Departmental Grade Appeals
Pursuant to Article XII of the University Senate Code and Articles II, V, and VI of the University Senate Rules and Regulations of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, the Department of Mathematics establishes the following procedure to hear grade appeals arising within the Department of Mathematics. Grade appeals arising within the Department of Mathematics must be heard under these procedures unless exceptional circumstances, as determined by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, make it more appropriate for those grade appeals to be heard at the College level. Appeal of a grade appeal heard at the Department level is to the Judicial Board. The only grounds for a grade appeal is improper application of the grading procedure announced for the course by the instructor (USRR Articles 2.3.5 and 6.4.4). The grade appeal procedure shall not be used to hear disputes assigned to other hearing bodies under USRR Article VI, Section 4.
Except as provided in USRR 6.5.4, no person shall be disciplined for using the grade appeal procedure or assisting another in using the procedure.
- To start the grade appeal process, the complainant must submit a written appeal to the Associate Chair (hereinafter the "Grievance Officer") of the Department of Mathematics. The appeal shall contain a statement of the facts underlying the grade appeal and specify the provision(s) of the announced grading procedures alleged to have been improperly applied. The grade appeal shall also indicate the witnesses or other evidence relied on by the complaining party, and copies of any documents relevant to the appeal shall be attached to the appeal.
- At the time the grade appeal is submitted to the Department, the appealing party shall provide a copy of the appeal, with accompanying documents, to the instructor(s).
- Upon receipt of the grade appeal, the Grievance Officer shall contact the instructor to verify that the instructor has received a copy of the appeal and to provide the instructor with a copy of these procedures.
- Pursuant to University Senate Code XII.2.IV, an instructor against whom a grade appeal is brought has the privilege of remaining silent and refusing to give evidence in response to the appeal. The instructor also has the right to respond and give evidence in response to the appeal.
- If the instructor chooses to respond, the instructor shall submit a written response to the Grievance Officer within 14 calendar days of receiving the grade appeal. The response shall contain the instructor's statement of the facts underlying the dispute as well as any other defenses to the allegations in the appeal. The response shall also identify the witnesses or other evidence relied on by the instructor and shall include copies of any documents relevant to the response. The instructor shall provide a complete copy of the response to the complaining party, but the names of other students and their grades shall be redacted from the copy provided to the complaining party.
- Upon receipt of the response, the Grievance Officer shall contact the complaining party to verify that a copy of the response has been provided.
- Pursuant to USSR 126.96.36.199 the Grievance Officer may contact other hearing bodies within the University to determine whether a grievance or complaint involving the underlying occurrence or events is currently pending before or has been decided by any other hearing body.
- Time limits. To use this procedure the complainant must file the written grade appeal with the Grievance Officer within six months from the time the final grade in the course was assigned. The six-month time period shall be calculated using calendar days (including weekends and days during which classes are not in session). Under exceptional circumstances the Grievance Officer may waive the six-month limit.
- Upon receiving the appeal, if the Grievance Officer determines that any of the following grounds exist, he or she may recommend to the Chair of the Department that the complaint be dismissed without further proceedings. The grounds for such dismissal are: (a) A grade appeal or a grievance involving substantially the same underlying occurrence or events has already been, or is being, adjudicated by proper University procedures; (b) the grade appeal has not been filed in a timely fashion; (c) the Department lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter; (d) the grade appeal fails to specify which grading procedures are alleged to have been improperly applied; (e) the party filing the grade appeal lacks standing because his or her grade in the course was not adversely affected by the alleged violation of grading procedures; or (f) the party filing the grade appeal has been denied the right to file grievances pursuant to USRR 6.5.4.
- If the Grievance Officer determines that a grade appeal on its face properly should be heard by another body, he or she will recommend that the Chair of the Department send the grievance to the appropriate hearing body without further proceedings in the Department. The Chair of the Department will send a copy of the referral to the complainant(s) and any responding parties.
- Prior to scheduling a hearing, the parties shall participate in mediation of the dispute unless either party waives mediation. Mediation shall be governed by USRR 6.2.3.
- If mediation is successful, the mediator will forward to the Chair of the Department, the Grievance Officer, and all parties a letter describing the outcome of the mediation and the terms upon which the parties have agreed to resolve the dispute.
- If mediation is not successful, the mediator will notify the Chair of the Department, the Grievance Officer, and the parties that the mediation has terminated. If mediation is not successful, or if it is waived by either party, the Grievance Officer shall appoint a three-person faculty committee (hereinafter "the Hearing Committee"), including a chair of the committee, selected from the current members of the Faculty to consider the complaint. The Hearing Committee members shall be disinterested parties who have not had previous involvement in the specific situation forming the basis of the complaint. The Hearing Committee will schedule a hearing no later than 30 calendar days from the written submission of the complaint. The 30-day period may be extended for good cause as determined by the chair of the Hearing Committee. The 30-day period shall be suspended during the mediation process. The hearing will be closed unless all parties agree that it shall be made public.
- Each party may represent himself or herself or be represented by an advisor or counsel of his or her choice.
- Each party has the right to introduce all relevant testimony and documents if the documents have been provided with the grade appeal or response.
- Each party shall be entitled to question the other party's witnesses. The committee may question all witnesses.
- Witnesses other than parties shall leave the hearing room when they are not testifying.
- The chair of the Hearing Committee shall have the right to place reasonable time limits on each party's presentation.
- The chair of the Hearing Committee shall have the authority and responsibility to keep order, rule on questions of evidence and relevance, and shall possess other reasonable powers necessary for a fair and orderly hearing.
- The hearing shall not be governed by the rules of evidence, but the chair of the committee may exclude information he or she deems irrelevant, unnecessary, or duplicative. Statements or admissions made as part of the mediation process are not admissible.
- The Hearing Committee will make an audiotape of the hearing but not of the deliberations of the Committee. The audiotape will be available to the parties, their authorized representatives, the Hearing Committee, the Grievance Officer, and the Chair of the Department. If a party desires a copy of the audiotape or a transcript of the tape, that party will pay for the cost of such copy or transcript. In the event of an appeal, the audiotape will be provided to the appellate body as part of the record of the case.
- After the presentation of evidence and arguments the committee will excuse the parties and deliberate. The Hearing Committee's decision will be a written recommendation to the Chair of the Department. The Hearing committee shall base its recommendations solely upon the information presented at the hearing.
- The committee will send its written recommendation to the Chair of the Department, the Grievance Officer, and the parties as soon as possible and no later than 14 calendar days after the end of the hearing. The committee has no enforcement powers and does not command sanctions. If the instructor chooses to change the grade, a grade change shall be submitted.
- Within 14 calendar days of receiving the committee recommendation, the Chair of the Department will notify the Grievance Officer, the committee, and the complainant of the instructor's decision concerning a change of grade. The Chair will advise the parties of the procedure available to appeal the decision.