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
The procedure is outlined below.
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).
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.
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.