Grade Grievance Procedure

Students are entitled to full and clear explanations of their grades. The teacher of each course has authority over all academic matters pertaining to that class, including (but not limited to) establishing requirements, assigning grades, and communicating the reasons for those grades to the student. A student who feels that the final grade for a course has been inappropriately influenced by prejudice, arbitrariness, or nonacademic factors has the right to appeal that course grade.

A student who wishes to appeal a final or semester grade must follow the procedure published in the current University Catalog. The procedure is outlined below.

  1. The student shall request an explanation of the grade from the faculty member. The faculty member should be prepared to discuss and show records pertaining to the disputed grade(s) to the assignment(s) and grading scale of the course, defined in the course syllabus. This disclosure must not include any revelation of another studentís grade(s).
  2. If, after meeting with the faculty member, the student thinks that a complete or satisfactory explanation has not been provided, the student may direct a formal written appeal summarizing the grievance to the appropriate department chair (contact the academic dean if the department chair is the faculty member who assigned the grade). This appeal must be initiated no later than 30 calendar days after the beginning of the subsequent regular semester (i.e., fall or spring). The student bears the burden of proof to demonstrate that prejudice or nonacademic factors have inappropriately influenced the disputed grade. The Chair shall investigate the matter by collecting a written report from the faculty member. The faculty report will provide appropriate documents and supporting evidence; a written defense of the disputed grade may be included. The Chair shall make a decision within ten working days. If the Chair sustains the appeal, the faculty member shall be advised to assign a new grade. The new grade may be higher or lower than the disputed grade. If the Chair denies the appeal, the student shall be informed in writing immediately and the grade in question remains in effect.
  3. Following the Chairís decision, either the student or the faculty member may initiate an appeal of the Chairís decision to the appropriate academic Dean. The appeal must be in writing and explain the reasons for the appeal. The Dean shall then refer the grievance to the schoolís Grade Grievance Officer. The Officer shall enlist two senior faculty members of the school of the faculty member concerned to constitute a three-person examining board. This board shall investigate the matter. The investigation must include a conference with both the student and faculty member present. (If circumstances prevent the faculty memberís participation, the Dean may appoint a representative or delay the proceedings until the faculty member can be present.) The board shall submit a report to the Dean within ten working days. The board may recommend that the grade be upheld, that the faculty member assign a different grade, or that the record of the course be removed from the studentís transcript. A recommendation for the assignment of a different grade may result in a grade higher or lower than the disputed grade. The Dean shall review the report and all supporting data and report in writing to all parties within ten working days. The decision of the Dean will be final.

Revised: 01/11/13