Office of the Registrar

Undergraduate Catalog

2014-15 second edition, November 2014

Grade Appeals and Academic Grievances

A student may request that an assigned grade be changed in accordance with the following procedures. The change must be requested prior to the end of the semester (excluding summer) following the term in which the grade was assigned. This process should not be used for students appealing a grade of F or XF assigned due to academic dishonesty. Refer to Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures and to the Student Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures document.

Student evaluations and assignments of final course grades are the responsibility of the faculty. The faculty member is accountable for any and all grades assigned to students; therefore, each faculty member shall maintain records to support student evaluations and grades.

Students who have reasons which can be substantiated to request grade changes must:

  1. write a formal letter to the instructor (or to the appropriate department head if the instructor is no longer on campus) requesting a re-evaluation of their performance in the course; and
  2. provide the following information in the letter: name and BearPass Number; course number, title, and section; semester and year taken; name of instructor; and a clear statement of the grade change request and reasons which justify the request.

Faculty members, upon receipt of a student's request for a grade change, will review their records. If it is determined that a student's request is justified, the faculty member will prepare a Grade Change Authorization and submit it to the department head, who will forward it to the Office of the Registrar. If the grade change is in a course taken for graduate credit, the department head must also notify the Graduate College. A faculty member may not change an F grade to a W grade in those cases in which the student did not follow the proper procedures for dropping the course.

The student can appeal a negative decision of a faculty member. The steps in the appeal process are as follows:

  1. present the appeal first to the faculty member’s department head;
  2. then to the college dean;
  3. next to the Dean of the Graduate College, if the appeal is in a course taken for graduate credit;
  4. then to the Provost, who may refer the appeal to his/her designee for a hearing and recommendation;
  5. finally, to the President of the University.

At any step of the appeals process, any of the above individuals can authorize a grade change, and must notify the involved individuals of their action (i.e., the department head must notify the student and the faculty member of his/her decision; the college dean must notify the department head, faculty member, and student of his/her decision; the Graduate Dean, in the case of a graduate course, must notify the college dean, department head, faculty member, and student; the Provost or designee is responsible for notifying the college dean, department head, faculty member, and student of his/her decision. If the request for grade change is appealed to the final step, the President will take action deemed appropriate and so inform the Provost, college dean, department head, faculty member, and student. It is solely the student’s responsibility to appeal in the order specified at each step of the process, and the student may halt the appeal at any step.

To appeal an attendance-related grade reduction, the appeal process that is part of the Attendance Policy must be followed. That appeal process can be found in the section describing the Attendance Policy.

Requests for grade changes made after an extended period

Appeals for changes in a student’s academic record that are not made within one semester (excluding summer) of receipt of grades must be submitted to the Office of the Provost. Those appeals with documented exceptional circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Scholastic Standards and Revision of Records Committee, and the committee will make its recommendation to the Provost.

Grade re-evaluation based on exceptions to University policy

In those cases in which the grade received by the student is the result of the University policy (e.g., an F resulting from failure to remove an Incomplete grade in the time allowed or failure to officially drop a course) rather than a faculty member’s evaluation of performance in a course, the student’s written appeal must be directed to the Office of the Provost within one calendar year of receipt of grade(s). Such appeals will be considered by the Scholastic Standards and Revision of Records Committee, and the Committee will make its recommendation to the Provost.

This process should not be used for students appealing a grade of F or XF assigned due to academic dishonesty. Refer to Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures and to the Student Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures document.

Failure to satisfy academic standards of university, college or department

The University's colleges and departments have authority to set standards for admission of students to their programs or may deny enrollment for failure to satisfy academic standards or course/program prerequisites, even though no violation of disciplinary standards is involved. Except to the extent that cheating or plagiarism is involved, such standards are beyond the primary scope of this document. The University Undergraduate Catalog and/or Graduate Catalog and relevant advisement centers or deans’ offices should be consulted for academic standards and for the process of requesting a waiver(s) or appeal(s) of a decision(s) involving those standards.

Financial aid or scholarships

For disputes related to the awarding or renewal of financial aid or scholarships, the student should consult the Financial Aid Office or the particular college or department under which the award is granted to ascertain the appropriate channel of inquiry. Also the student should obtain a copy of the scholarship eligibility criteria. Such disputes can be referred for appellate review only upon the recommendation of the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Provost or their designee. Where the grounds for denial of a scholarship or financial aid involves academic dishonesty, the matter should follow the procedure described for “Academic Dishonesty by Student Enrolled in a Course.”