Faculty Handbook Chapters
The following federal laws and executive orders pertaining to nondiscrimination apply to the operation of all units of the University:
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin by educational programs receiving federal funds.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, prohibits discrimination in employment (including hiring, upgrading, salaries, fringe benefits, training, and other conditions of employment) on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.
Executive Order 11246, as amended by Executive Order 11375, prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex by institutions with federal contracts of more than $10,000.
Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended by Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), prohibits discrimination in salaries on the basis of sex.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act) prohibits discrimination against students or others in educational programs or activities on the basis of sex.
Title VII (Section 799A) and Title VII (Section 845) of the Public Health Service Act, as amended by the Comprehensive Health Manpower Training Act and the Nurse Training Amendment Act of 1971, prohibits discriminatory admission of students to federally assisted health personnel training programs and discriminatory employment practices in these programs based on sex.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies to people age 40 and over and forbids discrimination on the basis of age unless age is a bona fide occupational qualification. The University may not advertise to indicate a preference or limitation on age, discriminate in hiring on the basis of age, or deny career opportunities on the basis of age.
Title VII and Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in admitting students and against employees who work directly with students in health personnel training programs.
The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Act of 1974 requires all institutions with federal contracts of $10,000 or more for procurement of personal property and nonpersonal services (including construction) to take affirmative action to employ and promote qualified disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era. That period is defined as the time between August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 503/504) prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in educational programs, activities, and employment when the institution receives federal funding.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires employers to verify the citizenship status of all new employees.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination against and requires accommodations for persons with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, public services, transportation, and telecommunications.
For inquiries concerning the application of any federal law or regulation, contact ualr.edu/humanresources.
A 10-member Board of Trustees, each member appointed by the governor to a 10-year term, makes policy for the 18 principal campus units, divisions, and administrative units of the University of Arkansas System. In the event of a discrepancy or inconsistency between UA Little Rock policies and Board of Trustees or UA Systemwide Policies and Procedures, Board of Trustees or Systemwide Policies and Procedures take precedence.
University of Arkansas Board of Trustees Policies
Board of Trustees Policies are established by the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas and applicable to the campuses, divisions, and units of the UA System. These policies are referenced throughout this handbook, using the acronym BP. For access to these documents, see www.uasys.edu/policies/board-policies.
University of Arkansas Systemwide Policies and Procedures
UA Systemwide Policies and Procedures (UASP) are instituted by the President’s Office of the University of Arkansas with the purpose of providing guidance and direction to campuses regarding certain administrative subjects. This may include guidance related to existing Board of Trustees Policies and other guidance that cannot be appropriately addressed in Board policy. Throughout this handbook, the acronym UASP is used to reference current systemwide policies and procedures. For access to these documents, see www.uasys.edu/policies/ua-system-policies.
UA Little Rock Policies
Every attempt is made to ensure that policies and procedures in this Faculty Handbook reflect current, approved policies and procedures for the campus within guidelines of the University of Arkansas System (BP, UASP) and those approved on campus. Throughout this handbook, the acronym UP is used to reference approved UA Little Rock policies.
UA Little Rock Faculty Senate actions
Faculty Senate legislation and policies are indicated according to the date approved and listed as FS. In some instances, these actions are also coded as UP.
For more information about the UA Little Rock campus and its buildings, see ualr.edu/about/campus.
For more information about the history of UA Little Rock, see ualr.edu/about/history.
The University, through its various programs, works toward five goals within the strategic plan:
Goal 1 Student Success: UA Little Rock will prepare its students for success.
Goal 2 Resources: UA Little Rock will strengthen and support the human resources and infrastructure necessary to fulfill its mission and vision.
Goal 3 Research & Creative Endeavors: UA Little Rock will encourage and support research and creative endeavors.
Goal 4 Community Engagement: UA Little Rock will serve as an active partner in the community.
Goal 5 Diversity & Global Citizenship: UA Little Rock will improve diversity, inclusion, equality and global understanding in the campus community.
For more information about the strategic plan, see ualr.edu/about/home/strategicplan.
Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ATLE)
The mission of the UA Little Rock Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence is to foster excellence in teaching and learning through sharing ideas, collaborating, and building a strong community of engaged teachers and learners. For additional information and opportunities offered by ATLE, see ualr.edu/atle.
The bookstore is located on the first floor of the Donaghey Student Center. Textbooks may be ordered online using FacultyEnlight, accessible through the faculty resources tab on the bookstore website. To access the UA Little Rock Bookstore online see, ualr.bncollege.com.
BOSS is a self-service information system used by UA Little Rock employees and students to update personal information, change passwords, and view academic and financial records. Services for faculty include access to class rosters, declared majors, degree audits and student transcripts Access to BOSS is limited to current UA Little Rock affiliates, including students, employees, and guests.
To login to BOSS, go to https://boss.ualr.edu
Community, Careers and Extended Programs
Extended Education at UA Little Rock identifies, creates, and supports non-credit educational opportunities to enhance the intellectual capital of all those who desire lifelong learning and development, as well as to serve the needs of today’s evolving workforce. Commitment and resources extend beyond the traditional university setting to accommodate educational and training needs in a variety of program formats and settings. Extended Education programs are designed to help individuals grow — whether it’s exploring an interest, developing skills or shifting careers. It also fosters a love of learning through innovative, educational experiences for all ages and people.
For additional information, see ualr.edu/community/extended-education.
Disability Resource Center (DRC)
The Disability Resource Center works with faculty, staff, and students to make UA Little Rock accessible to everyone. For more information, see the DRC website at ualr.edu/disability.
Information regarding tuition discounts and some other discounts available to faculty are provided on the Human Resources website. For additional possible discounts, contact the HR office at ualr.edu/humanresources/employee-discounts.
The mission of eLearning is to ensure the academic excellence of online education at UA Little Rock in a manner that maximizes an environment of user-friendly education and universal inclusion, thus providing online students with an engaging learning experience. eLearning provides optimal functionality in support of units, faculty, contracts, and assessment to ensure logistics are properly carried out. The mission requires intensive focus on maintaining current online programming and promoting the development of future online programs.
For additional information, resources and support for online teaching, see ualr.edu/elearning.
Information Technology Assistance Center
The mission of IT services is to provide technology solutions that enable student success and support the University community. For more information, see the IT Services website at ualr.edu/itservices.
International Student Services
The mission of the Office of International Student Services (OISS) is to actively promote international and intercultural understanding and to cultivate a mutual commitment and support for international education throughout the campus community. See more information at ualr.edu/international.
Records and Registration
The Office of Records and Registration acts as a registration resource for students and faculty alike and maintains the official academic records of all UA Little Rock students. The office provides a number of online services to students through their BOSS account, such as registration, enrollment verification, degree verification and ordering official transcripts. Students can also print a copy of their unofficial transcript through BOSS. See more information at ualr.edu/records.
Scholarly Technology and Resources (STaR)
STaR supports teaching and learning in the online environment. For more information visit, ualr.edu/star.
Transfer Student Support
The Office of Transfer Student Services helps students make a smooth transition for a more successful UA Little Rock experience. The mission is to provide dynamic student service by offering transfer credit evaluations, transition guidance and connections to the UA Little Rock campus community. Learn more at ualr.edu/transfer.
The University has developed certain regulations to make possible an orderly academic environment where all members of the community have the freedom to develop to the fullest extent.
Academic dishonesty cannot be condoned or tolerated in the University community. Such behavior is considered a student conduct violation, and students found responsible for committing an academic offense on the campus, or in connection with an institution-oriented or sponsored activity, or while representing the University or academic department, will be disciplined by the University.
Students may not gain undue advantage over their classmates by deceptive or dishonest means. Throughout their education students should be impressed with the facts that cheating, duplicity, unauthorized reproduction of classroom materials, and plagiarism are morally degrading and that such practices seriously interfere with learning and intellectual development. It is a responsibility of instructors to make every effort to prevent dishonesty, protect honest students, and take appropriate action in instances of dishonesty. It is the responsibility of the student not only to abstain from cheating but in addition, to avoid the appearance of cheating and to guard against making it possible for others to cheat. Courtesy and honesty require that any ideas or materials borrowed from another must be fully acknowledged. It is the obligation of each student to report all alleged violations of academic integrity to the instructor, as well as the responsibility of all instructors to report all alleged violations of academic integrity to the Office of the Dean of Students.
