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Operations Manual

Grade Appeals

Since the mode of teaching and the criteria for evaluating the student's work can vary so widely among the disciplines, it is not possible to outline precise directives for issuing grades. The College of Arts and Sciences, however, expects the instructor to accept the grading policy of the University, which provides for a scale from A to F. The instructor would not be following this system were he or she to hold that no student could achieve an A or an F. The College of Arts and Sciences assumes that grades will be marked fairly, based on the work which represents the full term's achievements. For these reasons, each department establishes its own guidelines for marking grades and sets the standards against which the faculty can make judgments.

Complaints About Grades or Other Academic Matters

It is inevitable the some students will complain about grades, and it is also probable that personality conflicts may influence grading, sometimes adversely. For this reason appeals about grades should be addressed objectively and fairly, so that both students and faculty members can be secure in expecting justice in any adjudications. Every department is expected to establish a committee to address complaints from students which involve academic matters.

Other matters, such as student conduct, are referred to the Vice President for Student Development and are assumed by the University due process system. All student complaints about grades or other academic matters within the College of Arts and Sciences which are submitted directly to the Dean of the College will be referred back to the departmental due process committee. This committee may be ad hoc, or it may be a standing committee. Its members ought not to be persons directly involved in the case being considered. In the interest of fairness, students should be appointed to these committees together with faculty members. The action taken by the committee is normally recorded and kept on file. If, after review by the departmental due process committee, the student is still dissatisfied, he or she has the right to appeal to higher levels: the Dean, the Senior Vice President and Provost, and the President. At the Dean's level, guidance will be taken from the departmental committee.

It is a matter of courtesy to the faculty member involved that he or she be notified without delay of the complaint and informed that due process procedures have begun. Since the initial step in this process is the conference between the student and the chairperson of the department, the chairperson is the logical one to notify the faculty member.

Time Limit of Appeals About Grades

The Dean will always listen to and pursue any student's complaint about grades. However, since faculty members cannot be expected to keep their memory fresh indefinitely about a student's performance in class, and since University policy does not permit a change of grade beyond thirty days after the issuance of grade reports, the Dean will not invoke the due process procedure outlined above if the complaint is made after this thirty-day limit.


College of Arts and Sciences

O'Reilly Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0800