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    Harding University
   
 
  Aug 16, 2017
 
2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
  
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2017-2018 Academic Catalog

Academic Grievances


Academic Grievance Procedure

Students enrolled in a program within the Center for Health Sciences (nursing, communication sciences and disorders) should refer to the appropriate section below.

If a student believes that he or she has reason to question the decision of a faculty member with regard to the final grade received in a course or the unreasonable denial of academic progression, a procedure has been established to resolve the grievance. Please note that the following academic grievance policies and procedures do not include matters of academic misconduct. These matters are covered in the section titled “Academic Integrity Policy.”

I.  Non-Health Science Academic Grievance Procedure

This student-initiated procedure is as follows:

  1. The student must register his or her complaint in writing to the faculty member within seven business days following the alleged incident, except that if the grievance involves a final grade, it must be filed within ten business days after final grades are posted by the Registrar. Within the written complaint, the student must set forth reasons and grounds for the grievance.
  2. Upon receipt of the complaint, within three business days the faculty member must meet with the student (in person, by telephone, or by email) and strive to resolve the problem.
  3. If a resolution cannot be reached within five business days, then it is the student’s responsibility to register the complaint in writing with the department chairman or dean of the program. 
  4. Upon receipt of the complaint, the department chairman or dean of the program must meet with the faculty member and the student (in person or by telephone) within three business days and strive to resolve the problem.
  5. If resolution cannot be reached during this meeting, then the faculty member must document in writing the efforts made to seek resolution and that a resolution has not been achieved. This document must be shared with the student and the department chairman or dean of the program within two business days of the failure to reach a resolution.
  6. If the student remains dissatisfied, then within three business days of being notified that a resolution has not been met, it is the student’s responsibility to initiate the grievance appeal procedure (below).

NOTE:  A file of all written documents must be maintained by the dean or department chairman. The faculty member must forward copies of all written documents to the dean or department chairman at each step of this process.

II.  Non-Health Science Grievance Appeal Process

  1. If, after completion of the procedure set forth above, the student believes that the grievance has not been equitably resolved, he or she may file an appeal in writing with the appropriate dean. This document must set forth the grounds and reasons of the appeal. It must be submitted to the dean within three business days of notification that a resolution has not been achieved.
  2. The dean must immediately notify the involved faculty member of the student’s appeal and, upon notification, the faculty member will have three business days to respond in writing to the allegations.
  3. Additionally, within five business days of receipt of the student’s appeal, the involved dean must appoint an ad hoc Grievance Committee consisting of three faculty members and notify the faculty member and the student of the date and time at which they must appear before the committee for a formal review of the allegations and issues.
  4. The review must be held within 14 business days of the receipt of the appeal. (An exception may be made for extenuating circumstances. For example, the student may be out of state or out of the country, necessitating that the review be conducted upon his or her return.)
  5. The dean shall chair the appeals session but shall not have a vote. 
  6. The session must be conducted in a manner ensuring substantial fairness, and it will not be restricted by the rules of evidence common to court proceedings.
  7. A document outlining the required order of the process is available from the Office of the Provost and must be used during the session.
  8. All witnesses will be required to attest to a statement regarding the accuracy of the information to be given.
  9. The session will be open only to the faculty member, the student and eyewitnesses. Neither the student’s parents, spouse, guardian, nor legal counsel will be permitted to appear before the Grievance Committee except as eyewitnesses.
  10. Review proceedings (excluding the deliberations of the committee) will be tape-recorded.
  11. Each party will make a brief opening statement.
  12. The faculty member will then present support of the grade assigned or the denial of academic progression. Then the student will be permitted to present information in support of the alleged grievance.
  13. Thereafter, both sides will be permitted to present rebuttal information. Throughout the session, the faculty member and the student will have reasonable opportunity for orderly questioning of the eyewitnesses. Support may be presented in the form of eyewitnesses or documents relevant to the issues to be determined by the committee.
  14. At the conclusion of the presentations, both sides will be permitted to make closing statements.
  15. Once the session is adjourned, the committee will have three business days to reach a final decision. The decision of the committee will be by majority vote.
  16. The dean must submit the decision, in writing, to the faculty member, the student, and the Director of Academic Affairs.

NOTE: The dean must submit a file of all written documents related to the Grievance Appeal meeting to the Office of the Provost. 

