Southeast Missouri State University

Bill 13-A-02 - Revising "Grade Appeal Procedures" to establish a procedures section (Approved)

FACULTY SENATE SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY

FACULTY SENATE BILL 13-A-2

Approved by the Faculty Senate
January 30, 2013

BRIEF SUMMARY: This bill specifies the procedures portion of the existing Faculty Handbook section on Grade Appeal Procedures (Chapter 3, Section C8).

REVISING "GRADE APPEAL PROCEDURES" TO ESTABLISH A PROCEDURES SECTION

BE IT RESOLVED THAT: subject to the passage and approval of both this bill and its companion bill establishing a corresponding "policy" section, Chapter 3, Section C8 of the Faculty Handbook be amended by replacing the existing content with the following "procedures" section (to follow the companion "policy" in the Handbook):

Grade Appeals Procedures

The grade appeal procedure is primarily for the review of allegedly arbitrary and capricious grading, and not for review of the instructor's evaluation of the student's academic performance.

In order to maintain accurate records, faculty members are recommended to retain certain items for various time periods. These are:

  1. Grade records. These should be retained for at least one year following the completion of an academic year.
  2. Class outlines. These should be retained for at least one year following the completion of an academic year.
  3. Course papers/projects/etc. These should be retained by the instructor for a period of at least one semester following the completion of a course. When graded assignments are returned to students during a course, students should be alerted to retain these materials themselves until the grading and appeal periods have been completed.

Students should be encouraged to resolve immediate grading questions when they occur and keep copies of exams, projects, and other graded assignments at least until grade reports are received following the completion of a course.

Appeal Steps

Step 1.

If the final course grade is in question, the student should first discuss the grade fully with the instructor of the course. This informal appeal may occur at any time within the first six weeks of the next regular semester (Fall or Spring) following the receipt of the grade, but it is strongly suggested that this inquiry take place as soon as possible.

If an informal appeal does not resolve the problem, the student may file a formal written appeal to the instructor by October 1 (Fall semester) or March 1 (Spring semester). Included in the written appeal should be the basis for the appeal and copies of pertinent documents which support the appeal. The letter should include the full name of the student, the student's ID number, course number, course title, semester and year enrolled, section number, and the name of the instructor. The instructor of the course should respond in writing to this appeal request within two weeks of receiving the request and no later than October 15 (Fall) or March 15 (Spring). If the instructor is no longer available on campus, the department chair may try to contact the instructor or may act in place of the instructor. The unavailability of the instructor may necessitate a slight change in time frame, if so determined by the department chair.

Step 2.

If the matter cannot be resolved by interaction with the instructor for any reason, the student may file a written appeal with the department chair within two weeks of receiving the instructor's response, or by November 1 (Fall) or April 1 (Spring). The department chair may request a meeting with the student and the instructor in order to mediate a possible settlement of the disagreement and must respond to the appeal within two weeks, or by November 15 (Fall) or April 15 (Spring). It is neither the right nor within the responsibility of the department chair to change the grade, but rather to find whether any error may have been made and to counsel the faculty member on this regard. If the instructor is no longer available on campus, the department chair may try to contact the instructor or may act in place of the instructor. The unavailability of the instructor may necessitate a slight change in time frame, if so determined by the department chair. In the event that the Department Chair is the instructor whose grade is being questioned, the College Dean will function as noted above. Should the Dean or other administrative officer be the instructor whose grade is being questioned, the Chair of the department to which the administrator is assigned will handle the appeal process.

If the student still believes the grade was issued in error, one further step may be taken.

Step 3.

If the matter is still not resolved through mediation with the department chair, a three member committee shall be appointed by the chair to handle the final appeal. This committee shall be made up of three full-time tenured or tenure track faculty members, two of whom should be from outside the department in which the appeal was initiated, and may be a regular standing committee or a committee specially convened as circumstances warrant. A written appeal, including supporting documentation, must be made by the student to this committee. This appeal should be received in the departmental office no more than two weeks following the department chair's recommendation. It is requested that the committee then investigate the matter and render a decision within one month. This committee may reject the student's appeal, request that the faculty member change the grade to an appropriate level, or, as a last resort, change the grade themselves. The decision of the faculty appeal committee constitutes the final level of university appeal open to the student.

Under no circumstances may a grade appeal be initiated more than one semester after the grade has been issued.

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Action Date
Introduced to Senate 2/29/2012
Second Senate Meeting 1/30/2013
Faculty Senate Vote 1/30/2013
President's Review
15 Day Review
Posted to Faculty Handbook

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