Informal Resolution of Contested Grades

Students must first attempt to settle the matter informally. This should be done by discussing the issue with the instructor. Students may also contact the department chair and Ombudsperson, or another mutually acceptable third party who is uninvolved in the grade grievance process and can attempt to mediate the dispute informally.

If the grade grievance is resolved between a student and instructor, and results in a grade change, the department chair  (or equivalent) shall expeditiously transmit the case in writing to COCI. The department chair must provide a brief description of the circumstances involved in the case, and state and explain any assent or objection to the proposed grade change. COCI will treat proposals transmitted without explicit assent or objection as being uncontested by the department chair. In addition, COCI requires a written statement from the student consenting to the proposed change (e-mail is acceptable).

If COCI approves the proposed change, it will then instruct the Office of the Registrar to make the change in the student’s record. Once COCI has acted upon a proposed grade change, the Committee’s decision shall be communicated in writing to the student, instructor, and department chair.

If, and only if, these informal procedures have failed to settle the matter, and the one-year time limit (outlined below) has not expired, the student may initiate the following grievance process. The grounds for a successful grade grievance are specifically laid out in the procedures. In cases where a student pursues a formal grade grievance, the department is obliged to follow the procedures. The department cannot make its own determination as to the validity of the student’s case, except through the formation of the ad hoc grievance committee as described.