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Policies: Academic Appeals and Appeal Procedure

Academic Policies and Procedures » Academic Appeals & Appeal Procedure

The Undergraduate Academic Appeals Committee is composed of seven faculty, one student, and a non-voting representative of the Provost's Office. The committee has the responsibility for hearing student appeals of alleged violations of academic policy and making recommendations to the Provost. A student may file a formal, written appeal before the committee only after attempting to resolve the appeal with the appropriate faculty or administrative persons. A grade appeal must be filed no later than one calendar year after the recording of the grade being appealed.

Appeal Procedure

The appeal system, which deals with inequitable application of academic policy, affords recourse to a student who has evidence, or believes that evidence exists, to show that an inappropriate grade has been assigned or other inappropriate formal academic action has been taken. For example, this may be a result of (a) mechanical error, (b) discrimination, (c) a violation of published academic policy, (d) allegation of academic dishonesty, or (e) error in judging the quality of the student's work.

The following steps should be taken to initiate and process a grade appeal. Other kinds of academic appeals, involving the application of academic policy, must begin with the official whose decision the student is disputing. Whatever the nature of the case, it is imperative that the individual student recognizes the responsibility for taking the initiative in the appeal and for processing the appeal through each step of the procedure. It is the student's choice whether or not to proceed to each step of the procedure.

Step 1 - The student must consult with the instructor concerning the problem. If a satisfactory resolution of the problem is not achieved and the student wishes to go to Step 2, the student must request a signed and dated acknowledgement of the consultation from the instructor. A handwritten note is sufficient.

Step 2 - The student must consult with the chair of the department offering the course or director of the office administering the policy. If a satisfactory resolution of the problem does not result from this consultation and the student wishes to go to Step 3, the student must request a signed and dated acknowledgement of the consultation from the chair. A handwritten note is sufficient.

Step 3 - The student must go to the Dean of the School or College offering the course, or initiating the policy, and arrange a meeting with the academic Dean. If no satisfactory resolution is achieved after consultation with the academic Dean, the student may initiate Step 4.

Step 4 - The student should forward to the Undergraduate Academic Appeals Committee an explanatory cover letter and any pertinent documents in the student's possession.

Step 5 - The Academic Appeals Committee will review the material submitted by the student and will ordinarily request from the Dean additional relevant material available to the academic Dean. After due consideration of the issues, the committee will decide whether further action is justified and the nature of such action. The committee at this step may request a consultation with the student; consultation should not be considered routine. If the committee decides that no further action is justified, it will so inform the student in writing.

If the Academic Appeals Committee deems that action other than denial of the appeal is justified, it may request consultations with any of the individuals involved in the appeal or may request any other information needed for clarification of the issues.

Step 6 - The Academic Appeals Committee will recommend to the Provost such action, as it deems appropriate to resolve the appeal. A copy of this recommendation will be forwarded to the student.

Step 7 - The Provost will have the ultimate authority in rendering a judgement in cases presented to him or her through the above process. The Provost may consult with whoever may be of assistance in arriving at a judicious decision. The Provost will inform the student in writing of the decision.

Students who have graduated must notify the Associate Registrar within one year of the official date of their graduation of any errors or pending changes in their academic record. Such changes must be in process by the time of this notification.