Wayne State University

COE Grade Appeal Policy

1.0 Policy

1.1 Pursuant to university policy, each academic unit shall establish written student grade appeal policies and procedures. The following policy guidelines are provided to assure the establishment of procedures that will provide for the prompt, fair and equitable resolution of grade appeals.

2.0 Basic Principles

2.1 Instructors are expected to evaluate student work according to sound academic standards. Equal demands should be required of all students in a class (although more advanced work is expected from graduate students than from undergraduates), and grades should be assigned without departing substantially from announced procedures.

It is the instructor’s prerogative to assign grades in accordance with his/her academic/professional judgment, and the student assumes the burden of proof in the appeals process.

2.2 Grounds for appeals are:  (1) the application of non-academic criteria in the grading process, as listed in the university’s non-discrimination/affirmative action statute:  race, color, sex (including gender identity), national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, height, weight, disability, or veteran status; (2) sexual harassment or discrimination; or (3) evaluation of student work by criteria not directly reflective of performance relative to course requirements.

2.3 These policy guidelines do not apply to allegations of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty matters should be addressed under the University’s Student Code of Conduct statute.

3.0 Appeal of Grades

3.1 Students should raise grade appeals in writing within thirty (30) calendar days following official notification of grades for the term in which the disputed grade was awarded, whenever informal review fails to resolve a dispute. The student’s first appeal shall be directed to the instructor. Further appeals shall be directed to the assistant dean and then to the dean.

3.2 Students shall be notified in writing of the division/college’s decision regarding the appeal within 60 days of lodging the formal appeal.

3.3 Students/ faculty may contact the University Ombudsperson at any time for assistance with any problem associated with a grade decision or grade appeal.

4.0 Procedures Within the College of Education

4.1 Informal Appeal

Whenever possible, a dispute about grades should be resolved informally between the instructor and the student.

4.2 Formal Appeal Process

4.2.1 Initiation of Appeal

If the informal process fails to resolve the dispute, the student must submit a written statement detailing his/her objections, along with supporting documentation, to the appropriate assistant dean within 30 calendar days following notification of grades for the term in which the disputed grade was awarded.

4.2.2 Assistant Dean Review

The assistant dean shall review the complaint and provide a copy to the instructor. The instructor shall be invited to reply in writing to the objections of the student. The assistant dean may convene an ad hoc special review committee (or charge an existing committee) to advise on any dispute. The recommendations of review committees will be advisory to the assistant dean.

4.2.3 Response to the Appeal

Within 30 calendar days of lodging the formal appeal, both parties to the dispute will be notified in writing of the decision and its rationale or the reason for a delay in the decision. The instructor must be consulted before a decision is made to change the grade and be notified in writing prior to notification of the student if the decision is to change the grade or otherwise accommodate the student. The student and/or the instructor may appeal the decision to the dean within 10 calendar days of receiving the response. The decision should not be implemented until the appeal process has been completed.

4.3 Dean’s Office Review

Appeals to the dean must be filed in writing, not e-mail, within ten days of the student receiving the response from the assistant dean. The dean must respond to an appeal within 30 days. The dean or dean’s designee may convene an ad hoc committee (or charge an existing committee) to advise on an appeal. The recommendations of the review committee will be advisory to the dean. The dean’s decision is the final decision at the college level.

4.4 Conduct of Meetings

Any meetings held in relation to the appeal shall provide parties with the opportunity to present additional information orally or in writing. No additional persons should be permitted at such meetings without advance approval by the assistant dean or dean and appropriate and written notification to all parties involved.

5.0 Provost Review

5.1 In matters where a college’s final decision is based upon the evaluation of a student’s academic performance, and when review procedures available to him/her within the college have been exhausted, the student may request the provost to review that decision on the record. A written Request for Provost Review must be made by the student himself/herself, with a copy to the dean of the college, postmarked within thirty calendar days of the postmark of the college’s final decision, which is sent to the address provided by the student in the college’s review procedures. The provost’s review of the college’s decision will proceed as soon as practicable after notification by the student of his/her wish to seek review.

5.2 The student may also file with the Provost a Request for a Postponement of the effect of the college’s final decision. Such a request must be postmarked within seven (7) calendar days of the postmark of the college’s final decision, and a copy must be sent to the dean of the college. Upon receiving a Request for Postponement, the provost will immediately contact the dean.