Academic and Career Advising

Academic Mediation Policy

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  1. The grade in question should first be discussed with the course instructor.
  2. If the student is not satisfied after the discussion, the attached formal complaint form may be submitted to the appropriate department chairperson. This form should be submitted within the first 15 business days in the next Fall or Spring academic semester.
  3. The chairperson will review the complaint with the instructor and make a recommendation for the instructor’s consideration. The student will be informed in writing of the chairperson’s recommendation. Normally the student should receive this notification within 15 business days after submitting the complaint to the chairperson.
  4. If the grade is unchanged, the student may appeal this decision to the Undergraduate/Graduate Programs Committee by submitting the formal complaint form to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate/Graduate Programs in 110 Rike Hall. This should be done within 7 business days after notification has been received from the chairperson.
  5. The committee will conduct a thorough review of all the facts and will interview both the student and the instructor. The student will be notified of the time and place for the interview.
  6. The committee chairperson will inform the student of the committee’s recommendation. Under normal circumstances (in the Fall or Spring academic semester), this will be done within 30 business days of the time the complaint was submitted to the Associate Dean.


  1. The need for faculty, students and administrators to understand the rights and responsibilities with regard to grades and grading requires a clearly defined procedure to enable the above to address their legitimate concerns. Therefore, the Raj Soin College of Business’ policy attempts to serve the following:
    1. To declare the instructor’s responsibility and right to:
      1. set reasonable standards for academic performance,
      2. establish and articulate procedures for evaluating performance,
      3. evaluate performance,
      4. assign grades based on this evaluation for all students assigned and enrolled in his or her class, consistent with departmental and University policy and without regard to non-academic criteria, such as race, color, creed, national origin, religious beliefs, age, sex, or handicap;
    2. To declare the student’s responsibilities to adhere to the policies and standards of the Raj Soin College of Business and its academic departments; and
    3. To declare the student’s right to have clearly defined:
      1. standards for academic performance,
      2. procedures for evaluating performance, and to be
      3. evaluated and have grades assigned fairly, based on the announced standards, the student’s demonstration in meeting those standards, without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, religious beliefs, age, sex, or handicap.
  2. This policy seeks to protect and clarify the student’s and faculty member’s rights and responsibilities.
  3. The Raj Soin College of Business has a responsibility to develop and inform to the faculty and students a clear definition of its policies for evaluation, advancement and graduation of students with adequate regard for principles of fairness and “due process” 3 while retaining the right to make those professional and academic judgments which the faculty and the respective academic units are uniquely, inherently qualified and charged to make. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to articulate to the students in each of his or her classes the academic standards, procedures, evaluation methods and grading scales which will be used in the evaluation and assignment of grades. The faculty and academic units retain the right to make adjustments as may be dictated by unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the faculty such as, but not limited to, weather, power outage or fuel shortage, incapacitation of faculty, or loss of records. The occurrence of clearly communicated adjustments to course requirements and evaluation criteria do not give the student automatic grounds for mediation when the communication has been made on a timely basis.
  4. While it is hoped and expected that channels and opportunity for communication will exist and remain open so that students will always be encouraged and feel free to discuss with their instructors any and all academic aspects of their course and curricular expectations (standards and content), evaluation and grading, this Procedure for Academic Mediation specifically pertains to disputes alleging a significant deviation from or arbitrary application of academic procedure. Students may not avail themselves of this Procedure to mediate a standard or procedure set by an instructor simply because the students perceive it to be “too hard” or “too demanding”.
  5. Academic mediation chart:



A student, after discussion(s) with the course instructor, must submit a formal complaint form to the chairperson of the department offering the course in the Raj Soin College of Business. This form must be submitted within the first fifteen (15) business days in the next Fall or Spring academic semester. The department chairperson, by meeting with the student, will ascertain whether the student has already contacted the faculty member who assigned the grade and has determined that no computational or judgment error has been made. Also, the chairperson will assure that the student has discussed the grade appeal with the faculty member and has given a copy of the formal complaint to the instructor.

The chairperson will then consider the validity of the complaint and seek advice from other department members if deemed necessary. The chairperson will review the complaint with the instructor and make a recommendation for the instructor’s consideration. The student will be informed of the chairperson’s recommendation and of the instructor’s decision. (Normally this should be accomplished by the chairperson within fifteen (15) business days after the complaint has been filed.)

If the grade is unchanged, the student may appeal (in writing) the decision to the appropriate undergraduate or graduate programs committee with seven (7) business days after notification from the department chairperson. The appeal will be handled by the Associate Dean for either undergraduate or graduate programs. The appropriate programs committee will make a thorough review of all the facts and will interview the instructor and the student (at separate meetings). Whenever possible, the Committee should try to mediate the dispute between the parties so that an accord can be reached. If this becomes impossible or impractical the Committee will render written findings concerning the recommendation of a remedy.

The written recommendation, if required, will be made by the Committee within thirty (30) business days after receiving the complaint in the Fall or Spring academic semester. (In situations where unusual circumstances exist the Committee may vote to extend this period for a reasonable length of time.) The Committee chairperson will meet with the instructor to present the Committee’s recommendation. The decision to change the grade or to have the grade remain unchanged will then be made by the instructor. Any change of grade must be initiated by the instructor. The decision of the instructor prevails in all cases.

The Undergraduate (Graduate) Programs Committee Chairperson will communicate the Committee’s recommendation and the instructor’s decision to the student. If either party does not accept the recommendation of the Undergraduate (Graduate) Programs Committee the chairperson of the committee will notify the Registrar to make the following notation on the student’s transcript for the course grade appealed: ‘The grade appearing is the original grade assigned for this course.

This grade was successfully (unsuccessfully) appealed to the College Undergraduate (Graduate) 5 Programs Committee.’

Academic Mediation Procedure and Complaint Form (PDF)


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