If a student thinks that a final grade is inaccurate, he or she should first consult with the faculty member who awarded the grade. The university expects the majority of grade appeals to be resolved by the student and instructor. If the instructor agrees to change the student’s grade, the instructor must submit a grade change form for approval by the Department Chair, Dean, and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. If the faculty member does not agree to change the student’s grade, the student may initiate a formal grade appeal.
The formal grade appeal must include documentation that one or more of the following occurred: 1) the instructor made an error in calculating the final grade; 2) the final grade was based on criteria and/or standards at variance with the course syllabus; and/or 3) the final grade was based on factors other than student achievement/performance. Students must recognize that they bear the burden of proof in the grade appeal process and that it is very unlikely that an appeal will be successful without appropriate documentation.
The student must submit the written appeal to the instructor’s department chair and dean, and finally the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The grade appeal will be considered at each administrative level only after it has been reviewed by the instructor and at each previous administrative level.
The department chair and dean will respond to the grade appeal either by upholding the original grade or working with the faculty member (and, in the case of the dean, with the chair) to propose a means of re-evaluating the student’s final grade. The chair and dean do not have the authority to change a student’s grade.
If the student’s concerns are not resolved by the department chair and dean, the student may submit the written appeal to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Appeals, who will forward the appeal to the Academic Credits Committee, which is comprised exclusively of faculty members. The Academic Credits Committee will recommend that the original grade be upheld or will recommend a new grade. If the committee upholds the original grade, the student will be informed in writing of the decision of the committee. If the committee recommends a new grade and the recommendation is approved by the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the committee’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Registrar, with a copy to the faculty member, for notation on the student’s record. A complete record of the grade appeal process will be placed in the student’s permanent file.
The decision of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs regarding a grade appeal is final and may not be appealed further.
Students must initiate the formal grade appeal process no later than the last day of the next fall or spring semester after the contested grade was received. Grade appeals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.
Faculty members, department chairs, and deans must reply in writing to formal grade appeals within 15 business days of receipt of the appeal. Failure to reply by this deadline is equivalent to a rejection of the appeal.
Students wishing to appeal the rejection of a grade appeal to the next administrative level must do so within 15 business days of notification of the rejection of the appeal or the expiration of the 15-day period. Failure to appeal within the 15-day period is equivalent to dropping the appeal.
The Academic Credits Committee will make a recommendation to the Provost and Vice Chancellor within twenty business days of receiving the request from the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to consider the appeal.
Graduating seniors who initiate a formal grade appeal in the same semester that they plan to graduate should be aware that the grade appeal will very likely NOT be resolved in time for graduation clearance.