Students may not reproduce, in whole or in part, classroom lectures or study materials presented by a professor without specific approval in advance by the professor. Publication of any such material shall only be with the express consent of the professor.
The determination that a student’s work was the result of dishonest action can be considered in the instructor’s evaluation of that work and in the determination of the course grade. In addition, disciplinary action will be taken by the appropriate University official (representative from the Office of the Dean of Students) or by the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee.
Definition of Academic Offenses
The following list identifies categories of offenses that are subject to grade penalty and disciplinary action. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.
- Cheating on an examination or quiz: To give or receive, to offer or solicit information on any quiz or examination. This includes the following classes of dishonesty:
(a) copying from another student’s paper;
(b) use during the examination of prepared materials, notes, or text other than those specifically permitted by the professor;
(c) collaboration with another student during the examination;
(d) buying, selling, stealing, soliciting, or transmitting an examination, or any material purported to be the unreleased content of a coming examination, or the use of such material;
(e) substituting for another person during an examination or allowing such substitution for oneself;
(f) bribery of any person to obtain examination information.
- Plagiarism: To adopt and reproduce as one’s own, to appropriate to one’s own use and incorporate in one’s own work without acknowledgment, the ideas of others or passages from their writings and works.
- Collusion: To obtain from another party, without specific approval in advance by the professor, assistance in the production of work offered for credit to the extent that the work reflects the ideas or skills of the party consulted rather than those of the person in whose name the work is submitted.
- Duplicity: To offer for credit identical or substantially unchanged work in two or more courses, without specific advance approval of the professors involved.
Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee
This committee is a Faculty Senate committee. To see its makeup and purpose, see the Constitution of the University Assembly of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Article III. It provides the members of hearing panels. The AIGC shall follow these procedures for conducting academic offense hearings. The procedures shall be distributed to all members of the committee by the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. Reasonable deviations from the time frame or procedures will not invalidate a decision unless the deviations cause significant prejudice to the student.
There are two types of procedures: one for students enrolled in a course and one for students who are not enrolled in a course. In either case, students are encouraged to consult the Student Rights and Privileges Regarding Academic Offenses.
A. Academic Dishonesty Procedures for Students Enrolled in a Course
These procedures are applicable when a student is enrolled in a course, and an instructor suspects the student of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or similar activity, and when the suspicion is supported by substantial facts or evidence.
The instructor is responsible for notifying the student in writing of the specific allegations within five class days of identifying the offense, (using the Allegation of Academic Offense Form), delivering this form by mail, by email, or in person; also, the instructor is responsible for retaining a copy of the form, and for forwarding one copy each to the relevant department chairperson and to Office of the Dean of Students.
Upon receipt of the notice form, the student is responsible for contacting the instructor for the purpose of arranging a conference; both parties are then responsible for cooperating as necessary to conduct the conference within five class days of the student’s receipt of the notice. The purposes of this conference are:
- to ensure that the student is aware and understands the specific violation and the substantiating evidence; and,
- to ensure that the student has ample opportunity to present to the instructor his or her position and explanation.
If the student admits to academic misconduct or the instructor still believes a violation occurred, a grade penalty can be imposed. Regardless of the outcome of this conference, the instructor is responsible for immediately notifying the Office of the Dean of Students of the results.
If the instructor and student reach agreement that the student is responsible for the violation, a grade penalty may not be imposed until and unless the student has failed to file a formal appeal by the official deadline for filing, or has signed an informed-decision waiver of the right to appeal, after conference with the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students. If no formal appeal or waiver has been filed by the student at the expiration time of the allowable period, the instructor may immediately impose a grade penalty.
A grade penalty may be imposed only by the instructor. It is recommended that if a student is found to be responsible for the violation, the instructor will consider the individual circumstances, nature or severity of the offense, similar class violations, etc., before assessing the grade penalty. Grade penalties for consideration for academic offenses are:
- a grade of F in the course,
- a grade of F on the examination, project, etc. ,
- a grade adjustment,
- no credit for material presented.