 III. Non-Health Science Final Appeal Option

  1. Within three business days of its receipt, the decision of the Grievance Committee may be appealed by the faculty member or the student to the Provost. 
  2. Upon receipt of the appeal and within three business days, the Provost will (a) order preparation of a transcript of the Grievance Committee meeting, and (b) appoint an ad hoc Appeal Committee composed of three persons, none of whom served on the initial Grievance Committee. 
  3. Written documentation, including the transcript of the Grievance Committee meeting, must be distributed to the ad hoc committee members at least two business days before the final appeal session. 
  4. The final appeal session must be held within seven business days of receipt of the final appeal. 
  5. The Provost will serve as the chairman for the committee. The responsibility of the Appeal Committee will be to review the record (transcript and all documents) of the Grievance Committee and to render a decision, based on a review of the record, whether procedures have been followed appropriately. 
  6. There will be no opportunity for presentation of new or additional support before the ad hoc Appeal Committee. 
  7. The Appeal Committee may take one of the following actions:
  • Affirm the decision made by the Grievance Committee, in which case the decision is final.
  • Remand the decision of the Grievance Committee for additional support, reconsideration and redetermination. The redetermined decision of the Grievance Committee is subject to further appeal to the Provost.
  • Reverse the decision of the Grievance Committee and render their own decision, in which case their decision will be final.

Upon final decision of the Appeal Committee, the student will have exhausted his or her right of appeal within the University.

IV. Official Records of Academic Grievance Proceedings

The Office of the Provost shall ensure maintenance of the official records related to academic grievance proceedings.

V.  Note

As in the case of any policy and policy guidelines, Harding reserves the right to change them or to make appropriate revision, additions, amendments or corrections. Faculty and students will be notified of any substantial changes.

Center for Health Sciences Academic Appeal Policies and Procedures

Health sciences programs prepare students to be able to pass national licensure examinations and meet common standards for professionalism and competence-based performance in health science professions. Decisions made by health science professionals often involve life or death situations and health science students are therefore held to high and strict academic standards.

A student has the right to file an appeal if there is disagreement with the final grade that has been awarded in a course. Concerns may relate to, but are not limited to, failure to abide by stated requirements described in the course syllabus, a disputed test question, or unfair application of grading standards across students. Student dissatisfaction with an earned grade or disagreement with faculty judgment in assessment of assignment or examination is not grounds for an appeal.

A student also has the right to file an appeal if there is disagreement with a decision related to academic progression. Concerns may relate to, but are not limited to, failure to abide by stated progression rules as outlined in the appropriate student handbook, failure to abide by stated technical standards, and/or unfair application of progression standards across students.

Please note that the following academic appeal policies and procedures do not include matters of academic misconduct or faculty misconduct. Matters of academic misconduct are covered in the section titled “Academic Integrity Policy.” Matters of alleged faculty misconduct should first be addressed with the specific faculty member. If the matter is still unresolved after addressing it with the faculty member, the student should then address the complaint to the course coordinator (if the faculty member is not the course coordinator) or the appropriate department chair for further assistance. If the issue needs further resolution or there is no department chair, the student should address the matter with the dean.

The Health Sciences Academic Performance and Standards Committee is a standing committee of the Center for Health Sciences and plays a key role in the academic appeals process. The committee is composed of two faculty members from the College of Allied Health, one faculty member from the Carr College of Nursing, one faculty member from the College of Pharmacy, one undergraduate student from the Center for Health Sciences and one graduate/professional student from the Center for Health Sciences. The faculty members are appointed for two-year terms by the deans of the three colleges in the Center with members from the College of Allied Health appointed in odd years and members from the Carr College of Nursing and College of Pharmacy appointed in even years. The student members are selected on a rotating basis among these three colleges and are appointed annually by the appropriate dean(s). The undergraduate student will only sit on appeals involving an undergraduate student. The graduate/professional student will only sit on appeals involving a graduate/professional students. The chair of the committee is named annually by the Provost. If a member of the committee is directly involved in an academic appeal, that member will recuse herself or himself from the committee’s deliberations.

The term “in writing” is used throughout this policy. All written communication must be done via e-mail using Harding University-assigned e-mail addresses. Notification sent after 5:00 p.m. will be treated as if sent on the next business day. If Harding University is closed on what would otherwise be a business day, for the purposes of this policy, such a day is not considered a business day. In addition to the email notification, decisions of the department chair, associate dean, Health Sciences Academic Performance and Standards Committee, dean, Director of Academic Affairs, and provost will be mailed to the student via US Postal Service delivery confirmation.

Students must complete and submit a Center for Health Sciences Academic Appeal form at each level of the appeal process.


