Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Petitions

The policies and procedures described in the Academics and Requirements portion of the LSA website govern the conduct of academic matters affecting students enrolled in the College. Exceptions to these policies may be granted only upon written petition to the Academic Standards Board. Honors students petition the Honors Academic Board; Residential College students petition the RC Board on Academic Standing (BOAS).

What is the Academic Standards Board?

The LSA Academic Standards Board is the unit of Student Academic Affairs that reviews requests from LSA undergraduate students about waivers or exceptions to the College's academic rules and requirements that may be granted while maintaining the integrity of the undergraduate degree. The academic rules and requirements are found on the LSA website

What is a petition?

A petition is a written request to the Academic Standards Board for an exception to a College rule or regulation. A thorough petition should explain specifically why an exception to a rule should be made.

You write a letter explaining what you are requesting and giving all relevant circumstances about why an exception is justified. In every case, you need to verify that you should not be expected to fulfill the rule as it applies to everyone in the College. For example, you might ask to change an election from grade to pass/fail . The only basis for the petition is that you can document having processed the election as pass/fail and can show where the system subsequently altered the election not at your request. It isn't good enough to say that you meant to take the course pass/fail or to show that your friends and your instructor believed you had elected the course pass/fail.

What should be included in a petition?

The petition should include relevant information, a chronology of events (if appropriate), and documentation that you believe supports the specific request and justifies the granting of an exception.

What is considered documentation?

Medical documentation, proofs of non-attendance, or statements from instructors are all examples of documentation, which may be submitted with a petition.

Where do I submit my petition?

Petitions and all supporting documentation should be sent to the Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center in 1255 Angell Hall. You may also fax them to 734-764-2772.

How is the decision made?

A panel of Board members reads the petition, looks at the advising file and your academic history, and makes a vote in light of all similar petitions already decided. A Board member from that panel then writes you a letter telling you the answer and the reasons for it. Board members try very hard to hear requests and produce answering letters no later than two weeks after the petition is submitted.

You are responsible to know academic rules and requirements of the College. All that information is spelled out on the LSA website. Not very many petitions ever could be granted which are based on "I didn't know." You always can meet with an academic advisor or a Board member about any academic problem or concern you have. You might wind up petitioning, and whether or not a petition could be granted, advisors always can help you to deal with the results of the problem you have.

Can I come in to meet with the whole Board about my petition?

No, but you may meet with an individual member of the Board to discuss a petition and that Board Member will relate the notes from that meeting to your file. You may call the LSA Advising Center to get a Board appointment (734) 764-0332.

Can I appeal a decision of the Academic Standards Board?

In most cases you may appeal a decision of the Academic Standards Board if new information becomes available and provides new insight for the case. The Board does not review appeals of denials of petitions for readmission.

How do I find out the Board's decision?

One of the Board Members from the panel will email the decision to you, usually within 5 business days. You may then contact that Board Member if you have more questions. Also, you may contact the Board via email (academic.standards@umich.edu). If you do not have a decision within 5 business days, please call (734) 764-0332.

Can my parents speak to a Board Member about my petition?

The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents us from discussing your student record, including any petitions you may file, with your parents without written permission from you.

Is there a limit to the number of petitions a student may file?

No, there is no limit to the number of petitions a student may submit, but each request should be written thoughtfully and carefully before submission.