The following Saint Louis University College of Arts and Sciences 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. Students may appeal a grade only for one or more of the following reasons:
- Miscalculation of grade.
- The assignment of a grade to a particular student on some basis other than performance in the course.
- The assignment of a grade to a particular student by more exacting or demanding standards than were applied to other students in that section.
- The grade assigned results from different standards than the criteria for performance and evaluation outlined in the course syllabus.
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 has 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.
Students must initiate a grade appeal within 90 days of the date that the course grade was posted.
The grade appeal process must be resolved within one calendar year of the initiation of the appeal.
- The student shall confer with the instructor (in person or in writing), informing the instructor of questions concerning the grade and seeking to understand fully the grounds and procedures the instructor has used in determining the grade. The aim of such a conference is to reach mutual understanding about the grade, the process by which it was assigned, and to correct errors, if any, in the grade.
- If, after consultation with the instructor, the student believes that a grade is capricious, the student will confer with the Chair of the Department in which the course was offered. The Chair will consult with the instructor and the student separately or together in an attempt to reach a resolution of the matter.
- If the matter remains unresolved, the student will submit a written appeal request with supporting evidence (if relevant) to the Chair. The Chair will convene an intra-departmental grade appeal committee consisting of the Chair and two faculty members. The student's written appeal request will be considered and the instructor will also respond to the student's petition in writing. The grade appeal committee will interview both the instructor and the student; and subsequently, the committee will recommend either that the grade was not assigned capriciously and shall stand or that the grade may have been assigned capriciously and the matter merits further consideration. The recommendation of the departmental grade appeal committee will be communicated to the student, the instructor, and the Dean by the Departmental Chair.
- If the matter has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the student and the instructor, either may petition the Dean to convene an ad hoc grade appeal subcommittee to consist of two faculty members of the College of Arts and Sciences from outside of the instructor's department and the Dean or his/her representative.
- 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 of 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 appeal 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 appeal subcommittee shall be made available to anybody who may be considering disciplinary action concerning an instructor whose grading has been found by a grade appeal 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 appeal subcommittee.
October 10, 2017