Grade Appeal / Academic Grievance
As stated in Boise State Policy #3130 – Grade Appeal, a grade appeal is a complaint regarding a final course grade. It is the student’s responsibility to demonstrate the final course grade is improper based on one of the criteria listed under “grade appeal” in the policy. The authority of all those involved in the appeals process is very specific and limited to the conditions listed below. It is outside the purview of such persons to tell a faculty member they have graded an exam or assignment too harshly; or that their standards are too high; or that particular assignments are unreasonable. These are issues of professional judgment and if consistent with University policies fall within the prerogative of the faculty member.
Grade appeals will be considered only when it is clearly established by the student, in a concise written manner, that one of the following has occurred:
- The course grade assigned was based on factors other than the student’s academic performance in the course and/or completion of course requirements.
- The course grade assigned was based on standards different from those that were applied to other students in the same course section.
- The course grade assigned was based on a substantial, unreasonable, and unannounced departure from the instructor’s previously communicated standards (evidence to include copy of course syllabus).
- There was a clerical or administrative error in the calculation and/or assignment of the course grade.
All parties are encouraged to work towards a resolution that ensures high academic standards and performance, fairness, and academic freedom. Before beginning the grade appeal process, students are encouraged to consult the Grade Appeal Form, which should be used to document the process at each step outlined below.
The spirit behind BSU Policy #3140 – Academic Grievance is for a student to have recourse for situations when they feel they have been treated unfairly. The goal is to address “unfair treatment” that does not fall into other categories, e.g. discrimination based on a protected class. This grievance policy does not pertain to discrimination grievances or sexual harassment grievances, academic grievances related to grades, or matters of academic freedom, which are all covered by other University policies.
Grievance procedures apply only in those cases involving a perceived academic impropriety arising from a decision taken and/or demonstrated behaviors by a faculty member. They do not pertain to complaints expressing dissatisfaction with a University policy of general application challenged on the grounds that the policy is unfair or inadvisable, nor do they pertain to individual college, school, department, or program policies, as long as those policies are not inconsistent with general University policy.
The complaint may be the result of an alleged action or omission by the faculty that meets all of the following conditions:
- It must concern an academic decision, action, omission, or judgment, affecting the grievant personally, for which no existing university complaint procedure is available;
- It must not involve a grade;
- It must be a matter for which the Grievance Board can identify a remedy.
In cases where an academic grievance is coupled with a grade appeal, in the interest of time and simplicity, the academic grievance will be presented and heard alongside the grade appeal and will follow the policies and procedures outlined for an academic grievance.
For questions regarding an academic grievance or grade appeal, contact Office of the Provost at firstname.lastname@example.org.