Grade Appeals: Undergraduate

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Authorization and Grounds for Appeal

The responsibility for recommending and establishing guidelines for the undergraduate appeal procedure for the School of Nursing has been delegated by the Dean to the Academic Standards Committee. The Academic Standards Committee and its Chair are appointed by the Baccalaureate Executive Committee, and the appointees reviewed annually. The Chair of Academic Standards will be a member of the Baccalaureate Executive Committee.

Before filing any appeal of a course grade, the student will first address his or her concerns in writing to the faculty member who assigned the grade. Should the faculty member detect arithmetic or clerical error that influenced the grade assignment to the student’s detriment, the faculty member will initiate a change of grade form. For an appeal of a course grade to be considered, it must be based upon one or more of the following grounds and upon allegation that the grounds cited influenced the grade assignment to the student’s detriment: (1) arithmetic or clerical error; (2) possibly including discrimination or harassment, based upon race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression of the student or violations of the University’s policy on sexual orientation; (3) personal malice.

The University’s Policy on Prohibited Harassment and Discrimination (www.unc.edu/campus/policies/harassanddiscrim.pdf) prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of an individual’s race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Appendix B of this Policy provides specific information for students who believe that they have been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of one or more of these protected classifications.

Students who want additional information regarding the University’s process for investigating allegations of discrimination or harassment should contact the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office for assistance:

Equal Opportunity/ADA Office

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

100 E. Franklin Street, Unit 110

Campus Box 9160

Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599

Telephone: (919) 966-3576

Fax: (919) 962-2562

Email: equalopportunity@unc.edu

Any administrator or supervisor, including a department chair, associate dean or other administrator, who receives a student’s complaint about prohibited harassment or discrimination must notify the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office within five (5) calendar days of receiving the complaint. If a student raises a claim of prohibited harassment or discrimination during an academic appeal, an investigation of the student’s claim must be performed under the direction of the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office. The school or department must await the results of the harassment or discrimination investigation before deciding the student’s academic appeal.

The student may appeal the grade in accordance with the procedure outlined below. Such a request for appeal must be made no later than the end of the second week of the next regularly scheduled enrollment period.

Grade appeal processes takes precedence over Progression Review. In the event that a course grade is appealed by a student being reviewed by the Progression Review Board, the Chair of the Academic Standards Committee will recruit faculty to sit on the student’s Grade Appeal Board. The chair of Academic Standards Committee, or designate, will serve as chair of the Grade Appeal Board. No Academic Standards Committee member will serve on both a Progression Review Board and Grade Appeal Board for the same student. Any Academic Standards Committee member with a conflict of interest in the situation will be excused from serving on either the Grade Appeal Board or Progression Review Board. The Chair of Academic Standards Committee will designate a substitute.

Appeal Board

Purpose. The Appeal Board’s function is to provide the mechanism by which the student may make an appeal based upon the grounds listed above.

Composition.

  • The Appeal Board will consist of a Chair and three faculty members from or appointed by the Academic Standards Committee. The Chair of the Academic Standards Committee will appoint the Appeal Board Chair.
  • For summer sessions, a Board Chair and three persons will be appointed by the Chair of the Academic Standards Committee.
  • Four Board members must be present to hear an appeal.
  • Any faculty members who feel they are biased in a specific appeal will be excused from serving for that appeal.
  • The Chair of Academic Standards Committee will designate a replacement for a faculty member who is unable to serve on a specific board.

Appeal Procedure.

  • The student must write a request for an appeal hearing and a written statement showing the grounds for appeal. The request and statement will be submitted to the Chair of Academic Standards Committee no later than the end of the second week of the next regularly scheduled enrollment period.
  • Upon receiving a timely request for an appeal based on the grounds listed above, the Chair will transmit a copy to the faculty member involved and convene the Appeal Board, designating the time and place for the hearing. The hearing is to be held within six weeks of receipt of a formal written request. The Chair of Academic Standards will notify all parties involved.
  • The student is responsible for preparing a written statement supporting the grounds for the appeal and setting forth the facts and circumstances upon which the student relies in support of the appeal. Two weeks prior to the date of the hearing, this statement must be delivered to the Chair of Academic Standards and the faculty member who assigned the grade. If the faculty member chooses to respond, the response must be written and delivered to the Chair of Academic Standards and the student one week prior to the hearing.
  • The Appeal Board hearing is a closed hearing attended by Appeal Board members, the student appealing the grade, the faculty member assigning the grade, and a support person for the student and support person for the faculty member, if desired. Support persons, including legal counsel, cannot participate in the hearing process.
  • The hearing is solely on the question of whether there is arithmetic or clerical error, arbitrariness or personal malice, as alleged in the student’s written statement of appeal and whether the ground or grounds for appeal cited influenced the grade assigned to the student’s detriment. The burden is on the student to satisfy the Board by clear, cogent and convincing evidence that his or her contentions are true.
  • At the beginning of the Appeal hearing, the Chair will outline the procedures to be followed in the hearing. The Board may consider only such evidence as is presented at the hearing and need consider only that offered which it considers fair and reliable. Witnesses may be questioned by the Board, the student and the faculty member. Except as herein provided, the conduct of the hearing is under the control of the Chair.
  • During the hearing there will be an opportunity for informal discussion among all parties. Issues discussed must be pertinent to the Appeal.
  • Following the hearing, all persons except the members will leave. The Board will deliberate until a simple majority (2-1) decision is reached. The Chair will not vote.
  • The Chair will notify the student, the faculty member and the Director of Undergraduate Programs in writing of the Board’s decision. If the Appeal Board meets in the summer, the Board Chair also will notify the chair of the Academic Standards Committee. The decision of the Appeal Board is final within the School of Nursing.
  • If the decision so indicates, the Chair will contact the School of Nursing registrar and initiate a change in the grade.