Procedures for use in appealing allegedly capricious semester grades of undergraduate students
The following procedures are available only for review of alleged capricious grading, and not for review of the judgment of an instructor in assessing the quality of a student's work. Capricious grading, as that term is used herein, is limited to one or more of the following:
The Right of Fair and Equal Evaluation of Students
The assessment of the quality of a student's academic performance is one of the major professional responsibilities of university faculty members and is solely and properly their responsibility. It is essential for the standards of the academic program at Saint Louis University and the integrity of the degrees conferred by this university that the professional judgments of faculty members not be subject to pressures or other interference from any source.
It is necessary, however, that any semester grade be based on evidence of the student's performance in a course, that the student have access to the evidence, that the instructor be willing to explain the basis upon which the grade was determined, and that a grade be determined in accordance with announced guidelines. These guidelines should be announced sometime during the first one-fourth of the term.
A student who believes a semester grade is capricious may seek clarification in writing within six months after the final grade has been assigned by the instructor, and where appropriate, redress as follows:
This subcommittee shall recommend to the Dean either that the grade should stand, or that it should be changed; and shall notify both the student and the instructor if its recommendation. The Dean shall then render a decision and notify all parties of his or her action *.
* a written record should be kept at all stages of the appeals process
Protection of the Instructor's Rights
The decision of a grade review subcommittee will neither be used as a cause for any disciplinary action nor dismissal of a tenured faculty member or a non-tenured faculty member before the expiration of a contract period. Nor shall a decision, by itself, be a basis for any other disciplinary action. Any disciplinary actions shall be in accordance with regular university procedures. All evidence considered by a grade review subcommittee shall be made available to any body which may be considering disciplinary action concerning an instructor whose grading has been found by a grade review subcommittee to be capricious. That body shall make an independent determination based upon its own consideration of all evidence, irrespective of the findings of the grade review subcommittee.