Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Handbook

Student Appeals

What can I appeal and how do I appeal?

Students can appeal final grades and suspension or dismissal decisions.

Appealing a Final Grade

The Student Appeals Process provides a way for a student to challenge a final grade given by a faculty member.

If a student receives a grade that they believe is unfair or assigned in error, the first step is to talk with the instructor. If the instructor's explanation is incomplete or insufficient, then the student may pursue an informal appeal of the grade.

The Quick Guide to Appealing a Final Grade

  1. Talk to the instructor
  2. Send a written appeal statement to the School's Appeal Manager - stamps-appeals@umich.edu (Sections 1-2, below)
  3. Wait for a reply (Sections 3-5, below)
  4. Ask the School's Appeal Manager to initiate a formal appeal (Section 6, below)
  5. Wait for a reply (Sections 7-9, below)
  6. It’s over.

1. Beginning the Informal Appeal:

The student writes the School's Appeal Manager - stamps-appeals@umich.edu - of their intention to appeal the grade. The School's Appeal Manager will inform the instructor that the student has requested an appeal of the grade, and email a copy of the Stamps School's Student Appeals Process to both the student and the instructor. Both the student and the instructor must reply that they have received and read it. If the student has questions or concerns regarding the process, this is the time to ask them. A student has sixty days after the grade is posted to start the informal appeal.

Throughout all appeals, the School's Appeal Manager maintains an accurate record of any and all proceedings, acts as an impartial go-between, and extends the interval times as warranted.

2. The Statement:

Within ten working days of contacting the School's Appeal Manager, the student sends the School's Appeal Manager - stamps-appeals@umich.edu - a written account of the complaint. The statement should explain the exact nature of the complaint and provide evidence for it. It is fine to work with an advisor or someone else in preparing this statement, but the student has to write it and turn it in.

3. The Response:

The School's Appeal Manager will let the student know when they have received the statement and when they have sent it to the instructor. The instructor has ten working days to reply to the School's Appeal Manager.

4. The Deliberation:

The School's Appeal Manager gives a copy of the statement and the response to the Assistant Dean, who reviews them and makes a decision on the appeal: to uphold the grade, to assign a different grade or to recalculate the grade. If the Assistant Dean needs more information in order to make the decision, the School's Appeal Manager will contact the student and/or instructor. This process usually takes no more than ten working days, but if the Assistant Dean needs more information, it could take longer.

5. The Decision:

The School's Appeal Manager will email the Assistant Dean's decision and rationale to the student and to the instructor.

6. Beginning the Formal Appeal:

If the student is not satisfied with the findings of the Assistant Dean, then the student may ask the School's Appeal Manager - stamps-appeals@umich.edu - to begin a formal appeal. In a formal appeal of a final grade, an ad hoc Student Appeals Committee decides to uphold the grade or to assign a different grade, based on the information gathered.

7. The Committee:

The ad hoc Student Appeals Committee is made up of two faculty members from the standing Student Appeals Committee and a student appointed by the Associate Dean. None of the three committee members can otherwise be involved in the complaint, and the student must sign a waiver covering confidentiality. The School's Appeal Manager is responsible for explaining the appeals process to the student and answering any questions.

8. The Deliberation:

In the formal appeal of a final grade, the School's Appeal Manager gives the ad hoc Student Appeals Committee the student statement and the faculty response that the Assistant Dean reviewed, along with any additional information from that investigation, including the Assistant Dean's decision and rationale. The School's Appeal Manager does this within ten working days after the student requests a formal appeal. The ad hoc Student Appeals Committee convenes to deliberate the appeal as soon as is practicable; the School's Appeal Manager will inform both the student and the instructor when that meeting is scheduled. The ad hoc Student Appeals Committee may ask the School's Appeal Manager to obtain additional information from the student and/or the instructor before they begin deliberation.

9. The Decision:

The School's Appeal Manager will email the ad hoc Student Appeals Committee's decision and rationale to the student, to the instructor, and to other relevant parties. The decision of the ad hoc Student Appeals Committee is final.

