Appeal of Academic Decisions
The University of Alaska appeals policies can be found in the Regents’ Policy and University Regulation Part IX — Student Affairs, Chapter 09.03, Student Dispute Resolution, available online at the Board of Regents policy and university regulation website.
Grade Error Policy
A grade other than an incomplete or deferred submitted by the instructor after a course is completed is the final grade and becomes part of the student’s permanent academic record. A grade will not be changed unless the instructor made a legitimate error in calculating the grade. If an error has occurred, contact the instructor immediately. Grade error corrections must be received within 30 class days after the beginning of the next regular semester, and must be approved by the instructor’s department head and dean. This is not an appeal of an academic decision.
Grade Appeals Policy
A student who wishes to appeal a faculty decision on a final grade must submit a grade appeal form, available at the Office of the Registrar. There are only two valid reasons for appeal of a grade:
- an error in calculation of the grade, or
- arbitrary and capricious grading.
Evidence of either must be documented for an appeal to be successful. Merely wanting a higher grade is not sufficient grounds to justify an appeal.
The full text of the grade appeals policy can be found at the Faculty Senate policies and procedures website. The grade appeal form is on the registrar's form website. Grade appeal forms are also available at the Office of the Registrar and at the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities office.
Academic Decisions Other Than Grades
Students have the right to appeal academic decisions other than grades. Decisions that fall into this category include, but are not limited to, denial of admission, faculty-initiated withdrawal, dismissal from program or pass/fail decisions of a faculty committee on non-course examinations (such as qualifying, comprehensive or thesis examinations).
Before beginning the informal or formal appeal process, the student should first address the person who made the decision. Often problems can be resolved and misunderstandings cleared up through this step. If the student does not find the outcome acceptable, the next step is an informal appeal.
The informal appeal must be submitted to the academic leader of the department or program within 15 class days after the beginning of the next regular semester. An extension to the deadline may be approved by the academic leader with a written request and supporting documentation from the student. A deadline extension will be limited to one semester, but every effort should be made to complete the appeal process within the current semester.
If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the academic leader, the student can file a formal appeal with the Office of the Provost. The formal appeal must be made in writing within five class days after the student has learned the outcome of the informal review. By submitting a formal request for review, the student acknowledges that no additional mechanisms exist within the university for the informal review of the decision.
Detailed “Appeals Policy for Academic Decisions Other Than Assignment of Grades” can be found at the Faculty Senate policies and procedures website.
The academic appeals advisor helps undergraduate students with the policies and procedures associated with grade appeals, appeals policy for academic decisions other than assignment of grades, academic petitions and financial aid satisfactory progress appeals.
The academic appeals advisor is a professional academic advisor in the Academic Advising Center. The academic appeals advisor helps students determine whether the appeal or petition is appropriate, reviews documentation relevant to the appeal or petition, and navigates the process for the appeal or petition submission. In the preceding sentence, “appropriate” does not refer to whether an appeal is likely to be successful, but rather whether the appeal falls within the purview of the grade or academic decisions appeal process. The academic appeals advisor does not guarantee the appeal or petition will be successful and will not comment on the likelihood of acceptance. Students are responsible for writing the appeal or petition, for gathering and recording relevant documentation, and for submitting the appeal or petition with the proper signatures.