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Protection Against Improper Academic Evaluation
Students will have protection through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation.
However, students are responsible for maintaining the standards of academic performance established for each
course in which they are enrolled.
Protection Against Improper Disclosure
Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations that professors acquire in the course of their
work as instructors, advisors, and counselors should be confidential. Protection against improper disclosure is a
serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate
circumstances, normally with the knowledge or consent of the student.
Responsibility to do Own Work
Written or other work which a student submits in a course must be a product of his/her own efforts. Cheating,
plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty will not be permitted.
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
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
All graded projects in the class—tests, 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
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.