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Academic Help and Appeals

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Sources of Help with Academic Problems

If students are having trouble in a course, the following persons and places may be able to provide help:

  1. The instructor of the course should be the primary sources of assistance to enhance the student's academic achievement in the course. Students are encouraged to visit the instructor during stated office hours and seek individual assistance from the instructor if that is not possible.
  2. Another valuable source of support is the student's academic adviser, who often can help clarify academic issues and can recommend support services or remedial strategies.
  3. The Academic Success Center in the Hixson-Lied Student Success Center has a collection of services such as tutoring, supplemental instruction (SI), the academic success course, learning lab, disability resources, and workshops designed to help students reach their academic goals.
  4. The office of the department that offers the course may have a list of persons qualified to provide tutoring services for the course. They also may have help rooms or other support programs. The locations of the department offices are listed in the front of the ISU Directory.
  5. The Student Counseling Service provides professional counseling services for students with problems which affect academic performance.

Appeal of Academic Grievances

Students who believe a faculty member (in his or her academic capacity) has behaved unfairly or unprofessionally may have their grievance reviewed through the procedure described below. A student may not initiate an appeal more than one year following completion of the course, and may not initiate the appeal of a course grade beyond midterm of the semester following completion of the course.

Prior to initiating a formal appeal, a student may wish to discuss the situation informally with the Dean of Students or designee, who can offer advice as to the most effective way to deal with it.

Grievances arising out of classroom or other academic situations should be resolved, if at all possible, with the student and the instructor involved. If resolution cannot be reached, or if the grievance involves sexual or racial harassment and the student prefers not to deal directly with the instructor, the student should discuss the grievance with the instructor's department chair and submit it in writing to him or her. The department chair will investigate the grievance, including discussing it with the instructor involved and/or referring it to a departmental grievance committee. The department chair should respond in writing within five class days of receipt of the written notice of the grievance.

If the student is not satisfied with the resolution of the grievance proposed by the department chair, the student may appeal in writing to the dean of the instructor's college. (In the case of a grievance involving a Graduate College policy or procedure, an appeal of the chair's decision should be directed to the Dean of the Graduate College rather than to the dean of the instructor's college.)

The dean will hear the explanations of the department chair and instructor, and should respond to the student in writing within ten class days of receipt of the written notice of the appeal. If the grievance cannot be resolved with the dean, the student may forward a written appeal to the provost, who will convene a Committee to Review Student Grievances (see below) to consider the appeal within ten class days of receipt of the written notice of the appeal.

Within five class days following the convening of the committee, the provost will make a decision with regard to the grievance and will transmit this decision in writing to the grievant, the dean, the department chair, and the instructor. An appeal of the provost's decision may be made to the president of the university. The time limit specified at each level may be extended by mutual agreement of all parties concerned.

The Committee to Review Student Grievances is composed of faculty members named by the president of the Faculty Senate and students named by the president of the Government of the Student Body. The provost may serve as a chairperson for the committee, or may designate another chairperson for a specific grievance hearing. A minimum of two faculty members, two students, and the chairperson shall constitute a quorum for the convening committee.