Grade Appeals Process
The purpose of the St. Norbert College policy on the appeal of grades is twofold:
to protect the student from prejudiced and capricious academic evaluation, and
to protect the professional rights and academic freedom of the Faculty member in assigning grades.
B. Procedures for Appealing Grades
- A student who feels he or she has received an inaccurate or unfair grade must first
consult the instructor. This consultation must take place and the appeal process
begun, no later than six weeks after the beginning of the semester following the
assignment of the disputed grade.
- The instructor should explain to the student the process of arriving at the grade.
- If the issue remains unresolved, both the student and the instructor are required to
put their explanations in writing.
- The written statements and any supporting documents are forwarded to the
appropriate Associate Dean who will convene the Divisional Advisory Council* to
consider the appeal. The Council will investigate the dispute and make a decision.
The Advisory Council is free to consult faculty and students from the discipline
concerned, and the individual disputants, in arriving at its decision. If the Faculty
member whose grade is being challenged is not a member of a division, the appeal is
sent to the Dean of the College. The Dean will convene the three divisional
Associate Deans who will act in lieu of an advisory council. If the appeal involves an
instructor in physical education, the Athletic Director will also be a member of the
- A copy of the Advisory Council's decision will be sent to the Faculty member, the
student, and the Registrar.
- If either party wishes to challenge the decision of the Advisory Council, an appeal
must be made directly to the Dean of the College as soon as possible after receipt of
decision. Action by the Dean on an appeal is final.
While a procedure for grade appeals is necessary, it is anticipated that most
disagreements will be resolved at the first stage in the process--the conference between
the Faculty member and the student. The burden of proof rests on the terms "prejudiced
and capricious." While the policy is intended to uphold the Faculty member's use of
professional judgment, it also acknowledges the student's right to know the basis upon
which he or she was evaluated and to challenge a perceived injustice through an orderly set of procedures. It is, therefore, the Faculty member's responsibility to preserve records of grades, as well as students' papers
and examinations that were not handed back, at least until the end of the sixth week of the following semester.
* Due to the professional nature of these deliberations, any student representatives to Divisional Advisory Councils do not attend in grade appeals.