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Part 6. Student Affairs
Section IX. Student Conduct
C. Scholastic Appeals (Updated 8-09)
1. The Scope of Scholastic Appeals
Scholastic appeals apply only to cases of significant infractions of undergraduate or professional student rights as defined by the student code. Only those alleged infractions that lead to a student's dismissal or that adversely affect a student's final grade will be heard. They do not cover matters subject to the jurisdiction of the Judicial Board or general academic complaints that should be referred directly to the Chair of the Department, the Dean of the College, and/or the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. It is not a process to evaluate general teaching effectiveness. The scope of a scholastic appeal shall be limited to those cases that are fully documented by evidence. Such evidence includes, but is not limited to, the instructor's course records, course syllabi, examinations, homework, term papers, or letters of affidavit. A scholastic appeal is applicable only for only cases in which the student has already exhausted the normal channels of redress, defined below. The student shall pursue these channels in a timely manner, beginning no later than the next full semester following the semester in which the alleged infraction occurred.
2. The Normal Channels of Redress
An aggrieved student should:
a. Meet with the person or persons most directly involved (normally the faculty member) in an effort to resolve the issues in question, fully disclosing the specific complaint and the relief sought by the student. In some circumstances the Department Chair may decide to hear a complaint without such a meeting.
b. Present any unresolved issues to the Department Chairperson, if any. For issues pertaining to the College of Pharmacy, the Associate Dean of Pharmacy shall substitute for the Department Chairperson. If the Department Chairperson or Associate Dean of Pharmacy is one of the Faculty named in the complaint, the Dean of the College where the alleged infraction occurred shall appoint another member of the college to act in the Chairperson role for the appeals process.
c. Present any unresolved issues in a formal hearing before the Dean of the College involved. In the case of dismissal from a program, that is the college in which the program resides; for an appeal of a course grade, it is the college in which the course was offered. At this hearing, parties shall submit written charges, answers, and arguments to the Dean. The Dean shall preserve these documents for use in later appeals to a Scholastic Appeals Board, if such an appeal becomes necessary. Only written charges, answers and arguments presented at the Dean's formal hearing will be subject to review by a Scholastic Appeals Board. The Deans shall be charged with preserving all tangible evidence and all written charges, answers, and arguments submitted at hearings before them. The student must have specifically demonstrated at the formal hearing before the Dean how the alleged infraction led to his or her dismissal from the program or adversely affected his or her final grade in order to pursue an appeal to a Scholastic Appeals Board. The Dean must notify, in writing, the student and faculty member of his or her decision within one week following the formal hearing. The Dean shall have the authority to direct the Registrar to change a student's grade.
Any Department Chairperson or College Dean may elect to utilize an internal committee to assist in making a decision on academic appeals at the departmental and/or college levels. Department Chairs and Deans may interview the student and/or instructor, or conduct any additional investigation deemed appropriate to help in the decision-making process. Nothing contained in these procedures shall act to enlarge or restrict the existing authority, if any, of any Dean or the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to take any action, including the changing of student grades or reinstating a student, outside of the appeals process described herein.
3. The Procedure for an Appeal to a Scholastic Appeals Board
a. If the student wants to appeal the decision reached in the formal hearing, he/she must obtain a scholastic appeal petition form from the Office of Vice President for Student Affairs, and return it there when completed. The completed petition shall include a concise description of the complaint, the signature of the student instituting the petition, and the signatures and comments of the faculty member, Department Chairperson, if any, and the Dean involved, if said persons are still available.
b. Copies of all written charges, answers, and arguments and all tangible evidence presented at the Dean's formal hearing shall be made available to the student to attach to the original petition submitted to the Office of Vice President for Student Affairs. The petition and additional materials will be secured in the Office.
c. A scholastic appeal petition must be initiated before the end of the semester following the formal hearing. The petition is initiated when the student formally presents his or her complaint to the Office of Vice President for Student Affairs and requests a scholastic appeals petition.
d. The Vice President for Student Affairs will then notify the Chairperson of the Academic Standards Council of the need to consider the petition. The Chairperson will then choose a Chair for the Scholastic Appeals Board, and the rest of the Board will be constituted as described below.
4. Composition of a Scholastic Appeals Board
A Scholastic Appeals Board will consist of six voting members selected as follows:
(1) The Chairperson, a faculty member selected by the Chairperson of the Academic Standards Council.
(2) The ASISU Vice president, who serves as the Vice Chair of the Scholastic Appeals Board.
(3) Two members chosen by the Scholastic Appeals Board Chair from a pool of faculty members selected by the Academic Standards Council. The board shall not contain members of the College in which the alleged infraction occurred.
(4) Two members chosen by the Scholastic Appeals Board Vice Chair from a pool of students selected by the ASISU Senate. The board shall not contain students from the College in which the alleged infraction occurred.
There shall also be a non-voting member from the Office of Student Affairs.
5. Operating Procedures of a Scholastic Appeals Board
a. Once a Scholastic Appeals Board is constituted, the Chair of the Board will supply the names of its members to the Office of Student Affairs. Each member of the Board will be required to review, in a timely manner, the petition and supporting materials held in that Office.
b. Once all members have informed the Chair that they have reviewed the petition and supporting materials, the Chair will call a meeting of the Scholastic Appeals Board. The appeal petition shall be reviewed at this initial meeting, and a vote shall be taken to determine whether the petitioner should be granted a formal hearing. All members of the Board must be present for a vote to occur, and a majority of the voting members must vote in favor of a formal hearing for one to occur.
c. If there is no decision to grant a formal hearing, the student's petition is denied.
d. If the Scholastic Appeals Board decides to grant a formal hearing, a date for the formal hearing shall be set. Notice of the formal hearing shall be sent to the parties involved in a manner that verifies receipt of notice (tracked US mail, hand delivery w/signature, return-receipt ISU email without confidential specifics, etc.) at least two weeks prior to the hearing. This notice must also inform the involved persons that, while not entitled to legal counsel, each person may choose a single ISU student or faculty member to accompany him or her at the meeting. All members of the Scholastic Appeals Board must be present at the hearing.
e. After holding the formal hearing, the Scholastic Appeals Board will vote on the issue. A majority vote of the voting members is necessary to uphold the appeal.
f. Any decision of a Scholastic Appeals Board is final. There is no further appeal.
g. The Scholastic Appeals Board's decision shall be implemented by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
6. Record Keeping and Notification Requirements
The Chair of the Scholastic Appeals Board will make a written record of the Board's decision, and send it to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Vice President will be responsible for relaying that decision to the student, the faculty member, the Department Chair, if any, the Dean, the Provost, and the Registrar. The petition and related materials will continue to be securely held in the Office of Student Affairs for at least five years after the issue is decided.
Approved by Academic Standards Council: February 18, 2009
Accepted by Faculty Senate: April 6, 2009