If the conference’s outcome is that the instructor continues to believe with objective cause that the student is responsible of an academic offense, and yet the student maintains a position that they are not responsible, then grade penalty may not be imposed until one of the two following conditions has been met:
- Either 10 class days have passed since the student’s receipt of the Allegation Form, and no official appeal or waiver of rights to a hearing (Disciplinary Alternative Form) has been filed by the student; or
- The student has filed an appeal within the prescribed 10 class days, and has pursued the University’s judicial appeals procedures to the maximum possible extent desired, and has been ultimately determined through and by those means to be responsible
of the offense.
The student shall schedule a meeting with the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students after meeting with the instructor. Subsequently, both the student and the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students are responsible for cooperating as necessary to conduct the conference no later than five class days from the date the student met with the instructor.
The purposes of this conference will differ, as will responsibilities pertinent to it, depending upon whether the student acknowledges responsibility regarding the academic offense. Therefore, two categories follow:
- In a case wherein the student has acknowledged responsibility for the academic offense to the instructor and also maintains that position after conference with the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students, and the offense warrants a severe penalty such as expulsion or suspension, the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students will, within three class days, refer the case to Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee. If the offense does not warrant a severe penalty such as suspension or expulsion, the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students will elect one of two options:
a. the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students, with the agreement of the student, may opt to directly impose a disciplinary sanction, provided due process conditions have been met in the student’s interest; or
b. the case may be referred to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee for disposition.
- In a case wherein the outcome of the instructor/student conference is that the student does not acknowledge responsibility for the academic offense, the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students will review the following information with the student: the specific violation and evidence, student’s rights and privileges, appeal procedures, operating policies of the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee, disciplinary proceedings, etc.
After this review, if the student changes their position and acknowledges responsibility, the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students will immediately notify the instructor and the relevant department chairperson.
If the student continues to maintain their position that they are not responsible for the violation, the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students will offer to assist the student in writing a statement of appeal; this formal written statement of appeal, when it is delivered to the chairperson of the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee, constitutes the student’s initiation of the University’s judicial appeals procedures. The student is responsible for delivering the appeal statement to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee chairperson or designee. This delivery must take place no later than 10 class days from the date of the student’s initial receipt of the Allegation Form.
Regardless of the outcome of the conference between the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students and the student, the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students is responsible for immediately notifying its results to the instructor and to the relevant department chairperson.
The student’s conferences with the instructor and with the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students are mandatory steps prerequisite to the filing of an official appeal. The intent of this guideline is to ensure that all reasonable efforts have been made to resolve the outcome of the academic offense allegation before the matter is brought to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee.
The Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee chairperson or designee is responsible for immediately notifying the following persons, upon receipt of a student’s appeal in regard to an allegation of academic offense: the relevant instructor, the department chairperson, and the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students.
The student has the right to attend classes until the appeal is resolved. The student may not withdraw from a course while an allegation of academic dishonesty in that course is being considered. If the student withdraws from a course after receiving notification of an allegation of academic dishonesty, the student will be reinstated, pending final adjudication of the allegation.
At the conclusion of the consideration process:
- If academic dishonesty is found and a grade of “F” in the course is assigned, then the failing grade will be recorded and remain on the student’s transcript.
- If academic dishonesty is found and a penalty less than a grade of “F” for the course is assigned, then the student may continue in the course or withdraw from the course at that time as long as it is before the final withdrawal date indicated in the academic calendar.
- If academic dishonesty is not found, the student may continue in the course or withdraw from the course at that time.
- If academic dishonesty is not found, and the student was prevented from withdrawing from the course because the deadline passed during the consultation and appeal process, the student is eligible for the same opportunity to withdraw from the course they would have had at the time they were accused including any refund of tuition.
If the consideration process is not completed before the end of a semester, a temporary grade not affecting the student’s GPA will be submitted until the adjudication process is completed. The student may re-take a course in which a grade of “F” is assigned as a penalty for academic dishonesty. However, in such cases, the original grade of “F” will not be replaced but instead be included in the calculation of the student’s cumulative GPA along with the subsequent grade received.
