Graduate Grade Appeal Procedure

  1. A student with questions or complaints about an assigned grade shall first discuss the matter with the course instructor within 30 days of receipt of the grade. In the event of the serious illness or absence from Western New York (or other instructional site vicinity) of either the student or the faculty member, an extension may be granted by the appropriate divisional dean.The instructor is expected to provide an appropriate explanation of the student’s grade and, if the student’s appeal is meritorious, to be willing to change the grade.
  2. If the student’s concerns remain unresolved following discussion with the instructor, the student may appeal in writing to the chair of the department in which the grade was given. This written appeal must be made within 45 days of the posting of the original final grade. All supporting documentation must be submitted at this time, with the written appeal. The department chair shall review the student’s appeal and consult with the course instructor. The department chair may support the instructor’s evaluation or may recommend to the instructor that the grade be changed. (If the department chair is the course instructor whose grade is under appeal, the divisional dean shall handle the appeal at this stage.)
  3. Should the complaint still remain unresolved, an ad hoc grade appeal committee shall be constituted, comprising:
    1. All full-time faculty within the department, including the department chair and, if applicable, members of the Departmental Personnel Advisory Committee. (Per Faculty Handbook section V, C. A department with fewer than 3 full time, tenured faculty shall have a DPAC consisting of all full time members of the department and up to 3 total tenured faculty members from other departments. For departments with fewer than 3 full time, tenured faculty members, the DPAC serves the function of the department faculty.)
    2. The dean of the division in which the department is housed, unless the grade under appeal has been given by said dean (or the dean is a member of the departmental faculty as described above), in which event, the dean of the other division shall serve.
    3. Two faculty members from the Graduate Committee on Academic Standards - one to be chosen by the student and one by the course instructor.
    4. If the grade under appeal is given by an adjunct instructor, then he or she will be invited to join the committee.

Formal minutes will be taken of the meeting. The first committee meeting will be called by the department chair. If the grade under appeal has been given by the department chair, the first meeting will be called by the division dean. The committee shall meet within two weeks of receiving the written appeal.

It will be the responsibility of the student to demonstrate that the grade should be changed.

This committee shall examine all pertinent documentation, may interview the student and the course instructor, or consult with any other parties it may deem appropriate. The divisional dean shall act in a non-voting, advisory capacity with regard to observance of all pertinent College policies and procedures. The ad hoc grade appeal committee shall render its written decision to the student and faculty member within 7 days. The committee may recommend that the instructor change the grade; if the instructor refuses, s/he shall provide a written explanation to the committee. Should the committee find the explanation unpersuasive, it will recommend to the department chair that the grade be changed. If, following consultation with the instructor, the instructor still refuses to change the grade, the department chair shall have authority to change the grade notwithstanding the objection of the instructor. (If the instructor is the department chair, the divisional dean shall handle the chair's duties here described.)

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