Grade Appeal

A student may appeal the final grade for a course. A student’s appeal of an academic grade shall be resolved solely and exclusively in accordance with the following procedures.

Students may not use the academic grade appeal procedure to challenge academic policies. See the guidelines for Request for Review of Academic Policy.

Steps in the Grade Appeal Process

  1. Appeal to the Faculty Member. The student shall, in good faith, attempt to settle the grade in dispute by meeting with the faculty member who issued the grade.  This meeting shall be accomplished within 10 university business days from the date on which the final grade was available online or from the university Registrar.
  2. Appeal to the Academic Department Chair. If the student is not satisfied with the result of his or her meeting with the faculty member, he or she can appeal the decision to the Academic Department Chair. To do so the student shall submit a letter not to exceed two typed pages to the Academic Department Chair within 10 university business days of receiving the faculty member’s decision on the grade appeal. The letter must include an explanation of the disputed elements in the student’s final grade, and a clear statement of what outcome the student seeks from his or her grade appeal to the Chair. The student may also attach supporting documents to this letter. In departments such as Nursing, in which Program Directors carry significant administrative responsibility, the Department Chair may include the Program Director in reviewing the student’s appeal. The Academic Department Chair or appropriate Program Director will meet with the student within 10 university business days after the receipt of the letter. The Academic Department Chair will respond, in writing, to the student and the faculty member within five university business days after the meeting.
  3. Appeal to the Dean of the School. If no resolution is reached at the level of the Academic Department Chair, then the student has the option of appealing to the Dean of the School. To activate this option, the student shall submit a letter to the Dean of the School in which the student earned the grade in dispute. The letter must include an explanation of the disputed elements in the student’s final grade, a clear statement of what outcome the student seeks from his or her grade appeal to the Dean, and any relevant new information derived from the student’s appeal to the Academic Department Chair. The student may also attach supporting documents to this letter. If the Dean of the School is also the Department Chair whose decision the student is appealing, then the student may proceed to step four below. The Dean of the School will respond in writing to the student, faculty member and Department Chair within 10 university business days from the receipt of the student appeal letter.
  4. Appeal to the Chief Academic Officer. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Dean of the School, or if the Dean of the School was also the Academic Department Chair who rendered a decision on the grade dispute in step two above, then the student has the option of appealing to the Chief Academic Officer. To activate this option, the student shall submit a written request to the Chief Academic Officer to convene an Academic Appeals Committee. The student shall submit the written request within 10 university business days of receiving the decision of the Dean, or from the Academic Department Chair (if the Dean was also the Academic Chair who decided the case in step two above). The student may attach materials previously submitted to the Academic Department Chair and Dean, but no additional materials are to be submitted.

The Chief Academic Officer shall convene the Academic Appeals Committee to consider the issues involved in the grade dispute. The Academic Appeals Committee shall meet within 10 university business days after the written request has been received by the Chief Academic Officer.

The membership of the Academic Appeals Committee shall consist of the following:

  • The Chief Academic Officer, Chair.
  • Two faculty members appointed by the chair of the Faculty Senate.
  • Two undergraduate students or two graduate students, whichever is appropriate, appointed by the president of the Student Government Association.

The student has the right to be accompanied by his/her parents or another student to the Academic Appeals Committee meeting. Either party shall have the right to bring in witnesses necessary for the processing of the appeal. The student may not submit additional materials to the Appeals Committee. Since this is an internal grievance procedure, legal counsel shall not be involved in the process.

The Academic Appeals Committee shall notify the student, faculty member, Department Chair, and Dean of its decision in writing and issue its written recommendation to the President within 10 working days after considering the issue. The President shall either accept or reject the recommendation of the Academic Appeals Committee within 15 working days of the recommendation. The President shall notify the Chief Academic Officer, the student, Department Chair, Dean, and the faculty member of her decision in writing. The decision of the President shall be final.

General Provisions of the Grade Appeal Process

  1. It is desirable that a solution to an academic grade appeal be reached at the level closest to the course in which the student received the grade. The appeal shall be considered resolved when the solution offered is accepted by the student and further appeal is not requested or until a decision is made by the President.
  2. If the student does not act on the appeal process within the specified time limits, the appeal shall be considered settled based on the last decision rendered. If the student is not notified of a decision within the specified time limit, the appeal is automatically moved to the next step in the appeal process. Time limits may be extended by the mutual, written consent of both parties.
  3. Students, faculty members and administrators involved in the academic appeal process shall act in an ethical manner and shall not be subject to discipline or reprisal because of such involvement.
  4. To protect all parties concerned, the strictest privacy shall be maintained by all parties involved.