183.2 Grade Appeals
|Created by: Pat Teague on 2/5/1999|
|Category: 1 - Academic Affairs; 80 - Procedures|
|Originator: Academic Policies Committee|
|Current File: 183.2|
|Adoption Date: 5/16/1997|
|Reviewed for Currency: 9/28/1998|
|Replaces File: 183.2|
|Date of Origin: 5/19/1981|
|In Archive? Yes|
183.2 Grade Appeals
In order to provide reasonable protection of the right and responsibility of the faculty member to assign a final grade in a course and to provide a uniform appeal procedure for students to follow when they believe that the assignment of a grade was incorrect, the University provides a specific appeal process which is designed to protect the rights and the responsibilities of the faculty member and the student.
Under extraordinary circumstances students may appeal final grades in courses according to the procedure specified in the guidelines below.
1. All grade appeals must be initiated no later than the end of the second regular term following the completion of the course for which the grade appeal is being made.
2. The first level of appeal for a student who is dissatisfied with a grade he or she has received is to the professor assigning the grade. In direct, personal interview, the student should explain the basis of his or her dissatisfaction, and the professor should explain the basis for his or her grade. Only after such an interview will any higher appeal be accepted. If the instructor concludes that a mistake was made in determining or recording the grade in question, he or she may proceed to request a change of grade in accordance with the procedures outlined in File 183.1. If the instructor concludes that no mistake was made, the student may accept that conclusion or may proceed as outlined in the following guidelines. The instructor is required to render his or her conclusion in writing within thirty days of the interview. (The only exception to this stage of the procedure is stated in Guideline 6 below.)
3. The student who, after such an interview, still is dissatisfied, should submit to the chairperson of the department involved within two weeks a written statement containing the reasons for his or her dissatisfaction and the specific changes he or she regards as fair and desirable. The burden of proof lies upon the student in such a case to show that a mistake was made or that the grade given was "arbitrary and capricious, irrational, made in bad faith or contrary to Constitution or statute" (Susan M. v. New York Law School, 556 N.Y.S. 2nd 1104. Court of Appeals of New York, 1990). When, in the opinion of the department chairperson, the student fails to show reasonable cause for further investigation, the chairperson may deny the appeal without taking further action. If the instructor with whom the student has a disagreement is also the department chairperson, the student should submit the written statement to the Associate Academic Dean who will make the decision about further action. The department chairperson (or the Associate Academic Dean, as the case may be) is required to render a decision within thirty days of receiving the student's written statement.
4. When, in the opinion of the department chairperson (or Associate Academic Dean as specified in C.2), a student's appeal raises reasonable doubt as to whether a mistake was made or that the grade given was "arbitrary and capricious, irrational, made in bad faith or contrary to Constitution or statute," the chairperson (or Associate Academic Dean) will appoint a committee of three faculty members considered most competent to adjudicate the matter. Where possible, the student appealing and the professor who assigned the grade should be consulted regarding members chosen for this committee. If the committee decides unanimously that an error was made or that the grade given was "arbitrary and capricious, irrational, made in bad faith or contrary to Constitution or statute," the committee shall recommend to the instructor a specific grade change. If the instructor refuses to accept the recommendation, the committee will submit to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean a written report explaining its decision and recommending a specific grade change. If the instructor believes that the committee has not properly followed the guidelines of this policy, the instructor may also submit to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean a written report explaining the violations of the policy. The Dean will examine the report(s) and, in the absence of procedural irregularities, will make an administrative grade change. The new grade shall be the grade recommended by the faculty committee. If the Dean finds evidence that the guidelines of this policy have been violated, the Dean will appoint a new committee according to the procedure specified above. If the committee denies the appeal, the student may accept the decision or pursue further appeals.
5. Any student who has exhausted the remedies open to him or her under the procedures outlined above may appeal the entire matter to the Appeals Committee. The student should be advised that the Appeals Committee will not alter a grade under these circumstances, but if the student can show compelling evidence that the spirit of due process and the procedures outlined above have been violated, the Committee may recommend that the instructor re-examine the student on the course material, that the department of the instructor review the case and consider appointing a faculty committee of three to hear the case if none was previously appointed, or that the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean review the case and consider appointing a new faculty committee to hear the case according to the guidelines of C.3.
6. If the grade appeal involves an allegation of unethical conduct, the student may appeal directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean. If the Dean finds insufficient evidence to support the allegation, the student may still appeal the grade according to the process outlined above. If the Dean determines that the instructor is guilty of unethical conduct and that such conduct affected the grade of the student appealing, then the Dean shall ask the instructor's department chairperson to consult with department members and to recommend the grade change they consider appropriate. If the allegation of unethical conduct involves the department chairperson, the Associate Academic Dean will consult with the department members and recommend the grade change they consider appropriate. The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean will make an administrative grade change consistent with the recommendation of the instructor's department.
7. Any changes of grades resulting from any of these procedures should be reported to the instructor and to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean for information.