Academic Appeals

The Academic Appeals Panel serves to provide an impartial forum, composed of faculty and student peers, where decisions affecting the professional and educational development of students can be reviewed.

The Academic Appeals Panel will be composed of four principal faculty members appointed by their respective department heads and two second-year masters or doctoral students elected from among the members of the RPHSA.  Faculty members will serve two-year terms; students will serve a one-year term. Panel members can be reappointed after their terms expire.  The chair of the panel will be selected by the panel from among the faculty members of the panel.  A quorum consists of three faculty members and one student. In the event that a student from a student member’s home department files an appeal, that student will recuse him/her from that appeal.

The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will be the convener of the Academic Appeals Panel if it becomes necessary.  The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will be responsible for providing the Panel members the necessary materials, setting up the hearing date and time, notifying all relevant parties, and providing the Panel members of their specific charge.

 Neither the instructor nor the student is required to appear at the hearing before the Academic Appeals Panel. However, either may choose to be present during the presentation of the information (presented by the Panel chair).  The Panel members may choose to ask for clarification by either party if present.  Neither party may be present during the Panel’s deliberations.  If the student wishes to have an attorney or adviser present at the hearing, s/he must notify the Office of Academic Affairs at least five (5) working days in advance of the hearing date.  If the student states that an attorney will be present, the SPH shall also have an attorney present.  The attorneys will not be permitted to speak during the hearing.

Appeals Process


Purpose

The faculty at the School of Public Health is responsible for addressing violations of this policy occurring within their classes.  The faculty member may counsel, discipline the student or refer the student to the head of his/her department for disciplinary action.  In the case of a disciplinary resolution, the student may formally appeal the instructor/department head’s action.  Appeals will be heard when the student alleges that an arbitrary, capricious or prejudiced evaluation of conduct occurred. Formal appeals must be related to concerns over disciplinary procedures.

Procedures:

      1. The instructor of the class is the primary authority with respect to a student’s conduct in that course.  Therefore, the student must first present disputes related to disciplinary actions related to suspected substance abuse violations directly to the instructor for resolution.

      2. If no satisfactory resolution is reached with the instructor, and the student wishes to appeal, an evidence-based appeal must be initiated in writing with the instructor’s department head and copied to the course instructor within 5 working days of the incident.  The department head will examine the student’s appeal in order to determine if the student has provided sufficient evidence of capricious, arbitrary or prejudiced evaluation of a student’s conduct.  If sufficient information is not provided in the department head’s estimation, the student and instructor will be notified within 5 business days that the appeal was denied. 

      3. If the department head believes there to be sufficient evidence, he or she is charged with investigating further the student’s concerns and identifying a justifiable response to the concerns.  The department head will secure statements or other information deemed helpful.  Once sufficient information is gathered, the department head will inform both the student and instructor involved of his or her findings and remediation, if any.  The department head should be guided by the principle that the burden is on the student to show that a capricious, arbitrary or prejudiced student conduct evaluation has occurred. 

      4. Either or both the student or the instructor may appeal the department head’s decision (with respect to findings and/or remedial actions) to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  The individual wishing to appeal the decision must notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in writing of his/her desire to appeal the decision (or action) within 10 business days of receiving written notice of any final action taken by the department head.  The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall inform the student (if the appeal is filed by the instructor), the instructor (if appeal filed by the student), the student’s faculty advisor (or chair of the student’s advisory committee if a doctoral student), both the student’s and instructor’s department head(s), and the Dean that a formal appeal related to a student conduct dispute has been filed.

      5. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will be responsible for gathering all relevant information (including all information previously reviewed by the department head and the department head’s recommendation) and any additional information deemed relevant.  The Associate Dean will convene the Academic Appeals Panel (see below) to review the information and make a recommendation to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and to the Dean.

      6. The findings and recommendation of the Academic Appeals Panel will be forwarded by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to the student, the instructor, the relevant department head(s), the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and the Dean.  If either the student or instructor wishes to contest the recommendation, they must do so in writing within 5 business days of receipt of the Academic Appeal Panel’s recommendation to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  Any additional information provided by either the student or instructor will be forwarded to the Dean for consideration during the final review process. 

      7. The Dean has the ultimate authority and responsibility for all internal matters regarding the School.  Within 10 business days after receiving the recommendation (and all related materials) from the Academic Appeals Panel, the Dean shall make a decision upholding, rejecting or modifying the recommendation.  All parties will be notified by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in writing of the decision with a copy to be included in the Appeal Summary File (maintained in the Office of Student Affairs).  The dean’s decision is final.

Academic Appeals Panel

      1. The Academic Appeals Panel serves to provide an impartial forum, composed of faculty and student peers, where decisions affecting the professional and educational development of students can be reviewed.

      2. The Academic Appeals Panel will be composed of four principal faculty members appointed by their respective department heads and two second-year masters or doctoral students elected from among the members of the RPHSA.  Faculty members will serve two-year terms; students will serve a one year term.  Panel members can be reappointed after their terms expire.  The chair of the panel will be selected by the panel from among the faculty members of the panel.  A quorum consists of three faculty members and one student.  In the event that a student from a student member’s home department files an appeal, that student will rescue him/herself from that appeal.

      3. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will be the convener of the Academic Appeals Panel if it becomes necessary.  The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will be responsible for providing the Panel members the necessary materials, setting up the hearing date and time, notifying all relevant parties, and providing the Panel members of their specific charge.

      4. Neither the instructor nor the student is required to appear at the hearing before the Academic Appeals Panel.  However, either may choose to be present during the presentation of the information (presented by the Panel chair).  The Panel members may choose to ask for clarification by either party if present.  Neither party may be present during the Panel’s deliberations.  If the student wishes to have an attorney or adviser present at the hearing, s/he must notify the Office of Student Affairs at least 5 working days in advance of the hearing date.  If the student states that an attorney will be present, the SPH shall also have an attorney present.  The attorneys will not be permitted to speak during the hearing.