Handbook at The University of West Georgia

Log On

Appendix E: Grade Appeals

Procedure for Appeals of Grade Determination and Academic Dishonesty

Appendix E (Grade Appeals)

Students have the right to appeal a course grade. Grade appeals must be submitted in writing, using the UWG Student Grade Appeal Form found on the Provost’s website and following the procedures outlined below. The student shall initiate the grade appeal no later than the end of the semester following the assignment of the grade.  The grade appeal must be concluded no later than one year (12 calendar months) after the assignment of the grade.  There are two types of grade appeals: 

1. Dishonesty Grade Appeal - If the faculty member assigned the grade due to an allegation of cheating, plagiarism, or some other act of academic dishonesty and the student wishes to pursue the appeal, his or her case should be considered a Dishonesty Grade Appeal. Appeals of grades assigned due to an allegation of Academic Dishonesty may be made as soon as a grade penalty on the grounds of academic dishonesty has been levied against a student.
2. Grade Determination Appeal - If the reasons underlying the appeal are based on policy disagreements or alleged charges of arbitrary or unfair treatment by the involved faculty member, the appeal should be considered a Grade Determination Appeal. Grade determination appeals must be initiated during the semester immediately following the semester in which the course grade is assigned.

Grade Appeal Review and Decision Process

1.  Student Initiates the Grade Appeal: The student must complete and sign the Student Grade Appeal Form, attach a short memo or letter stating the exact nature of the appeal and reason, attach any supporting documentation, and submit the entire packet to the Department Chair of the department in which the course is taught.

2.  Department Level: The Chair consults with the student and with the faculty member and   determines whether the appeal is a Dishonesty Grade Appeal or Grade Determination Appeal.

a. The Chair examines the available evidence and renders a decision: Either grant the appeal and change the grade, or deny the appeal. The Chair notifies the student of his/her decision.

b. If the appeal is granted, the Chair submits the grade change in writing to the Registrar and notifies the student that the appeal is granted.

c. If the appeal is denied, the student may accept the Chair’s decision and end the appeal process, or s/he may request that the appeal and all associated documentation be forwarded to the Dean’s office (dean or designee) for further review.

3.  College Dean Level: The Chair forwards the appeal to the Dean/designee. The appeal packet should include the Student Grade Appeal Form (complete information, decision indicated, and signatures/initials from both the student and the Chair) and all associated documentation provided by the student and the faculty member, along with a brief statement from the Chair regarding her/his decision.

a. The Dean/designee reviews the appeal and all associated documentation and available evidence and renders a decision: Either grant the appeal and change the grade, or deny the appeal.

b. The Dean’s Office notifies the student of his/her decision.

c. If the appeal is granted, the Dean’s Office submits the grade change in writing to the Registrar.

d. If the appeal is denied, the student may accept the decision and end the appeal process, or s/he may request that the appeal and all associated documentation be forwarded to the Provost’s office for submission to the Grade Appeals Subcommittee.

4.  Grade Appeals Subcommittee Level: An appeal forwarded to the Provost’s office for referral to the Grade Appeals Subcommittee should include the Student Grade Appeal Form (complete information, decisions indicated, and signatures/initials from the student, Chair, and Dean/designee), documentation, and decision statements from the previous levels.

a. The purpose of the subcommittee’s review is described here:

i. Dishonesty Grade Appeals: The purpose of the subcommittee in hearing this type of appeal is to (1) determine if academic improprieties did take place and (2) to review the appropriateness of the faculty member’s corrective action as it related to the final grade assignment.

ii. Grade Determination Appeals: The purpose of the subcommittee in hearing this type of appeal is to review the totality of the student’s performance in relationship to his or her final grade.

b. The chairperson of the subcommittee will submit in writing to the Provost/designee the conclusions and recommendations of the subcommittee.

i. If the appeal is granted, the Provost’s office submits the grade change in writing to the Registrar and notifies the student that the appeal is granted.

ii. If the decision of the subcommittee is to return the appeal to the department for further action, it is the responsibility of the Department Chair to follow through with the instructions of the subcommittee. The Provost/designee notifies the student that the appeal was returned to the department for further action. After re-examining the student’s performance, the Department Chair notifies the student of the final grade and notifies the Registrar of a grade change, if warranted.

iii. If the appeal is denied, the student is notified of the subcommittee’s decision.

c.  In unusual circumstances, the Provost/designee may review the decision of the  subcommittee for further action (e.g., judicial sanctions).

Fairness and Procedural Safeguards Governing Cases of Academic Dishonesty

In order to guarantee fairness and proper procedural safeguards for all concerned, the subcommittee shall be guided by the following procedures:

1. The subcommittee will hear a case only if the student has exhausted all administrative remedies through the appropriate department chair and his or her college dean

2. The subcommittee chairperson will consult with both the faculty member and student concerning the hearing procedures, the time, date, and place of the hearing and will ensure relevant materials reach all parties in a timely fashion.

3. The burden of demonstrating a preponderance of evidence shall rest upon the officials or faculty member who originated an action against a student or assigned for cause a particular grade.

4. The student appearing before the committee shall have the right to be assisted by an advisor of his or her choice.

5. During the hearing the student shall have the opportunity to testify and to present evidence and witnesses own his or her behalf. He or she shall have opportunity to hear and question adverse witnesses. In no case shall the subcommittee consider statements against a student unless the student has been given an opportunity to rebut unfavorable inferences that might otherwise be drawn.

6. All matters upon which a decision will be based must be introduced at the proceeding before the subcommittee. Any conclusions drawn by the subcommittee shall be based solely upon such evidence.

7. In the absence of a transcript, an audio recording of the hearing shall be made.

8. Appellants who fail to appear after proper notice will have their cases heard in absentia.

9. The chairperson of the subcommittee will submit in writing to the Provost/designee the conclusions and recommendations of the subcommittee.

Fairness and Procedural Safeguards Governing Grade Determination Appeals

In order to guarantee fairness and proper procedural safeguards for all concerned, the subcommittee shall be guided by the following procedures:

1. The subcommittee will hear the case only if the student has exhausted all administrative remedies through the appropriate department chair and his or her college dean.

2. The subcommittee chairperson will consult with both the faculty member and student concerning the hearing procedures, the time, date, and place of the hearing and will ensure relevant materials reach all parties in a timely fashion.

3. The burden of demonstrating a preponderance of evidence of arbitrary or unfair grading rests on the student. The student should realize such a charge is a serious one and refrain from taking capricious action.

4. Both the student and faculty member shall be given an opportunity to present his or her case and to refute the case presented by the other.

5. All matters upon which a recommendation will be based must be introduced during the hearing before the Subcommittee. Recommendations shall be based solely upon such evidence.                     
6. Appellants who fail to appear after proper notice will have their cases heard in absentia.

7. The chairperson of the subcommittee will submit in writing to the Provost/designee the conclusions and recommendations of the subcommittee.