Communication necessary in the appeal process may be in person for on-campus students or via digital or video-conferencing technology for off-campus students.
Grades themselves are not generally grievable. More often students challenge grades based on a deviation from course policy or grading practices outlined in the course syllabus. Students who have a clear and justifiable grievance with reference to a grade should first seek resolution with the instructor and subsequently with the Department Chairperson/Director. It is expected that they will consult with the faculty member in an effort to resolve the dispute. The Chairperson/Director may also exercise the option to involve others in the discussions with the faculty member.
If satisfaction cannot be obtained, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of the respective college or school. The appeal must be made by the end of the fourth week of the ensuing fall or spring semester. The Dean will consult with the Department Chairperson/Director and will establish an Appeal Committee of three faculty members - at least two of whom shall be from the department of the faculty member concerned, if possible. A Committee Chairperson will be appointed by the Dean. The Committee Chairperson will notify the faculty member of the appeal and the composition of the Committee.
The Appeal Committee will review the student's complaint, interview the faculty member, and study the evidence presented by both parties. If necessary, the Committee may interview the student, other students or faculty in its efforts to determine the facts.
The Committee will make a report to the Dean in which it reviews the issues and recommends a solution. In most cases this will be a recommendation to uphold the grade awarded by the instructor or to alter the grade that the student received. In some cases the recommendation may be to present the student with other alternatives such as the completion of additional work before a final grade is determined.
The Dean, after consultation with the Provost, will inform the faculty member and the student of the recommendations of the Appeal Committee and will take the steps that are necessary to implement the recommendations.