Department of Psychology

Grade Appeal Committee



The following guidelines were developed based on the Western Illinois University Student Handbook and standard operating procedure within the Psychology Department. Future alterations to these procedures should be made with approval of the Grade Appeals Committee, the Psychology Department Chairperson, and the Psychology Department faculty as a whole.

Committee Formation

Each academic year, the Grade Appeals Committee will be formed with three faculty members (one of which will be elected to a two-year term) and four student members. An additional faculty member and student will be selected to serve as an alternate as needed so that seven committee members may participate in the appeal procedure for any given appeal. Faculty members of the committee are selected by departmental vote in the Fall Semester and student members of the committee are selected early in the Fall Semester by the three faculty committee members from a pool of peer-, faculty-, and self-nominated psychology majors. The committee will elect a student Chairperson at their first meeting for each appeal. The Grade Appeals Committee Chairperson, with the help of a faculty committee member, is responsible for calling meetings, communicating with the individuals involved with the appeal, and writing the final report explaining the committee's decision.


A student who believes that a final grade from a course was unjustly assigned must consult with the instructor of record for that course to attempt to resolve the dispute. If during that consultation the student is not satisfied with the outcome, the Psychology Department Grade Appeal Form may be submitted to the Psychology Department Chairperson to initiate the grade appeal process. The appeal form shall be submitted no later than the end of the third week of the subsequent semester in which the student received the grade in question. After receiving the appeal, the Psychology Department Chairperson dates the form and forwards it to the Grade Appeals Committee Chairperson and to the faculty member against whom the appeal is being brought. If the faculty member is a member of the Grade Appeals Committee, the faculty alternate will be informed, so that he or she can take the place of the faculty member whose grade is being appealed. The appeal process should be completed no more than 4 weeks (20 working days) from the Psychology Department Chairperson's receipt of the Psychology Department >Grade Appeal Form.

With the help of a faculty committee member, the Grade Appeals Committee Chairperson will distribute the Psychology Department Grade Appeal Form to all committee members and arrange separate meeting times for the student and faculty member to meet with the committee. The student and faculty member may present any information considered relevant to the appeal process (e.g., assignments, exams, grade reports). Both parties may ask additional people (e.g., classmates, graduate assistants, advisors) to attend the meeting if they have relevant information to share with the committee.

After both parties have presented their information, the Grade Appeal Committee will render a decision by secret ballot. Committee members will vote to "approve" or "not approve" the grade appeal and majority vote shall determine the decision rendered in the case.

The decision will be communicated within one week in a letter written by the Grade Appeals Committee Chairperson to the student, faculty member, Psychology Department Chairperson, and the Council on Admission, Graduation and Academic Standards. The letter shall include information about the basis of the appeal, conclusions reached by the committee, a report of the voting, and, in the cases of "approved" decisions, specific action recommendations. If there is a minority report, it should be appended to the formal report prepared by the Grade Appeals Committee Chairperson, and both should become a part of the permanent record. The decision and action recommendations are advisory to the student and the faculty member.

If the student's appeal is upheld, the faculty member must inform the Grade Appeals Committee Chairperson in writing and within one week as to whether or not he or she will change the grade. The Grade Appeals Committee Chairperson must then inform the student and the Psychology Department Chairperson of the faculty member's decision in writing within one week.

In cases where the faculty member is unwilling or unable to become a party in the proceedings and the Departmental Grade Appeal Committee votes to approve a grade appeal, the grade will be changed. The Grade Appeals Committee Chairperson shall request that the Psychology Department Chairperson submit a change of grade form and indicate that the change is due to a successful grade appeal.

Should the student be dissatisfied with the outcome of the appeal process, they may initiate the appeal process at the college level according to the College of Arts and Sciences guidelines.

Sexual Harassment. In cases where the grade appeal is based on a complaint involving sexual harassment and/or discrimination based on sex, race, or disability, the above 4-week deadline will not apply. In such cases, the Grade Appeal Committee will refer the student to the Affirmative Action Officer before proceeding. Once the Affirmative Action Officer has acted on the complaint, the matter shall be referred back to the Psychology Department Grade Appeal Committee for adjudication.

2008-09 Committee Members: C Harbke S McFadden R Morgan D Lindemann, Alternate Student Members: J Pritchard, L Skarren, A Courson, B Milstead, J Leonhard, M Peterson, Alternate


Committee Members

There are no meetings assigned to this committee