In the academic community, grades are a measure of student achievement toward fulfillment of course objectives. The responsibility for assessing student achievement and assigning grades rests with the Faculty, and except for unusual circumstances, the course grade given is final. The Grade Appeals System affords recourse to a student who has evidence or believes that evidence exists to show that he or she has been assigned an inappropriate grade. Additionally, a student may challenge the reduction of a grade for alleged scholastic dishonesty.
A graduate student who wishes to appeal a grade received in regular course work may do so through the Grade Appeals System. However, a case involving the decision of a graduate examination committee, the acceptance of a graduate thesis, and the application of professional standards relating to the retention of a graduate student shall be handled by procedures authorized by the Graduate Council rather than the Grade Appeals System.
In appealing a grade, the burden of proof is on the student, except in the case of alleged academic dishonesty, where the instructor must support the allegation. Each of the schools of Purdue University Calumet shall establish a Grade Appeals Committee to conduct School grade appeals in accordance with the procedures described in this document and to conduct the regular business of the Committee.
A University Grade Appeals Committee shall be established with the authority to hear appeals of decisions rendered at the school level. The only University authorities empowered to initiate a grade change are the instructor or faculty member in charge of the course in question and the Chairperson of the University Grade Appeals Committee.
Initiating A Grade Appeal
- A student who wishes to appeal a grade must file a written notice of intention to appeal with the Chairperson of the Grade Appeals Committee of the School in which the course was taken. This must be done by the twenty-first calendar day from the start of classes of the regular semester following the semester in which the questioned grade was given. The written notice must include the date, course, section, semester, name of the course instructor, and a statement as to why the grade given was inappropriate. A copy of this written notice must be forwarded immediately to the instructor by the School Chairperson.
- In preparing an appeal, a student may seek assistance from the Chairperson of the Grade Appeals Committee or the Dean of Students.
- The student is expected to meet with the instructor and must meet with the head of the department through which the course was offered to attempt to resolve the grievance. These meetings must take place by the thirty-fifth calendar day from the start of classes. If a meeting with the department head does not take place within the specified time, then the case is closed and the grade shall stand.
- If a mutually acceptable solution between student and instructor cannot be reached, then the student must return to the School Committee Chairperson with a detailed written statement of allegations, facts, and circumstances. If the detailed statement is not submitted by the thirty-fifth calendar day from the start of classes, then the case is closed and the grade shall stand.
- After receipt of the student’s detailed statement, the Chairperson shall promptly forward a copy of the statement to the faculty member involved. The faculty member may prepare a written statement responding to the student’s allegations and submit it to the School Committee Chairperson. If a written statement is prepared, the School Committee Chairperson shall forward a copy to the student.
- The Chairperson shall convene the School Grade Appeals Screening Panel. Members of the panel from the same department as the faculty member and student involved shall not participate in the subject panel discussions and vote. Substitute panel members shall be selected as necessary by the Chairperson. The Chairperson shall submit a copy of the student’s detailed statement and evidence, and the written statement from the faculty member to the panel. The panel shall review the matter and decide if the appeal is valid based on Items 1 through 4 of Section V.J. of this document. If any panel member deems that the appeal meets any of the cited items, then the appeal will move forward and a formal hearing will be scheduled. If the panel unanimously determines that the appeal is not valid based on any of the cited items, then the case is closed and the grade shall stand. The School Grade Appeals Screening Panel shall meet and review the matter within seven calendar days of the receipt of the student’s detailed statement.
- If the School Grade Appeals Screening Panel determines that the appeal appears to be valid, then the Chairperson shall schedule a panel hearing. The hearing must not be scheduled earlier than seven calendar days from the receipt of the student’s detailed statement. The hearing must be concluded by the fifty-sixth calendar day from the start of classes. Once the hearing panel has been selected, the Chairperson shall promptly give written notice of the hearing to the parties involved. The notice shall specify the time, date, and place of the hearing, as well as the procedures and sequence of events to be followed in conducting the hearing.
- The Chairperson shall ensure that all written statements concerning the case have been received at least one day in advance of the hearing by the student, faculty member, and panel members. All parties are to preserve confidentiality and to refrain from discussing the case.
If a student’s case is accepted and a hearing is granted, the hearing panel will use the four areas as outlined below excerpted from Section V, J. as a guide toward decision-making.
In both the evidentiary and deliberative aspects of the hearing, the members of the panel shall restrict questions and discussion to the allegations, facts, and circumstances pertaining to the student’s detailed statement.
The panel’s decision shall be based on the following:
- Evidence exists that the grade assigned to the student is inconsistent with those of other students in the class performing at the same level;
- Evidence exists that there has been mechanical error in the determination of the final grade;
- Evidence exists that the grade assigned is contrary to formally stated initial criteria;
- Evidence exists that course requirements or procedures violate University policy or regulations.
A copy of the official document, Grade Appeals System, is available in the Office of the Dean of Students. In order to avoid undue hardship or injustice, the appeals process shall conform to the following time line.
|Notice of Intention||3 weeks||21st day|
|Student/Instructor Discussion||2 weeks||35th day|
|Screening Panel Meets and Notice of Hearing||1 week||42nd day|
|School Hearing||2 weeks||56th day|
|Notice of Decision||1 week||63rd day|
|Appeal of School Decision||1 week||70th day|
|Decide on University Hearing||3 weeks||91st day|
|Hearing||1 week||98th day|
|Report||2 weeks||112th day|
This time line is applied to the regular semester following receipt of the questioned grade, and begins on the first day of classes. The Student Affairs Committee shall maintain a calendar that incorporates this time line with the official university calendar.
Approved by the Purdue University Calumet Senate March 1, 2000
Revised and approved by the Purdue University Calumet Senate April 11, 2001