B. Academic Dishonesty Procedures for Students Not Enrolled in a Course and Students Representing an Academic Department or the University in a University-Oriented or Sponsored Activity On or Off Campus
When an instructor on his or her knowledge or on information given by a student believes that a student has behaved dishonestly, he or she should immediately notify the Office of the Dean of Students of the suspicion of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or the like. On receiving the notification of the alleged academic violation, the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students shall investigate, consult the involved instructor(s), and summon the student(s) for a conference within five class days. No action shall be taken until the student has been informed of the violation, has been given an opportunity to present his or her defense, and has been notified of his or her right to appeal the case or have a hearing before the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee. In a case of academic dishonesty in which the student admits responsibility and the offense does not warrant suspension or a severe sanction, the matter may be handled by the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students, and a lesser disciplinary action (sanction) imposed.
In such cases, the fundamentals of due process shall be followed. This administrative route may be taken when all of the following hold:
- responsibility is admitted by the student(s) involved;
- accused student(s) request this administrative route;
- the student is made aware of the disciplinary action that will be imposed; and
- the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students can deal with the case objectively.
In a case of academic dishonesty where the student may be suspended, a severe sanction is warranted, or the student maintains that he or she is not responsible for the violation, the case will be referred within five class days to the chairperson of the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee.
Procedures for Academic Offenses Referred to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee
- The chairperson or designee, on receiving a written appeal or referral from the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students, will convene a hearing panel within 15 class days to consider whether the student is responsible for the violation and when necessary, the appropriate disciplinary action (sanction).
- The student and the instructor will be notified in writing at least 10 class days before the date set for the hearing of the nature of the complaint and of the date, time, and place the case is to be heard. They shall also be notified that, should either party choose not to appear, the hearing will proceed as scheduled. For the purpose of this section, the day after the date of mailing of the letter of notification shall be the first day of the 10-day delay period. The committee shall, when possible hear the case within 15 class days of the time the appeal or referral was filed. The determination of the date, time and place of the hearing will include consideration of the student’s and instructor’s schedules and of their convenience, but in the interest of fairness, reasonable speed shall be the watchword.
- The student and the instructor will be notified that each can bring witnesses in his or her behalf, that each will have a reasonable opportunity for confronting witnesses appearing against him or her, that each has the right to be present during all phases of the hearing, and that each may bring to the hearing two non-participating representatives.
- At least five class days before the committee is convened, the student and the instructor must submit to the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students all the information that each feels is pertinent to the appeal or referral. This information must be in writing and supported in detail, and it should specify what additional evidence, witnesses and/or legal counsel the student or instructor will bring to the scheduled meeting. Copies of this information will be distributed to all involved parties.
- Legal counsel is permitted at academic offense hearings. Legal counsel serves in a non-participatory capacity and is restricted to the role of advisor.
- A hearing panel will be selected from the AIGC to consider the appeal. A panel chair will be chosen from among the faculty members present at the hearing panel. A panel to hear appeals for academic offenses consists of the chairperson and three members; of this number, one must be a faculty member and one must be a voting student member. A representative from the Office of the Dean of Students may also attend the hearing. The Faculty Senate/Assembly president and the Student Government Association president or the Graduate Student Association president may appoint temporary committee members during the summer months to hear cases in an emergency and only after the associate vice chancellor has made all attempts to contact committee members and alternates.
- The only persons present at meetings of this committee shall be members, the student, the instructor, designated observers, nonparticipating representatives, and witnesses actually testifying before the committee. With prior notice to the hearing panel, any of the parties involved in the hearing, the student, the instructor, or witnesses, may appear via synchronous technology rather than in person. All proceedings shall be recorded.
- Written statements by witnesses in lieu of personal appearance should not be allowed except in rare instances.
- During the process of making a determination of responsibility for the alleged violation or in determining the appropriate disciplinary action (sanction), the hearing panel shall consider only that information which (a) has been presented during the hearing and (b) is relevant to the alleged violation.
- A decision shall be reached by a majority of the panel members.
