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Grade Appeal Policy and Procedures


The evaluation or assessment of student performance leading to the assignment of the final course grade involves exercise of independent and professional judgment by individual college faculty and academic staff. The joint statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students (AAUP, October 1967) provides: "Students should have protection through an orderly process against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. At the same time, they are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled." (AAUP Policy Documents and Reports, 1984 Edition, page 142)


All students enrolled in the College of Letters and Science shall be afforded an opportunity to seek redress of perceived grievances concerning the assessment of student performance by faculty and academic staff. Recognizing that the evaluation of student performance is based upon the professional judgment of instructors, grievances will not be considered unless based upon one or more of the following factors:

  • An error was made in grade computation
  • The grade was based on factors contrary to those stated in the course syllabus or a reasonable interpretation of it
  • The grade reflected, in whole or part, some penalty for actions involving the freedom of written or spoken classroom expression
  • The grade involved some breach of federal or state constitutional protections, federal laws, Regents' Rules, or UW Oshkosh policies.

 Approved by COLS Faculty Committee, 4 April, 1990

Grade Appeal: Student Grievance Procedures

Preliminary Procedures

  • The student must attempt an informal resolution of the problem with the instructor no later than the 10th day of the next regular semester.
  • If the informal process with the instructor does not resolve the problem, the student should communicate with the department chair within five working days. The chair may either attempt informal resolution of the problem within five working days or inform the student in writing of formal grievance policies within that same time limit.

Formal Procedures

  1. Chair's Procedures
    • If the chair decides that an attempt at informal resolution is inappropriate or should that attempt be unsuccessful, the student may request a formal review of the matter by the department's grievance committee. This request must be received by the chair within five working days of the notification of the failure of the attempt at mediation. The student's request shall be in writing and shall include the nature of the grievance and its basis from the four factors listed under "Policy" (Under Students Appeals Policy), the attempt at informal resolution, the desired outcome that the student wishes, and all supporting evidence. The chair will, within five working days, inform the department's grievance committee that a grievance is to be reviewed, or, if there is no standing grievance committee, arrange for the formation of an ad hoc grievance committee.
    • At the same time the chair will acknowledge the student's request and inform the instructor of it. If the instructor, upon seeing the petition, wishes to respond, this must be done within five working days.
    • Upon receipt of the response from the student and the instructor, the chair will convene the grievance committee within five working days and deliver to it all written documents concerning the case, including a written account of the chair's attempt at meditation, if any.
  2. Department Grievance Committee
    • The committee, with the chair as an observer, will review the materials presented. It may on its own initiative call for oral presentations to gather or clarify information, and it may make written inquiries of either or both the student and the instructor for the same purpose. Should further evidence be presented to the committee each person will be given the opportunity to respond.
    • Following its review of the evidence the committee will, on the basis of this evidence, render a formal recommendation and communicate that recommendation to the chair within 10 working days of the first meeting. The report will include the committee's findings of fact, its recommendation, and its rationale for the recommendation.
    • The chair will render a decision within five working days of receipt of the committee's recommendation and inform those involved.
    • Should the student reject the chair's decision or the instructor refuse a grade change at the departmental level, the student may continue the grievance with the Dean's Office of the College of Letters and Science within five working days after the notification.
  3. College of Letters and Science Action
    • A member of the Dean's Office shall collect all relevant department-level material, and, within five working days of receipt of the material, inform the College of Letters and Science's Student Academic Committee of grievance.
    • The Dean's Office shall forward to the Student Academic Committee all the documents in the case. The Dean's Office shall inform the student and the instructor of the action.
    • The Student Academic Committee will make an independent review of all the documents in the case and, within 10 working days, render a written recommendation with a copy to the student, the instructor, and the Dean. The report will include the committee's rationale for its decision.
    • The Dean will review the documents in the case, and in particular the findings, recommendations, and the rationale for these at each level of review, and will render a decision to the student and the instructor, indicating the reasons for it. Copies will be sent to the Student Academic Committee and the department chair. The Dean's decision will be considered final, with no appeal possible.


  • At all levels of review, the burden of proof will be on the student.
  • The term "working days" shall refer to those days when classes are actually scheduled.
  • All grievance petitions must be individually filed.
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by admin last modified Mar 04, 2010 02:12 PM