Student Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure
Under Colorado state law, students have rights and responsibilities in the event of a dispute with faculty, administrators, or staff employed at Colorado State University. These rights and responsibilities are detailed in the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual, which is available online here
Our faculty encourage students to bring academic problems to the faculty member concerned. If a problem cannot be brought to a satisfactory solution by informal discussions between the student and the faculty member, the student may then pursue an appeal through the formal appeals procedure of the Department or the University Wide Degree Program in which he/she is enrolled.
Scope and limitations of the Appeals Process:
- This policy is limited to appeals regarding academic decisions by departmental instructors. It does not concern appeals regarding disciplinary matters which must be pursued, through the Office of Judicial Affairs.
- The department recognizes and accepts the right of a student to question any academic decision by any instructor that affects a grade in any course or program of study offered by the Department. This right extends to decisions that affect progress towards completion of programs of graduate study offered by the department.
- An appeal must be based on the contention that the student was not evaluated on academic performance or that different criteria were used for that student than for other students and that both parties did not agree to those differences. These same criteria must be used by the department head and the departmental Education Committee if either changes the contested grade or other evaluation.
The procedures for students wishing to appeal an instructor’s academic decision are enumerated below. Upon request of the student, a faculty member may serve as the students’ advocate during any part of this procedure. In an effort to resolve problems quickly and in an acceptable and agreeable manner, student(s) should meet with the instructor before filing a formal appeal or protest. Both sides should meet in good faith and all discussions must be conducted professionally and documented. The need for this meeting however, should not interfere with the timely resolution of the appeal
- A formal appeal process begins with a written statement of the grievance by the student. This statement will be filed by the student with the Department Head. The statement must be filed by the end of the following regular semester after the incident being appealed has occurred.
- The written statement must contain the complete description of the incident, including: 1) the name(s) of the instructors involved, 2) the date(s) of the incident(s) being appealed, 3) the decision being challenged, and 4) the reason(s) that the decision should be altered.
- The department head will render to all parties a written decision on the appeal within 15 University business days. The appeal and the department head’s response shall be placed in a departmental appeals file maintained with the same rules of confidentiality that apply to grade reports.
- If the decision of the department head is unacceptable to either party, either the student or instructor may file a written appeal of the department head’s decision to the departmental Education Committee which shall act as an appeals committee. The appeals committee will review the evidence and, within 15 University business days of receipt of the appeal, render a written decision. The appeal and decision shall also be maintained in the departmental appeal files.
- If either the student or the instructor is dissatisfied with the committee decision, further appeal shall be made using the established University procedure
(outlined in Faculty Manual sections E.2.5 and K for students and faculty, respectively).