STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBLITIES
The following information brielfy describes student rights and responsibilites. Additoonal information may be found in the Student Handbook.
STUDENT RECORDS: All student records held by the University of
Wisconsin-Whitewater, regardless of origin, are the property of the
University and may be used by the University in any manner legally
appropriate. Student records will be treated in a responsible manner and
with due regard to the personal nature of the information they contain.
However, the student should understand that student records may be
disclosed to others who have a legal right to such access when, in the
judgment of the University, such disclosure serves the best interests of
the student, the University, and the community.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater reserves the right not to release a
student's record, or any information based upon the record, when the
student has failed to discharge any obligation, financial or otherwise, to
I. DEFINITIONS AND BASIC PRINCIPLES:
- A grievance is a request for specific action to solve a problem or
redress an injury done the individual presenting it. When that individual
is a student and is responding to treatment received as a student, it is a
student grievance. However, if a student wishes to challenge an academic
decision that impacts on their grade, the Student Grade Appeal procedures
should be used.
- A grievance may concern the actions taken by any UW-Whitewater
employee who is a member of any college, department, office,
administrative unit or committee of the University.
- A grievance may not necessarily be directed at a particular individual
but rather at a policy or rule which the student believes to be unfair.
- The basis for a grievance is to raise a problem for the purpose of
resolving it by the parties closest to it. This is true whether the
issues involve an instructor, administrator, service personnel or members
of any University department, college, division, administrative unit or
- A cause of action would involve a specific injury to the student or a
specific problem. A remedy should be available. If no remedy is
available or if punishment of someone is sought, the procedures for
complaints rather than grievances should be used (see University Handbook,
Sections VI-F and VI-A).
- Process timelines are established to enable review and resolution
within a reasonable time after the problem occurred. This assists problem
solving when memories and facts are still fresh.
- Written appeals and responses need not be lengthy but rather describe
events, relevant facts and reasoning, so that parties are clear about what
is at issue and why decisions are being made the way they are.
II. STEPS IN A GRIEVANCE:
- Informal Process:
- Discuss the issue of concern with the individual(s) primarily
involved. This should take place within 14 calendar days after the
aggrieved action occurred.
- If this discussion brings no resolution, is unsatisfactory, or if the
primary individual is unwilling or unable to participate, the student may
then, within 7 calendar days of the discussion or the communication that
there will be no discussion, schedule a conference with the chairperson of
the department or the supervisor of the individual. The student should
articulate the concerns and the result of, or lack of, discussion with the
- After hearing the student's appeal, the chairperson or supervisor will
attempt to mediate the problem to resolution within 14 calendar days.
- If this attempt at resolution is unsatisfactory, or if all are not
willing or able to participate, the student should submit a formal
grievance to the Dean or Director within 7 calendar days of the failure of
- Formal Process:
- The grievance should be in writing and signed by the student following
the Basic Principles above, should explain the problem, reasons for
dissatisfaction of recommended resolution, and an alternative resolution.
- Within 14 calendar days, the Dean or Director can attempt further
resolution or make the final decision. The student and employees should
be notified of the final decision in writing.
- The decision of the Dean or Director will be final unless discipline
is requested, in which event appropriate disciplinary procedures would be
SYNOPSIS OF THE STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS FOR STUDENT GRIEVANCES:
- Problem occurs.
- Within 14 calendar days, discuss it with the person whose actions are
in question (informal).
- If no satisfaction, within 7 calendar days, talk it over with the
Chair or supervisor of the person (informal).
- Chair/supervisor will attempt to resolve within 14 calendar days
- If no satisfaction, student has 7 calendar days to write it up as a
formal grievance, including why dissatisfied with recommended resolution
and propose a remedy (formal).
- Within 14 calendar days, the Dean or Director will attempt resolution
or make the final decision (formal).
GRADE APPEALS: At the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater it is expected
that instructors will evaluate students regularly and consistently by
criteria and guidelines presented to students at the beginning of each
grading period. If a student has reason to believe the grade is incorrect
the student may act on that by taking the following steps in chronological
order. A complaint which is timely filed under any other student
complaint procedure and then referred for processing under these
procedures, shall be considered to have met the deadline for filing as a
1. Informal Process
2. Formal Process
- Consult the instructor whose grade is being appealed. This
consultation must take place within 7 calendar days of start of classes
after the grading period in question.
- If the student/instructor conference is unsatisfactory or if the
instructor is unwilling or unable to participate, within 7 calendar days
the student may schedule a conference with the chair of the department in
which the course was offered.
- After hearing the student's appeal, the chair will attempt to resolve
the problem within 7 calendar days.
- If this resolution is unsatisfactory, the student may then, within 7
calendar days after receiving the chairperson's response, submit a written
appeal to the Department's Grade Appeals Committee through the
chairperson. This will initiate the Formal Appeal Process.
- The appeal must be in writing and signed by the student.
- The Department Grade Appeals Committee will
- convene to examine the appeal, the response and render its conclusion
in writing to the chair, student and instructor, within 14 calendar days
of receipt of the appeal.
- While the Grade Appeals Committee cannot require the instructor to
change a student's grade, the Committee can recommend such a change to the
instructor and to the Dean of the College in which the course is offered.
- Should the student wish to appeal beyond the department, the student
may submit the Committee findings and the basis for the further appeal to
the Dean of the College in which the course was offered, within 3 calendar
days of presentation of Committee findings. The Dean will review the
student's appeal and the findings of the Committee, and recommend
appropriate action to the department and the instructor within 14 days of
receipt of the appeal.
- If this action is unsatisfactory to the student, a final appeal may
be made to the Provost who will determine whether a change in grade is to
be made within 14 days of receipt of the appeal. The Provost is the only
individual authorized to change a student grade without the instructor's
permission. However, the Provost may change a grade only when the faculty
department committee and the Dean support such a change.
UW-Whitewater Undergraduate Bulletin - 1995-1997
Office of the Registrar
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Last Update - CG 2/11/96