Policy R-45

Number: R-45
Date of Inception: January 23, 1995

Purpose: To establish the procedures whereby a final course grade may be changed or appealed.


Grade Changes/Appeals
Based on individual student circumstances, a professor may change a grade within the six-month period following the end of the course. Between six months and one year, both the professor and the department head must approve the grade change. After one year, the Vice President for Academic Affairs must also approve the grade change. A grade change after one year must be due to clerical error.

Appealing a Final Course Grade
A. The first level of appeal for a student who is dissatisfied with a grade received is to the professor assigning the grade. The student should make contact with the professor to explain the basis of dissatisfaction and the professor should explain the basis for the grade. This meeting should be face to face; however, the professor may allow other forms of communication (via telephone or email, for example). The student must request this interview in writing to the professor within 10 days of the posting of the final grade. Once the faculty member has received the request, the interview (or other communication) must be scheduled within normal working hours (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.), Monday through Friday within 10 days of the student’s request (unless the request does not not fall within a major term; see paragraph D below). Failure by the faculty member to respond to the student's request within the established time will be considered a violation of the University policy. Failure of the student to appear at the scheduled interview ends the appeals procedure. If the student has not been contacted by the professor within 30 days of mailing the appeal, the student should file the appeal directly with the department chairperson.

B. If the student wishing to appeal a final course grade is still dissatisfied after an interview (or other agreed upon communication) with the professor, the student should then submit a written statement to the chair of the department within 10 days of the interview. This should contain the reasons for dissatisfaction and the specific changes the student regards as fair and desirable. The burden of proof lies with the student in such a case to show that an error of malfeasance has occurred. Within 10 days of receiving the written appeal, the department chair will notify in writing both the professor and the student of the chair’s decision (as noted in Paragraph D, this deadline is extended when the appeal is not lodged during a major semester). When, in the opinion of the department chair, the student fails to show reasonable cause for further investigation, the chair may deny the appeal without taking further action.

C. When, in the opinion of the department chair, a student’s appeal raises reasonable doubt as to whether a mistake or malfeasance has occurred, the chair shall appoint within 10 days a committee of three faculty members whom the chair considers most nearly competent in the subject matter. This committee will meet and issue a decision in writing to the department chair, professor and student within 10 days of the request. Both the professor and student should be asked to bind themselves in advance to accept the committee’s decision. Neither may be required, however, to bind themselves.

D. If the student files the initial request at a time other than during a major term (fall or spring semesters) and if the professor or department chair are not available during that time, all of the foregoing deadlines begin to run with the first day of class in the next major term.

E. Any student who has exhausted the remedies open under the procedures outlined above may appeal the entire matter to the Faculty Appeals Committee. The student should be advised by the department chair that the Faculty Appeals Committee will not alter a grade under these circumstances, but if the student can show compelling evidence that the procedures outlined above have been violated, the Committee may recommend that a reexamination or other appropriate assignment be given to the student, that the appropriate academic dean investigate the entire matter or other appropriate action be taken. 

F. All results from these proceedings of the Faculty Appeals Committee should be reported to the appropriate academic dean and VP for Academic Affairs as information.

By action of the Faculty Senate on January 23, 1995. Revised by the Faculty Senate September 27, 2011.