Grade Appeal Policy

I. Introduction

1.   It is the policy of Hampden-Sydney College that students are responsible for fulfilling prescribed course objectives, completing stated course assignments, and adhering to stated academic standards for each course in which they are enrolled. If an instructor has evaluated a student in a professionally accepted manner, an academic appeal is not warranted. Also, a grade appeal is an inappropriate recourse for questions of professional competence or academic freedom. Only charges of arbitrariness, capriciousness, and prejudice are subject to academic appeal.

2.   Based on these principles, issues eligible for appeal involve computational errors, application of course rules and regulations, consistency and communication of evaluation standards, or expressed bias.

3.   Students who believe that their final grade reflects an arbitrary or capricious academic evaluation or reflects discrimination based on race, age, sex, veteran status, national origin, or disability may employ the following procedures to seek modification of such an evaluation.

II. Procedure

1.   If a student receives a final grade in a course that he believes is unfair, the student should first contact the faculty member involved before the end of the drop period of the next academic term.

2.   If the student's complaint is not resolved, the student may appeal the grade to the department chair. It is the student's responsibility to provide a written statement of the specific grievance with all relevant documentation (syllabus, graded work guidelines for papers, presentations, etc.) attached.

3.   If the department chair is unable to resolve the grade appeal to the satisfaction both the student and faculty member involved, or the person giving the disputed grade is the department chair, then a written appeal with all relevant documentation may be made to the Dean of the Faculty. The Dean may make recommendations to the student or instructor and will try to find an equitable solution to the dispute.

4.   All parties to the grade appeal process (student, instructor, or department chair) are to maintain strict confidentiality until the matter is resolved.

Approved by the Faculty on November 4, 2002