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 these informal efforts are unsuccessful in resolving the student's concern, 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. Failure to address one or more of these three reasons is a basis for rejection of that appeal. Students must recognize that they bear the burden of proof in the grade appeal process and that a grade appeal will not be successful without appropriate documentation.
The student must submit the written appeal, with documentation, first to the instructor. If the instructor rejects the appeal, the student may submit the appeal to the instructor's department chair. If the department chair rejects the appeal, the student may submit the appeal to the dean of the college/school of the instructor. If the dean rejects the appeal, the student may submit the appeal to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. If the department chair or dean supports a grade appeal, he or she will forward to the next administrative level for review. The grade appeal will be considered at each administrative level only after it has been reviewed at all previous levels. To ensure review of appeals at each level, each respondent to the appeal will send a copy of the response to next higher review, i.e., faculty will send copy to department chair, department chair to dean, and dean to provost. 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 submits the written appeal to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Appeals, the appeal will be submitted for review to the Academic Credits Committee, which is comprised exclusively of faculty members. If the appeal is based on grounds other than the three specified above, the Academic Credits Committee will reject the appeal without further review. If the appeal is based on one of three grounds specified above, the committee will discuss the appeal with the instructor and the student and, after a careful review of all relevant information, recommend either that the original grade be upheld or that a new grade be awarded. 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 20th day of class in the next fall or spring semester after the contested grade was received. Grade appeals submitted after this deadline will not be considered. Grade appeals will be resolved before end of the semester in which they are submitted. Grade appeals are not considered during the summer.
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.