How L&S Departments Should Approach Student Grade Appeals

All L&S Departments are encouraged to establish procedures for considering student appeals of grades. This document provides guidance about factors to consider in setting up those procedures.

On occasion, a student may feel that they have been assigned a grade unfairly, and may wish to appeal the decision that was made.  The L&S Academic Planning Council advises all departments to have in place a process for dealing with questions and concerns of students who ask about appealing grades. This process should preserve the integrity of an instructor's grade and prevent excessive pressure on the instructor, while still allowing for the appeal of an alleged injustice.  

Departments should talk about and plan for grade appeals before being faced with an actual appeal. In general,As they plan, the faculty and staff should keep the following considerations in mind:In the rare case when the dispute cannot be settled in the department, the academic Associate Dean determines the final outcome. It is everyone's hope that grade appeals will be infrequent, and that they can be handled by explanation and communication at the departmental level. A chair who is confronted with a potentially difficult situation may want to consult with their academic Associate Dean or with General Deans' Staff members from Student Academic Affairs (for undergraduate student issues). In any event, since Student Academic Affairs approves changes only in the case of clerical or computational error, a special notification will be required in the case of a grade change resulting from an appeal.

Contact Elaine Klein, Associate Dean for Academic Planning, with further questions: (608) 265-8484, elaine.klein@wisc.edu 
or contact L&S Student Academic Affairs:
Phone: (608) 262-0617
Email: lsdeans@saa.ls.wisc.edu

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