Grade Appeal Process
It is the intent of the Chemistry Department to treat all students in a fair and consistent manner. It is expected that all members of the Chemistry faculty are familiar with the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, especially the chapter concerned with rights of students. The following course grade appeal procedures are intended to assure a quick, fair, and consistant settlement is reached whenever a grade conflict does arise.
Step One: Informal Discussion between Student and Faculty Member
Any course grade appeal must begin with the disagreement being brought to the attention of the faculty member who submitted the grade. This should be as simple as the student meeting with the faculty member for a private discussion of the grade(s) in question. If the student, for whatever reason, does not feel comfortable meeting with the faculty member in private for such purpose, the student should seek help and direction from a UNO Ombudsman or the Department Chairperson.
The student should initiate discussion as soon as possible since there exists a deadline for grade appeals within the College of Arts and Sciences as stated in the UNO Catalog; typically, this deadline is extended to the end of the semester that follows directly after the course taken. Until a settlement is reached, the student and faculty member must make themselves available for discussion and/or respond to messages in a timely manner.
Step Two: Mediation by the Department Chairperson
If the student does not feel 'Step One' provided a satisfactory settlement, then the student should meet with the Department Chairperson. It is the responsibility of the Chairperson to assist the student and faculty member in the resolution of their differences. The Chairperson may meditate through separate discussions with the parites, in a face-to-face meeting, or both. Such mediation should not take more than one week. When a settlement is reached or the parties reach a stalemate, the Chaiperson notifies both parties. This is done verbally, unless either the student or faculty member requests written confirmation.
Step Three: Written Appeal and Formation of Ad-Hoc Appeal Committee
If 'Step Two' does not result in a satisfactory settlement, the student may request a formal hearing of the appeal before a department committee. The request should be given to the Department Chairperson and it must clearly state, in writing, the basis of the appeal and the outcome desired by the student. After a request is received, the Department Chairperson will call an emergency meeting of all department faculty except for the respondent faculty member.
A grade-appeal committee shall be formed as a "committee of the whole," exlusive of the Department Chairperson and the respondant faculty member. The Chairperson will select, from among those present, a committee chairperson to arrange and conduct the grade appeal hearing. If the committee finds that the request by the student clearly states the basis of the appeal and the outcome desired, the committee chairperson will schedule a meeting within eight business days; a meeting time open to both parties and and as many Chemistry faculty as possible for attendance. Because of this, the student and respondent faculty member may be required to appear at a time not of their choosing. Collected by the Committee Chairperson and present at the hearing will be the Course Information Sheet or Syllabus distributed at the beginning of the semester, documentation of any announcements concerning course grading given during the course, and those records which have a bearing on the appeal.
Step Four: Adjudication by Department Committee
Normally, the student and faculty member will appear before the committee separately, usually with the student appearing first. Neither the student nor the faculty member may be accompanied by anyone other than an Ombudsman. The committee wioll not re-grade any item(s). However, if an item is the basis of the appeal, grading procedures may be discussed with the faculty member.The primary purpose of the committee is to determine if the grade in question was assigned in a fair and proper manner, consistent with the procedures stated in information given to the student by the instructor.
The committee chairperson will report the decision of the committee in writing to the student, the faculty member, and the Department Chairperson in a timely manner. The decision of the committee will be final as far as the Chemistry Department is concerned. The faculty member will be asked to make whatever changes, if any, decided by the committee. All records of the hearing will be kept secure in departmental archives.