NOTE TO GRADUATE STUDENTS ONLY
The guidelines for appeals of academic evaluations shown below DO NOT pertain to graduate students enrolled at the Medical Center. The appropriate procedures are contained in the Graduate Studies Academic and Grade Appeals Policies and Procedures at the University of Nebraska Medical Center as amended and approved by the UNMC Graduate Council 5/20/82 and 2/25/99.
STAGE I: INFORMAL APPEAL
- Immediately after receiving a grade which you believe is unfair, you should discuss the matter directly with the faculty member involved.
- If a satisfactory agreement cannot be made, you may appeal either orally or in writing to the chairperson of the department/program in which the course is offered. If the matter cannot be resolved through informal discussion, you may initiate a formal appeal.
STAGE II: FORMAL APPEAL
- Each college/school has its own faculty-student appeals committee whose only function is to investigate and/or hear appeals involving grades and other academic evaluations. You may submit your formal appeal in writing to the chairperson of the faculty-student appeals committee of the college/school which granted admission to the course/program. The committee chairperson must receive your written appeal no later than two weeks after the challenged grade was posted or received unless you notify within that time that you need to extend the appeal period.
- The written appeal submitted to the committee chairperson should provide an account of the facts pertinent to the awarding of the grade/evaluation and the reasons why you believe the grade/evaluation is unfair. This statement should be as specific as possible and should include a request to appear personally before the committee if you wish to do so.
- After receiving your written appeal, the chairperson will forward copies to all members of the committee and to any faculty member involved. The committee will decide how to best handle your appeal. It may, but is not required to, grant your request for a hearing; or it may decide a closed investigation is adequate.
- The chairperson will request the instructor of the course to submit the materials he/she used in determining the challenged grade. The committee may also request you to supply additional clarification in writing or by interview.
- If the committee schedules a formal hearing, you will be given reasonable notice of the time and place. The committee chairperson will conduct the hearing proceedings. They will determine the order of presentation and the relevancy of any evidence submitted, and he or she will direct the questioning of any witnesses. It is their responsibility to insure that the hearing is conducted fairly.
- It is your responsibility to show by the weight of the evidence that the grade/evaluation was improper or unfair. You may use any evidence deemed proper including affidavits, exhibits and oral testimony. If you wish to have witnesses testify in your behalf, it is your responsibility to procure them. At any time during the appeal process, you will be entitled to examine your school file and any materials which were used in determining the challenged grade.
- During the hearing, you may be assisted by an advisor of your choice. You must inform the committee chairperson of your advisor’s name at least 24 hours before the hearing. Your advisor may assist you in formulating your case, and they may be present at the hearing, but they may not actually participate in the proceedings unless the chairperson specifically permits. In appeals of evaluations involving academic dismissal or suspension, the committee must grant a formal hearing if you request one.
- The secretary to the committee will keep minutes of any of its proceedings. Except in hearings involving academic suspension or dismissal, these will not consist of verbatim testimony. If you wish, you may record, at your own expense, any hearing or proceeding at which you are present.
- At the conclusion of its formal investigation and hearing (if one is conducted), the committee will determine from the evidence the propriety of the grade/evaluation. It will submit its report and conclusions in writing to you and to the Dean of your college/school.
- If the grade/evaluation has been judged improper, it will be changed by order of the Dean unless the instructor wishes to appeal the decision of the committee. If you were dismissed or suspended only as a result of the challenged grade/evaluation, you will be reinstated and given reasonable opportunity to make up academic work missed.
STAGE III: PROCEDURAL REVIEW APPEAL
- If the grade/evaluation has been judged to be fair and proper and if you wish to appeal further, you may within ten days of receiving the committee’s report, submit a written appeal to the Dean setting forth any reasons you might have for challenging the decision of the committee.
- The Dean will review the record of the investigation and the facts to determine if the appeal procedure has been fair and thorough. They may then either affirm the findings of the committee or direct the committee to conduct a reinvestigation or rehearing either in whole or in part. The decision of the Dean is final and no further appeal may be made.