Student Grade Grievance Procedure

The following procedure shall be used by any student who has a complaint relating to the final grade received in a class.

Step 1) After a final course grade has been officially filed, a student must first contact the faculty member and discuss the complaint concerning the grade received. This will serve as an informal review.

Step 2) If the informal review does not lead to a satisfactory resolution, the student has thirty (30) calendar days from the date that final course grades are filed to submit a formal written grievance via the Student Grade Grievance Form. A copy will be sent to the faculty member, the appropriate chairperson, dean, and Student Association Grievance Committee Representative. The formal grievance shall include:

  • A brief but specific statement of grievance.
  • Reasons for lodging the grievance and supporting evidence.  
  • A specific proposed resolution for the grievance.

The faculty member must respond in writing to the student within four (4) weekdays of receipt of the grievance, indicating whether the proposed resolution is accepted or rejected, or offering an alternative resolution. (Copies of that response must be sent to the appropriate chairperson, dean, and Student Association Grievance Committee Representative.)

Step 3) If the faculty member’s response is not acceptable to the student, he/she has three (3) weekdays to make a written request to the chairperson of the faculty member's department for a recommendation.  Copies must be sent to the faculty member, the appropriate dean, and the Student Association Grievance Committee Representative.

(If the faculty member is the chairperson, the procedure moves to Step 4.) The chairperson must evaluate the case and provide the student and faculty member with a written statement agreeing with the student or the faculty member or proposing an alternative resolution within six (6) weekdays. Copies must also be sent to the appropriate dean and the Student Association Grievance Committee Representative.

Step 4) If the recommendation of the chairperson is unsatisfactory to the student, he/she has three (3) weekdays to request in writing that the appropriate academic dean call for a hearing in front of the Faculty/Student Grievance Committee.  Copies of this request will be sent to the faculty member, the appropriate chairperson, and the Student Association Grievance Committee Representative.

If the recommendation of the chair is different from the grade assigned by the instructor, the case will automatically go to the Grade Grievance Committee, unless the faculty member informs the dean that he/she agrees to the grade change.

The Grievance Committee will consist of three (3) students from the Student Association Grievance Committee (selected by the Representative chairperson); and three (3) faculty members selected by the Faculty Association President from a pool of faculty members designated by the Faculty Executive Board, and will be chaired by the appropriate dean or dean’s designee.

The Faculty/Student Grievance Committee shall meet to review the case and hear evidence.  It shall provide the student and faculty member involved the opportunity to present arguments at separate times. The committee shall reach a decision by a recorded roll call vote. In case of a tie, the dean or dean’s designee will cast the deciding vote. The decision of the Committee will be presented in writing by the dean or dean’s designee to the student, faculty member and chairperson within ten (10) weekdays of the hearing.

Step 5)  If the decision of the Committee is unsatisfactory to the student or the faculty member, either may, within three (3) weekdays of receipt of the Committee’s decision, request that the grievance be reviewed by the Provost.

This request must be made using the Student Grade Grievance Form. The decision of the Provost must then be presented in writing to the faculty member, student, dean, chairperson and Faculty/Student Grievance Committee within six (6) weekdays of the appeal. The decision of the Provost is final.

General Information

If any of the above deadlines are not met by the student, the grievance will be considered invalid and dropped, unless, due to extenuating circumstances, the Provost grants an extension of time.

In the event that any of the above deadlines of Steps 1 through 4 are not met by the faculty or the dean, the matter will automatically be referred to the next step of the process. If the deadlines of step five (5) are not met by the Provost, the resolution of the grievance will stand as determined by the committee.

All days mentioned in the above procedure refer to those days when the university is in regular, official session. (Note: This could mean delays in responses to grievances during times when the University is closed.)

Communication for the steps above will be handled through an electronic Grade Grievance Process and email.  Students and faculty involved in a grade grievance should check their SVSU email regularly. Student Grade Grievance Form

If the student and/or faculty member involved in the grievance is not available due to the former not being enrolled in a current term or the latter not assigned teaching duties in a current term, the Provost will establish appropriate and reasonable extensions of time.