- If the hearing panel finds the student is responsible for the violation, the instructor will determine the appropriate grade penalty based on a recommendation from the panel, and the panel will determine the appropriate disciplinary sanction. In such case, the panel chair may request the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students to open the student’s file to see if there is a prior disciplinary record. If the panel finds the student is not responsible for the violation, the instructor will treat the student accordingly; in any case, no disciplinary sanction or grade penalty shall be imposed until the appeal deadline has expired. The administrative officer will maintain all records during the appeal delay period and on the expiration date will forward all records to the Office of the Dean of Students for filing and appropriate administrative action and notify the instructor to impose the penalty.
- The administrative officer shall notify in writing and deliver within five class days of the hearing to the appropriate persons (the student, the instructor, and the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students) the decision and determination of the case, the disciplinary sanction imposed, and the right of the student, the instructor, or the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students to petition for appeal. The Appeal Procedures and Instructions shall accompany the letter. A grade penalty cannot be appealed.
- If the disciplinary sanction imposed was suspension or expulsion, the administrative officer shall notify the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and the Chancellor in writing of the hearing panel’s decision and the determination of the case, reasons for the decision, sanction imposed, and verify that all involved parties have been notified of their right to petition for appeal in accordance with the University’s Procedures and Instructions.
Sanctions Imposed by the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee
Sanctions which may be imposed by the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee for academic offenses include but are not limited to the following:
- Administrative Class Withdrawal
- Counseling Disciplinary Probation
- Disciplinary Warning
Note: Descriptions of sanctions are found in the Student Handbook found at ualr.edu/deanofstudents/student-handbook.
Administration of Conduct Records
Academic records and conduct records are kept separate to minimize the risk of improper disclosure. Disciplinary suspension shall not result in a notation on a student’s permanent record. Temporary notice that a student is on suspension and ineligible to return to the University until a certain date shall be attached to the student’s official record, i.e. transcript, on the ledger in the Registrar’s Office, and in the student’s personnel file in the Office of the Dean of Students. This action shall be taken to notify other schools or prospective employers that the student is not presently in good standing with the University. Once the student has reestablished his or her eligibility to return to the University, the temporary note shall be removed.
Conduct record information is released only in these circumstances:
- receipt of written release from the student;
- demonstrated need to know on the part of University personnel; or
- receipt of a court order from legal authorities.
Student Rights and Privileges Regarding Academic Offenses
The student has the right to the following:
- Receive a written charge statement to include the nature and the specific charge(s) at least 10 class days before the hearing.
- Be present at the hearing and have an opportunity to speak in own defense and to present evidence.
- Receive names of witnesses and persons testifying against him or her.
- Present witnesses, question University witnesses and persons testifying against him or her, and to review statements submitted.
- Have an opportunity to review the information to be submitted at the hearing in advance to prepare a defense.
- Present a version of the facts through personal and written statements including statements of witnesses or persons testifying.
- Appear alone at the hearing or bring two non-participating representatives of his or her choice (faculty, staff, student, legal counsel, etc.) to advise the student but not to question. The committee may retain University legal counsel to furnish advice in such cases.
- Have a determination of the facts of the case based solely on information at the hearing by the authority that holds the hearing.
- Be informed in writing of the findings and the determination of the case, and the reason(s) for the decision and any sanctions imposed.
- Receive a copy of the summary of the hearing and have a copy of the hearing tape made at his or her own expense.
Appeal of Course Grades and Evaluated Program Requirements
The purpose of this policy is to explain the conditions and procedures for the appeal of course grades and other graded program requirements (e.g., comprehensive examination, qualifying examination, thesis, dissertation, and other culminating experiences).
Throughout this policy, the term “instructor” refers to the instructor of record who is responsible for issuing the course grade. “Instructor” may also refer to the program coordinator when the program faculty issues a grade for program requirements that do not reside in a course (e.g., comprehensive examination, qualifying examination, thesis, dissertation, and other culminating experiences).
Students may appeal final course grades, results of capstone experiences, comprehensive and qualifying examinations, defenses, and other graded program requirements. The grade appeal process must be initiated by the student within 20 class days from the date the grade is awarded.
