Grade Appeal Policy
The goal of this grade appeal policy is to establish a clear,
fair process by which undergraduate students can contest a course grade that
they believe has been awarded in a manner inconsistent with university policies
or that has resulted from calculation errors on the part of the instructor.
Recognizing, however, that the evaluation of student performance is based upon
the professional judgment of instructors, and notwithstanding the exceptions
noted at the end of this policy, appeals will not be considered unless based
upon one or more of the following factors:
An error was made in grade computation.
Standards different from those established in
written department, school, college, or university policies, if specific
policies exist, were used in assigning the grade.
The instructor departed substantially from his
or her previously articulated, written standards, without notifying students,
in determining the grade.
Only the final course grade may be appealed. The grade
assigned by the instructor is assumed to be correct and the student appealing
the grade must justify the need for a change of the grade assigned.
1. Formal grade appeals must be
initiated by the student by the end of the twenty-first calendar day of the
semester (not including summer sessions) following the award of the grade.
2. The first step to resolve
differences between an instructor and student concerning a grade should be a
discussion with the instructor. If the instructor of record will not be
available within one semester (not including summer sessions), the department
chair or designee may act in lieu of the instructor of record for the purpose
of grade appeals.
3. If the instructor and student
cannot resolve the appeal, and the student wishes to pursue the matter further,
he or she must present to the chair of the department or designee in which the
course is offered, a written appeal that includes the following:
A statement addressing how the appeal meets one
or more of the three criteria necessary for a formal appeal.
A description of the outcome of the informal
Any relevant documents the student would like to
be reviewed as part of the appeal process.
A copy of the course syllabus and assignment
The department chair or designee may request additional
materials from the student. After receiving a copy of the appeal materials from
the department chair or designee, the instructor has fourteen calendar days to
respond in writing to the appeal. The department chair or designee will discuss
this response with the faculty member and will provide the student with written
notification of the outcome of this step within seven calendar days after
receiving the instructor’s response.
4. If there is no mutually agreed upon resolution between the
student and the instructor, and the student wishes to pursue the matter
further, he or she has seven calendar days to submit his or her written appeal
to the college dean or designee. The college dean or designee will review the
appeal, provide copies of all appeal materials to the instructor, and discuss
the appeal with both the instructor and the student. The instructor has seven
days to review the written appeal the student has presented to the Dean and, if
desired, prepare an additional written response. The college dean or designee
will provide the student with written notification of the result of this step
within fourteen calendar days after receipt of the appeal from the student.
5. If step 4 does not lead to a
mutually agreeable resolution between the student and the instructor, and the
student wishes to pursue the matter further, then a Grade Appeal Committee
shall be formed by the college dean within ten calendar days. This committee
shall include three faculty members from the college: one selected by the
student, one selected by the instructor of record, and one appointed by the
college dean. A majority shall prevail in the committee. The Committee shall
elect its own chair. The function of the Grade Appeal Committee shall be to
evaluate the appeal in terms of the stated grounds for the appeal. The
Committee’s decision may be to keep the assigned grade or to raise the assigned
grade. The Committee shall provide a written justification to the college dean for
its decision, including minority opinions when they exist, no later than
twenty-one calendar days after the Committee’s formation. The college dean
shall inform the student and the instructor of the Committee’s decision and
provide both parties with copies of the Committee report.
6. In the case of a change of grade, if the instructor of
record does not implement the change of grade decided upon by the Committee
within ten calendar days after learning of the Committee’s decision, the dean
shall implement the change of grade as determined by the Committee on the
student’s official transcript through the change of grade procedure. This shall
be the last step in the deliberation of the formal grade appeal. 7. The college
dean shall forward a written record of the results of all grade appeals to the
appropriate Vice Chancellor within fourteen calendar days. College deans shall
also provide an annual summary to the Faculty Senate of the number of cases
heard and the aggregate result of the process.
Exceptions to the Grade
The Grade Appeal Policy shall constitute the sole internal
administrative remedy for a change in grade, except when the grade being
disputed resulted from an alleged academic integrity violation or when a grade
dispute involves an Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity discrimination
complaint. If a grade dispute arises from an issue that is covered under the
university’s Academic Integrity Policy, the process for resolution that has
been established for appealing academic integrity violations must be followed.
If a grade dispute arises from an issue that is covered under the university’s
Equal Opportunity and Equity policies, the process for resolution that the
Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity has established must be completed prior
to the use of the University’s grade appeal process.