Department of Economics Grade Grievance Procedures

Updated and Approved May 2011

The University of Michigan vests ultimate grading authority in the teacher.  (In this context, “the teacher” is the person, or group of persons, with ultimate pedagogical responsibility for the course as a whole.)  Accordingly, students should endeavor to resolve any concerns directly and informally with their teachers.  Students unable to resolve their concerns in that manner may invoke the following Grade Grievance Procedure.

1. Within the time limits set forth at the end of this document, the student shall submit a written grievance to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS).  This document shall contain specific complaints, supporting evidence, and a description of the student’s attempts to resolve the issue directly with the teacher.

2. The DUS shall convene the Undergraduate Program Committee (UPC) for a hearing.  Normally, the hearing shall occur no later than one week after the DUS receives the grievance.  At least one day before the hearing, the DUS shall distribute to each member of the UPC, and to the teacher, a copy of the written grievance.  Both student and teacher shall be invited to participate in the entire hearing.  The parties shall be invited to make opening and/or closing statements.  The UPC may question the parties.  The DUS may invite one or more of the course’s Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) to speak.

3. After deliberating privately, the UPC shall issue a recommendation to the teacher.  The student shall receive a copy of this recommendation.  The UPC shall send this recommendation to the teacher and to the student no later than one day after the hearing.

4. If any party to the grievance is a member of the UPC, that party shall not participate in the deliberation and decision-making described in paragraph 3.

5. The teacher shall decide whether or not to modify the grade.  The teacher shall communicate this decision in writing to the student and to the DUS.  The teacher shall send these communications no later than three days after the teacher receives the UPC’s recommendation.  If the student does not appeal, the Department’s procedure ends here.

6. The student may appeal to the Chair of Economics (the Chair).  Only the process of the decision-making to this point in the Grade Grievance Procedure, by the UPC and/or by the teacher, may be appealed.  The appeal must be filed in writing, with a copy to the DUS, no later than one week after the communication mentioned in the previous paragraph is sent to the student.  The appeal shall include the original grievance and specific claims regarding violation of the process specified in this Grade Grievance Procedure.

7. If the student does appeal to the Chair, the Chair shall issue a recommendation to the teacher.  The student and the DUS shall receive copies of this recommendation.  Normally, the Chair shall send the recommendation and the copies no later than three days after the Chair receives the student’s appeal.

8. The teacher shall decide whether or not to modify the grade.  The teacher shall notify the student, the Chair, and the DUS in writing of this decision.  The teacher shall send these notifications no later than three days after the teacher receives the Chair’s recommendation.  If the student appealed to the Chair, the Department’s procedure ends here.

9. According to the Handbook for Faculty and Instructional Staff (LSA, Office of Student Academic Affairs, September 2010, p. 23), the decision resulting from this Grade Grievance Procedure is final.

TIME LIMITS FOR FILING GRADE GRIEVANCES IN ECONOMICS UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

Term              Last day to file

Fall                 January 31 of the subsequent term or two weeks after the Registrar posts the student’s grade, whichever occurs later.

Winter            May 31 of the subsequent term or two weeks after the Registrar posts the student’s grade, whichever occurs later.

Spring            July 31 of the subsequent term or two weeks after the Registrar posts the student’s grade, whichever occurs later.

Summer         September 30 of the subsequent term or two weeks after Registrar posts the student’s grade, whichever occurs later.