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CFAM Grade Appeal Policy

Students in the College wanting to appeal either a grade or a charge of academic dishonesty or plagiarism should first discuss the matter directly with the instructor.  If a satisfactory agreement is not reached with the instructor, the student may submit an appeal in writing to the chair of the department/school in which the course is offered. If the student and chair of the department do not reach a satisfactory agreement, the student may submit an appeal in writing to the Dean of the College (The School of Communication has an interim step in that the appeal would go to an Advisery Committee in the School before the appeal would be sent to the Dean.)
The Dean may at his/her discretion call upon an advisery committee for input.

Effective 3-10-2006


School of Communication Grade Appeal Policy*

If a student wishes to appeal a grade in a course offered by the School of Communication, the student must do so by the end of the semester following the semester in which the grade was received.  That is, if the grade is received in the fall semester, the student has until the end of the spring semester to initiate a written appeal.  If the student receives the grade in the spring semester, the student has until the end of the following fall semester to initiate the written appeal.  A grade received in a summer course must be appealed in writing by the end of the following fall semester.

Initial Step
Before a student initiates a grade appeal, he or she must contact the instructor from whom the grade in question was received and attempt to resolve the issue in a face-to-face meeting.  If the instructor is a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) or instructor/lecturer in a Public Speaking Fundamentals, a Publication Design and Graphics, or a Media Writing course and the grade cannot be resolved, then the student and instructor/lecturer must notify their appropriate course coordinator that a student grade is in question and the coordinator will attempt to help the instructor/lecturer and student resolve the grade in question. If an instructor/lecturer or GTA is no longer employed by the University, then the student should contact the coordinator of the appropriate course or if there is no coordinator, the student should contact the school director.

Grade Appeal Procedures
If the instructor and student cannot resolve the issue, the student and instructor should contact the director of the School of Communication. The director may meet separately or jointly with the student and instructor to pursue a resolution of the issue and explain the grade appeal process. 

After communicating with the director if the student still wishes to appeal the grade, the student must detail the reasons for the appeal in writing, thus officially initiating the appeal.  The written appeal, along with any relevant documentation (e.g., graded assignments or speeches, tests, testimonials from other students), will be given to the School’s Advisery Committee.  The Advisery Committee may also solicit a written response and any other pertinent information or documentation from the instructor of the course and then hold a face-to-face meeting with the student.  Based on such information, the Advisery Committee may recommend that the appeal continue or cease.  If there is an error in calculation of the grade based on documented course grading policies, the director may change the grade.  If the director determines from the documented course policies that the grade appeal infringes on the instructor’s academic freedom, then the director may recommend to the student that the appeal not go forward. 

If the Advisery Committee recommends continuation or the student still wishes to appeal regardless of the Advisery Committee’s decision, the chair of the Advisery Committee will appoint a Grade Appeals Committee and will serve as chair of that committee. That committee will consist of the chair, two other faculty members (for a graduate student, all three faculty must be members of the Graduate Faculty), and two students.  One of those students will be the School’s elected graduate student representative or alternative.  If the grade appeal is from a graduate student, then the second student member will be the elected alternate graduate student representative.  If the elected graduate student representative is the appealing student, then the chair of the Grade Appeals Committee will choose another graduate student.  If the grade appeal is from an undergraduate student, the second student member will be an undergraduate major, selected by a member of the Advisery Committee who is not on the Grade Appeals Committee.  The undergraduate student member should be majoring in the academic area of the course in question in the grade appeal.

If there are extenuating circumstances (such as conflict of interest by a Grade Appeals Committee member, time of year, volume of appeals, etc.), then the Advisery Committee may select students who are not elected representatives and faculty who are not members of the Advisery Committee.

The Grade Appeals Committee will establish procedures to examine the appeal, gather whatever information is deemed necessary to determine the facts and investigate the appeal by means of oral hearings.  After deliberation, the committee will vote to grant a grade change (and thus grant the appeal) or reject the appeal.  If the appeal is granted, then the committee will also determine the grade to be given.  To change a grade requires an agreement of the majority (three of the five votes must be in favor of the change).

The chair of the Grade Appeals Committee will report the results of the committee’s actions to the director of the School.  The director will provide results to the student and instructor involved in the grade appeal.

The student or faculty member may appeal the decision of the School’s Grade Appeal Committee to the appropriate college.  For graduate students, the appropriate college is the Graduate College, and for undergraduates, the appropriate college is the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media.

* Approved by unanimous vote, School of Communication faculty, College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CFAM), The University of Nebraska at Omaha, January 16, 2008.

CFAM Graduation check process

An academic hold will be placed on all students with 91+ credits until they complete a check. Students are required to complete a senior check using an orange request form. Completion of this form will result in the advising hold removal.


Incomplete Grade Policy

To receive an “incomplete,” students must contact their professor prior to the end of the semester, request a grade of incomplete, and make arrangements to complete the work. The rules which govern the issuance of the incomplete are as follows:

1. The grade “I” is used by an instructor at the end of a semester or summer session to designate incomplete work in a course. It is given when a student, due to circumstances such as illness, military service, hardship or death in the immediate family, is unable to complete the requirements of the course in the term in which the student is registered for credit. Incompletes will only be given if the student has already substantially completed the major requirements of the course.

2. Each instructor will judge each situation. The instructor will also indicate by a departmental record, with a copy to the student, how the incomplete is to be removed, and if the instructor is at the University at the time of removal, supervise the makeup work and report the permanent grade.

3. In the event the instructor is not available at the time of the student’s application for removal of an incomplete, the department chairperson will supervise the removal of the incomplete and turn in the permanent grade for the student.

4. A student shall have no longer than the end of the next regular semester following receipt of the “I” to remove the incomplete. After that time, the “I” will automatically become a “W”, or such other grade specified by the instructor depending on the amount and quality of the course work previously completed. Exceptions to this rule will be permitted if initiated by the student and approved by the instructor, department chair person and Dean. Exceptions to this rule will be made only in response to circumstances over which the student has no control, and these must be detailed.

5. In registering for courses, students receiving one or more “I” grades from the previous  semester should take into account the time needed to complete the required work and plan their schedules accordingly.


CFAM Academic Amnesty Policy

A student enrolled in the College of Communication, Fine Arts & Media may request to have one or two semesters (taken at UNO, UNL &/or UNK) removed from their cumulative grade point average and degree consideration by petitioning for academic amnesty in the CFAM Dean’s office (WFAB 311).

  • The student must be at least two years removed from the semester(s) to be considered for academic amnesty.
  • Petitioning students must have completed 24 credit hours of successful coursework with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 since the amnesty period at UNO, UNL or UNK.
  • Removal of GPA computation shall be by entire semester(s).
  • Students who are granted academic amnesty will not be considered for degrees with academic honors

Names of petitioners will be forwarded to the CFAM Educational Policy Committee for approval and then to the Dean’s office for final action.There shall be no physical obliteration of any part of the student’s record. Academic amnesty is not allowed after a student has graduated.