Graduate students who wish to appeal a grade must use the following procedural format. Appeal of a grade must be made within one semester following the posting of the grade. Grades earned in the spring semester that are to be appealed need not be appealed during the summer, but the appeals process must be initiated in the following fall
Graduate Faculty members who are overruled in the appeals process are entitled to the same sequence of appeal as the graduate students. The Office of Graduate Studies and Research encourages resolution of appeals at the lowest possible level.
The Class Instructor. When a student receives a grade that is judged by that student to be unjustifiably low, the first step in the appeals process is to discuss the matter with the instructor of the class. This may be done informally but if the student plans to proceed up the line of appeal, a formal statement must be prepared in accordance with the format presented in the Protocol for Appeals shown below. This statement must specify what, in the student's mind, would constitute a fair redress of the grievance. If the instructor agrees that the student was erroneously graded, the grade is changed using standard procedures. If the instructor stands by the original decision, the case may be taken to the department chairperson. In such an instance, the instructor must prepare a statement explaining the reasons for the grade.
The Department Chairperson. The chairperson of the department in which the appealed grade was received is to review the student's written statement and the instructor's written rationale for the grade. The chairperson should interview the student and the instructor and may conduct whatever additional investigation is deemed appropriate to help in the decision-making process. The chairperson must render a decision within two weeks of receipt of the appeal.
If the chairperson sustains the decision of the instructor, the appeal may be taken to the dean of the college. If the department chairperson chooses to overrule the instructor, the grade must be adjusted and the chairperson may adjust the grade. It is possible to negotiate the adjusted grade. If the student remains dissatisfied with the adjustment, the appeal may still be taken to the dean of the college. Regardless of the decision, the chairperson must prepare a statement, in writing, that explains the reason for the decision. If the appeal is taken to the dean, the chairperson's statement must accompany the student's appeal and the instructor's statement.
The Dean of the College. The dean of the college is next to be contacted in the appeals process. The dean is to appoint an impartial committee of faculty members who will review all written documentation pertaining to the case. This appeals committee should interview both the student and the instructor and may conduct any other investigation deemed necessary. The appeals committee, which is advisory to the dean, must submit a written statement of its decision. The dean's decision is also to be tendered in writing. The committee's deliberation and the dean's decision must be completed within three weeks of receipt of the appeal in the dean's office. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the committee, the appeal may be taken to the Graduate Council.
The Graduate Council. At the request of the student, the Graduate Council will review all prior documentation and render a decision within three weeks of receipt of the appeal. The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and/or the Graduate Council may interview the student and instructor or carry out any other investigation deemed necessary to assist in the decision-making process. Once the decision is made, it is final and will be implemented by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.
Protocol for appeal of a grade must include the student's name, department/college, date of the appeal, course title and number, instructor's name, and grade received in the class. Also included must be the student's rationale for appeal of the grade. The student should state as succinctly as possible the reasons for making the appeal. The student must also state the solution that would satisfy the appeal from the student's perspective.
A graduate student may be dismissed from a graduate program by a department/college according to the following criteria:
1. If the student fails to meet the continuation standards of the department (including conditions stated on the Approval for Admission form), or
2. If it is the academic judgment of two-thirds of the graduate faculty in the department that the student is not making satisfactory progress in the program, and such judgment is recorded by formal vote.
In all cases the student must be notified in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, that he/she is dismissed and must be told in the document that he/she has the right of appeal according to the ISU Graduate Catalog. The student should be given a copy of the Graduate Catalog or notified that the Catalog is available in the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. The initiation of the appeal must occur within 15 working days of the notification of the dismissal.
1. The student must request reconsideration in writing using the Protocol for Appealing Dismissal from a Graduate Program which is described below.
2. A majority of the graduate faculty of the department must meet within 15 days of the filed appeal and must decide by a 2/3 vote of those present to sustain the dismissal, or the dismissal is revoked. If necessary, the meeting of the graduate faculty may include those participating by telephone or videoconference. Should it prove impossible during the Summer to convene a majority of the graduate faculty, the department is required to assemble them in the first week they are on contract in the Fall semester. In such instance, if the student chooses to appeal the department's graduate faculty decision, the Dean of the College and the Graduate Council will attempt to expedite the procedure described below.
