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Section 9.9

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES GRADE DISPUTE POLICY

It is each student's right to contest a grade that he or she feels has been unfairly or mistakenly assigned.  Before entering into the grievance process (described below) please be aware of the following.  The College grade appeal process seeks to provide a fair means for all parties involved to air publicly the facts of the case before an impartial group.  This group consists of two faculty members and one undergraduate student representative from within the College, who are not affiliated with the student's or faculty member's discipline.  Since it is the student who is making the allegation of unfair treatment, the burden of proof rests with the student.  A student may be assigned an advocate by the College to assist him or her in the constructing the best possible case.  Additionally, while moral suasion may be brought to bear upon the faculty member involved, "the sole responsibility and authority for determining grades rests with the faculty member who assigned the grade" (B-IIG b(2), BGSU Charter).  Grade grievances may not be appealed beyond the college level.

  • The student should first contact the instructor to discuss the grade in dispute. Grade dispute proceedings should be initiated by the middle of the semester following the one in which the contested grade was given. For grades assigned during spring semester, proceedings should be initiated by the middle of fall semester. Grade dispute proceedings should be concluded by the end of the semester during which they were initiated.
  • If the grade dispute is unresolved between the student and the instructor, the student should contact the department or school's grade mediator. Mediators may be tenured or untenured faculty members; they may not be major departmental administrators. If the mediator is unable to resolve the issue, the student can have the matter referred to the department or school's grade review committee. The committee should put its findings in writing.
  • If the student wishes to pursue the matter, he or she can appeal to the college in writing and should supply a copy of the department or school's written findings. Two faculty members and one student representative within the college, who are not affiliated with the student's discipline, are selected to serve on an ad hoc, grade appeal committee. One of the faculty members is designated as chair.
  • The instructor and the department chair or school director should be notified that the student is appealing to the college and should be sent a copy of the student's appeal. The instructor and the department's committee may comment on the student's appeal by sending a written response to the college committee's chair. All parties to the dispute should have copies of the written documents.
  • The committee may make their decision based solely on the written documents or may invite the student and the department committee's chair to appear. If one of the parties is invited, both should be invited. Both the student and the committee chair may be accompanied by an advisor.
  • The burden of proof is on the student. The standard of proof that the committee uses is the preponderance of the evidence; that is, the committee will find for the side whose evidence outweighs that of the other side. The committee should send its findings in writing to the dean who will then accept or reject them in writing. Grade grievances may not be appealed beyond the college level.
  • The purpose of these policies is fundamental fairness. Courtroom procedures do not necessarily apply. Provisions of the University Academic Honesty Policy and Catalog take precedence over the college's policy.