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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Deans to fix grades

    Students looking to change course grades soon will be required to go through the deans of their colleges.

    Beginning this spring, college deans, rather than a provost, must approve a grade change, said Jerry Hogle, UA vice provost for instruction.

    “”We want to

    The new preface informs students whether or not a grade appeal is an appropriate action, like the instructor did something different than their syllabus states.

    -Jerry Hogle,
    vice provost for instruction

    make sure the grade the student gets proves some knowledge of the subject matter, and the dean of the college seems to be the fairest point,”” he said.

    On Nov. 5, the Faculty Senate approved changes to the grade-appeal policy that include a new preface in the 2007-2008 general catalog. The preface informs students whether a grade appeal is an appropriate action; whether a dean can convene an appeal committee; and clarification of the possible grade options for appeal committees and deans.

    A big change, Hogle said, was limiting the reasons justifying a grade change, which were outlined in the Undergraduate Council’s meeting minutes from Nov. 7.

    A college dean will convene a committee to review a grade-change case if a student believes an instructor has violated university policy; failed to follow established course policy; caused a lack of consistency within the student’s course section; or incorrectly graded work.

    Illegitimate reasons include students’ disagreements with published course policies; differences in classroom policies or grading schemes in different courses or between different sections of the same course; or a grade’s impact on a student’s academic program.

    The dean has the authority to end the appeal process.

    “”Students think they should file when they disagree with a grade they received, and that is not a reason,”” Hogle said. “”The new preface informs students whether or not a grade appeal is an appropriate action, like the instructor did something different than their syllabus states.””

    The faculty in the Undergraduate Council requested the amendment changes to the grade-appeal policy, which covers both undergraduate and graduate students, because they thought the number of appeals for their departments were unwarranted, Celeste Pardee, a curriculum associate in the Office of Academic Affairs, wrote in an e-mail.

    There is always some reason a policy needs to be revised or updated, said Wanda Howell, chair of the Faculty Senate.

    “”We evaluate policy over time with different criteria for each policy,”” she said. “”We look to see if it has been used or not. If it has, then was it good or bad and were there problems?””

    Bobbi McKean was the chair of the Undergraduate Council when the new appeal policy was suggested.

    “”The wording was vague before,”” she said. “”It is very important it is clear to students because it really clarifies when it is appropriate to file an appeal.

    The changes will be effective beginning this spring for all students appealing a fall 2007 grade, according to the 2007-2008
    general catalog.

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