I. Health Science Grade Appeals

This student-initiated procedure is as follows:

  1. Within five business days after the date final grades are posted on-line by the faculty member in charge of the course, the student should discuss in person or via telephone with that faculty member any concerns, stating the reasons for questioning the grade. During this good faith discussion, the student and faculty member should attempt to resolve the concerns. If resolution is not achieved, the student should inform the faculty member that he or she intends to file a written grade appeal.
  2. The student may initiate the appeal within five business days after the date final grades are posted on-line by the Registrar. The appeal should be completed within 45 business days following initiation of the appeal process.
  3. If the student appeals, he or she must do so in writing to the faculty member in charge of the course and copy the department chair (College of Allied Health and College of Pharmacy) or associate dean (Carr College of Nursing). The student must set forth reasons and grounds for the appeal. The faculty member will send a copy of his or her appeal decision in writing to the student and appropriate department chair (College of Allied Health and College of Pharmacy) or associate dean (Carr College of Nursing). If the faculty member does not render a decision within five business days after the student appeals to the faculty member, the appeal will be deemed denied as of the fifth business day.
  4. If the faculty member in charge of the course is the department chair (College of Allied Health and College of Pharmacy) or associate dean (Carr College of Nursing), the student must skip Paragraph 5 and proceed to Paragraph 6 to continue the appeal. If the faculty member in charge of the course is the dean, the student must skip Paragraphs 5 and 6 and appeal in writing to the dean as required in Paragraph 6 to continue the appeal. In that case, Paragraphs 7 and 8 do not apply and the dean must convene the Health Sciences Academic Performance and Standards Committee, which will consider the documentation submitted in compliance with Paragraph 9.
  5. If the faculty member denies the appeal or if the appeal is deemed denied, the student, within five business days of that denial, may appeal in writing to the appropriate department chair (College of Allied Health and College of Pharmacy) or associate dean (Carr College of Nursing) and copy the appropriate dean. The department chair or associate dean will send a copy of his or her appeal decision in writing to the student and appropriate dean. If the department chair or associate dean does not render a decision within five business days after the student appeals to the department chair or associate dean, the appeal will be deemed denied as of the fifth business day.
  6. If the department chair or associate dean denies the appeal or if the appeal is deemed denied, the student may appeal in writing to the appropriate dean within five business days of that denial.
  7. The dean will not consider an appeal based on any of the following reasons:
  • Disagreement with a faculty member over the quality of academic work, including the content of an exam answer, paper, or other assignment
  • Disagreement with published course policies
  • Differences in classroom policies or grading schemes in different courses or between different sections of the same course
  • A grade’s impact on a student’s academic progress, athletic eligibility, scholarship eligibility, or eligibility for veteran’s benefits
  1. The dean will consider an appeal only if a student presents evidence of one or more of the following:
  • Terms of the syllabus were violated
  • An error was made in calculating or recording a grade
  • A University policy was violated in an assignment, administered exam, or assigned grade
  • An inconsistent grading standard was applied among students in the same course
  • A written agreement between the faculty member and student was violated
  1. For appeals to the dean, the following supporting documentation is required (unless otherwise noted):
  • Explanation of what occurred and how the criteria above apply to the situation
  • Correspondence from the faculty member and department chair indicating that the appeal has been denied at those levels, unless the appeal was deemed denied
  • Course syllabus
  • Timeline of events relevant to the appeal
  • Assignment or exam in question (if applicable)
  • Excerpt from on-line catalog of university regulation (if applicable)
  • Correspondence with faculty member (if applicable)
  • Any other documentation supporting the appeal
  1. If the appeal meets the criteria in paragraph 8, the dean will convene the Health Sciences Academic Performance and Standards Committee to review the case.
  2. The committee will review the submitted documentation and may meet with the student or faculty member (in person or via telephone) to obtain additional information. The student may request to meet with the committee but may not bring other individuals to the meeting. If the student wants to meet with the committee, he or she must make that request when sending the appeal to the dean. The committee will send a copy of its appeal decision in writing to the student and the Director of Academic Affairs. If the committee does not render a decision within ten business days after the student appeals to the dean, the appeal will be deemed denied as of the tenth business day.
  3. If the appeal is denied by the committee or is deemed denied, further appeal rights are limited. The student may present the appeal in writing to the Director of Academic Affairs within ten business days of the denial. The appeal must specify the grounds, as well as supporting facts and rationale. Disagreement with the substance of the committee’s decision is not a ground for appeal at this level. The Director of Academic Affairs will limit review to alleged failure to adhere to appeal policies and procedures or new information that was unavailable to the student or the faculty member when the committee made its decision. The Director of Academic Affairs will render a final decision in writing within five business days after the student appeals to the Director of Academic Affairs.
  4. Upon final decision of the Director of Academic Affairs, the student will have exhausted his or her right of appeal within the University.

