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Grade Grievance Appeal Policy

The grade grievance appeal policy must be followed by any student seeking to appeal a final course grade issued within the Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Student grade grievance appeals must be processed, by commencement, in the regular semester immediately following the issuance of the grade in dispute (fall or spring commencements only), regardless of whether the student is enrolled at the university.  This process does not address academic integrity allegations, faculty misconduct or discrimination.

The Fulton Schools of Engineering grade appeal procedures are based on the universities policy that can be found here.  Students must begin with and complete the informal process prior to any decision on whether a formal hearing is warranted.

Informal process

Step 1: The aggrieved student must first undergo the informal procedure of conferring with the instructor, stating any evidence and reasons for questioning that the grade received was not given in good faith. The instructor is obliged to review the matter, explain the grading procedure used and show how the grade in question was determined. If the instructor is a graduate assistant and this interview does not resolve the difficulty, the student may then take the problem to the faculty member in charge of the course (regular faculty member or director of the course sequence).

Step 2: If the grading dispute is not resolved in step 1, the student may appeal to the program chair or other appropriate chair of the area within the program (if any). The program chair may confer with the instructor to handle the problem.

Step 3: If the matter is not resolved after completing Steps 1 and 2, the student may then request a meeting with a representative in The Fulton Schools of Engineering Office of Academic and Student Affairs. In order to request a meeting, the student must complete this form.  After receipt of the submitted form, the student will be contacted to schedule a meeting.  Questions about this process can be directed to:  Karen.Lund-Dennison@asu.edu

After meeting with the student the Dean representative will send a decision e-mail outlining their assessment of the grievance.  If still unresolved after meeting with a representative in Fulton Schools of Engineering Office of Academic and Student Affairs, the student may proceed to the formal process to determine if they may pursue a formal appeal. (see “Formal Process” tab below).

It is university policy that students filing grievances and those who are witnesses are protected from retaliation. Students who believe that they are victims of retaliation should immediately contact the Fulton Schools of Engineering Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

University business day is defined as: not including Saturday, Sunday, any officially recognized university employee holiday, or any day the University is closed.

Formal process

Step 1: After completion of informal step 3 and no later than 10 business days after receipt of the Dean representative’s decision e-mail, the student must provide the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, a written statement requesting a formal appeal. The request must contain the information outlined in this guidance document.

Typically, appeals are only considered for final course grades when one or more of the following criteria is met.  Appeals requested for areas outside these parameters may not be heard.

  • Error in calculating the final grade for the course.
  • The criteria for determining the final grade was changed from what was specified in the syllabus.
  • The evaluation system was not consistently and fairly applied to all students.

Step 2: Upon receipt of an appeal that provides and adheres to the items indicated in step 1, the Dean’s designee appoints an ad hoc subcommittee to serve as the Hearing Board. This subcommittee will consist of three faculty members, typically from the FSE Academic Standards Committee, Academic Integrity Committee or any other full-time FSE faculty member. If possible, representatives of the academic unit of the student, the instructor and the academic unit that supervises the course will be excluded as members of this committee. The Dean or Dean’s designee also appoints one of the three hearing board members to serve as the Chair of the Hearing Board.

Step 3: Once a board is selected, the Office of Academic and Student Affairs is responsible for scheduling the hearing. Once a hearing date is selected all participants will receive a hearing packet containing evidence provided by both the student and the instructor at least five business days in advance of the hearing date.

Hearing Guidelines:

  • The student shall have the burden of proving with clear and convincing evidence that there was an error in the final grade as per the criteria listed in step 1.
  • Issues shall be resolved fairly and as promptly as possible under the circumstances.
  • The hearing will be closed to the public. The student and the instructor may remain in the hearing throughout the presentation of all evidence and testimony, although the Hearing Board Chair may excuse either party, any advisor, or any witness if that person’s conduct is disruptive.
  • The student and the instructor may each have an advisor present, but the advisors shall not be permitted to address the School Board directly, except as the Hearing Board Chair deems necessary.
  • The Hearing Board Chair has the final authority to resolve procedural disputes that arise. Although formal rules of evidence do not apply to the hearing process, the Hearing Board Chair may limit the presentation of irrelevant or cumulative evidence, the number of witnesses and the length of the hearing.
  • The proceedings shall be recorded by audio tape, video tape, court reporter or stenographer, as determined by the Dean’s designee organizing the hearing.

Step 4: Executing the Hearing The hearing procedure will be as follows, unless the Hearing Board Chair provides written notice to the parties prior to the hearing of alternative or supplemental procedures.

  • The Hearing Board Chair shall introduce the persons present at the hearing and remind all participants of the requirement that all information received in the hearing must be maintained in confidence.
  • The request for a grade grievance hearing shall be read aloud by the Hearing Board
  • The Hearing Board Chair shall make any necessary decisions or clarifications regarding procedures.
  • The student shall offer evidence in support of the grade appeal. The student may call witnesses and present evidence.
  • Witnesses shall be called by Hearing Board Chair to present their testimony.
  • Witnesses will be excused from the hearing once their testimony is completed.
  • Hearing Board members may ask questions of the student or the student’s witnesses.
  • The instructor shall offer evidence in defense of the grade appeal. The instructor may call witnesses and present evidence.
  • Hearing Board members may ask questions of the instructor, or any of the instructor’s witnesses.
  • The Hearing Board shall deliberate in private until a recommendation is reached by a majority of appeal board members.
  • The recommendation shall be in writing and shall include a determination as to whether the grade appeal was proven by clear and convincing evidence, together with findings with respect to the material facts. The recommendation shall indicate the recommended grade and any other relevant information the committee wishes to transmit to the Dean.
  • The recommendation shall be submitted to the Dean or Dean’s designee, who will review the hearing proceedings. The Dean or Dean’s designee may require that the grade grievance be dismissed or may request further proceedings.

Step 5: Final action will be taken by the Dean or Dean’s designee. The Dean or Dean’s designee will review the case and committee recommendation and make any grade changes deemed appropriate. The Dean or Dean’s designee shall inform the student, instructor, department chair, the Registrar and the Hearing Board of any action taken. The Dean’s decision is final.

It is university policy that students filing grievances and those who are witnesses are protected from retaliation. Students who believe that they are victims of retaliation should immediately contact the Fulton Schools of Engineering Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

University business day is defined as: not including Saturday, Sunday, any officially recognized university employee holiday, or any day the University is closed.