Grade Review Procedures

A student who believes that a final course grade has been unfairly assigned may request a review of the grade by the end of the sixth week of the next regular semester following the semester or summer session of record or, if the review is requested following conversion of a temporary grade to a permanent grade, six weeks following the change from the temporary to the permanent grade. This request must take the form of a written statement explaining the reasons for the request. (See 2 below.) The following procedures will be followed.

  1. The student must first confer with the instructor of the course to discuss the grade. The student may wish to ask about such matters as the particular strengths and weaknesses of his or her course work, the general grade scale utilized by the instructor, and the relative ranking of the student’s work in the class as a whole.
  2. If the student is not satisfied by this discussion, or if the instructor’s absence from campus precludes a discussion, he or she may, following the schedule above, present a written statement requesting a further review and giving a full explanation of the reasons for the request. This written statement constitutes a formal request for a grade review. The statement shall be sent to the instructor and the chair of the department or director of the program in which the course was taught. If the course is cross listed in two or more departments or programs, the chair of the faculty member’s home department will be the one to receive the written statement. If the grade in question was given by the department chair or program director, the student will ask the Dean of Undergraduate Studies to appoint another faculty member of the department or program to oversee the further review process. Unless the chair or director (or faculty member appointed by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, in cases where the grade in question was given by the chair or director) decides the student’s case is wholly without merit, he or she shall discuss the matter with the instructor and seek to resolve the issue. This part of the review process should be completed within three weeks of receipt of the written statement from the student.
  3. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the above procedure, s/he may appeal in writing to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies (or to the Dean of the Faculty in cases where the grade in question was given by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, or to the Provost, in cases where the grade in question was given by the Dean of the Faculty). Unless the Dean of Undergraduate Studies decides that the student’s case is wholly without merit, s/he will ask the chair or director (or faculty appointed by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies in cases where the grade in question was given by the chair or director) to appoint a committee of at least three faculty of the department or program. The committee shall review all relevant and available materials supplied by the student, the instructor, or other individuals. Both the student and the instructor have the right to meet with the committee.
  4. If the instructor is no longer employed by the College of William and Mary and repeated attempts by the student to engage the instructor in a discussion of the grade have failed, the chair or director (or faculty member appointed by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, in cases where the grade in question was given by the chair or director) shall try to resolve the issue unless s/he decides the student’s case is wholly without merit. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, the procedures described in 3 above shall be followed.
  5. If the instructor refuses to accept the committee’s recommendation, the committee shall refer the matter to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies (or to the Dean of the Faculty in cases where the grade in question was given by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, or to the Provost, in cases where the grade in question was given by the Dean of the Faculty). If the committee recommends actions other than changing the grade, for example giving consideration to additional student work not previously graded by the instructor, and the faculty member refuses to follow their recommendations, the committee will make a specific recommendation relative to the grade they deem fair and appropriate when they refer the matter to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. The decision of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies to accept or reject the committee’s recommendation shall be final.
  6. The entire Grade Review process should normally be completed by the end of the semester in which the Grade Review was initiated.

These Grade Review Procedures were approved by the faculty in March 2002 and revised in March 2009.