Grade Appeal Process and Procedures
Please read all the way to the bottom. Necessary forms are located at the end of the procedures.
The Academic Review Board (ARB) provides undergraduate and graduate students with a means of resolving serious academic disputes that cannot be settled directly with the faculty involved, or by the Course of Study Coordinator, Program Chairperson, or the Area Chair. Grade appeals will not be heard by the ARB unless they are based on misapplication or arbitrary application of the professor’s grading policy or unusual circumstances.
The ARB has established the following arbitration process to settle disputes fairly and to the satisfaction of all parties involved. To prepare for a grade appeal, students are encouraged to review the Student Request for Grade Appeal Form and the Student Grade Appeal Flowchart for guiding the appeal process found on the Registrar’s Office’s web page under Downloadable Forms.
Before a grade appeal is referred to the ARB, students must first inform the professor about the disputed grade, and submit a Student Request for Grade Appeal form to the professor, with a copy of this form to the student support specialist in your major area within 14 calendar days of the grade being posted by the Registrar. The student must then set up a meeting with the professor within the first week of the beginning of the next semester. If the meeting with the professor does not resolve the dispute, the professor will initiate the Grade Appeal Tracking Report found on the Registrar Office’s web page under Downloadable Forms and forward it to the next level within 24 hours. If the appeal remains unresolved, the designated representative of the college at each subsequent level will forward the report to the next level.
Graduate students in theology, psychology, and education, will arrange a meeting with the Course of Study Coordinator and provide him or her with the relevant documents and the Student Request for Grade Appeal form. If there is no resolution, the Course of Study Coordinator will notify the Program Chair within 24 hours.
Students in academic programs other than theology, psychology, and education will arrange a meeting with the Program Chair and provide the person with the relevant documents.
The Program Chair will arrange and meet with the parties involved within 3 calendar days of receiving notification of the grade appeal. If there is no resolution, the Program Chair will notify the Area Chair within 24 hours, providing the person with the relevant documents.
The Area Chair will arrange a meeting and meet with the parties within 7 calendar days of receiving the relevant documents to attempt to reach a satisfactory resolution.
If the matter remains unresolved after the Area Chair’s intervention, the Area Chair will inform the Chairperson of the Academic Life Committee within 7 calendar days and provide the person with the relevant documents.
The Chairperson of the Academic Life Committee will notify both parties (faculty and student) in writing that the grievance has been received.
The Academic Life Committee Chairperson will initiate the mechanism for the selection of the Academic Life Committee members who will serve on the ARB. This five-member board will consist of three faculty members and two student representatives, who will be selected by the two parties involved in the grievance, with each party selecting one faculty member and one student member. The third faculty member will be a member of the Academic Life Committee designated by the Academic Life Committee Chairperson and will serve as the Chairperson of ARB. If either party fails to select members for the ARB, the Chairperson of the ARB will select the members.
During the summer, faculty and students will be on call to serve on the ARB. Preference will be given to Academic Life Committee members, but if necessary, non-Academic Life Committee members will be asked to serve during the summer. This list will be drafted during the spring semester by the Chairperson of the Academic Life Committee.
The Chairperson of the Academic Life Committee will consult with those involved to determine the hearing date(s). Members of the ARB will meet prior to the hearing to establish procedures for the review, and select a chairperson and determine a timetable for the completion of the Board’s work.
The ARB will then convene a hearing with both parties. Board members must keep the proceedings and all other matters related to the hearing in the strictest confidence.
Counsel for the parties or the College will not attend the hearing. The ARB will listen to the statements of the parties involved in the grievance, ask questions, review appropriate materials, deliberate, and recommend in writing a resolution to the grievance. This recommendation must be determined within 30 calendar days of when the Academic Life Committee Chairperson was informed of the grievance.
The Chairperson of the ARB will sign the proposed resolution and forward to the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs within 7 calendar days. He or she will accept or reject the recommendation and, in writing, notify the parties of the decision. Only the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs may change grades. A record of the hearing will be maintained, in strict confidentiality, in the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs.