5.14 – Graduate Student Academic Grievances

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Details

Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Administrative Rules and Procedures Chapter 5 | Student Life and Conduct

Rule Administrator:

Last Updated: Not Available

Related

Cross-Reference:

Revision History:

03/08/2019 Incorporated into ARP from Student Handbook, per RPM 5.21 B.1

  1. Appointment of Graduate Student Appeals Board: Each academic year a standing committee, consisting of three members of the graduate faculty and two graduate students, is appointed by the dean of Graduate School to handle academic grievances, including grade appeals. Any graduate student who believes that he or she has been unjustly treated within the academic process may proceed as far as necessary in the following steps to resolve the grievance or grade appeal.
  2. Steps in Grievance Process: In general, there are three levels at which an graduate student’s academic grievance can be addressed:
    1. Step 1: the course instructor or advisor,
    2. Step 2: the department head, or
    3. Step 3: the dean of the Graduate School.
      If the initial grievance is with an instructor or advisor, the process begins at Step 1. If the initial grievance is with a departmental committee, the process begins at Step 3. In all instances, the process must begin at the lowest possible level.
  3. Procedures:
    1. Under normal circumstances, the student should discuss the issue with the instructor/advisor.
    2. If the student is unable to resolve the issue through consultation with the faculty member, the student must submit a written memorandum detailing the grievance to the course instructor or advisor within 10 calendar days of the beginning of the following full (i.e., fall or spring) semester. The person to whom the memorandum is addressed must respond in writing within ten calendar days to the student.
    3. If the student is not satisfied with the response from Steps 1-2, the student must submit a written appeal to the department head within ten working days of the initial decision. If the student is initiating the appeal at the departmental level, the student must do so, in writing, within ten calendar days of the beginning of the following full (i.e., fall or spring) semester. The department head must respond in writing within ten working days to the student, the instructor or advisor (if one is involved), and the dean of Graduate School.
    4. If the student is not satisfied with the response from Steps 1-3, the student must submit a written grade appeal letter to the academic dean’s office of the college where the course is taught. If it is a grievance against a faculty member, then the academic dean’s office where the course is taught would be that of the faculty member’s college. The student has ten calendar days after receiving the decision of the department head. The associate dean of the given college has ten days to collect the necessary documents to make a decision on the student’s appeal or grievance. Please note that additional days may be required to collect information from the faculty and/or student involved in the case. The academic dean’s office where the course is taught may convene an ad hoc committee to investigate the case.
    5. If after the fourth step the student or any of the other parties involved is still not satisfied with the response, the student must present to the dean of the Graduate School within ten working days a formal letter that provides specific details regarding the nature of the grievance. Copies of all documents including course materials and grades must accompany the letter. In the letter, the student can request that their case be presented to the Graduate Student Appeals Board. After receiving a letter complaint (not an email), the dean of the Graduate School will determine whether the complaint has merit. The graduate dean will do so after reviewing the letters from the faculty member, the department head and the office of the academic dean as well as the materials from the student and all those involved in the case. If the graduate dean determines that the appeal does not have merit, the dean will inform the appellant and other parties, in writing, within ten working days of receiving the appeal. Please note that additional days may be required to collect information from the faculty and/or student involved in the case. If the graduate dean decides that the appeal does have merit, the dean will convene the Graduate Student Appeals Board, normally within three weeks. The Graduate Student Appeals Board will conduct, within 60 days of their convening, whatever investigations and deliberations are necessary, and will forward to the dean of the Graduate School a recommendation to resolve the grievance.
    6. After reviewing the recommendation of the Graduate Student Appeals Board, the dean of Graduate School will, within ten working days, inform all parties involved of the dean’s decision in writing.
    7. The dean of the Graduate School may waive the normal time frame for grievances when either party presents compelling evidence justifying such a delay, but grievances must be launched within one year. Grade appeals involving charges of plagiarism must follow the process established on academic misconduct in the Student Code of Conduct., the web site is http://studenthandbook.nmsu.edu/. The Graduate School strongly encourages students to study and use the Plagiarism web site of the Library to learn of ways to avoid plagiarism: http://nmsu.libguides.com/plagiarism.