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A.6.b. Disputed Academic Evaluation Procedures

General: Institute policy regarding disputed academic evaluations entitles students to three levels of formal appeal following review by the instructor of record. Disputed academic evaluations must occur within six months, unless the dispute is reported during the summer months. When disputes are reported during the summer months, the six-month timeframe begins at the beginning of the Fall semester. 

Informal Review by Instructor: In the interest of preserving the crucial student-instructor relationship, the first procedure requires an informal mediation phase in which the student and faculty member attempt to resolve the grade dispute by direct communication. 

Dean Level: If the disagreement is not resolved by this dialogue, the faculty member’s dean shall be requested by either the instructor or student to mediate the dispute. The Dean will obtain the relevant information and will communicate with both student and instructor to obtain their views. The Dean shall then report in writing to the student and the faculty member, his/her judgments as to the proper outcome of this mediation. 

APSIC: If the dispute is not resolved at the level of the dean and the student wishes to pursue the appeal, he or she must submit a written request to the Academic Policies, Standards, and Instruction Committee (APSIC) chair. At this point, APSIC may request from the parties involved written documentation pertaining to the matter, including a concise report of the dean’s mediation process, the student assignments in question, and all written evidence of the faculty member’s marking procedures and evaluation criteria (e.g., the course syllabus, assignment requirements, assessment rubrics, benchmark student work, and so forth). 

APSIC shall carefully review the documentation and solicit further information as needed (e.g., testimony from the student, the faculty member, and the dean) before issuing a decision in writing with a copy to all relevant stakeholders. 

APSIC shall respect the faculty member’s responsibility for the determination of his or her own evaluation criteria. APSIC’s chief function, like that of the dean, is to resolve disputed academic evaluations by determining if there occurred a fundamental unfairness to the student. 

In cases where the disputed academic evaluation is not finally resolved by APSIC, it should be referred to the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the Institute for final resolution. The VPAA’s determination of a dispute as to a grade or other academic evaluation is final and binding on all concerned. 

Note: Students and faculty members are further reminded that a course grade reported to the Records Office may be changed only in accordance with the provisions outlined in Section A.5.a.