consultations and actions, NASM is committed to principles of due process with an emphasis on fairness to all sides. The Association actively promotes common understanding, negotiation, and mediation. It is opposed to confrontation as a method, strategy, or tactic.

Avenues for Expressing Concerns Regarding NASM

For those wishing to make suggestions concerning accreditation standards, contact may be made with the Executive Director of NASM at the National Office.

For individuals or institutions concerned about NASM policies or the accreditation process in general or as applied in a specific case, contact may be made with the Executive Director of NASM at the National Office.

For institutions in the midst of the accreditation process, the separate evaluation forms forwarded with the Visitors’ Report and the Commission letter announcing final action on the application should be submitted to the National Office.

Avenues for Expressing Concerns Regarding Member Institutions

For those concerned about events or conditions associated with an institution. First, state your concern clearly to the institution using any and all applicable procedures. Second, try to reach agreement with the institution, or at least a mutual understanding of varying perspectives.

If these efforts fail and concerns remain about the extent to which the issue has an impact on compliance with NASM accreditation standards or the Code of Ethics:

  1. First, review the issue against official NASM Handbook statements.
  2. Second, if the problem appears related to compliance with NASM requirements, review the entire NASM complaint procedure and decide whether to take action under it. See NASM Handbook, Rules of Practice and Procedure, “Procedures for Reviewing Complaints Directed Against Member Institutions of the National Association of Schools of Music.”
  3. Third, should further information regarding the Association’s complaint procedure or the Association’s Complaint Form be sought, please contact the staff in the National Office.

Please note the following basics concerning NASM’s ability to review a complaint under its procedures:

  • The Association does not respond to or take any action on any unwritten or unsigned complaint or on any allegations concerning the personal lives of individuals concerned with its affiliated institutions.
  • The Association assumes no responsibility for adjudicating isolated individual grievances, nor will it act as a court of appeals in matters of admission, granting or transfer of credits, fees, disciplinary matters, collective bargaining, faculty appointments and dismissals, or similar matters.
  • If the complaint includes matters that are currently the subject of, or directly related to, litigation in which the NASM member institution is a principal, NASM will not proceed with consideration of the complaint until such litigation is settled. NASM may weigh the results of such litigation in its deliberations.
  • Complaints will be considered only when the reported conditions are substantially documented and reflect conditions within an institution that jeopardize the quality of the educational program and/or the general welfare of the music unit. Unless the situation suggests the kind of capricious or unprofessional action that impairs attainment of the institution’s stated objectives, or suggests direct violation of NASM standards, procedures, and Code of Ethics for member institutions, the Association will not intervene.

The procedures for reviewing complaints are not judicial; they serve only as a method or means to communicate the allegations, determine the facts, and resolve the issues within the stated purposes of accreditation.