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Appeals Procedure

To facilitate a consistent appeals process, the Graduate Council has approved the following procedure:

Reference Document: Current edition, Graduate Bulletin, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

These procedures apply to graduate student/applicant appeals concerning policies of the Graduate School. An appeal is defined as: the process whereby a graduate student/applicant to a graduate program(s) or course(s) is given the opportunity to initiate a review of a written complaint, grievance or conflict. This process is designed to review a decision or a difference in opinion concerning Graduate School policy only.

The procedures do not apply to the following subjects:

  • Allegations by a faculty member concerning the academic dishonesty of a student (including cheating, collaborating, plagiarizing, stealing, falsifying documents, submitting essentially the same work in two different courses, or knowingly assisting another student in the commission of a similar act);

  • Concerns relating to equal opportunity and affirmative action, whether by students or faculty members (including race, religion, sex, age, handicapping conditions or for other protected characteristics); and

  • Sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Special note concerning grade complaints

Students with questions or concerns pertaining to their assigned grade for a course should first discuss these concerns with the course instructor; matters unresolved after this discussion should be presented for review through the appeals procedure of the appropriate college.

Students should recognize that so long as an instructor assigns course grades in a manner consistent with the applicable departmental and university rules, the academic and professional judgment of the instructor will generally be given deference.

Specific Appeals Procedures

  1. REQUIREMENT FOR APPEALS

    All students who intend to appeal must initiate the process within the semester following the decision being appealed. To begin the process, the student will meet with the coordinator of Graduate Studies, who will give the student a copy of the appeals procedures and notify the executive committee of the appeal. The executive committee will select a chair from among its members whose actions are not subject to the appeal at hand. The student then submits a written appeal to the chair of the executive committee within 10 working days of meeting with the coordinator of Graduate Studies. In this written appeal, the student must clearly state:

    1. The nature of the appeal

    2. The rationale which supports the appeal

    3. Any background information deemed relevant including steps taken to date as reviewed with the coordinator of Graduate Studies

    4. The recommendation of the Graduate Program coordinator.

  2. RETURN OF APPEALS

    After receiving a written appeal, the chair of the executive committee may return the appeal to the graduate student/applicant with the request that additional information, responsive to sections (1) (a)-(d), above, be provided before the appeal is processed.

  3. ROLE OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE CHAIR (ECC)

    The ECC shall attempt to meet with the graduate student/applicant, as soon as possible after an appeal is received, to resolve the appeal informally. If a resolution acceptable to all parties is not reached, the executive committee will meet no later than 10 working days after receiving an appeal that meets the conditions outlined in section (1) above.

  4. REVIEW BY THE GRADUATE COUNCIL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

    The review of the appeal by the executive committee shall be conducted in the following manner: 

    1. EVALUATION

      The executive committee chair, acting on behalf of the committee in advance of a meeting, and/or the committee by motion passed at a meeting, may ask those familiar with the subject matter of the appeal to submit information to the committee explaining the actions that were taken, the reasons for those actions, and any recommendations concerning the requested outcomes that are being sought by the graduate student/applicant. On the basis of the graduate student’s/applicant’s appeal and any information that is brought before the committee pursuant to section (4) (a), herein, the committee shall evaluate all of the available evidence.

    2. RECOMMENDATIONS

      The executive committee shall issue written recommendations outlining the committee’s action on the appeal. Copies of the committee’s recommendations shall be sent to the graduate student/applicant raising the appeal within 10 working days of the meeting of the executive committee. In formulating these recommendations, the dispositional alternatives available to the committee include:

      1. Denying the appeal

      2. Granting the appeal and accepting or modifying the graduate student’s/applicant’s request

      3. Requesting that the graduate student/applicant and/or others familiar with the subject matter of the appeal appear before the committee to offer testimony or answer questions about the circumstances giving rise to the appeal.

    3. RIGHT TO OBSERVER

      A graduate student/applicant and/or other party appearing before the committee has the right to have in attendance a non-participating observer of his/her choice.

  5. REVIEW BY THE GRADUATE COUNCIL.

    The executive committee chair and/or the graduate student/applicant presenting the appeal may request that a randomly selected subcommittee (no more than three members) of the graduate council be convened, under the direction of the dean of students’ designee, for the purpose of receiving testimony on the recommendations of the executive committee. The request for review by the graduate council shall be addressed to the dean of students’ designee to the graduate council in writing no later than ten working days after the recommendations of the executive committee are received by the graduate student/applicant. The procedures outlined in section (4) (a) - (c), above, shall apply to this review by the graduate council where any request for additional information is made by the dean of students’ designee.

  6. FINAL REVIEW BY THE ASSISTANT VICE CHANCELLOR, GRADUATE SCHOOL AND RESEARCH. 

    1. The executive committee chair (ECC) and/or the graduate student/applicant presenting the appeal may request final review of the appeal, after a ruling by the graduate council subcommittee, by the assistant vice chancellor (AVC). The request for review shall be addressed to the AVC in writing no later than 10 working days after the recommendations of the graduate council are received by the graduate student/applicant. The request for review shall include all background and supporting information, including the original appeal and copies of the recommendations issued by the executive committee and the graduate council.

    2. The AVC may meet informally with the ECC, the dean of students’ designee, and/or the graduate student/applicant presenting the appeal in an attempt to resolve the appeal.

    3. If the informal attempts to resolve the appeal are not successful, the AVC shall issue a final written decision based on the written record and such other evidence, as the AVC deems relevant. The decision of the AVC is final and not subject to further review.

  7. TIMELINES.

    The timelines as specified in these procedures may be modified or extended by mutual agreement of the graduate student/applicant raising the appeal and the appropriate reviewing authority (i.e., executive committee chair, graduate council executive committee, graduate council subcommittee, or assistant vice chancellor).

Approved by Graduate Council: Dated 2/20/98

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