undergraduate student disagrees with the evaluation of his/her work by the
instructor, but has no basis for a charge of “discrimination” or “capricious
evaluation” or “error,” the student should discuss the matter directly with the
instructor, and if unsatisfied, with the chairperson of the department in which
the course was offered, and if still unsatisfied, with the dean of the college
in which the course was offered. In such cases, the decision of the instructor
shall be final.
If a student
believes that an improper grade has been assigned, an appeal may be filed on
the following grounds:
should be made to resolve the disagreement at Level I. The student must first
seek a resolution to the disagreement with the instructor either in person or
in writing. If the student is not satisfied with the results, the student must
then speak with the chairperson of the department that offers the course. If
still unsatisfied, the student must discuss the matter with the dean of the
college in which the course is offered. A Student Congress member may accompany
and advise the student during the Level I procedures. Only after all attempts
for resolution at Level I have been exhausted may the student initiate Level
A. Composition: Each year there shall be appointed a Grade
Appeals Committee to determine the existence of the substantive basis for
appeal. The committee will be composed of seven voting members: three faculty
members appointed by APSCUF, three members elected by and from the Senate
Academic Committee (one faculty, one administrator, one student), and one
student appointed by the Student Congress. A quorum consists of a majority of
the committee. To take action, a majority of those present must be faculty
members. If a quorum of the Level II committee is not available to meet within
the designated time limits, the Provost’s Office will seek additional members
from the appointing bodies. If these bodies are unable to respond in a timely
manner, the Provost’s Office may select additional members from the appropriate
B. Procedure to Initiate
Appeal: To initiate Level II of
the appeal, the student must file an appeal form with the Provost’s Office.
This form must be filed within sixty (60) calendar days of the beginning of the
semester immediately following the semester in which the grade was received.
The Provost’s Office may extend the 60-day limit only in unusual
circumstances when equity demands it and when the student’s own procrastination
or misunderstanding did not substantially contribute to the delay. (Note: Grade
appeals will not generally be processed during the summer. Therefore, the
appeal of any grade received in the spring or summer sessions normally will be
processed in the fall. A review will be scheduled in the summer only when the
student’s academic eligibility is jeopardized by the grade in question or when
the student is a graduating senior.) The Provost’s Office will notify the
appropriate dean, department chairperson, faculty member, APSCUF president, and
the Student Congress president of the student’s initiation of the Level II
C. Procedure to Process
Appeal: The student will be
expected to submit written documentation of his/her complaint, and the faculty
member will be expected to submit in writing the course grading procedure and
any other pertinent information. Appeals based on discrimination will be
reviewed according to current standards of nondiscriminatory action. Appeals
based on capriciousness will be reviewed in light of the faculty member’s
announced evaluation and grading system. The committee will review the
materials to deny or confirm appeal continuance. Denial of appeal continuance
must be by a negative vote of four members of the committee. This committee
will inform the Provost’s Office of its findings. Within five (5) class days of
the receipt of the committee’s report, the provost or designee will notify the
student and the faculty member of the findings. If the basis for appeal is
determined to be substantive, the provost or designee will schedule a Grade
Review Panel within fifteen (15) class days to be convened prior to the
conclusion of the semester.
A. Composition: The Grade Review Panel will consist of five
voting members: one academic dean or associate dean and four faculty members.
The Student Congress Executive Committee designee may advise as requested by
the student. The affirmative action officer will advise in appeals based on
discrimination. The panel will be constituted from the Grade Review Pool by
random selection. The panel chairperson will be elected by and from the panel
before each review.
B. Membership: The Grade Review Pool will be established in the
spring term to serve for the following academic year. Using random selection
methods, the pool and rotational order within the pool will be established by
the Provost’s Office. A pool of three deans or associate deans and 12
full-time faculty members will be maintained. In establishing the membership
for each review panel, prior to each review the names of those designated as
primary members of the specific panel and available as alternates will be
supplied to all parties involved. A panel member may request (to the provost or
designee) disqualification due to a conflict of interest. The student and the
faculty member may eliminate names in proportion to the composition of the
panel. Each may eliminate only one dean/associate dean and four faculty. The
instructor and the student will be supplied a list of all primary and secondary
pool members. The opportunity to disqualify panel members will take place only
once. Resulting vacancies will be filled from the appropriate pool of
alternates so that the panel will be composed of one dean/associate dean and
four faculty. If through self-disqualification and challenges a panel cannot be
constituted from the pool, then the Provost’s Office will supplement the pool
using appropriate random selection methods.
A. Continuing Rights: This appeal does not supplant any legal rights
afforded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and/or the Government of the United States.
Nothing in this policy abrogates or modifies any provisions of or rights under
the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
B. Discrimination in this
policy generally means unlawful discrimination. To the extent that any form of discrimination
identified in this definition is not unlawful discrimination, this definition
shall not be taken to create a cause of appeal against the university. In such
cases, the final appeal procedures stated in this policy will be final and
binding on the student.
C. Tenure and Promotion
Committee Membership on Grade Appeals Committees: Members of the universitywide tenure and
promotion committees may not serve concurrently on grade appeals committees.
D. Support Mechanism: The Provost’s Office, after consultation with
the Senate Academic Committee and APSCUF, will be responsible for identifying a
pool of at least 10 faculty members well versed in the preparation of grade
appeals who will be available upon request to help students or faculty prepare
documentation for the grade appeals process.
E. Training/Support: The Provost’s Office will offer yearly
information sessions/workshops to assist deans, chairs, grade appeals
panel/committee members, and members of Student Congress/university in
identifying issues and to provide guidance for the resolution of grade appeals.
F. Dissemination of Grade
Appeal Information: The Provost’s Office will
annually report to the university community a statistical summary of grade
appeal data that does not compromise confidentiality including (1) the number
of appeals filed, (2) the resolutions at levels II and III, and 3) the final
implementation of Level III decisions.
G. Appeals on Procedural
Grounds: Decisions may not be
challenged merely because the Provost’s Office fails to comply with Ancillary
Provisions D, E, or F above.
misrepresentation in the filing of grade appeals by students will be referred
to the university judicial system for students. Intentional misrepresentation by
faculty in the grade appeals process will be referred to the Provost’s Office.
I. Confidentiality: Students, faculty, administrators, and staff
involved in processing and hearing grade appeals must respect the
confidentiality of all aspects of these proceedings. Those breaching
confidentiality subject themselves to possible disciplinary action. This shall
not abridge the First Amendment rights of the student appellant nor the
instructor against whom the appeal has been filed.
J. Intended Purpose: The grade appeal procedures are designed simply
as a means to resolve differences between students and faculty related to
grading. Unless there is intentional misrepresentation, the results of a grade
appeal may not be used for disciplinary action of personnel.
K. Faculty Compensation: If a Review Panel (hearing) is scheduled at a
time in the summer when any faculty member involved is not under contract, the
faculty member will be compensated under terms mutually agreed upon at
L. Review of Policy: Every five years the Senate Academic Committee
will review, in consultation with the campus community, the operation of the
Grade Appeals Policy and recommend changes deemed appropriate.
M. Amendment: Amendments may be implemented upon concurrence
by University Senate, APSCUF Representative Council, and Meet-and-Discuss.*
*Note: In the amendment
process above, specification of University Senate implies the president’s role
in approving Senate actions and recognizes the president’s final action to
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