Undergraduate Grade Appeal Process
Grading system and criteria used by each faculty member should be included in the syllabus distributed to the class at the beginning of the term. Any modifications of such criteria or system should be explained publicly to the students in the class. Each student in the class is to be evaluated on the same basis, unless there are alternative options which are available to each student in the class.
A student must initiate a grade appeal prior to the end of the next regular academic semester following the term in which the grade was received. It is the student's responsibility to support a grade change.
The grade appeal process is described below.
STEP ONE: Initial Conference with the faculty member
A student who believes that a grade received is incorrectly recorded, inaccurate, unfairly awarded, or based on criteria different than that applied to other students in the same class, is first required to arrange a private conference to discuss the matter with the faculty member in order to receive an explanation for the basis of the grade given.
STEP TWO: Appeal to the school dean/department chair
In the event the faculty member determines that a grade change is not appropriate, and the student is dissatisfied with the explanation of the faculty member, the student may formally present the case to the school dean/department chair of the academic unit in which the course is offered. This must be done in writing within ten (10) class days from the date of the conference with the faculty member.
The dean/chair may request a student to present the basis for dissatisfaction with the grade awarded and/or the explanation given by the faculty member. In the process of consideration of the appeal, the dean/chair will privately consult with the faculty member and program director (if one exists) as well as the student, in an effort to reach a resolution that is satisfactory to both parties. In a written recommendation, the dean/chair should refer to the faculty member's perspective and documentation, together with the student's reason for the requested change and evidence together with course materials and other relevant information. If a grade change is recommended by the dean/chair, the vice president for academics will be notified of such and will direct the change to be noted in the class records and will also direct the change of grade to the office of the registrar.
STEP THREE: Grade Appeal Committee Review
In the event either the student or the faculty member wishes to appeal the decision of the school dean/department chair, that person must so notify the Dean of Undergraduate Studies within six (6) scheduled class days after receipt of the written notification of the decision of the school dean/department chair. The matter will then be referred to the Grade Appeal Committee which shall be configured as follows: (a) the vice president for academics or his/her designee who will chair the Grade Appeal Committee, (b) two faculty members selected by the vice president for academics from the Faculty Academic Advisory Committee and who are not members of the same school/department as the faculty member or the student’s major, (c) two students from the Student Academic Advisory Board appointed by the chair of the Student Academic Advisory Board and who are not members of the same school/department as the faculty member or the student involved in the appeal process. The Grade Appeal Committee shall conduct a hearing. Both the student and the faculty member will have the opportunity to present their respective cases. In addition, the school dean/department chair shall present the findings and conclusions which support his/her decision. The committee may, on its own initiative, request or collect evidence or testimony to be presented at the hearing as it deems pertinent.
The Grade Appeal Committee shall conduct a hearing. Both the student and the faculty member will have the opportunity to present their respective cases. In addition, the school dean/department chair shall present the findings and conclusions which support his/her decision. The committee may, on its own initiative, request or collect evidence or testimony to be presented at the hearing as it deems pertinent.
The finding of the Grade Appeal Committee shall be final. Its decision concerning the appropriate grade to be assigned must be communicated in writing to the student and the faculty member, with a copy to the vice president for academics. If the committee finds that a grade change should be made, then the vice president for academics shall arrange for the appropriate change on the class records and in the office of the registrar.
Group Responsible: Vice President for Academics
Previous Revision: September 2014