Office of the Provost
Office of the Provost
Sometimes students may think there was something problematic about a class, professor, or grade that merits making a complaint about it to the appropriate person. In such cases, the proper course of action is for the student to talk with the professor about his/her concerns. If that does not resolve the situation or if the student is too uncomfortable to talk with the professor, the student should talk with the director of the school. Following the director, any unresolved concerns should be brought to the attention of the college dean.
Students should be mindful that faculty members have the authority to determine the organization of their courses and to set appropriate standards for student work and accountability. Disliking a professor’s choices does not automatically merit a grievance. In the event that a class situation is extreme and detrimental to the learning enterprise, however, students have the right to raise their concerns and seek that the problems be addressed.
Students who are found to have violated the Academic Integrity Policy of the institution will likely receive an academic sanction, such as an F for the test assignment, a grade of zero for the test or assignment, or an XF for the course. Definitions of academic misconduct and possible sanctions, as well as information on appeals, can be found on the Advisement Center's Academic Integrity webpage.
Students who believe that the grade they have been given in a course was the result of “arbitrary” or “capricious” behavior on the part of the faculty member can appeal their grade to the Grade Review Council. The Council does not hear appeals based on instructor grading that is seen as too harsh or course requirements that are seen as excessive. The Grade Review Council only hears appeals in which the student believes that the faculty member has given grades in a haphazard, illogical, erratic, inconsistent, and/or unpredictable fashion. For example, if an instructor allows students to make up exams for medical excuses but does not allow one student to do so, which impacts his/her grade, the student might consider a grade appeal.
Students who believe their claim meets these criteria should first talk with the instructor to try to resolve the situation. After that, if a student decides to pursue a grade appeal, he or she should follow the instructions on the Provost's Grade Appeal webpage, beginning by signing a log in the Office of the Provost. Students have a limited time frame to file a Grade Review appeal. Upon submitting all required materials, the Grade Review Council will then review them to determine if the case should be heard.
This process should only be used to appeal grades believed to be assigned in an arbitrary or capricious way, not for cases involving academic integrity violations and penalties (see above).