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4.1.1 Definitions and Standards

Last updated on:
Friday, September 1, 2017
Formerly Known As Policy Number: 

(1) An appeal is a written request for review of a decision made by a person (or group of persons) acting in an official University capacity. The decision must have directly affected the academic activities of the appellant as an individual. Dissatisfaction with a departmental, school, or University policy or practice is not grounds for appeal. These appeal procedures may be used by any member of the Professoriate, as defined in, Section 1.2.5 of the Faculty Handbook.

(2) The purpose of the appeal process is to determine whether appropriate procedures were followed in making certain kinds of academic decisions, rather than to reevaluate the merits of the decisions themselves. The standard for deciding the appeal shall be limited to determining whether there were procedural errors (such as the failure to bring proper facts and criteria to bear on a decision, or the introduction of improper facts and criteria, or the existence of other procedural defects) that substantially affected the outcome to the detriment of the appellant. In rare cases, the reviewer may also overturn the decision if it was not one which a person (or persons) in the position of the decision-maker might reasonably have made.

(3) Because these appeal procedures are not those of a court of law, it is important that they be carried out with flexibility and in an atmosphere of collegiality, and that the participants avoid an excessively legalistic approach. Efforts should be made to resolve the dispute informally before beginning the appeal process, and those efforts may continue even after the process is underway.

(4) The appellant should file his or her appeal within 60 days of being notified of the decision. An unreasonable delay in filing an appeal may constitute grounds for rejection of the appeal.