• HSU Complaint Process

    Grievance Policy for Students Protesting Grades

    A student who feels that the grading policy for a class has been unfairly administered and the result is a course grade lower than that deserved has the right to appeal the professor’s decision on the grade. This process is for appealing a course grade only; grades on individual projects or tests are not in the purview of this policy.

    Grievance Policy Steps

    The grievance policy requires the following steps, each of which must be taken in order. Failure to follow the procedure may obviate the appeal.

    • The student discusses the matter with the professor. If possible, the matter is reconciled at this point.
    • If dissatisfied with this discussion, the student voices the concern to the department head in a conference scheduled by the student. The department head discusses the matter with the professor. Another attempt is made to reconcile the matter. If the professor is the department head, the student skips Step #1.
    • If no resolution occurs at the department level, the student submits a formal, written appeal to the dean of the area. The department head forwards a recommendation on the matter to the dean upon notification that the student has filed a grievance. Included in the appeal must be at least the following:
      • Cover letter requesting reconsideration of the grade.
      • Straightforward narrative (one to three pages in length) detailing the circumstances surrounding the contested grade with special emphasis given to reasons why the student believes the grade is unwarranted.
      • All graded projects in the classtests, essays, projects, etc. that are in the student’s possession.
      • The student’s personal record of attendance in the class.
    • In writing, the dean apprises the professor of the student’s grievance and gives a summary of the points of concern.
    • The professor submits a written response to the student’s protest, the student’s projects in the professor’s possession, grades on all work done in the course, the student’s attendance record in the class as recorded in the grade book, and a copy of the class syllabus with the contested policy clearly marked.
    • The dean will meet with each party separately and may or may not schedule a joint appointment with the two parties in order to attempt a solution.
    • If no solution can be worked out by the dean, the matter goes to arbitration by a committee appointed by the Committee on Committees for this purpose. The dean submits to the committee all materials involved up to this point and a recommendation for a solution.

    Membership of the Grievance Committee

    The committee includes three professors from different academic areas with one specified to the chair and two senior students with grade point averages of at least 3.00. The chair of the committee will schedule meetings and preside during deliberations. Neither the professor nor the student will have counsel at the meetings.

    Duties of the Grievance Committee

    The grievance committee will review the materials submitted by both the student and the professor before the formal meeting and convene at a time convenient for all involved for the purpose of hearing the two individuals present their cases. The committee will then convene in an executive session to reach a decision in the matter. The chair of the committee will inform in writing the student, the faculty member, and the vice president for academic affairs of the decision of the committee. If a grade is to be changed, the vice president for academic affairs will see that the proper forms are filled out in the Office of the Registrar.

    The ruling of this committee is final.

    Procedures for Handling Student Grievances (other than grades) With Fellow Students, Faculty, or Staff

    A written grievance should be submitted to the Office of Student Development. The dean of students or designated official will discuss the grievance with the parties involved and bring suggested resolutions to the person lodging the grievance.

    Should satisfactory resolution of the issue be impossible at this level, the dean, in conjunction with the vice president for student development, will appoint a committee (which will include a student) to develop a recommendation for a solution.

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