Wise Guide

Academic Grievances

Course Grades

The grade duly recorded by a faculty member in a course is final unless changed by the Faculty of Law at a meeting in which a majority of the presidentially-appointed Faculty of Law members present approve by vote, and only pursuant to the procedures and standards set forth below. See 1.d below.

Grievance Procedures

In general, the student may discuss a final examination with the pertinent faculty member, and has a right to review the examination paper on which the grade was based under the supervision of the faculty member. If there is a dispute or grievance about the grade duly recorded in any course, the following procedures shall be followed:

  1. Clerical or mathematical error by faculty member Where the faculty member acknowledges that the grade is incorrect due to a mathematical or clerical error, the following procedures shall apply:

    1. The faculty member, in writing, shall request the change and, shall specify the exact circumstances which resulted in the clerical or mathematical error;
    2. the faculty member shall refer this written request and the exam, the grading sheet and any other evidence of error to the Administrative Committee for an advisory opinion to be submitted to the Faculty of Law;
    3. the presidentially-appointed Faculty of Law members present at the meeting may approve, modify or reject the advisory opinion of the Administrative Committee;
    4. the vote of the majority of presidentially-appointed Faculty of Law members at the meeting shall be final;
    5. the Registrar shall record any grade change voted by the Faculty of Law.
  2. Other academic grievances against a faculty member relating to course grades Where there is an allegation that a grade has been affected by fundamental unfairness of a faculty member (whether in good or bad faith) and there is a grievance on that grade, the student shall, before the expiration of the 60th day in the next semester (excluding summer sessions), or within 30 days after receipt of that grade, whichever period is longer, notify the faculty member, in writing, of the nature and content of the grievance. The purpose of this stage is to permit a consensual resolution of the grievance.

    1. If the faculty member at this stage acknowledges fundamental unfairness and the faculty member and student arrive at a mutually acceptable remedy, the following procedures shall apply:

      1. The faculty member, in writing, shall refer the matter (including the examination and all supporting evidence) to the Administrative Committee for an advisory opinion to be submitted to the Faculty of Law;
      2. the presidentially-appointed Faculty of Law members present at the meeting may approve, modify or reject the advisory opinion of the Administrative Committee;
      3. the vote of the majority of presidentially-appointed Faculty of Law members at the meeting shall be final;
      4. the Registrar shall record any grade change voted by the Faculty of Law.
    2. If the discussion at this stage does not result in an agreement between the faculty member and the student, then the grievance shall proceed to the Dean:

      1. The Dean shall have an opportunity to evaluate the grievance after input from both parties affected. There shall be no appeal from the Dean's decision to dismiss the grievance;
      2. in the event that the Dean decides to continue the matter, the Dean shall appoint a panel consisting of three faculty members who are tenured full professors. The members of this panel shall be drawn by lot;
      3. the panel shall appoint its own chair and shall resolve the matter promptly. Procedures consistent with due process shall be conducted. The panel's decision shall include:

        1. findings of fact; and
        2. recommendations for disposition of the grievance (i.e., the grade);
      4. the panel's decision shall then be submitted to the Faculty of Law;
      5. the presidentially-appointed Faculty of Law members present at the meeting may approve, modify or reject the recommendation of the panel;
      6. the vote of the majority of presidentially-appointed Faculty of Law members at the meeting shall be final;
      7. the Registrar shall record any grade change voted by the Faculty of Law.
  3. Alleged administrative error or other circumstances affecting the examination process not caused by or within the control of a faculty member shall be initially taken to the Associate Dean for Students who may refer the matter to the Administrative Committee. The Administrative Committee may conduct an evidentiary hearing (pursuant to its established procedures) and file a report with the Faculty of Law which may then take appropriate action. The Registrar shall record any grade change voted by the Faculty of Law.
  4. A missing examination paper shall proceed initially pursuant to the provisions as set forth above in Section 3.