Grade Appeal Process

Faculty members are responsible for outlining grading policies to students at the beginning of each course. If students believe they have received a wrong grade on an examination or for a course, the initial step is to discuss the grade directly with the faculty member teaching the course. If that step does not result in a satisfactory explanation or resolution of the perceived problem, the student may bring the matter to the attention of the department chair. The next person in the line of appeal, should the student continue to contest the grade and wish to pursue an appeal, is the division chair. Should the person to whom the student would bring the appeal in this process also be the faculty member in whose course the grade is being questioned, that person has no jurisdiction over the appeal. In the latter case, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Vice President for Graduate and Continuing Studies as appropriate will call on an appropriate faculty member from the department or related department in the division to review the circumstances and make a recommendation to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will be the final arbitrator in any such appeal.

The same process detailed above applies to disputes over alleged plagiarism or other cases of academic dishonesty, although the student may appeal the decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to the President. The maximum penalty for the first instance of academic dishonesty is failure of the course; for a second, expulsion from the University.

Students judged guilty of violating library regulations may appeal to the Director of the Library and to the campus Judicial Board.

A student who believes that a faculty member has acted in an unprofessional manner can bring a charge of unprofessional conduct to the faculty’s Professional Relations Committee. The committee, which functions to protect the full rights of all parties concerned, will try to determine whether the charges should be sustained. The hearing is private; both parties have the opportunity to be heard in their own cause, and the faculty member personally selects advisors. A full stenographic record of the hearing is taken and made available to both parties. Either party may request the testimony of other instructors or students when it can be shown that these persons have access to facts that bear on the case. At the conclusion of the hearing, the committee renders its judgments and recommendations in writing to the parties concerned. Written copies of the Committee’s judgement and recommendation shall be placed in the files of both parties in the office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.

Back to top