Academic Policies

Grade Appeal Policy

Filing an Appeal

Limitations of Time

Grade appeal must be initiated in writing within 30 calendar days after the student’s grade was posted. After 30 calendar days a student may only appeal a grade if severe circumstances have prohibited the student from filing on time. Examples of such circumstances include military deployment or catastrophic illness.

Initial Appeals Process

Students who are dissatisfied with the grade received in a course should contact the instructor and attempt to resolve the matter amicably and informally. Should the instructor not be available to the student, the Dean of the school will act as a liaison between the instructor and the student.

If an amicable solution is reached, the instructor should file a “Change of Grade” form. The instructor should declare that to the best of his/her knowledge no other student has been treated inequitably as a result of the decision. The instructor’s decision is subject to approval by the Dean of the school and the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The instructor may appeal a denial by either the Dean or the Executive Vice Chancellor, as outlined in the “Grade Change Policy”.

Extended Appeals Process

If an amicable solution as described in “Initial Appeals Process” cannot be reached, the student may formally appeal the grade.

A student may appeal each given grade only once. The appeal must first be directed to the instructor. If the instructor is not available or if the student is not satisfied with the instructor’s decision, the student may appeal the instructor’s decision to the Dean of the school in which the course was offered. Both the instructor and the student may appeal the decision of the Dean to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Executive Vice Chancellor will forward the appeal to the Admissions and Academic Affairs Committee, whose decision will be final.

Procedure for Extended Grade Appeals

Students may obtain all relevant information regarding their grade, including definite information about what factors contributed to this grade, the respective weight of each of the factors, copies of the student’s work, and the instructor’s evaluations of this student’s work. The student is not entitled to copies of others’ work or the grade book for the entire course. Instructors are expected to preserve all course material until the 30-day deadline after the end of the semester has passed. Once the student has filed an appeal the instructor of the course is obligated to preserve all evidence that may be of importance for the grade appeal.

Format of Appeal

Any grade appeal must be in writing. The letter of appeal must contain the following information:
The student’s name, student ID number and correct mailing address; the course in question, the semester in which the course was taught, the name(s) of the instructor(s); the assigned grade; the date of the appeal.

It is the student’s responsibility to list concise arguments in this letter of appeal about why the instructor would have been obligated to assign a better grade in this letter of appeal. If more than one argument is given, the student must structure the appeal so that this distinction is apparent. Once the appeal has been made, the student may not add or change arguments. The student is therefore encouraged to draft and review the appeal very carefully.

The argument(s) above must be supported by verifiable evidence. The student should list specific sources that can be used to verify each claim made in the arguments. This list may include references to literature, a copy of the course syllabus, or a list of witnesses who are willing to verify the account of an event. The student may also list evidence that the instructor of the course may have, for example, the student’s final exam, or electronic documents over which the instructor has custody (e.g., postings to course discussion forums). It is the student’s responsibility to explain the significance of each item listed. Students are discouraged from providing copies of lengthy documents. Instead, the appeal should summarize the lengthy documents. The student must be furnished the documents if this is requested later.

Standard for Granting a Grade Appeal

At least one of the arguments in the student’s appeal must be valid in the sense that it demonstrated (assuming the veracity of the circumstances cited) that the instructor would be obligated to assign a better grade.

The circumstances cited in the argument above should be independently verifiable.

Process for Grade Appeals

Should the instructor of the course agree that the student’s appeal should be granted, he/she may use a “Change of Grade” form to change the grade. The instructor should briefly explain why the student’s appeal meets the standard above. The instructor’s decision is subject to approval by the Dean of the school, and the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The instructor may appeal a denial by either the Dean or the Executive Vice Chancellor to the Admissions and Academic Affairs Committee, whose decision will be final. Should the instructor disagree with the student’s argument, he/she should explain in writing why each of the student’s arguments fails the standard needed for a grade change.
Appeals to the Dean must be made within 15 calendar days after the student has been notified of the instructor’s decision. In appealing to the Dean, the student may rebut the instructor’s analysis. The student may list new documentation only in support of this rebuttal, but not in support of the original arguments. The Dean will analyze the appeal, the instructor’s response, and the student’s rebuttal, and make a written decision based on the standards cited above. Should the Dean approve the student’s appeal, the instructor must be informed of this decision. If the instructor does not appeal (or declare an intent to appeal) within 15 working days after being notified, the Dean will file a “Change of Grade” form along with a copy of the written decision to the Registrar’s Office.

Appealing to the Executive Vice Chancellor

Appeals to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs must be made within 15 calendar days after the appealing party has received the Dean’s decision. If an appeal to the Executive Vice Chancellor is made, the appealing party must submit a rebuttal to the Dean’s decision. The Admissions and Academic Affairs committee will consider appeals in closed session. In evaluating the veracity of the circumstances cited, the committee may (at its discretion) call the student, the instructor and/or Dean, or other parties.

