Grade Appeal Procedure

The grade appeal system affords recourse to a student who has evidence or believes that evidence exists to show that an inappropriate grade has been assigned as a result of clerical error, personal bias, or arbitrary grading. Grades (for an entire course, assignment, or unit) given by an instructor after the student is found responsible for an academic honor code violation through the University Honor System may not be appealed.

Keeping in mind that the appeal of a course grade should be attended to as soon as possible, the student must contact the professor involved within the first 2 weeks of the start of fall semester for the appeal of a spring semester or a summer term grade, and within the first 2 weeks of the spring semester for the appeal of a fall semester grade. In the case of a winter term grade the appeal must be made no later than April 1 of the year in which the course was completed. If the faculty member who taught the course is not available, the appeal should be made to the chairperson of the faculty member’s department.

In the case of a grade that would affect a graduating senior or that would result in probation or suspension, the student must contact the professor immediately after the grade is posted, and the procedure will be expedited.

Procedure for appealing a course grade:

To begin an appeal the student must first set up a meeting with the professor to discuss the situation within the timeframe outlined above. As it is the responsibility of the student to demonstrate that the appeal has merit, the student should bring to this meeting any work from the course the student has in his/her possession for the professor to review. At the meeting, the professor will:

  1. Review any work that the student brings to discuss.
  2. Show the student any of the student’s work that remains in the professor’s possession (e.g., papers, final examinations and projects).
  3. Explain how the student’s grade was determined based on the standards set forth at the beginning of the class and listed in the course syllabus.
  4. Re-figure the numerical computation of the grade, if any, to determine if there has been a clerical error.

If the student wishes to continue the appeal following this meeting, he or she must file a written appeal with the professor’s department chairperson by the end of the fourth week of the semester, or by April 15 in the case of the appeal of a winter term grade. If the department chairperson is the professor involved, the written appeal will go to the dean of the college or school. The student will submit to the department chairperson the “Student Grade Appeal Statement” form together with copies of the course syllabus, tests, assignments, and papers in the student’s possession. The department chairperson will notify the professor involved, and the professor will file the “Professor Grade Appeal Statement” form with the department chairperson by the end of the fifth week of the semester, by April 22nd for winter term grade, together with copies of the syllabus, assignments, and any of the student’s work that remain in the professor’s possession. The department chairperson, following consultation with the related dean or deans, will render a decision in writing regarding the grade appeal by the end of the sixth week of the semester, or by April 29 in the appeal of a winter term grade. 

If the student wishes to appeal the Chair’s decision to the final hearing body, he or she must put that request in writing to the dean within 1 week. The dean, or his/her designee, will notify the chairperson of Academic Council to form a grade appeal hearing committee, and forward all documentation to the chairperson of the Academic Council. The committee should meet no later than the end of the eighth week of the semester, or by May 13 for a winter term grade appeal. The grade appeal committee will consist of:

  1. Three members of Academic Council appointed by the chairperson of council.
  2. One faculty member appointed by the dean of the department/division involved.
  3. One Student Government Association representative appointed by the student government executive president. In the case that the involved student is the student government president, the vice-president shall appoint the student representative.

The chairperson of Academic Council will choose the chairperson of the grade appeal hearing committee from the three council members serving on the committee.

Grade Appeal Hearing Procedure

Hearings are restricted to those Elon faculty or staff directly involved in the appeal. The student and the professor may each bring an advisor from the Elon University community (currently enrolled student, faculty, or staff member) to the hearing. The advisor may only counsel the student or the professor and may not actively participate in or make any statement during the hearing. Recognizing that the grade appeal hearing is an in-house procedure, attorneys, other legal counsel, and any other persons outside the university community are not permitted in the hearing.

The hearing committee will review all of the documentation received from the dean and then ask the student, professor, and their advisors, if present, to come into the room. The student and the professor will each be allowed to make a statement, and the committee members may ask questions of the student and the professor. The student, professor, and their advisors will then be asked to leave the room, and the final discussion and vote by the committee shall be in closed session. The decision of the committee is final, and the Chair of Academic Council will send written verification of the committee’s decision to the professor and the student. In the case of a grade change, the dean of the school or college, or his/her designee, will make the change.

Student Grade Appeal Statement

Professor Grade Appeal Statement

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