Academic Complaints and Disputes

A complete description of the Appeals Policies and Procedures for students can be found under the “Academic Policies and Procedures” section of the Undergraduate Catalog and under the “University-wide Academic Policies and Procedures” section of the Graduate Catalog. Student academic complaints originate on a variety of grounds under three general headings:

  1. Delivery of the course. Such complaints arise from the student’s perception that the course was not taught as described in the syllabus, or not taught competently or in a timely manner.
  2. Course policies. Such complaints arise from the student’s perception that the policies laid out on the syllabus were not consistently adhered to, or that such policies were adhered to with a rigor disadvantageous to a student’s grade, or that such policies failed to take into account unique or special circumstances in a given instance.
  3. Grading of the course. Such complaints arise from the student’s perception that the grade received did not reflect the true level or value of the work submitted, or that the grade was miscalculated or that the grade penalized the student for circumstances beyond the student’s control.

The above list of the grounds for academic complaints is illustrative rather than exhaustive.

Submitting an Academic Complaint:

  1. As the first step in the complaint resolution process, a student should attempt to resolve the complaint directly with the instructor.
  2. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be achieved between the student and instructor, the student should contact his or her designated Career and Academic Coach to discuss the Academic Dispute Form. The student should submit the completed form, including any and all attachments, to his or her Coach. The student’s Coach will then forward the complaint to the operations manager in the undergraduate or graduate dean’s office. A representative of the dean’s office will communicate the outcome of the appeal directly to the student.
  3. If the dean’s office does not find in favor of the appeal, the student may then bring the appeal to the College level by requesting from his or her designated Coach a copy of the Academic Standing Committee (ASC) appeal form. The student should submit the completed form to his or her Coach, accompanied by new and supportive documentation not yet reviewed as part of the initial appeal. The Coach will forward the appeal to the ASC, copying the student’s academic program. The ASC will make a final decision and communicate that outcome to the student.

*Please note that the student needs to provide new and supportive documentation at each level of appeal. The student can’t appeal simply because s/he didn’t like the outcome.