II. Health Science Academic Progression Appeals

This student-initiated procedure is as follows:

  1. The student may appeal within five business days after the date he or she is notified of dismissal from the health sciences college/program or of any other academic progression decision. The appeal should be completed within 45 business days following initiation of the process.
  2. If the student appeals, he or she must do so in writing to the faculty member from whom notification of dismissal or other decision was received and send a copy to the appropriate dean. The student must set forth reasons and grounds for the appeal. The faculty member will send a copy of his or her appeal decision in writing to the student and the appropriate department chair (College of Allied Health and College of Pharmacy) or associate dean (Carr College of Nursing). If the faculty member does not render a decision within five business days after the student appeals to the faculty member, the appeal will be deemed denied as of the fifth business day.
  3. If the faculty member from whom notification of dismissal or other decision was received is the dean, the student must skip Paragraph 4 and proceed to Paragraph 5 to continue the appeal.
  4. If the appeal is denied by the faculty member or is deemed denied, the student, within five business days of the denial, may appeal in writing to the appropriate dean with a copy to the Director of Academic Affairs. The dean will send a copy of his or her decision in writing to the student and the Director of Academic Affairs. If the dean does not render a decision within five business days after the student appeals to the dean, the appeal will be deemed denied as of the fifth business day.
  5. If the appeal is denied by the dean or is deemed denied, the student may appeal in writing to the Director of Academic Affairs within five business days of the denial.
  6. The Director of Academic Affairs will not consider an appeal based on any of the following reasons:
  • Disagreement regarding the quality of academic work, adherence to technical standards, or professional performance
  • Disagreement with published college/program policies
  • Differences in classroom policies or grading schemes in different colleges/programs or between different programs of the same college
  • An academic progression issue’s impact on a student’s future earning potential, timeline for assuming professional practice, or eligibility for veteran’s benefits
  1. The Director of Academic Affairs will consider an appeal only when a student presents evidence of one or more of the following:
  • Terms of the student handbook or catalog were violated
  • An error was made in calculating or recording a grade
  • A university policy was violated in an assignment, administered exam, technical standard, or assigned grade
  • An inconsistent grading standard was applied across students
  • A written agreement between the faculty member/program/college and student was violated
  1. For appeals submitted to the Director of Academic Affairs, the following supporting documentation is required (unless otherwise noted):
  • Explanation of what occurred and how the criteria above apply to the situation
  • Correspondence from the faculty member and dean indicating that the appeal has been denied at those levels, unless the appeal was deemed denied
  • College/program handbook section related to academic progression and technical standards
  • Timeline of events relevant to the appeal
  • Assignment or exam in question (if applicable)
  • Excerpt from on-line catalog of university regulation (if applicable)
  • Correspondence with faculty member (if applicable)
  • Any other documentation supporting the appeal
  1. If the appeal meets the criteria in paragraph 7, the Director of Academic Affairs will convene the Health Sciences Academic Performance and Standards Committee to review the case.
  2. The committee will review the submitted documentation and may meet with the student or faculty member/dean (in person or via telephone) to obtain additional information. The student may request to meet with the committee but may not bring other individuals to the meeting. If the student wants to meet with the committee, he or she must make that request when sending the appeal to the Director of Academic Affairs. The committee will send a copy of its decision in writing to the student and the Provost. If the committee does not render a decision within ten business days after the student appeals to the Director of Academic Affairs, the appeal will be deemed denied as of the tenth business day.
  3. If the appeal is denied by the committee or is deemed denied, further appeal rights are limited. The student may appeal in writing to the Provost within ten business days of the committee’s decision. The appeal must specify the grounds, as well as supporting facts and rationale. Disagreement with the substance of the committee’s decision is not a ground for appeal at this level. The Provost will limit review to alleged failure to adhere to appeal policies and procedures or new information that was unavailable to the student or the faculty member when the committee made its decision. The Provost will render a final decision in writing within five business days after the student appeals to the Provost.
  4. Upon final decision of the Provost, the student will have exhausted his or her right of appeal within the University.

III. Official Records of Academic Appeals

The Office of the Provost will ensure maintenance of the official records related to academic appeals. All documents and objects, including, but not limited to, papers, recordings, electronic documents or files, and e-mails, related to an academic appeal will be forwarded to the Office of the Provost once the appeal process is completed.

IV. Note

As in the case of any policy and policy guidelines, Harding reserves the right to change them or to make appropriate revisions, additions, amendments, or corrections. Faculty and students will be notified of any substantial changes.