A student has the right to appeal a grade if he or she feels the grade was awarded as a result of arbitrary grading. The grade appeal process is not appropriate for a student’s disagreement or dissatisfaction with an instructor’s professional evaluation of coursework. Arbitrary grading is defined here as using standards that are substantially different from those announced by the instructor or described in the course syllabus or program documents.
The student may confer with the Student Government Association or Graduate Student Association president/designee regarding the complaint at any time during the Steps Toward Redress for Grade Appeals. The president/designee will listen to the complaint, counsel the student as to the merits of the case, review the steps as outlined in the formal procedures for grade appeals, assist the student in writing the appeal, and may attend the hearing upon the request of the student as a non-participating representative.
Steps toward Redress for Grade Appeals
- The student will contact the instructor in writing with a request to meet regarding the grade in question. The request for a meeting should be specific that it is to discuss the grade received by the student. The request must be made within 20 class days after the grade is awarded. There are certain professional courses within the University for which the final grade is awarded upon completion of a designated number of weeks. The student will need to review the time frame for awarding the grade with the department chairperson. A grade appeal cannot be brought forward while an academic integrity matter is being resolved for that course, student, and instructor. In the event the academic integrity matter is resolved in favor of the student, the 20 class days start when the academic integrity process has completed.
No instructor shall be allowed to delay the resolution of a grievance by failing to hold a consultation with a student within the designated time unless bona fide reasons such as illness, personal emergency, or campus absences for professional reasons make this time limit unreasonable. If the instructor is unavailable, the student may skip to Step 2.
If the issue is resolved after meeting with the instructor, the student’s grade may be changed in Step 1 of this procedure by written consent of the instructor.
- If unable to resolve the difference with the instructor, the student shall take the grievance within five class days of this discussion to the department chairperson (or dean, if the instructor involved is also the department chairperson).
If the instructor who assigned the grade is unavailable, for example, the instructor is no longer employed by the university and is unresponsive to the student’s request for a meeting or is otherwise unavailable and unresponsive, the department chair will confer with the faculty in the department and appoint a full-time faculty member who is knowledgeable of the subject matter to act in the stead of the unavailable instructor.
The chairperson shall attempt to resolve the dispute within 10 class days by meeting with the student and the instructor. The student’s grade may be changed at Step 2 of this procedure by the written consent of the instructor. At this meeting, the chairperson (or dean) will have the student and the instructor complete and sign the Grade Appeal Form and give a copy to the student. The department chairperson maintains the original. If the student took the course online or does not live within a reasonable driving distance of the main campus, the grade appeal form may be sent electronically, but it must include scanned or electronic signatures.
- As a last resort and only after Steps 1 and 2 have been carried out, the student may file a formal complaint in writing within three (3) class days to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The student must meet with the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and bring to the meeting a written statement which clearly explains the basis of the appeal and the Grade Appeal Form. The purpose of this meeting is to: a) confirm that prior steps in the appeal process have been followed properly (if not, the appeal shall be redirected back to the appropriate lower level); b) review the relevant grounds for a grade appeal with the student; and, c) inform the student of the next step in the appeals process. Following the conference, if the student decides to proceed with the formal appeal, the associate vice chancellor academic affairs will immediately consult with the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee chairperson. On the basis of this consultation, the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs will notify the student in writing that the grade appeal will be referred to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee for a hearing or to the vice chancellor/provost if the case does not fall within the purview of the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee.
The student is responsible for demonstrating that arbitrary grading occurred and must proceed with an appeal in good faith. Abuse of the grade appeal process may result in a disciplinary referral by the AIGC to the Office of the Dean of Students for violating the university Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Behavior (Policy Number 516.3).
Procedures for Formal Grade Appeals Handled by the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee
This committee is a Faculty Senate committee. Its makeup and purpose are governed by the Constitution of the University Assembly of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Article III. It provides the members of hearing panels.
The Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee (AIGC) shall handle all aspects of the formal student grade appeals except for a claim of discrimination that is forwarded to Human Resources. The AIGC shall follow these procedures for conducting grade appeal hearings. The procedures shall be distributed to all members of the committee by the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. Reasonable deviations from the time frame or procedures will not invalidate a decision unless the deviations cause significant prejudice to the student.
