Grading/Class Related Appeals

Generally, student complaints about grades or other class related performance assessments can be addressed by the instructor of record and the student.  When that cannot be achieved, the student may have his/her complaint addressed by the procedure outlined
below.  Faculty, other classroom professionals, and students’ rights are to be protected and their human dignity respected.  Grading and other class related complaints are to be filed initially within thirty days following the alleged precipitating action on which the complaint is based.  Except where extenuating circumstances render it unreasonable, the outcome of a complaint that reaches the level of department/division head (exception Dean
of Architecture and of Nursing) will be reviewed within thirty days and a written notification of outcome will be provided to the student.  Where a complaint must be reviewed at each level, the entire process should be completed within ninety days of receipt
of the complaint.

In those instances where students believe that miscommunication, errors, or unfairness of any kind may have adversely affected the instructor’s assessment of their academic performance, the student has a right to appeal by following the procedure listed and by doing so within thirty days of receiving the grade or experiencing any other problematic academic event that prompted the complaint:

  1. The student should meet with the instructor of record, preferably during his/her office hours, to present the grievance and any supporting documentation that the grade or outcome of a class related concern should have been different.
  2. If the instructor is no longer at the university of if the subject of the grievance arises when faculty are not expected to be on duty for a week or more, the student should report to his or her advisor or the absent faculty member’s immediate supervisor (department head, division head, or dean if in School of Architecture or College of Nursing).
  3. If the issue is not resolved at the faculty level and the student wishes to pursue the issue beyond the instructor, he/she should meet with his/her academic advisor even if the grade or other issue is not in the department, division, school, or college in which the student’s class is being offered.  The advisor will intervene appropriately, but if unable to negotiate an agreement between the student and his/her instructor, will direct the student to follow each level of the appeals procedures items 4 through 10 below.
  4. If no agreement can be reached following discussion among the advisor, the student, and the instructor, the student should write a letter to the instructor’s immediate supervisor.  In the School of Architecture; or School of Nursing the Dean; in all other
    colleges the immediate supervisor of faculty, teaching assistants, laboratory assistants and other classroom professionals is the department or division head.  The letter or form should present the grievance, the rationale for it, and the remedy sought.  The
    letter or form should be sent at least one week prior to the student’s scheduled appointment to meet with the instructor’s immediate supervisor.
  5. If the instructor’s immediate supervisor cannot resolve the issue to the student’s satisfaction and the student wishes to pursue the matter, the instructor’s immediate supervisor will refer the matter to a three to five person faculty appeals panel, one of
    whom must be a part-time faculty person if part-time faculty members are employed in the department, school or college.  The panel will review the grievance and make a recommendation to the instructor’s immediate supervisor.
  6. If no agreement is reached and the student decides to appeal the matter further, he/she should send a letter or any published form used for this purpose to the person above the instructor’s immediate supervisor.
  7. If the student believes that the decision of the highest official in the College or School, the dean, deserves further review due to flaws in the previous reviews or due to his/her having information of such nature as to potentially impact the outcome, the student should provide a written request for review to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs who will employ a review process appropriate to the situation and notify the dean of the outcome.  The dean will notify the student of the outcome.  A
    decision that has reached review by the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee is final.
  8. Grading and other class related academic issues are referred in writing to the Office of the President only in instances where a preponderance of the evidence reveals that a student’s Constitutional rights or human dignity may have been violated.  The Provost
    and Vice President for Academic Affairs will transmit to the President the entire record of reviews conducted at each level if requested by the President following his/her receipt of the student’s written appeal.  The President will employ a review
    process appropriate to the matter presented and notify the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and dean of the outcome.  The dean will notify the student of the outcome.
  9. If the class related complaint is related to issues including but not limited to sexual harassment, violence, drug use, possession of firearms, or other behaviors prohibited by federal law, state law, Texas A&M University System policy or University regulations, the student may select one of the following options:Option A: Report the incident, in writing, to the instructor’s or other classroom professional’s immediate  supervisor (department head, division head, or dean).Option B: Report the incident, in writing, to the Director of Human Resources in Room 109 Harrington Science Building or to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in Room 212 A.I. Thomas Building.
  10. If the class related complaint involves another student(s) and is related to issues including, but not limited to sexual harassment, violence, drug use, possession of firearms, or other behaviors prohibited by federal law, state law, Texas A&M University System policy or University regulations, the student should report the incident to the Office of the Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services.

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