Undergraduate Grade Appeal Process

Undergraduate students may appeal a final course grade. The appeal process must be initiated by the student within thirty (30) calendar days after the first day of class of the regular semester following the award of the grade. The appeal process is summarized below.

Step 1
An undergraduate student who wishes to appeal a final course grade must first attempt to resolve the matter by meeting with the instructor involved. The student must explain his or her position to the instructor and attempt to understand the justification for the grade assigned by the instructor. The purpose of the meeting is to reach a mutual understanding of the student’s situation and the instructor’s actions and to resolve differences in an informal and cooperative manner.

Step 2
If a student fails to reach a satisfactory solution in consultation with the instructor, or if it is impractical to consult with the instructor, the student should seek the assistance of the faculty conciliator within fifteen (15) calendar days of the meeting with the instructor or within thirty (30) calendar days after the first day of class of the semester following the award of the grade. The faculty conciliator’s role is to advise, guide, and document the student’s progress through the Appeal Process.

Step 3
Within five (5) calendar days of the initial meeting with the student, the faculty conciliator must arrange a meeting with the student, the instructor, and the chairperson of the department. The purpose of this meeting is to try to find an amicable solution. In the case of a grade appeal involving a department chairperson, the meeting will be with the student, the instructor (chairperson) and a vice chancellor of Academic Affairs or the vice chancellor's designee. If the student is still dissatisfied after this meeting, such student may then elect to file a formal appeal within fifteen (15) calendar days of the meeting.

Step 4
To file a formal appeal, the student must submit a written appeal statement to the faculty conciliator who will forward it to the chairperson of the CHB. The written appeal must be specific, relevant, and concise, explaining precisely the student’s justification for the grade appeal. The burden of proof will be on the student, to the extent reasonable, to clearly document pertinent evidence for the grade appeal (i.e., a copy of the syllabus; copies of graded exams and term papers as well as other substantiating evidence). The student should also provide a list requesting copies of items used for evaluation that cannot be directly documented (e.g., a professor may keep copies of old exams).

Step 5
The Conduct Hearing Board (CHB) has authority to screen out frivolous or unsubstantiated claims. The chairperson will notify the faculty conciliator, the faculty member, the student and the departmental chairperson (or vice chancellor) in writing, explaining why the committee found a student claim sufficient or insufficient and, in the event of a sufficient claim, of the date of the appeal hearing.

Step 6
The chairperson of the CHB shall convene a meeting of the board at least once a semester, unless no sufficient appeals are forthcoming. In a closed hearing, the student shall produce documents and other relevant evidence to substantiate his or her claims. The student may address only those issues that are described in the appeal statement. Claims the CHB has deemed frivolous or unsubstantiated may not be addressed. The instructor shall be given an opportunity to respond and discuss the concerns raised by the student. The CHB may ask questions of all parties and will deliberate after hearing the case. Two faculty members and two student members must vote in concurrence with the student’s position in order for the appeal to be supported. The Board shall issue its decision within seven (7) calendar days of the hearing.

Step 7
Once the CHB reaches its decision, the following persons will be notified in writing about the findings of the Board: the vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, the chairperson in the appropriate department, the faculty member, the faculty conciliator, and the student.

If the Board finds the original course grade to be inappropriate, the Board will recommend that the faculty member recalculate the grade and make the appropriate change in the Registrar’s Office within five (5) calendar days. Should the faculty member be unwilling or unable to do so, the Board will recalculate the grade and make the change in the Registrar’s Office. The resulting grade is final and may not be further appealed.

Faculty Conciliator

The SGA will choose two faculty conciliators from a list of four names of the full-time teaching faculty approved by the Faculty Senate and submitted by the chair of the Faculty Senate.

The Faculty Conciliators work as “co-conciliators”, who share the workload of student grade appeals equally. The co-conciliators should serve for staggered terms of two years each. The Faculty Senate will forward its approved nominations to the SGA immediately following the April Senate meeting. Included in the list of nominees should be a letter of interest from each candidate, as well as a copy of their resume or curriculum vita. The Faculty Conciliator shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the CHB in final grade appeals deliberations. See below for the contact information of the Faculty Conciliators.

Conduct Hearing Board (CHB)
The CHB is defined in the UNCP Student Handbook. CHB members are necessarily excluded from deliberations in which:
1. The board member is related to one of the two principals.
2. The board member is a departmental colleague of one of the principals.
3. The board member is currently enrolled in a course taught by one of the principals.
4. The board member is one of the two principals involved.

All questions of scheduling and satisfying deadlines shall be adjudicated by the Chairperson of the CHB.

All records of the Board’s deliberations shall be kept in a file maintained by the Office of Academic Affairs in accordance with the University Records Retention and Disposition Schedule.

Nothing in this policy should be construed as a violation of academic freedom expressed in The Code of The University of North Carolina.

Faculty Conciliators

Dr. Abigail Reiter, Term 2020-2022

Dr. Brian T. Smith, Term 2021-2023