Academic Grievance Procedure
In order to provide a forum for the fair resolution of academic disputes involving individual student complaints of the appropriateness of course grades and accusations of academic dishonesty, the following procedure has been developed and will be applied to all cases involving Loyola graduate students. Students should be aware that in cases in which a grade is disputed, the grade will be changed by the dean only if the grading is found to be capricious, is found to be in significant violation of clearly established written college policies, or is a result of improper procedures. Capricious grading is the assignment of a grade to a student which is:
- based partially or entirely on criteria other than the student’s performance in the course.
- based on standards different from those standards of grading applied to other students registered in the same course.
- based on a substantial departure from the announced grading standards for the course.
Complaint about an instructor’s evaluation of the student’s performance in assigning a grade in a course is not a basis for a grievance procedure.
- In all cases, a sincere attempt should be made by the student to resolve the problem by discussion with his/her professor.
- If that attempt fails the student should make a written request for a hearing to the chairperson of the department within one month after the beginning of the following semester (excluding the summer sessions). The request for a hearing must specify the nature of the dispute and the attempts to resolve the matter.
- When a student is accused of plagiarism or dishonest examination behavior, the chairperson of the department may constitute a hearing board to review the evidence of academic dishonesty in those cases where the student denies that dishonesty occurred as well as to consider the imposition of additional sanctions beyond failure in the course.
- Each department shall have either a standing hearing board or have the means to constitute a hearing board for each dispute. Such boards will be chosen by the chairperson of the department and will consist of between three and five faculty members other than the involved faculty member or chairperson of the department. In smaller departments, board members may be members of different departments, and the board members may be chosen by the dean of the appropriate school.
- The chairperson of each hearing board shall be selected by the person who appoints the hearing board. The chairperson of the hearing board receives all requests for hearings from the department, sets the calendar, notifies all board members and involved parties of the dates and times of hearings and informs students by written notice of the recommendations of the board.
- After receiving a request for a hearing, the chairperson of the hearing board shall establish a date and time for the hearing and notify the student and faculty involved and the other members of the board in writing. The student will receive written notice of any charges of academic dishonesty to be considered.
- The hearing will be held within two weeks of the receipt of the request for a hearing if practicable.
- The hearing will be private and all persons present at the hearing will consider all information presented to be confidential. If, however, the student disseminates information disclosed during the hearing, the student’s interest in the confidentiality of the hearing will be deemed waived.
- Both the student and the faculty member involved may request assistance in presenting his/her case at the hearing by any member of the university community other than an attorney. The individual must inform the chairperson of the hearing board of the names of his/her representatives and any witnesses before the hearing date.
- Individuals appearing before the hearing board have the responsibility of presenting truthful information, and the board in reaching its decision will evaluate the credibility of the witnesses.
- Presentation of evidence will only be made during the hearing. The board may address questions to any party or witness. Any party may present witnesses or other evidence. The conduct of the hearing is informal, and the board is not bound by rules of evidence or court procedures. Matters of procedure will be decided by the chairperson of the hearing board.
- All decisions of the board will be determined by a majority vote of the members present. The student and faculty member involved will be informed in writing by the chairperson of the hearing board of the board’s decision within two weeks of the hearing.
The student may appeal the decision of the hearing board in writing to the dean of the appropriate school, or the dean’s designee, within thirty days of notice of the hearing board’s decision. The dean or designee may approve, modify, or reverse the decision of the board and will notify the student of his/ her decision within two weeks of receiving the appeal if practicable. In those cases where the appeal was heard by the dean’s designee, the student may have a final appeal to the dean if a request in writing is made within 30 days of the designee’s decision. The decision of the dean is final in all cases except expulsion. The sanction of expulsion for academic dishonesty may be imposed only by the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs upon recommendation of the dean.