Under certain limited circumstances, a student may appeal a grade awarded by a faculty member in a course. Because the faculty member who issued the grade is in the best position to evaluate the performance of students enrolled in his or her course, the faculty member's academic judgment and academic evaluation of a student's work shall not be reviewable. However, a student may appeal a grade if he or she can demonstrate compelling evidence that the faculty member has: (1) failed to follow published evaluation criteria for the course; (2) disregarded published academic policy; or (3) used non-academic criteria to evaluate the student's work in an unfair or discriminatory way. A student with a grievance of this sort against a faculty member may appeal by making use of the following procedures:
1. The student shall file a written complaint with the faculty member. The written complaint should be submitted within 90 days of the day the grade is posted, should detail the reason for the appeal and should provide any available supporting evidence. The student should also submit a copy of the complaint to the division chairperson responsible for the faculty member.
2. If the division chairperson does not receive written notification from either the faculty member or the student of resolution of the issue within five academic days, a hearing will be scheduled with those involved. The division chairperson shall provide a written record of the hearing and submit a recommendation in writing to those involved.
3. If, after five academic days following the hearing with the chairperson, the matter remains unresolved, the student, the faculty member, or both may appeal to a Faculty Senate hearing panel. This panel shall consist of three members chosen by lot from the Faculty Senate, excluding members from the same division as the faculty member being grieved.
4. The appeal to the Faculty Senate must be in writing and accompanied by all previous written material concerning the matter.
5. The Senate panel shall call a hearing at which the student and the faculty member will be invited to appear. The division chair may attend at the request of the student, the faculty member or the hearing panel.
6. The Senate panel shall act as arbiter of the grievance before it, and its decision regarding the issue before it shall be binding on all parties to the dispute. The decision of the Senate panel shall be communicated to the student and the faculty member within five days of the hearing.
7. If the Senate panel decides that the student's grade should be changed, the faculty member must change the grade within ten academic days of receiving notification of Senate panel's decision. If, after ten days, the faculty member has not changed the grade and there is no appeal to the VPAA pending, the Senate panel shall refer the matter to the VPAA, who shall change the grade.
8. If either the student or the faculty member wishes to appeal the decision of the Faculty Senate panel, he or she may do so within five academic days of receiving written notification from the panel. To appeal the decision, the student or faculty member must submit a request for appeal to the VPAA. The appeal must be in writing and accompanied by all previous written materials concerning the matter.
9. The decision of the VPAA shall be communicated to the student and the faculty member in writing. This decision shall be final and binding, and all parties shall be required to adhere to it. If the VPAA decides that the grade should be changed, the faculty member must change the grade within five academic days of receiving written notification of the VPAA's decision. If the grade has not been changed after five academic days, the VPAA shall change the grade.