FACULTY HANDBOOK

Grade Appeals

Academic grading reflects careful and deliberate judgment of a faculty member instructing a course. Academic evaluation of student performance requires expert consideration of cumulative information. Such decision-making by its nature is judgmental and evaluative. The evaluation process is not and should not be likened to the adversarial process involved in disciplinary matters, for academic grade determination is not adaptable to the methods of judicial or administrative decision making. The educational process, moreover, is not by nature adversarial, but rather centers upon a continuing relationship between faculty and student. Administrative interposition, except in the most extreme instances, is to be avoided.

The University recognizes that in rare instances there may be errors or "palpable injustice(s)" in the determination of a final grade. A student alleging such error or palpable injustice, i.e., a clear showing of arbitrary or capricious action, may appeal as provided below:

1. A student who believes a grade involved an error or a palpable injustice shall first confer with the instructor who awarded the grade no later than the end of the fourth week of the following regular semester.

2. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, the student may present the case next to the appropriate department chairperson, who may effect a settlement upon written agreement of the instructor.

3. Further appeal by the student shall be in writing to the dean of the school concerned. A grade change shall be made only with the written consent of the instructor and the department chairperson.

4. If the instructor is deceased or cannot be contacted by the student and department chairperson by the end of the fourth week of the following regular semester, the student may confer with the chairperson. Upon evidence of error, the chairperson may make the appropriate grade change after consultation with and approval of the dean of the school. The instructor shall be notified of the change if notice subsequently can be delivered. If the chairperson finds evidence of a palpable injustice, then the case shall be referred to the Grade Appeals Committee for action as described in Step six below.

5. When an appeal for grade change is made at the end of a student's final semester and if the instructor is deceased or cannot be contacted by the student and department chairperson, the student may appeal to the department chairperson. If the instructor cannot be contacted before the grade deadline for graduation, and where there is evidence of error, the chairperson may make the appropriate grade change after consultation with and approval by the dean of the school. The instructor shall be notified of the change if notice subsequently can be delivered. If the chairperson finds evidence of a palpable injustice, then the case shall be referred to the Grade Appeals Committee for action as described in Step six below.

6. Any appeal after the completion of the steps above shall be made to the Grade Appeals Committee (which functions under the aegis of the Academic Standards Committee), in written form and with a statement of justification. Following an investigation, the Grade Appeals Committee may deny the appeal, in which case the matter shall be closed.

If the Grade Appeals Committee makes a finding that the grading involved a palpable injustice, then the case shall be remanded to the instructor and the dean of the instructor's school for reconsideration. The instructor may make the appropriate change in the grade with the written agreement of the dean. If the instructor disagrees or if the instructor's whereabouts are unknown, then the Grade Appeals Committee may recommend a change to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President may make the appropriate grade changes or issue a "W" (withdrawal) with the written agreement of the dean. The instructor and the department chairperson shall be notified in writing of such change.

7. In no case shall a grade be lowered as a result of the appeal to the Grade Appeals Committee.

If the deadline (Step 1) for initiating an appeal for a grade change has passed because of a student's physical and/or mental incapacity, the student may petition to the Vice President for Student Affairs or Director of Continuing Education, whichever is appropriate, to have the deadline waived. Following investigation, that administrator may recommend to the appropriate academic dean that the deadline be waived. Upon written agreement of the academic dean, the student may appeal to the instructor and follow the procedure given above.

No grade changes involving error or palpable injustice shall be made at Central Connecticut State University except those made following the procedures stated above.