To mediate and help resolve disputes between full-time faculty and students over grades or other academic evaluations in which the student feels that he or she has been treated or graded unfairly while preserving the rights of both faculty and students, maintaining academic freedom, and upholding the aims of the university.
Recognizing that students should have protection through orderly procedures against prejudice or capricious academic evaluations and recognizing that they are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled, the university adheres to the following procedures for such protection:
- It will be recognized that the burden of proof in such cases rests with the student.
- A student who believes he or she has received a grade or an evaluation based on improper consideration must first consult with the faculty person involved.
- Should the student not be satisfied with this consultation, the student must then meet with the Director of Student Services/Enrollment Management who advises the student of the academic mediation process.
- The next step involves submitting a formal appeal to the Dean. A student who has earned over 45 hours at the end of the quarter in which the disputed grade was issued must submit the appeal before the final exam period of the quarter immediately following that in which the grade was issued. The appeal should include the following:
- A statement of the specific complaint.
- A factual summary of the circumstances leading to the complaint.
- Presentation of supporting documentation to substantiate the complaint. Such documentation can include, but would not necessarily be limited to, a course syllabus and graded material such as tests and homework.
- A statement indicating all previous attempts to resolve the complaint informally.
- After submitting the appeal, the student may schedule a meeting with the Dean to discuss its particulars and respond to any subsequent questions. The Dean will review the appeal before contacting the instructor, who may submit a written response. The Dean will then attempt to resolve the dispute, producing a summary report within 30 calendar days from its receipt to be distributed to the student, the faculty member, the Director of Student Services/Enrollment Management, and the Dean.
- If the dispute remains unresolved, the student, within 20 calendar days of receiving a copy of the Dean’s Report, may forward the appeal to the Dean for further consideration by the same method. The Dean will then, within 30 calendar days, provide a summary to be distributed to the student, the faculty member, and the Chair of the Lake Campus Petitions Committee.
- If the dispute has still not been resolved to the student’s satisfaction, he or she may forward the appeal, within 20 calendar days of the date of the Dean’s report, to the Petitions Committee. After reviewing the reports provided by the Dean and, if necessary, after consulting with the Dean, the Petitions Committee will meet to consider the appeal. The Committee may request the attendance of both the student and the instructor. In addition, the Committee may choose to meet with or contact other individuals who may possess relevant information. Within 30 calendar days of its meeting to consider the appeal, the Committee will submit a report to the student, the instructor, the Director of Student Services/Enrollment Management, and the Dean.
- Within 20 calendar days of receiving the Committee’s report, the student must present any further appeal to the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. This appeal must include the three reports mentioned above.
- If the Director of Student Services/Enrollment Management or the Dean is the instructor from whom the student is seeking reconsideration, then his or her role in the appeals process will be substituted by the Associate Dean. If the instructor is a member of the Petitions Committee, then he or she will not function as a Committee member during any consideration of that particular appeal; an alternate member will be appointed by the President of the Lake Campus Faculty Senate.
- The student may request that any of the three reports mentioned above be included in his or her permanent file. All of these reports should contain either a description of any resolution of the dispute or an opinion on the appeal’s validity. The reports may contain recommendations and opinions but will include no mandates.