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Academic Complaint Policy

The Student Academic Complaint Policy outlines students’ academic rights and describes the procedures students should follow if they believe their academic rights have been violated. The complete policy document is available online as the first item on the Academic Policies webpage.

Briefly stated, it is university policy that students have the right to freedom of expression, protection against improper academic evaluations, and protection against improper disclosure. If a student believes one of these rights has been violated, he/she should first attempt to resolve the problem with the instructor and, if not resolved, with the instructor’s department chair. If no resolution can be reached at this level, the student should discuss the complaint with the division chair (CAS) and then the dean of the college. If a resolution is still not reached, the student may submit the academic complaint to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.

Faculty are encouraged to refer students who believe that their academic rights have been violated to the policy, even if the faculty member feels that he/she (or his/her colleague) has scrupulously upheld the student’s rights.

Most grievances over grades can be avoided if faculty prepare detailed course syllabi, especially regarding the basis for grades and policy on absences and make-up work, and if they treat the syllabus as binding on both the student and themselves. See Syllabus section in the Course Management section of this handbook, or see the syllabus checklist or the syllabus template endorsed by the Faculty Congress Campus Curriculum Review Committee.

Reviewed June 2013 by AKS.