Academic Grievance Procedures For Students

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  1. PURPOSE

    The purpose of this academic policy statement is to provide for the resolution of student academic grievances in a prompt and equitable manner.

  2. General
    1. Under the provisions of this policy, academic grievances include disputes over:
      1. Course and/or project grades
      2. Unauthorized class absences or tardiness
      3. An instructor’s alleged unprofessional conduct related to academic matters
      4. Withdrawal or suspension of privileges related to degree-required clinical rotation, internships, or other clinial service delivery in professional degree programs
    2. Allegations of student misconduct, as defined in paragraph 5.2, Chapter VI of the Rules and Regulations, Board of Regents, The Texas State University System, and Sam Houston State University Student Guidelines, published by the Dean of Students’ Office will be referred to the Dean of Students’ Office for necessary action.
    3. 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.”
    4. Appeals regarding suspension for academic deficiency is addressed under Academic Policy Statement 910312 “Academic Probation, Suspension, and Termination”.
    5. 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 or school chair, College Academic Review Panel, academic dean (or his or her designee), and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs form an opinion about the dispute and so advise the individual(s) 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.
    6. If, in turn, the department/school chair, College Academic Review Panel, academic dean, or Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs finds that a disputed action conflicts with federal or State law, University, college, or departmental policy, or with an instructor’s stated class policy, a decision should be rendered in favor of the aggrieved student.
    7. Deegree programs in fields requiring governmental licensing to practice the profession may propose internal academic grievance procedures for matters including, but not limited to those listed in 2.01d above. Once approved and signed by the Provost, the program grievance procedures shall govern 2.01d matters in that department and be the final authority over academic grievances in that program. Professional degree programs include, but are not limited to Clinical Psychology, Music Therapy, and Nursing.
  3. COLLEGE ACADEMIC REVIEW PANEL
    1. 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 three faculty members and two student members. The chair of the panel will be selected from the panel members by the appointees to the panel. A department/school chair or any party to the appeal being heard may not serve on the panel. At least two faculty members and at least one student member must be present for action to be taken.
    2. The Academic Review Panel will be involved in an alleged grievance only after the procedures outlined in paragraph 4.01.a and 4.01.b below have been exhausted.
    3. The Academic Review Panel will hear only appeals involving disputes over those matters set forth in paragraph 2.01.a through 2.01.d of this policy. Appeals regarding University/college degree requirements, or student misconduct, will not be addressed by the panel.
  4. PROCEDURES
    1. The following steps are to be followed in pursuing an academic grievance (Section 2.01, a-d):
      1. The student must first appeal to his/her instructor posting the grade, the absence or tardiness, or the alleged conduct.
      2. The instructor must reply in writing to the aggrieved student winth ten (10) business days following receipt of the appeal.
      3. If an academic grievance is not satisfactorily resolved with the instructor, or the student does not receive a response from the instructor with ten (10) working days, the student may appeal to the chair of the academic department/school in which the complaint or dispute is centered. The student appealing must provide to the chair, a written summary of the pertinent issues of the grievance within ten (10) working days following the appeal to the instructor. 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/her appeal.
      4. The chair of the academic department/school in which the complaint or dispute is centered reviews the evidence provided and must respond to the student’s complaint or dispute with a written decision within ten (10) working days.
      5. If the student remains aggrieved after an appeal to the chair of the department/school, the student may forward the written appeal (plus any other additional material) to the college dean in whose college the dispute arose with a request to have the case heard by the College Academic Review Panel. Within ten (10) working 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 grievant and to other relevant parties, including the department/school 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 invited to appear before the Panel. The grievant may request either oral or written statements from advocates. The inclusion of these statements at the hearing(s) will be at the discretion of the Student 10 Guidelines 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 grievant, may act only in an advisory capacity and may not be a directly active participant in the proceedings.
      6. If a resolution of an academic grievance by the Review Panel is not accepted, the student may request in writing that the grievance be forwarded to the college dean in whose college the dispute arose 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 the administrators participating in the appeals process of the decision and the disposition of the matter within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal. The dean’s decision is final.

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