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Academic Integrity

The Office of the Dean of Students is here to provide support, care, and access to resources to Idaho State University students who encounter barriers to achieving success.  We work with students and campus partners to support you in your goal of being a successful scholar and citizen.  If you need assistance navigating an academic appeal or grievance, please check the following resources and information.

Academic Complaints/Grievances

If a student has a complaint or grievance about an academic policy, procedure, or decision, the following steps should be followed to work toward resolution:

    1. The student should first meet with the instructor or official responsible for the policy, procedure, or decision. 

    2. If the issue remains unresolved after the first meeting, the student should next meet with the instructor’s department head (or official’s supervisor).

    3. If the issue remains unresolved after meeting with the department head, the student should then meet with the dean of the college in which the course is offered. 

    4. If, after that meeting, the issue is still unresolved, the student may appeal the decision, in writing, to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs who shall have ten (10) business days to investigate and render a decision in writing on the student’s complaint/grievance.

The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs may elect to meet with the student or may decide the merits of the case based on the written appeal. This is the final appeal at the University level.

Scholastic Appeals

The Scholastic Appeals process provides redress for students who believe they have experienced unfair treatment from instructors and academic administrators (department chairs and college deans). Most academic conflicts can be resolved through the Academic Complaint/Grievance process. Scholastic Appeals are typically reserved for elevated situations such as:

    1. Dismissal from a program of a student; or

    2. Adverse decisions regarding a student’s final course grade for reasons other than academic dishonesty

For full information regarding this process, please refer to the Student Handbook (beginning on page 13).  Students who have exhausted the outlined appeals process and want to petition the Scholastic Appeals Board must follow the instructions outlined in the handbook and submit the Scholastic Appeals Petition.


How to Write an Academic Appeal

If you are an Idaho State University student filing a Scholastic Appeal and have completed the first three steps of the process, you will need to fill out a Petition Form.  More details about the full appeal process can be found starting page 13 of the Student Handbook.

In our experience, a well-written appeal will include the information listed below. It is essential to keep your language and tone professional, content-focused, and specific. While there is no limit to the number of pages (which you can attach to your form), a couple of paragraphs are enough to cover the relevant points clearly and concisely.  Before writing your appeal, take some time to review relevant university policies, reread your syllabus, and develop an outline for your written content.

Content Suggestions
  • Explain what you are appealing (grade, program removal, action of a faculty member, etc.).

  • Describe the circumstances involved or your reason for appeal.  Be specific and include relevant dates/times that show the timeline for how your situation developed.  

  • Clearly articulate your understanding of, and responsibility for, what went wrong: We don’t expect students to be perfect, but we do want you to learn from the experience and to be able to problem-solve ways to meet those same challenges in the future more successfully.  It is helpful to share extenuating circumstances that impacted you that were beyond your control, but taking accountability for the things within your control shows a level of maturity we want to see in our students. By acknowledging what you could have done differently in this situation demonstrates your ability to reflect and grow as a student and a person. 

  • Outline a clear plan for future academic success: It’s important to be specific about your plan.  What kinds of resources (on and off campus) will you utilize to aid in your success?  What kinds of skills will you need to develop to be successful and how will you gain those skills?  Who will you go to for support or guidance in the future?  What other changes have you already made to set yourself up for success?  Be as specific as possible.   

  • We understand that students are not always proud of the factors or situations that led to their need to write an academic appeal letter, but honestly goes a long way.  Your willingness to be open and vulnerable with your mistakes or decisions shows sincerity, which comes through to the readers of your appeal.

  • What you did to try and resolve this issue before it necessitated an appeal:  Did you speak to a faculty member?  When did you speak with them, what was discussed and what was the outcome?  Did you utilize other resources? What solutions did you try to resolve the issue? 

  • Clarify what you hope the final outcome of the appeal to be.  

  • Describe any attachments you are including with your letter, highlighting their importance to your situation.

Scholastic Appeal Petition Guidelines


Academic Dishonesty

Academic integrity is a core value of our university experience. The high-quality academic performance of students at Idaho State University is essential to our reputation, to the value of our programs, and to the demonstrated work and knowledge base that our degrees represent. As such, incidents of academic dishonesty are considered a serious offense and handled with urgency.  Detailed information about academic dishonesty can be found in the following resources.

Academic Integrity Council

Academic Dishonesty for Graduate Students

Academic Integrity and Dishonesty Policy for Undergraduate Students