The procedures below are applicable only to examine a student’s claim of an unfair academic evaluation made by the instructor. The academic evaluation, resulting in grade assignment, will be subject to appeal if the instructor’s evaluation is based on any factors other than the student’s performance in the course and/or adherence to course requirements.
1. In the event a student has a dispute with the grade received in a course, the student shall discuss the accuracy of the grade with the instructor. If the student and instructor do not agree that the grading criteria were applied appropriately to the final grade, the student can proceed to file a Departmental Grade Appeal Form, available from the Office of the Registrar.
2. Students should include copies of any documentation, which may include, but is not limited to, personal grade records, copies of graded work, and email communication with the instructor. Not all of these items will apply depending on the basis of the appeal. Additionally, students may not be in possession of these documents if they are part of the instructor’s class records. If that is the case, the student will request this documentation from the Dean, Department Chair, or designee. The student has the responsibility to supply evidence for consideration in the appeal.
3. The grade appeal must be filed with the department offering the course no later than ten (10) working days after the beginning of the following regular semester. A student who fails to file within the specified time period forfeits the right to appeal. The Dean, Department Chair, or designee shall attempt to resolve the conflict.
4. Upon receiving the Departmental Grade Appeal Form, the Dean, Department Chair, or designee will evaluate the request. If the rationale for the request DOES NOT meet the criteria established in the policy statement above, the Dean, Department Chair, or designee will have five (5) working days to inform the student in writing that the request does not meet the criteria necessary for requesting a formal grade appeal.
5. If the rationale for the request DOES meet the criteria established in the policy statement above, the Dean, Department Chair, or designee will request a written response to the grade appeal from the instructor within five (5) working days of receiving the Departmental Grade Appeal Form. The instructor will have ten (10) working days to submit a response to the appeal to the Dean, Department Chair, or designee. In circumstances where a faculty member is no longer employed by the College, every possible effort will be made to reach them. If the faculty member cannot be reached, the Dean, Department Chair, or designee will collect and review all available documentation relevant to the appeal.
6. Once materials have been received from both parties, the Dean, Department Chair, or designee will form a review committee with two (2) faculty members from the same school and one (1) faculty member from outside of the school. This committee will review the materials and make a recommendation. No later than twenty-five (25) working days after receiving the Departmental Grade Appeal Form, the Dean, Department Chair, or designee will inform the instructor and student in writing of the recommended final grade.
A College Grade Appeal Committee will be created by the Provost to review grade appeals that either the student or instructor contest. Should the recommendation by the department/school be contested by the instructor and/or student, the Departmental Grade Appeal Form and all related materials will be forwarded by the department /school designee to the Provost within five (5) working days
The College Grade Appeal Committee will meet no later than twenty-five (25) working days after the Departmental Grade Appeal Form documentation has been forwarded to the Provost. Within five (5) working days of the first meeting, the Committee shall make the final decision. The Committee Chair will notify the Dean, Department Chair, student, instructor, and, in the case that the original grade is changed, the Office of the Registrar. The decision of the College Grade Appeal Committee is not subject to appeal.
1. Make up of Committee Membership – Membership of the College Grade Appeal Committee will include five (5) individuals based on the following: one (1) faculty member from each of the three (3) schools who shall be appointed to a two-year term by each respective Dean; one (1) student representative who shall be appointed to a one-year term by the Nevada State Student Association (NSSA); and one (1) faculty or staff member who shall be appointed by the provost and who will serve as committee chairperson. Membership will be reviewed at the beginning of fall semester.
2. Vacancies on the Committee – Should a faculty vacancy occur, the appropriate Dean shall appoint a member to the committee for the remainder of the two-year term. Should a student vacancy occur, the NSSA president shall appoint a member to the committee for the remainder of the one-year term.
