Appealing Grades | Department of Anthropology

Appealing Grades

Students are responsible for meeting the standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled. The establishment of the criteria for grades and the evaluation of student academic performance are the responsibilities of the instructor. The grade appeal procedure in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service is designed to assure an orderly process for appeal and review of the allegedly capricious grades and to assure the instructor's basic function - to fairly evaluate performance in class. The student is responsible for fulfilling the academic requirements of the course, as established by the instructor, for the department and for the school.

The appeal procedure is only for review of allegedly capricious grading, and not for review of the judgment of the instructor in assessing the quality of a student's work.

Capricious grading, as used here, means only any of the following:

  1. the grade was assigned on the basis of something other than the student's performance in the course,
  2. the grade was assigned on the basis of more exacting or demanding standards than were applied to others in the class; (Note: Additional and/or different grading criteria may be applied to graduate students enrolled for graduate credit in 300-and 400-level courses.)
  3. or, the grade was assigned according to a substantial departure from the instructor's previously announced standards.

The student is, generally, encouraged to discuss any academic matter informally with the instructor first. After that, the student may speak to the Department Chair, Dr. Lisa Henry.

The student should resort to the grade appeal procedure only when the following two conditions have been met: First that the student believes, by the above definitions, he or she has been a victim of capricious grading; and second, that the informal discussions were unsatisfactory.

Step 1
The student should discuss the course grade with the instructor. If there are compelling reasons for not consulting with the instructor, the student should go to the department chair and present in writing all the facts and allegations on which he or she is prepared to rely thereafter. This must be done within 30 days after the beginning of the succeeding regular academic semester.

Step 2
If the student has met with the instructor and the problem still cannot be resolved through this consultation, the student should confer with the department chair and present in writing all the facts and allegations on which he or she is prepared to rely thereafter. The instructor will also prepare a written explanation of the disputed grade for the chair. Please note that this grade appeal procedure is available only for the review of allegedly capricious grading, and not for review of the instructor's evaluation of the student's academic performance.

Step 3
If the matter is not resolved at the department chair level, an appeal may be made to an ad hoc department committee consisting of three Anthropology faculty members, one chosen by the student, one chosen by the instructor, and one chosen by mutual agreement of the student and instructor.

Step 4
Within 15 days of the ad hoc committee's decision, either party may appeal to the academic dean, in accordance with the College of Public Affairs and Community Service's appeals process. The decision of the dean will be communicated to the student, the instructor, and the department. Further remedies may be pursued by appealing to a higher level as outlined in the University of North Texas catalog.

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