Disputed Academic Evaluation Procedures
Full text available at: https://policy.usc.edu/scampus-part-c
- A student is required to first meet with the instructor of the course.
- If the dispute is not resolved after meeting with the instructor, please contact your Advisor to initiate an appeal to the Department Chair.
General university policy regarding disputed academic evaluations entitles a student to two levels of formal appeal after review by the instructor. In the interest of preserving the very important student-instructor relationship, the student and instructor should try to resolve the grade dispute by direct communication. If the issue cannot be resolved by this dialogue, the grade dispute should move beyond the instructor to the next level of review. All grade appeals must be brought no later than the end of the semester following the semester for which the student received the disputed grade. In general, the two levels of appeal beyond the instructor are either: the department chair and the school dean, or the school dean and the provost’s office. Whether an appeal is heard by the department chair and dean or dean and provost’s office depends upon the structure of the school in which the academic evaluation occurred. The two levels of appeal are as follows:
For schools organized by departments, the first level of review, after speaking with the instructor, is by the department chair and, if needed, a second level of review by the dean. The process described in the paragraphs I.A. and I.B. below applies to:
1.A. The department chair at his or her discretion may review the matter personally or conduct a formal hearing through an ad hoc or standing committee. The hearing committee is appointed by the department chair and consists of a faculty member from outside the involved department or academic unit, a student, a faculty member of the appealing student’s choice, and two faculty members from the department or academic unit. A written decision will be given to the student after the department chair’s decision or the hearing committee decision. Normally a decision should be sent to the student within approximately 15 days after the hearing. This time may be extended if necessary. The student should be informed in writing if the decision will be delayed.
1.B. If either the student or faculty member who assigned the grade wishes to appeal the decision of the chair or the hearing committee, in the next level of appeal beyond the instructor and the department chair, he/she must appeal in writing to the dean of the academic unit within two weeks after receiving the written decision. The dean of the academic unit may review the matter personally or, if a hearing has not been conducted by the department, the dean must conduct a hearing. The hearing committee consists of the same categories of members within the academic unit as described above. The committee will make a recommendation to the dean who will make a decision which is final and binding. Normally a written decision should be sent to the student within approximately 15 days after a hearing. This time may be extended if necessary. The student should be informed in writing if the decision will be delayed.