Classical Studies Department

Grade Grievance Procedures for the Department of Classical Studies
(October 7, 1975)
(Reaffirmed: May, 1992)

The Department of Classical Studies takes the position that the instructor of a course has the prerogative to award to his students the grade which seems to the instructor most fit, as regards both a course and all work undertaken within a course. Therefore, the burden of proof in attacking a grade once given must rest on the student. In all cases of reasonable doubt, the grade once given will be approved. However, the policy of this Department is that grievances heard within the Department shall be considered and dealt with in an equitable manner, so that the rights of aggrieved students and instructors alike may be protected.

A student who questions a grade is encouraged to take the grievance at once to the instructor, and to settle the problem on that level if possible.

Failing such compromise, the Department offers no recourse except in the case of course grades. The student may undertake an appeal against a course grade within the Department. If he determines to do so, he shall at once submit this complaint in written form to the Chairman, who shall, with the advice of the departmental Executive Committee, appoint two faculty members and one departmental coordinator or graduate student (depending on the status of the complainant) on an ad hoc basis to hear the complaint. This panel shall forthwith solicit a written reply from the faculty member involved, and also shall collect any available written evidence. In preparing any further version of this complaint, the student shall have access to all written material assembled by the panel. The student or the faculty member may, if either wishes, appear in person before this panel; the student may compel the faculty member to appear with him. Any hearing shall be scheduled at the convenience of both parties. The proceedings of the panel shall be in strict confidence. This entire appeal procedure shall be completed as quickly as possible, consistent with fairness; and to that end the panel shall have great freedom to deal with the matter put before it as it sees best.

The student shall receive written confirmation, by mail, that his complaint has been received by the Department; similarly, both parties shall receive confirmation by mail of all arrangements for hearings and of the disposition of the case.
The sole ground for disputing a grade within the Department is that it represents inequitable or unprofessional conduct on the part of the instructor.

Following its deliberations, the panel shall by majority vote accept or reject the student's complaint. If the complaint is accepted, the panel has available to it the following procedures: It may persuade the instructor to change the grade or come to some other accommodation acceptable to both parties, or, failing this, recommend to the LS&A Office of Student Academic Affairs that it allow the student to drop the course, expunge the course from his transcript, or receive partial credit. In cases of extreme inequity, it may place a record of its findings in the instructor's file. In all cases, the panel shall forward a summary of its conclusions and recommendations to the departmental Executive Committee, who shall at once forward copies to the LS&A Office of Student Academic Affairs, the student, and the instructor. No further appeal within the department is possible; the student's further recourse, if any, lies only elsewhere in the College.

A separate departmental file shall be kept of all records in conjunction with grade reviews.


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