6.300 Academic Appeals and Due Process
Subject: Academic Appeals and Due Process
Date Adopted: January 1, 1991, Revised November 15, 2000
Academic Appeals Committee
At the beginning of each academic year, the Vice President for Student Services nominates to the President an Academic Appeals Committee which includes representation from the faculty and from the student body. An academic appeal must be made within nine weeks from the end of the semester in which the action occurs that is being appealed.
To ensure due process dealing with academic appeals of students, the President of National Park Community College appoints an Academic Appeals Committee at the beginning of each fall semester. This committee consists of six faculty members and six students. The appointed members elect a chairperson.
Academic issues of appeal shall be defined as improper grade assignment, charges of plagiarism, charges of cheating, discriminatory treatment of students, and instructor inconsistency with the written grading criteria.
The jurisdiction of the committee includes appeals from students showing evidence of unfair treatment. In brief, the committee's responsibility extends to all cases that cannot be settled within the framework of the student-faculty classroom relationship.
To initiate an appeal, a student obtains a form from the Office of the Vice President for Student Services and meets with the Vice President to discuss appropriate procedures. This meeting also ensures that the student has thought out the complaint and exhausted any hope of resolving the matter informally with his instructor.
The student is required to state in writing the complaint being made concerning a member of the faculty. This statement is submitted to the division chairperson of the instructor in question. The division head meets separately with each party and makes a written recommendation to each party. The matter may end at this point if the student is satisfied. The chairperson is not allowed to exert pressure on either party but serves as a first evaluator. If the student is dissatisfied, a written appeal is sent along with the chairperson's written recommendation, to the Vice President for Instruction. Again the student may drop the complaint or continue the appeal process. The Vice President for Instruction serves as second evaluator and is also not allowed to employ pressure on either party. If the matter cannot be resolved to the student's satisfaction at this level, the Vice President for Instruction then requests in writing to the chairperson of the Academic Committee that a hearing be scheduled.
The last step in the process is the Academic Appeals Committee. It reviews all appropriate material and has the power delegated by the Board of Trustees to take whatever action judged appropriate.
Having completed the two preliminary steps, the student may submit the case to the Academic Appeals Committee. The chairperson of the committee arranges with other members to place a case on the calendar and in writing notifies the parties involved of the time and place of the hearing. If the student does not appear, except in extreme instances beyond personal control, the appeal is dropped. If the faculty member does not, except for the same reason, it is assumed that nothing is to be added to the evidence already submitted to the committee.
Other procedures are as follows:
The decision and the reasons for the decision are reported in writing to both parties and to the officials who reviewed the appeal. Majority and minority opinions are included in the report. In case a grade is changed, the Registrar receives a copy of the decision, authorizing him to change the grade on the student's official record. If the case involves suspension from the College and is resolved in favor of the student, the Vice President for Students receives a copy authorizing him to reinstate the student. Decisions of the committee involving other parties in the College result in letters to the said parties authorizing them to take appropriate action.
All matters pertaining to the appeal shall be treated as confidential. No information will be released without written permission of both parties involved. Members of the committee are instructed at the initial meeting of the importance of confidentiality and absolute necessity of not discussing any part of the hearing. After the hearing is completed, the Vice President for Students will be responsible for gathering all materials used during the hearings and destroying all information except one official copy which will be filed in the College vault.