Academic Appeal Procedure

Purpose

The purpose of the procedures outlined below is to provide an easily implemented means for appealing and resolving disputes concerning an academic decision which a student considers arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to University policy. For a detailed description of the process, see the entire Academic Appeals Process.

Student’s Right to Academic Counsel.

Students are encouraged to seek advice regarding the appeal process from his or her academic advisor, the appropriate Department Chair /School Director, the Graduate Dean / AVP of Undergraduate Studies, or the Dean of Student’s Office who will explain the procedure. The student may also identify one person, other than those individuals involved in subsequent appeals, to serve as his or her academic counsel. The academic counsel functions as the student’s advisor through the appeals process. In this role, the academic counsel will:

  • meet with the student and help guide him or her  through University procedures;
  • discuss with the student the rationale for claiming the decision being appealed was arbitrary, capricious or contrary to University policy; and
  • be allowed to be present at any or all required conferences and the hearing before the Hearing Panel

It is the responsibility of the student to initiate the appeals procedure at each level: faculty member, school director or director’s designee, dean of the college, Undergraduate or Graduate Appeals Officer, and the Academic Appeals Board. If the student fails to pursue the matter in the manner provided in this policy, after the conference with the appropriate individual identified above, the original academic decision will be final. The student should also bring to the various conferences and to the Academic Appeals Board hearing all evidence on which he or she intends to rely. Extension of the initiation deadline for each required conference can be allowed by the responsible academic officer receiving the appeal if requested by the student with good cause shown. The length of such extension shall be appropriate to accommodate the cause of the delay. The following procedures outline the steps of the academic appeals process. It is expected that all of the parties involved at each step of the appeals process will make a good faith effort to resolve the issues.

Steps for Undergraduate and Graduate Academic Appeals

  1. Conference with the Faculty member
    • The student needs to send the faculty member a request for a conference (meeting) within 21 days of the end of the semester.
    • The request should include a written description of the student’s grievance, including how he/she believes the action is arbitrary, capricious, or in violation of University Policy.  (See Definitions)
    • The request, including the written description of the student’s grievance,  should be sent in writing (by mail or email).
    • The student may request the conference with the faculty take place within 7 working days of receipt of the student’s request.
  2. Conference with the Department Chair or School Director
    • To appeal the faculty member’s decision, the student may request a conference with the Department Chair or School Director within 7 days of the faculty member’s decision.
    • The request should include a written description of the student’s grievance, how he/she believes the action is arbitrary, capricious, or in violation of University Policy, and whether a conference with the faculty member was sought and if it occurred. 
  3. Conference with the College Dean or the Dean of the Graduate School
    • If the student does not feel the issue has been resolved, the student may request a conference with the Dean of the College where the program is housed or Dean of the Graduate School.  This request should be sent within 7 days of the notification of the Department Chair’s or School Director’s decision.  Undergraduate students should contact Dean of the College where the program is housed.  Graduate students should contact the Dean of the Graduate School. 
    • The request should include a written description of the student’s grievance, how he/she believes the action is arbitrary, capricious, or in violation of University Policy, and whether a conference with the Department Chair or School Director was sought and if it occurred. 
  4. Request for Academic Appeals Board Hearing
    • If the student is not satisfied with the decision rendered by the Dean, the student may file a request to the Chair of the Academic Appeals Board for a formal hearing.  The request must be submitted within 7 days of receipt of the Dean’s decision. 
  5. The Hearing