Appeals and Complaints

Filing an appeal or a complaint

The College Graduate Office considers appeals of academic misconduct charges or of evaluations of your academic performance, including course grades and qualifying exams, and instances in which you believe your rights as a student have been violated.

Academic misconduct appeals

Appeals of academic misconduct charges are governed by the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct and are considered by the College Graduate Academic Fairness Committee (GAFC).

If a faculty member suspects that you have committed academic misconduct, he or she will first hold an informal meeting with you. At this time the faculty member must explain the allegations to you and provide the information on which the claim is based. According to section II of the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, you must be given the opportunity to respond. The faculty member will then make a determination and impose academic sanctions as necessary.

If the faculty member concludes that academic misconduct has occurred, he or she must make a formal report to the dean of students. This report will be sent to you and the associate dean for graduate education within 14 calendar days of receipt by the dean of students.

Submitting an appeal

You have the option to appeal the charges, sanctions, or both, to the associate dean within 14 calendar days of receiving the report. To do so, you must submit the academic misconduct appeal form. Any information you wish the associate dean to consider should be attached to the form, which can be submitted in electronic or paper format.

The associate dean or his/her designee will first try to reach an informal resolution with you and the faculty member. If this is not possible, a formal hearing will be scheduled with the GAFC. We make every effort to schedule the hearing within one month of the associate dean’s receipt of the form; hearings typically are not held during the summer.

You may ask an advocate from the Student Advocates Office to assist in preparing your case for the GAFC. You may ask any witnesses to attend the hearing who can provide information relevant to the case. Character witnesses are not appropriate. If you are an international student, you may ask for an interpreter if necessary.

Once the hearing is held, the GAFC chair will submit a written decision to the associate dean. This decision is final and binding. A copy of the decision is sent to you, the faculty member, and the dean of students within 14 calendar days of the conclusion of the hearing.