Disqualifications; Challenges – Panel member shall disqualify themselves if they have a conflict of interest with the case or with the student or believes they may have a personal bias. The student or instructor may challenge a panel member on the grounds of conflict of interest or personal bias. The burden of proof is on the challenger. The decision regarding disqualifying a challenged member shall be made by a majority vote of the remaining members present. If a challenge is upheld, the Committee chairperson will appoint another person to fill the vacancy.
Should a member of the College Grade Appeal Committee be the instructor of record of the course under appeal or have served on the review committee when the case was heard at the departmental level, the committee chairperson, in consultation with the Dean will name an alternate to hear the appeal. The alternate shall be a faculty member within the department or in a related discipline.
3. Quorum – A representative from the Office of the Provost shall assume responsibility for assembling a Hearing Panel consisting of members from the College Grade Appeal Committee. A quorum for each committee hearing shall consist of no less than three committee members, including the Committee chairperson. In the event a quorum is not present, the hearing will be rescheduled.
4. Moderator of Hearing – The hearing shall be moderated by the Committee chairperson. A representative from the Office of the Provost will be present at all hearings as a non-voting procedural consultant to the Hearing Panel and will make a record of the proceedings.
5. Notice of Hearing – The instructor shall be strongly encouraged to appear in person to present a case to the College Grade Appeal Committee. However, the instructor may elect not to appear before the Hearing Panel, except for cases in which the department/school recommendation was contested by the instructor. In these cases, the instructor is required to appear before the committee in person. Otherwise, should the instructor elect not to appear, the hearing shall be held in their absence. The failure of an instructor to appear must be noted without prejudice; however, the Panel will act upon the evidence presented to it whether or not the faculty member is present. The student must appear in person to present a case.
6. Presentation of Case – The burden of proof and the presentation of the case is the responsibility of the person contesting the recommendation of the department/school. Each person shall be provided an opportunity to respond to the other person’s claim and to present evidence in support of their position. Each presentation is not to exceed ten (10) minutes in length.
7. It will be left to the discretion of the Hearing Panel whether or not to permit the introduction of any particular written statement. If written evidence is to be presented against the instructor or student, the instructor or student shall be allowed to see the actual signed statements at least seventy-two (72) hours before the hearing. Unsigned statements shall not be admissible as evidence.
The instructor and student shall have an opportunity to be present during the presentation of all evidence and to challenge the admissibility of any evidence. The Committee chairperson shall supervise any questioning of this nature, and, at the chairperson’s discretion, may strike any questions which are not relevant to the purpose of the hearing. The Panel may question the instructor and the student and may hold its deliberations in executive session after hearing the case.
8. Access to Information – The Hearing Panel will have access to pertinent information in the case and may request additional information from either party as needed to render a decision.
9. Conduct of Hearing – The hearing shall be conducted in an informal manner and without reference to rules applicable to a court of law concerning the admissibility of evidence, but with a view toward providing the Panel with a complete understanding of the facts involved. Irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded. The hearing and deliberations of the committee shall be private.
10. Consulting Representative – The student and the faculty member shall each have the right to have one (1) person of their choice present in the hearing. That person must be a student, faculty or staff person of the College or, in the case of the student, the student’s advocate. The consulting representative may not participate directly in the hearing and is only present to consult with or support the student or faculty member involved.
11. Continuances – The Panel, by majority vote, may continue the hearing to a later time or times.
12. Confidentiality of Appeal Hearing – Panel members shall not retain in their possession any personal files, materials received during the appeal procedure, or notes taken during the meetings of the College Grade Appeal Committee.
13. Summer Break – The College Grade Appeal Committee will not convene during Summer Sessions nor other times when regular classes are not in session.
14. Final Decision – The final decision of the Hearing Panel shall be made by a majority of the Panel present and voting.
15. Additional Rules – Procedural rules not inconsistent with these procedures may be established by the Panel from time to time to ensure that the hearing is conducted in a fair and orderly manner.
16. Retention of Records – Documents will become a part of the student’s records maintained by the Office of the Registrar and will be retained according to the schedule as outlined in the NSC Catalog.