- At least 10 class days before the date set for the hearing, the student and the instructor will be notified in writing of the nature of the appeal and of the date, time, and place the case is to be heard. They shall also be notified that, should either party choose not to appear, the hearing will proceed as scheduled. For the purposes of this section, the day after the date the letter of notification is mailed or emailed shall be the first day of the 10-day period. The committee must hear the case within 15 class days of the time the appeal was filed, if at all possible. The determination of the date, time, and place of the hearing will include consideration of the student’s and the instructor’s schedules and of their convenience, but in the interest of fairness, reasonable speed shall be the watchword.
- The student and instructor will be notified that each can bring witnesses on his or her behalf, that each will have a reasonable opportunity for confronting witnesses appearing against him or her, that each has the right to be present during all phases of the hearing, and that each may bring to the hearing, two non-participating representatives. Legal representation at grade appeal hearings is prohibited.
- At least five class days before the committee is convened, the student and the instructor must submit to the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs all the information that each feels is pertinent to the appeal. This information must be in writing and supported in detail, and it should specify what witnesses the student or instructor will bring to the scheduled meeting. Copies of this information will be distributed to all involved parties. Students appealing grades are reminded that the burden of proof is on the student; i.e., the student must be able to support his or her assertion. All submitted materials must be directly related to the conditions for arbitrary grading as defined in this policy.
- A hearing panel will be selected from the AIGC to consider the appeal. A panel chair will be chosen from among the faculty members present at the hearing panel. A hearing panel for a grade appeal consists of a panel chair, two additional faculty members, and two students. On all grade appeals involving graduate or professional degree curricular matters, at least one graduate faculty member and one graduate student shall be included on the hearing panel. Of this number, all must be present.
- The hearing panel will not make any decision on a specific appeal until it has been determined that all pertinent written documents, testimony from the student and the instructor, testimony from witnesses and official records from the student’s college or school dean and from the Office of Records and Registration have been submitted and reviewed.
- The only persons present at meetings of this committee shall be panel members, designated observers, the student and the instructor along with their non-participating representatives, and witnesses testifying before the committee. With prior notice to the hearing panel, any of the parties involved in the appeal, the student, the instructor, or witnesses, may appear via synchronous technology rather than in person. All proceedings shall be recorded except for panel deliberations.
- Written statements by witnesses in lieu of personal appearance should not be allowed except in rare instances.
- During the process of making a decision on a case, the panel shall consider only that information which (a) has been presented during the hearing and (b) is relevant to the grounds for a grade appeal.
- A decision to change or direct changes in a student’s
’ grade requires a majority vote of the hearing panel; in the case of a tie, the grade assigned by the instructor shall stand.
- Upon conclusion of the appeals hearing, the panel will make a decision in writing and sign appropriate appeal documents. The panel chair will return the master file and the recording of the hearing, and prepare a summary of the findings, decision, and recommendations for the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs within three class days of the hearing. The associate vice chancellor for academic affairs shall send a letter explaining the findings and the decision within 10 class days of such decision to the student, instructor, department head, college dean, and in case of a grade change, to the Office of Records and Registration. Either party may appeal the panel’s decision in writing to the vice chancellor/provost with a copy to the chairperson and the non-appealing party, within 10 class days after receipt of the decision.
- The vice chancellor/provost shall review the decision of the committee on appeal within 10 class days of receipt of either party’s appeal of that decision. Reasonable deviations from the time frame or procedures will not invalidate a decision unless the deviations cause significant prejudice to the student.
- The vice chancellor/provost shall have the authority to:
- Approve the recommendation of the AIGC panel;
- Remand the case to the original hearing panel for rehearing;
- Remand the case to a different hearing panel for rehearing; or
- Reverse the decision of the hearing panel.
- The vice chancellor/provost shall notify the appealing party and the non-appealing party of his/her decision within 10 class days of receipt of the appeal. The vice chancellor/provost shall return the records to the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs for filing and for appropriate action. The vice chancellor/provost’s decision shall be final. See more information at ualr.edu/policy/home/student/grade-appeals.
For policies and procedures dealing with Misconduct in Research and Service, contact the Vice Provost for Research, the campus integrity officer or the Graduate School.