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.
Appeals & Complaints
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.
Other appeals and complaints
Appeals of evaluation of your academic performance
If you believe you have been evaluated unfairly in a course, a qualifying exam, or another measure of academic progress, you should first attempt to address your concerns with your department. If the matter remains unresolved after this attempt, you may appeal to the College Graduate Office using the appeal and complaint form.
Appeals must be received within one calendar year from the end of the term in which the grade was entered. The associate dean for graduate education will determine if an informal resolution is possible. If not, you may request a hearing with the GAFC.
Complaints involving violation of your rights as a student
If you believe that your rights have been violated by members of the faculty or administration, you should follow the complaint procedures outlined in part I of the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct. If you wish to file a formal complaint, you may submit the appeal and complaint form. The form, which can be submitted in paper or electronic format, must be submitted no later than 21 days after receiving an unsatisfactory response to attempts at informal resolution, or, if the formal complaint is made without a prior informal complaint, within six months after you learned of the incident.
Upon receiving the form, the associate dean for graduate education will consult with both you and the person(s) alleged to have violated your rights to determine if an informal resolution is possible. The associate dean will investigate the case and make a final decision regarding the complaint. This decision, when possible, will be made within 14 calendar days of receipt of the form.
Depending on the nature of the appeal or complaint, you may have access to additional review at the campus level. If the complaint or appeal involves harassment or discrimination, you should consider simultaneously filing a complaint with the Office of Affirmative Action.