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Graduate Guide --> III. Procedures --> Academic Appeals Procedures


Appeals of academic decisions made at the departmental level will include but are not limited to decisions on grades and other academic aspects of a course or academic program involving evaluation of a student. Academic decisions are not themselves disciplinary and are not to be confused with decisions on academic dishonesty or other kinds of misbehavior that may affect courses or programs. Appellate procedures of academic decisions should make clear that they do not apply to other types of procedures.

Appeals must be initiated no later than the end of the next regular academic term (either fall or spring semester) following the academic decision being appealed. Before making an appeal, the student should discuss the situation with the faculty member(s) involved in the decision.

In appeals of academic decisions, the burden of proof lies with the student. The student must demonstrate that the decision was one of the following:

  1. A decision based on some basis other than performance.
  2. A decision based on unreasonable standards different from those which were applied to other students.
  3. A decision by a substantial, unreasonable, and unannounced departure from previously articulated standards.

Only parties directly involved in the dispute or called to provide information may be present during the hearings.

If discussion with the faculty member(s) fails to resolve the situation, the student will have access to the steps that follow:

  1. The student may submit a statement in writing to the Department Head setting out the basis for the appeal with appropriate documentation. The Department Head will respond in writing to all parties within a reasonable time as stipulated in the department code. If the Department Head's response is unacceptable to the faculty member(s) or the student, either party may then appeal (in writing) to a Departmental Appeals Committee, setting out the basis for the appeal.
  2. The Department Appeals Committee shall consist of two academic faculty members and two graduate students from the Department of Atmospheric Science: (a) the Graduate Student Counselor, (b) one other faculty member appointed by the Department Head, (c) one M.S. student representative appointed by the Department Head, and (d) one Ph.D. student representative appointed by the Department Head. In the event that any of the members of the committee are parties to the appeal, the Department Head would appoint an appropriate alternate.
  3. Any appeal of the committee's findings will be made in writing to the Dean of that department's college wherein the student or faculty member(s) will stipulate the basis for the appeal. The academic dean should hear the case within a reasonable time, and the Dean's decision is to be communicated in writing to all parties.
  4. Any appeal of the Dean's findings will be made in writing to the Provost/Academic Vice President setting out the basis for the appeal. The Provost/Academic Vice President should make a determination within a reasonable time. The decision of the Provost/Academic Vice President will be final.
  5. In the event that parties to the appeal are absent from campus, additional time may be given for the appeal.

Remedies, if any, for the appeal will be stipulated in writing by the deciding party at each step. Such remedies may include but are not limited to:

  1. Change of grade.
  2. Directing the instructor(s) to administer a new examination or term paper.

Brief records of the hearing and decisions at each level will be kept. These records will be forwarded to the next step in the appeal process if the appeal continues. Hearings and findings are confidential.

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