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Section 6 Student Academic Grievance Process

Academic grievances are generally defined as those (a) involving procedures, policies, and grades in courses, (b) those involving major, minor, or program (graduate or undergraduate) degree requirements, (c) those involving general undergraduate University graduation requirements such as general education, total credit, or residency requirements, or (d) graduate degree requirements such as total credit or residency requirements. Filing of a grievance is required by the end of the following regular semester after notification of grade or receipt of adverse decision. Appeals of decisions must take place 30 days after receipt of notification.

  1. Resolution of an academic grievance involving procedures, policies, and grades in individual courses. The resolution of academic grievances is based on two principles: first, that the resolution of a grievance should be sought at the lowest possible level, and second, that pathways for appeal exist for both faculty and students. Resolution should be pursued as follows:
    1. An appeal to the instructor.
    2. If the grievance is not resolved to the student's satisfaction, a further appeal could be made to the Unit Head who may request that the appeal be put in writing. Both the student and the faculty member will be notified in writing of the Unit Head's decision.
    3.  If the disposition by the Unit Head is not acceptable to either party, an appeal, in writing, may be made by either party to the dean of the college. If the dean feels that there is some merit in the written grievance, he or she may establish a committee to review the grievance and make a recommendation within 30 days to the dean. Such a committee may include a representative of the dean's office, a faculty representative from the college of the course under appeal, and a student representative. If a student representative is to be included in the committee, the student that is a party to the appeal must sign a FERPA release/waiver prior to the committee convening. Upon receiving the committee's recommendation in the latter procedure, the dean shall rule on the grievance. Both the student and the faculty member will be notified in writing of the dean's decision.
    4. If the disposition by the dean is not acceptable to either party, an appeal, in writing, may be made to the Provost. The Provost's review and judgment in the case will be final. Both the student and the faculty member will be notified in writing of the Provost's decision.

In cases where the faculty member in question also serves as the Unit Head, the dean shall appoint a suitable faculty member from the college to function as Unit Head for purposes of grievance. In a similar fashion, if the faculty member in question also serves as dean, the Provost shall appoint a faculty member to act as the Unit Head for purposes of grievance. If an appeal is sought in this latter case, it will go directly to the Provost.

  1. Resolution of an academic grievance involving fulfillment of program, major, or minor degree requirements should be pursued as follows: An appeal to the Unit Head or graduate program director. If the grievance is not resolved to the student's satisfaction at this level, an appeal to the dean of the college would be possible, in the same manner as outlined in (a). Finally, a further appeal could be made to the Provost as described in (a) above.
  2. Resolution of an academic grievance involving fulfillment of general undergraduate University requirements, such as general education, total credits, and residency requirements should be pursued as follows: A written appeal to the director of the Student Academic Success Center. If at this point the grievance is still not resolved to the student's satisfaction, a further written appeal could be made to the Provost. In this case, the Provost may establish a committee to review the grievance and make a recommendation within 30 days. Such a committee may include a representative of the Provost's office, a faculty representative related to the student's major, and a faculty representative from outside the student's college. Upon receiving the committee's recommendation, the Provost will render a final judgment in the case.
  3. Exceptions to institutional graduate degree requirements sought by individual students will be determined by the dean and the Provost.

The student filing the grievance may have an observer from the Dean of Students Office or a person of his or her choice attend any meeting at which the student appears. The faculty member involved in the grievance may have an observer of his or her choice attend any meeting at which the faculty member appears.