Grade appeals

A Bluffton University student who feels that a final course grade has been unfairly or erroneously assigned has a right to appeal. The student should first discuss the grade with the professor who assigned it. The student must contact the professor as soon as possible after the disputed grade is issued and no later than 10 class days after the next term begins. After talking with the professor, if the student is still convinced that the grade is an unfair or erroneous evaluation of the student's performance, the student should contact the academic dean. The contact must be made within 20 class days after the next term begins. The academic dean will talk with the student, the professor and the department chair to attempt to arrive at a mutually satisfactory settlement of the disagreement. If the dispute is not resolved to the student's satisfaction, the student may initiate a formal grade appeal:

  • No later than 10 class days after the dean of academic affairs confirms that the dispute is not resolved to the student's satisfaction the student should file with the academic dean a written appeal which includes:
    • a statement of the nature of the complaint
    • the evidence, if any, on which the complaint is based; and
    • the redress or remedy that the student seeks.
  • Upon receiving the written appeal, the academic dean will impanel a hearing committee composed of three faculty members and one student. The academic dean will select one faculty member from the faculty at large and one faculty member each from lists of three faculty submitted by the student and the professor. The student will be nominated by the Student Senate.
  • The hearing committee will review written statements and information supplied by the student and professor. Both the student and the professor have the right, but are not obligated, to make a personal appearance before the panel. All discussions and written statements will be treated as strictly confidential. The hearing committee has the power to make recommendations to the professor, the student and/or the academic dean.

Typically the faculty member has the responsibility to determine the final grade for the course. In the event that the faculty member does not follow the recommendation of the hearing committee, the committee may petition the academic dean who, in consultation with and under the direction of the president of the university, will make the final determination.

Academic grievances over matters other than final grades should follow the general procedures outlined for final grade disputes.

Certain Bluffton University academic departments and professional programs may use additional procedures for grade appeals and academic grievances.

Students enrolled in courses through other institutions who wish to appeal a grade must follow the grade appeal procedure and abide by the decision of the teaching institution.

May 2023