3. Either decision (revoke or sustain) is to be explained in writing to the student. Copies of this decision and explanation should be sent to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.
4. If the department upholds the dismissal, the student may appeal the decision to the dean of the college. The student must appeal to the dean of the college within 15 working days of the notification of the department's decision.
5. If the dismissal is revoked, the department chairperson shall notify in writing the student and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and the student shall be reinstated.
Dean of the College.
1. If the student appeals to the dean of the college, then the dean must do the following: a. Read the student's written statement. b. Read the written decision and explanation of the graduate faculty. c. The dean may interview the student or the graduate faculty in the department or conduct any other appropriate investigation that may aid in the decision-making process. d. The dean must consider the appeal within 15 working days of the student's filed appeal and must decide to either revoke or sustain the dismissal.
2. Dean Overrule. If the dismissal is revoked, the dean must state in writing the reasons for the overrule and notify the student, the department, and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and the student shall be reinstated. The graduate faculty of the department may appeal the dean's decision to the Graduate Council.
3. Dean Sustains Dismissal. If the dean sustains the decision to dismiss, he/she must notify in writing the student, the department, and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.
The Graduate Council.
1. The student may appeal to the Graduate Council if the dean of the college sustains the dismissal. The student must appeal to the Graduate Council within 15 working days of the notification of the dean's decision. This appeal must be in writing.
2. The Graduate Council must consider the appeal within 15 working days of the student's notification of appeal. This review should include copies of documents prepared in Step 1 and Step 2 of the appeals process.
3. The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and/or the Graduate Council may interview the student, graduate faculty, or college dean to secure whatever information might be deemed necessary to aid in the review.
4. The Council's decision to revoke or sustain the dismissal is final.
5. The Council's decision is to be prepared in writing, and with all other documentation, kept in the student's file.
6. The Dean of Graduate Studies and Research must notify in writing the student, department, and college dean of the decision.
7. If the decision is to revoke the dismissal, the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research must reinstate the student in the program.
Protocol for appeal of dismissal from a graduate program must include the student's name, department/college, and date of the appeal. Also included must be the rationale for appeal of the dismissal. The student should state as succinctly as possible the reasons for making the appeal.
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating and plagiarism. Academic dishonesty at the graduate level is considered a serious offense and may result in dismissal from a graduate program.
Whenever a faculty member suspects a graduate student of academic dishonesty, the instructor should present the evidence to the student and consider the student's response. If the instructor concludes after consultation with the student that academic dishonesty has indeed occurred, the instructor should write a letter to the chairperson of the department in which the student is seeking a graduate degree, describing the incident. The instructor should include with the letter any evidence used to draw the conclusion that academic dishonesty has occurred (e.g., copies of the student's written assignment, copies of documents thought to have been plagiarized, etc.), and should state clearly the penalty imposed within the course itself. The penalty should be in proportion to the severity of the offense. If the penalty is to be a failing grade, the instructor should first consult with the chairperson of the department, and the chairperson should meet jointly with the student and faculty member to review the incident. The student may appeal the penalty by following the procedures in the Graduate Catalog entitled "Appeal of a Grade."
A copy of the instructor's letter reporting the offense, along with any evidence submitted to the chairperson, should be sent to the student, to the dean of the college in which the student is seeking a graduate degree, and to the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. A copy of the letter is to be placed in the student's permanent file in the department and in the Graduate School. If the student is exonerated during the appeals process, however, the letter and all other records of the accusation of academic dishonesty are to be deleted from the student's files.
The department chairperson may, in accordance with the policy and procedures of the department, impose the penalty of dismissal from the program. A student may appeal the dismissal by following the procedures in the Graduate Catalog entitled "Appeal of Dismissal from a Graduate Program."
Revised: May 1, 1996