Persons called by the committee may be accompanied by a person of their choice for emotional support or for advice. Such persons, however, are not permitted to answer questions or otherwise participate in the discussion. The committee may also ask for some of the supporting evidence. The committee will make the final decision in an executive session. The decision must be based on the above standards.

To change the decision of the Dean, at least half of the number of committee members (excluding members who recused themselves) must vote in favor. The committee will notify the student of its decision. If the committee upholds the student’s grade appeal, a “Change of Grade” form with a copy of the committee’s decision will be submitted to the Registrar’s office.

Grade Replacement Policy

The purpose of this policy is to allow students who have done poorly in a course to repeat the course and remove the weight of the earlier grade from the student’s cumulative grade point average. The IU East Faculty Senate sees this policy as an expansion of the University Faculty Council policy (UFC April 10, 1984 and its EFS amendments – “FX” Policy) by extending the replacement option to courses in which students receive any grade rather than just grades of F.

General

A student may retake any undergraduate course and petition for exclusion of the previously earned grade from the cumulative GPA after repeating the course. A student may apply this grade replacement option for a maximum of 15 credit hours. This option may be exercised no more than two times for each course. Each attempt will count toward the 15 credit hour limit. Please note that “F” grades that have been assigned as the result of academic misconduct (i.e. plagiarism) may be “repeated for credit” but may NOT be “replaced” with an “FX” by this or any other grade replacement policy.

Extension of FX Policy

This policy replaces the use of the FX policy (UFC Action April 10, 1984). Previously granted FX grades will be honored under this policy; the number of credit hours for which the FX option has been used will contribute to the count of credit hours for which this policy applies.

Effective Date

Students may replace any previously earned grades with grades earned during or after Spring 2004. The FX policy still applies if a student wishes to replace an F with the grade earned in a course retaken during a semester prior to Spring 2004.

Grades and courses for which this option is available

Grade replacement under this policy is only available for undergraduate courses with fixed credit. Grades in courses with variable topic may not be replaced unless the topics, rigor, expected competencies, and work-assignments in both courses are the same. The determination of equivalency is made by the faculty. Under this policy, any grade may be replaced by the grade in the retaken course. A grade of “W”, “I”, or “NC” cannot be used to replace another grade.

Academic Record

This policy only excludes certain grades from the calculation of the grade point average. All grades will remain part of the student’s academic record; a notation on the transcript will indicate if a grade is not included in the GPA calculation. The provisions apply to undergraduate courses taken by students pursuing an undergraduate degree only. If a degree has been awarded, in no case may a grade be replaced for a course taken prior to the award of that degree. Schools and programs with selective admissions criteria may use a GPA calculation that does not honor the grade replacement under this policy in determining admissibility, academic standards, honors and graduation criteria.

Procedure

Students may petition for grade replacement under this policy at any time after repeating the course. The petition is made on a course-by-course basis. Once a grade replacement has been entered in a student’s academic record, it may not be rescinded.

Grades Earned at other IU campuses

Students who take a course at another IU campus and subsequently repeat that course at IU East may petition for grade replacement under this policy. However, replacement of grades earned at another IU campus is subject to the policies and procedures at that campus. The registrar at IU East shall forward petitions for grade replacement to the appropriate registrar and shall act as a liaison between the schools and faculty who are responsible for evaluating the replacement.

Honoring grade replacement requests from other IU campuses

IU East joins all other IU campuses in honoring the principle that the grade policies on the degree granting campus are applicable for each student. Hence, if an IU East student transfers to another campus with different grade replacement policies, IU East will honor requests from that campus, on behalf of the student, to replace an IU East grade that may not be replaceable under this policy. Were the student to return to IU East for graduation, however, that grade exclusion may not apply. In such a case, the student may petition to the degree-granting division to honor the IU sister-campus’s grade replacement policy.

Grades earned outside the IU system

Grades earned outside the IU system cannot be used to replace grades earned at IU East.

Grade replacement with courses using different course numbers

A student may petition to replace a grade in one course with the grade earned in another course, provided that the two courses are equivalent. The determination of equivalency of the two courses is made by the appropriate Dean of the School and the faculty of the subject area. In order to establish equivalency, the faculty must determine that topics, rigor, expected competencies, and work-assignments in both courses are equivalent. A comparison of course descriptions alone is not adequate to establish equivalency. Students may not petition for grade replacement on the basis of having proved competency by successfully completing a subsequent course, through life experience, or through testing. [Explanation: This provision is meant to be used in cases where a course number has been changed, or where the two different course numbers are used for essentially the same course.]