Undergraduate Grievance and Grade Appeal Procedure

Students may find themselves in a disagreement with an instructor or faculty member, either about the conduct of the course or their grade. If the student is having trouble resolving the issue, they should first reach out to the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies for a discussion: Professor Gilberto Blasini

Students with concerns about English 100, 101, or 102 should first contact the Associate Chair for Composition: Professor Shevaun Watson

The Department of English follows the policies of the College of Letters and Science, as reproduced below. Briefly, students contact the Associate Chair, who works to create a mediation process that will satisfy both the student and the instructor. This first contact must happen within 30 days of the incident or the end of the course. If this doesn’t work, the case will be sent to the Department’s Grievance Committee for more formal inquiry and action.

Policies

According to the “College of Letters and Science Grievance/Grade Appeal Procedure”

Step 1 of the “undergraduate grievance/grade appeal procedure” is as follows: “Within thirty (30) working days from the date of the action prompting the appeal or grievance, the student may file with the chair of the department or his/her designee a written statement of appeal. The statement should describe relevant facts surrounding the appeal/grievance and identify actions that will resolve the problem to the student’s satisfaction.

In response to this statement, the chair or designee will meet jointly or individually with all parties in an effort to resolve the problem and will prepare a written ‘mediation report’ of the results of his/her mediation efforts. Additionally, the chair or designee will issue a status report on the resolution progress via email to all parties every 15 working days until the written ‘mediation’ report is completed. Concerns about lack of progress or reporting may be referred to the Office of the Associate Dean for humanities, natural sciences, or social sciences, as appropriate.

The mediation report will be given to both the student and the instructor, and both the statement of appeal and the mediation report will be retained in the department’s files. If a proposed resolution is agreeable, the student will be asked to indicate formally that the matter is resolved. If the proposed resolution is not acceptable to either the student or the instructor, or if no resolution has been proposed, then the process continues to Step 2”—i.e. “the student or the instructor may request, within ten (10) working days of receiving a copy of the written mediation report, that the chair or designee send the appeal/grievance to an existing departmental appeals committee.”

As specified in “Step 2” of the “College of Letters and Science Grievance/Grade Appeal Procedure,” a Grievance Committee has the following duties:

  • Gathers and considers all information it deems appropriate.
  • Affords the student and the instructor an opportunity to present their cases.
  • Recommends a course of action in its own report.

Additional Requirements:

The chair of the Grievance Committee “will issue a status report on the committee’s progress via email to all parties every 15 working days until the written committee report is completed. Concerns about lack of progress or reporting may be referred to the Office of the Associate Dean for humanities, natural sciences, or social sciences, as appropriate. The committee report will be given to both the student and the instructor, and a copy will be retained in the department’s files. If a proposed resolution is agreeable, the student and instructor will be asked to indicate formally that the matter is resolved. If the proposed resolution is not acceptable to either the student or the instructor, or if no resolution has been proposed, then the process continues to Step 3. Both the student and the instructor will be informed that the decision arising from Step 3 is final.”

“If the situation is not resolved in the Step 2 process, the student or the instructor may request, within ten (10) working days of receiving a copy of the written report from the departmental committee, that the appeal/grievance be referred to the Office of the Associate Dean for humanities, natural sciences, or social sciences, as appropriate. The Associate Dean will review all documents, independently consider all information s/he deems appropriate, afford the student and the instructor an opportunity to present their cases, and decide on a course of action. The Associate Dean or designee will issue a status report on her/his investigation via email to all parties every 15 working days until s/he reaches a decision. Concerns about lack of progress or reporting may be referred to the

Office of the Dean of the College of Letters and Science. Following evaluation at this level, the decision of the Associate Dean is final.”

“While due consideration will be given to summer or other recess periods, failure by the student or the instructor to meet any of the prescribed deadlines terminates the appeal procedure, and the decision at the previous appeal level stands.”