Undergraduate Bulletin

STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBLITIES

The following information brielfy describes student rights and responsibilites. Additoonal information may be found in the Student Handbook.

STUDENT RIGHTS

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 the University.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

I. DEFINITIONS AND BASIC PRINCIPLES:

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  2. 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 committee.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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:

  1. Informal Process:

    1. Discuss the issue of concern with the individual(s) primarily involved. This should take place within 14 calendar days after the aggrieved action occurred.

    2. 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 primary individual.

    3. After hearing the student's appeal, the chairperson or supervisor will attempt to mediate the problem to resolution within 14 calendar days.

    4. 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 informal resolution.

  2. Formal Process:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. The decision of the Dean or Director will be final unless discipline is requested, in which event appropriate disciplinary procedures would be followed.

SYNOPSIS OF THE STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS FOR STUDENT GRIEVANCES:

  1. Problem occurs.
  2. Within 14 calendar days, discuss it with the person whose actions are in question (informal).
  3. If no satisfaction, within 7 calendar days, talk it over with the Chair or supervisor of the person (informal).
  4. Chair/supervisor will attempt to resolve within 14 calendar days (informal).
  5. 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).
  6. 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 grade appeal.

1. Informal Process

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. After hearing the student's appeal, the chair will attempt to resolve the problem within 7 calendar days.

  4. 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.

2. Formal Process

  1. The appeal must be in writing and signed by the student.

  2. The Department Grade Appeals Committee will

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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UW-Whitewater Undergraduate Bulletin - 1995-1997
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