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Policies

Academic Success

Policy on Grade Appeals

It is the right and responsibility of the faculty to determine student grades at Zucker School of Medicine. The course director's right to determine a final grade assigned in his/her course shall be abrogated only if it is demonstrated, through the process below, that the final course grade was not based on the student's academic and professional performance.

Concerns related to personality conflicts or malice should be brought forth within ten (10) business days of the incident or posting of an assessment grade, and prior to the assignment of the final course grade, to ensure a fair and expeditious investigation. If a student is aware of such concerns within the above timeframe, but does not bring the concerns forward until after the final course grade has been posted, the delay may be held against the student in considering the appeal, depending on the circumstances. An appeal based on unforeseeable personal circumstances may be considered only in extreme cases.

Appeal to the Course Director

A student must submit an appeal, in writing, to the course director via the Grade Appeal Form within ten (10) business days of the posting of the final course grade. In the case of the appeal of a re-assessment, the student must submit his/her appeal within three (3) business days of the posting of the re-assessment grade. It is expected that the grade appeal will be resolved through the resultant discussion between student and course director.

Appeal to the Dean

A student has the right to appeal the decision of the course director. The appeal must be submitted, in writing, to the Dean, within five (5) business days of receipt of the decision from the course director. The Dean shall have the authority to investigate the matter fully and to request material from and/or speak to the course director and/or the student. If the Dean requests to meet with the student, the student may have an adviser of his or her choice present but that adviser must remain silent while in the presence of the Dean.

The Dean may elect to:

  1. Take no action, allowing the course director’s decision to stand;
  2. Modify the decision of the course director; or
  3. Empanel an Ad Hoc Appeals Committee to investigate the appeal and make a recommendation.

Procedure for Ad Hoc Appeals Committee

If the Dean elects to empanel an Ad Hoc Appeals Committee, it shall be composed of up to five (5) faculty members who have no role in the determination of the student’s grade in question. The committee shall have the authority to investigate the matter fully and to request material from the student and course director. The charge of the Ad Hoc Appeals Committee is to determine if due diligence was followed and a reasonable course of action was taken by the course director, and not to re-grade the student. The Ad Hoc Appeals Committee shall proceed from the assumption that the course grade was justified and the burden of proof (that due diligence was not followed and/or a reasonable course of action was not taken) shall lie with the student. The student will be given an opportunity to present his/her argument and answer questions of the Ad Hoc Appeals Committee in person. The student may have an adviser of his or her choice present at the meeting with the Ad Hoc Appeals Committee, but that adviser must remain silent while in the presence of the Committee. The Ad Hoc Appeals Committee will submit a recommendation, in writing, to the Dean. In all cases, the Dean’s decision must be conveyed, in writing, to the student and course director. The Dean's decision in all such matters is final.

References to Regulations and/or Related Policies
LCME Element 11.6: Student Access to Educational Records
Policies on Grading

Last Updated: April 2018


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