|Sam Houston State University|
|Academic Policy Statement 900823|
|Academic Grievance Procedures for Students|
|Revised April 7, 1999|
1.01 To provide for the resolution of student academic grievances in a prompt and equitable manner.
2.01 Under the provisions of this policy academic grievances include disputes over:
a. Course grades
b. Unauthorized class absences or tardiness
c. Suspension for academic deficiency
d. An instructor’s alleged unprofessional conduct related to academic matters
e. Graduate comprehensive and oral examinations
f. Theses and dissertations
2.02 If, in turn, the department chair, College Academic Review Panel, academic dean or Vice President for Academic Affairs finds that a disputed action conflicts with federal or state law, university, college, or department policy, or with an instructor’s stated class policy, a decision should be rendered in favor of the aggrieved student.
2.03 If the dispute is determined to be based upon professional judgment, the aggrieved student is entitled to have, as appropriate and, in turn, the department chair, College Academic Review Panel, Academic Dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs form an opinion about the dispute and so advise the individuals involved. After considering the advice provided by any or all of the administrators participating in hearing the grievance, the individual(s) involved in the dispute shall retain the academic freedom to decline to change the original judgment in the matter.
2.04 Allegations of student misconduct, as defined in paragraph 5.2, Chapter VI of the Rules and Regulations, Board of Regents, Texas State University System and Sam Houston State University student Guidelines published by the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Student Life will be referred to the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Student Life for necessary action.
2.05 Allegations, questions or appeals involving academic dishonesty, i.e., cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and/or abuse of resource materials will be processed in accordance with the procedures set forth in Academic Policy Statement 810213, "Procedures in Cases of Academic Dishonesty."
3. COLLEGE ACADEMIC REVIEW PANEL
3.01 There shall be in each college a Standing College Academic Review Panel. The members of the panel shall be chosen by procedures established by the college dean. The panel will consist of not more than four faculty members and will include at least one student member. The chair of the panel will be selected from the panel members by the appointees to the panel. A department chair or any party to the appeal being heard may not serve on the panel.
3.02 The Academic Review Panel will be involved in an alleged grievance only after the normal procedures outlined in paragraph 4.01a, and b below have been exhausted.
3.03 The Academic Review Panel will hear only appeals involving disputes over those matters set forth in paragraph 2.01 "a" through "f" of this policy. Appeals regarding university/college degree requirements, student misconduct or academic dishonesty will not be addressed by the panel.
4.01 The following steps are to be followed in pursuing an academic grievance or an appeal of suspension for academic deficiency:
a. In the event of an academic grievance, the student must first appeal to his or her instructor or committee chair for a resolution of the matter and must do so in writing and within sixty days following the end of the semester or summer session during which the dispute arises. (If the grievance involves a suspension for academic deficiency, the student appeals directly to the appropriate academic dean.)
b. If an academic grievance is not satisfactorily resolved with the instructor or committee chair, the student may appeal to the chair of the academic department in which the complaint or dispute is centered. A written summary of the pertinent issues of the grievance must form part of the appeal. In addition, a student may include other faculty or staff members or any other informed individual who might act as advocates in support of his or her appeal.
c. If the academic grievance is still unresolved, after an appeal to the chair of the department, the student may forward the written appeal (plus any other additional material) to the appropriate college dean with a request to have the case heard by the College Academic Review Panel. Within 15 days of receiving the appeal the Panel will investigate the alleged grievance and present such findings and recommendations as the Panel finds appropriate as soon as possible to the grieving student and to other relevant parties, including the departmental chair and the faculty member(s) against whom the grievance is directed. During the panel hearing(s) all parties involved in the original grievance will be required to appear in person before the Panel in order to answer questions. At this/these hearing(s) the grieving student may request either oral or written statements from relevantly informed advocates. (The inclusion of these in-person at the hearing(s) will be at the discretion of the Panel.) Under no circumstances will advocates be permitted to directly question or cross-examine any person who is involved in the grievance. Legal counsel, if included by the grieving student, may act only in an advisory capacity and may not be a directly active participant in the proceedings.
d. If a resolution of an academic grievance by the Review Panel is not accepted, on the written request of the student the grievance will be forwarded to the relevant dean for review and adjudication. The dean will receive all documents pertaining to the dispute from the academic Review Panel and the dean will inform the student, the instructor and/or committee chair, and the administrators participating in the appeals process of the decision and the disposition of the matter within two weeks of receipt of the appeal.
e. If the matter remains still unresolved, a final appeal may be made to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will receive all documents pertaining to the dispute from the academic dean. The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will inform the student, the instructor and/or committee chair, and the administrators participating in the appeals process of the decision and the final disposition of the matter within two weeks of receipt of the appeal.
APPROVED: Bobby K. Marks, President