GRADE APPEALS POLICY
MEMBERSHIP: The Grade Appeals committee will consist of five faculty
members to be elected by the faculty at large. The committee will
elect the chair.
FUNCTION: The committee will hear final course grade appeals not
resolved at the level of the academic unit.
GROUNDS FOR APPEAL: Unless the faculty member has acted in an
arbitrary or capricious manner in the assignment of the final
course grade in question, or unless the instructor's grading policy
is in violation of the guidelines established by the University
or his/her own policies as noted in the syllabus or other written
documents, it is the right of the instructor to determine whether
or not the final course grade should be changed.
PROCEDURES: The committee will meet as necessary, and is called
by the Committee Chair. Appeals for grade changes may not be made
after sixty days from the date the grade was given. The following
procedures will be followed:
1. The student will first attempt to resolve the issue by consulting
with the instructor.
2. If the issue is unresolved after consultation with the instructor,
the student will then consult with the department chair/school
dean to attempt a resolution.
3. If the matter is not resolved after consultation with the instructor
and the chair/dean, then the student may petition the chair/dean,
who will forward the matter to the Grade Appeals Committee. The
petition must include the following items: a completed petition
form signed by the instructor of the course (unless the instructor
is no longer a member of the Francis Marion University faculty),
the student's adviser, and the chair/dean of the academic unit
that offered the course; a letter explaining the basis for the
grade appeal; and if applicable, supporting documents and a list
of any other evidence to be presented. The student's argument
will be limited to statements from the student and the evidence
delineated in the petition.
4. Upon receipt of a completed grade appeal petition, the chair
of the Grade Appeals Committee will promptly inform the faculty
member, the appropriate department chair/school dean, and the
Provost. The committee chair will also make available to the faculty
member a copy of the petition and the supporting documentation.
5. The Grade Appeals Committee will conduct a hearing within 30
calendar days of receipt of the petition (excluding during the
summer or Christmas break). The committee may seek additional
information and advice as it deems necessary. It should be noted
that the hearing is not an effort on the part of the University
to replicate in any way judicial proceedings in the spirit or
sense of a formal court of law. The hearing is designed simply
to provide a University forum for appropriate and fair-minded
discussions and deliberations. In that spirit, neither the University
nor the student may be accompanied by legal counsel.
6. Within 10 workdays after the hearing, the chair of the Grade
Appeals Committee will notify the student, the faculty member,
and the appropriate department chair/school dean of the committee's
findings and recommendations. If the Grade Appeals Committee,
through its inquiries and deliberations, determines that the grade
should be changed, it will request that the instructor make the
change, providing the instructor with a written explanation of
its reasons. Should the instructor decline, he or she will provide
an explanation for refusing.
7. If after considering the instructor's explanation the Grade
Appeals Committee concludes that it would be unjust to allow the
original grade to stand, the Committee may then recommend to the
appropriate department chair/school dean that the grade be changed.
The chair/dean in consultation with the instructor will assign
the appropriate grade. Only the chair/dean, upon the written recommendation
of the Grade Appeals Committee, has the authority to effect a
change in grade over the objection of the instructor who assigned
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