Grade Appeals

The UW Colleges Grade Appeal Policy is based on the following principles: (1) the faculty has responsibility for assignment of grades; (2) students should be free from prejudicial or capricious grading; and, (3) no grade may be assigned or changed without departmental faculty authorization. The following steps constitute the procedure to be followed by a UW Colleges student wishing to appeal a grade:

  1. A grade appeal should normally be initiated within 30 days of receipt of the grade report. Prior to making a formal appeal, the student should check with the instructor to make sure that no clerical error has been made.

  2. The student shall submit a written appeal to the instructor detailing the basis on which the student believes the grade ought to have been different. During this first phase of the process, the student and instructor might meet to discuss the basis for the grade, if both are willing to do so. The instructor shall normally respond in writing to the student within 30 days.

  3. The student may continue the appeal process by submitting his/her case, including copies of all correspondence to date, to the chair of the appropriate academic department or, in the case of a conflict of interest, to a designee appointed by the department's executive committee. This must be done within 30 days of receiving a written response from the instructor, and the department chair or designee shall acknowledge the appeal in writing with a copy to the instructor.

  4. Each department must have a review process and review body to adjudicate grade appeals. The review body should examine available information to determine if any of the following grounds for changing a grade are present: inconsistent treatment, procedural errors, capricious judgments, or use of inappropriate criteria. The review body may request additional information from the instructor and/or may ask to see copies of the student's work. The department shall conclude its review within 60 days. After first securing the endorsement of the department chair, the chair of the reviewing body shall inform the instructor and student of the outcome of the review with copies to the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, the department chair, the Registrar, the assistant campus dean for student services, and the campus dean. If the review process finds with the student and a change in grade is recommended, the department chair or designee shall notify the instructor, discuss the findings and suggest that the instructor change the grade and so notify the student. Should the instructor decline to change the grade, the chair or designee shall forward the findings to the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs who will effect the change. If the review upholds the original grade, the department chair or designee, having already endorsed the review body's report, need take no further action.

  5. The student may appeal a decision upholding the original grade The provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs receives such a request for review, shall examine the record created by the departmental review body, and shall uphold the decision of that body unless he or she finds:

    1. The evidence of record does not support the findings and recommendations of the departmental review body;
    2. Established procedures were not followed by the departmental review body and material prejudicial to the student resulted;
    3. The decision was based on factors proscribed by state or federal law regarding equal educational opportunities; or
    4. The decision was arbitrary and capricious. Should the review by the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs find any of the above, the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs will remand the appeal to the department for action consistent with the finding.