10. Procedural Omissions, Errors, or Misconduct:

In the event that either the student or the instructor has reason to believe that the ad hoc Student Appeals Committee's decision was affected by procedural omissions, errors, or misconduct, either one may appeal to the Stamps School of Art and Design's Executive Committee to address the issue.

Within ten working days of the decision, the student or the instructor must send a full written statement to the School's Appeal Manager explaining clearly and in detail what the reason(s) are for believing that procedural omissions, errors, or misconduct affected the ad hoc Student Appeals Committee's decision. The School's Appeal Manager supplies the Executive Committee with the full dossier on the appeal.

If the Executive Committee decides that there have been omissions, errors, or misconduct that significantly affected the decision, it will instruct the standing Student Appeals Committee to make the appropriate corrections in procedure. The ad hoc Student Appeals Committee will then repeat deliberation according to the corrections.

Appealing a Suspension or Dismissal

The Student Appeals Process provides a way for a student to challenge a decision to a suspend or dismiss.

If a student student receives a notice of suspension or dismissal that they believe is unfair or assigned in error, the first step is to initiate a formal appeal by sending the School's Appeal Manager - stamps-appeals@umich.edu - a statement appealing the decision.

The School's Appeal Manager submits the student's written appeal statement, along with any supporting documentation, to the Chair of the Student Appeal Committee.

The Quick Guide to Appealing a Suspension or Dismissal

  1. Send a written appeal statement to the School's Appeal Manager - stamps-appeals@umich.edu - (Sections 1-2, below)
  2. Wait for a reply (Sections 3-4, below)
  3. That’s it.

1. Beginning the Formal Appeal:

The formal appeal of suspension or dismissal parallels that of a formal grade appeal. The student sends a statement of appeal to the School's Appeal Manager - stamps-appeals@umich.edu - who forwards it to the Chair of the Student Appeals Committee. The Chair of of the Student Appeals Committee convenes an ad hoc Student Appeals Committee to hear the appeal. The ad hoc Student Appeals Committee makes a decision to uphold the suspension or dismissal, to disallow the suspension or dismissal, or to alter the terms of the suspension or dismissal.

Throughout all appeals, the School's Appeal Manager maintains an accurate record of any and all proceedings, acts as an impartial go-between, and extends the interval times as warranted.

2. The Committee:

The ad hoc Student Appeals Committee is made up of two faculty members from the standing Student Appeals Committee and a student appointed by the Associate Dean. None of the three committee members can otherwise be involved in the complaint, and the student must sign a waiver covering confidentiality. The School's Appeal Manager is responsible for explaining the appeals process to the student, collecting the waiver, and answering any questions.

3. The Deliberation:

In the formal appeal of suspension or dismissal, the ad hoc Student Appeals Committee convenes to deliberate the appeal as soon as is practicable; the School's Appeal Manager will inform the student when that meeting is scheduled. The ad hoc Student Appeals Committee may ask the School's Appeal Manager to obtain additional information from the before they begin deliberation.

4. The Decision:

The School's Appeal Manager will email the ad hoc Student Appeals Committee's decision and rationale to the student and to other relevant parties. The decision of the ad hoc Student Appeals Committee is final.

5. Procedural Omissions, Errors, or Misconduct:

In the event that the student has reason to believe that the ad hoc Student Appeals Committee's decision was affected by procedural omissions, errors, or misconduct, the student may appeal to the Stamps School of Art and Design's Executive Committee to address the issue.

Within ten working days of the decision, the student or the instructor must send a full written statement to the School's Appeal Manager explaining clearly and in detail what the reason(s) are for believing that procedural omissions, errors, or misconduct affected the ad hoc Student Appeals Committee's decision. The School's Appeal Manager supplies the Executive Committee with the full dossier on the appeal.

If the Executive Committee decides that there have been omissions, errors, or misconduct that significantly affected the decision, it will instruct the standing Student Appeals Committee to make the appropriate corrections in procedure. The ad hoc Student Appeals Committee will then repeat deliberation according to the corrections.