Faculty Resources

Internal Committee Procedures

The Committee on Academic Appeals considers two kinds of appeals:
  1. Appeals of CAI decisions
  2. Appeals of policies related to class registration and the management of academic records; for example:  deadlines for enrollment or withdrawal from courses or policies about I, W, and CR.
    • If the basis for appeal in a category 2 case involves allegations of professional misconduct on the part of a professor, the appeal should not be handled by the Academic Appeals committee but rather be referred to the Provost.
    • The rectification of bureaucratic, clerical, and technology-based errors that clearly did not originate with a student should not require a formal appeal.  

Process for CAI appeals

  • The Provost decides whether or not an appeal of a CAI decision should be forwarded to Academic Appeals.
    • The Provost should forward the information about the appeal just to the Academic Appeals chair, not the whole committee.
    • CAI cases in which the student is appealing the result of a letter of agreement rather than the outcome of a conference should not be passed on to the Academic Appeals committee.  The Provost should redirect those back to CAI for a conference.
  • When the case is forwarded, the Academic Appeals chair should:
    • Contact the CAI chair to let them know that an appeal is underway and to request all relevant CAI materials.  Any background information or precedents that the CAI chair would like the Academic Appeals committee to consider should be provided in writing.
    • Notify the student and professor that an appeal is being considered and (if needed) ask them for more information.
    • Gather the relevant information into a packet for the entire committee.
    • Send the packet to the committee and ask if they need more information or would like to have in-person meetings with the involved parties.
    • The Academic Appeals committee convenes to discuss and then vote on the appeal.  This phase includes meetings with the involved parties if the Academic Appeals committee deems them warranted.
  • The result of the appeal is conveyed to the student, chair of CAI, professor, Registrar, and Provost.
  • As stipulated in the CAI policy in the catalog, the appeal process should be completed within 4 weeks of the Provost's receipt of the appeal, not counting breaks.  An ideal time-line would be:
    • Week 1:  The Provost decides whether or not to grant the appeal.
    • Week 2:  The Academic Appeals chair contacts the CAI chair, student, and professor, and they provide requested information.
    • Week 3:  The Academic Appeals chair distributes the information to the rest of the committee and asks if any more is needed and if in-person meetings with the student, professor, and/or CAI chair are desired.
    • Week 4:  The Academic Appeals committee meets (including any in-person meetings with other parties), deliberates, and decides.  The chair of Academic Appeals communicates the results of the appeal.

Process for appeals regarding policies and records

  • Appeals should generally be submitted and written by the student; relevant professors or staff may supply supporting letters. 
    • The Academic Appeals committee should not receive appeals written and filed by parents.  Parents with concerns should be directed to the Provost. 
  • The student should submit their appeal through the Registrar's office; the Registrar will forward it to the chair of the committee (not the entire committee).
  • The chair decides if more information is needed from the student or other parties and gathers that information before forwarding it all to the other members of the committee. 
    • The name of the student should be removed from the information sent to the rest of the committee.
  • Other members of the committee may ask the chair to obtain further information.
  • The committee discusses the appeal and then votes.
    • The discussion phase should be clearly separated from the voting phase. 
    • The ex officio members of the committee participate in discussions but do not vote.
  • The result of the vote is conveyed by the chair to the student, the Registrar's office, and any other parties relevant for the particular appeal (e.g., a professor or advisor).
  • The appeal process should be completed within 3 weeks of the chair's receipt of the appeal, not counting breaks.

Meetings of the committee 

  • To facilitate collective deliberation, decisions of the committee should—as much as possible—be made during in-person meetings rather than via email.  Email should be used only in instances when an appeal is time-sensitive or a meeting cannot be convened.
  • The committee will consider appeals between the Monday before Fall Faculty Conference and the last business day of May.  
    • The committee will make efforts to expedite consideration of all appeals received in May.
    • In instances where a CAI appeal has been granted but the Academic Appeals committee does not have time to consider it before the last business day of May, the chair of the Academic Appeals committee will inform all involved parties that the appeal will be deliberated on in August.
  • After the end of May and before the Monday before Fall Faculty Conference:
    • CAI appeals will be held until the committee can convene in August to consider them.  This follows the policy voted in by the faculty, which stipulates that CAI appeals are to be decided by the Academic Appeals committee.
    • Decisions about other kinds of appeals (category 2 above) can be made by a committee composed of any three of the following:  the Provost, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Associate Provost for Faculty Development, and the Registrar.

Committee records

The chair should keep sufficient materials throughout the year to:

  1. Write the end of the year committee report, which should summarize (without identifying information) each case, the decision of the committee, and the reason for the decision.
  2. Send a summary of the year’s cases to the Provost, including date of appeal receipt, date of decision, summary of appeal, outcome, and rationale.