2011-2013 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Affairs, cont'd

Appeals and Petitions for Exceptions to University Regulations

Appeal by a Student on Academic Matters

The student should confer with the faculty member against whom the alleged problem exists.  The student must confer with the department chairperson or, in the event the problem involves a department chairperson, with the appropriate dean before resorting to the formal grievance process.  The student should consult the Student Resolution Officer for proper procedures.

Petition for Exception to University Regulations

Certain problems encountered by a student may result in a request to have an exception considered to an academic standard or to an academic regulation of the University.  A student may request an exception to an MSU Billings regulation by filing a special petition with the Academic Standards and Scholastic Standing Committee.  The petition form may be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Records and it is to be returned there after the student has completed the form.  The Office of Admissions and Records will present the petition to the committee.  The student is encouraged to appear before the committee to respond to questions about the student’s petition.  The student will be notified in writing of the decision as soon as it is determined.

Grade Appeal Procedure

Montana State University Billings has a set of procedures for contesting a grade which must be followed for appropriate resolution.  The student must understand that they cannot appeal a grade after sixty (60) days from the official release date of those grades.  All documentation must be in writing and submitted to the instructor and Student Resolution Officer (SRO).  Please refer to the Student Handbook for a complete explanation of this process.

Step I         You must meet with or attempt to make appropriate contact (email, phone, office hours, etc.) with your instructor to discuss your reasons for the grade appeal within sixty (60) days from the official start date of the next term.  Documentation supporting your claim should be made available at this meeting.  The University would like to have both you and the instructor discuss the details, in a reasonable, open manner, and formulate an agreeable resolution.

Step II       If the initial meeting (or attempt to meet) with your instructor did not provide an agreeable resolution, you must then contact the ASMSU Billings Student Resolution Officer and schedule a time for you and the SRO to meet and discuss the reasons for the appeal.  The SRO can then help schedule a meeting between you and the instructor of the course you are contesting or, if Step I was not successful, can help move the appeal to Step III.  You must submit any documentation supporting your claim and a copy of the course syllabus to the SRO.  This information should be presented at the meeting with the instructor.  The instructor will submit a formal decision to the student, in writing, within fifteen (15) University business days.  A copy of the letter must be sent to the SRO.

Step III     If no resolution is achieved at Step I or II, the dispute may be brought to the Department Chair of the relevant department (if the dispute is with the Department Chair, then refer to Step IV).  All documentation and a letter of appeal must be submitted to the Department Chair within ten (10) University business days after receipt of the formal decision by the instructor.  The SRO can assist with this process.  A meeting will then be scheduled between you and the Department Chair.  The Chair will submit a formal decision to the student, in writing, within fifteen (15) University business days.  A copy of the letter must be sent to the SRO.

Step IV      If no resolution is achieved at Step III, the dispute may be brought to the Dean of the relevant College.  All documentation and a letter of appeal must be submitted to the Dean within ten (10) University business days after receipt of the formal decision by the Chair.  The SRO can assist with this process.  A meeting will then be scheduled between you and the Dean with the SRO present.  The Dean, as the representative of the relevant College, has the authority to review all documentation, discuss the matter with the instructor and Department Chair, and formulate a resolution.  The Dean will submit a formal decision to the student, in writing, within fifteen (15) University business days.  A copy of the letter must be sent to the SRO.

Step V       If no resolution is achieved at Step IV and the student wish to appeal further, the dispute may be brought before the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.  All documentation and a letter of appeal must be submitted to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs within ten (10) University business days after receipt of the formal decision by the Dean.  The SRO can assist with this process.  The Vice Provost for Academic Affairs will review all grade appeal materials, and determine if the appeal needs to be heard by a Campus Hearing Committee.  The Campus Hearing Committee is comprised of a maximum of three students, chosen by the Associated Students of Montana State University Billings (ASMSUB); three faculty members, chosen by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs from a pool of faculty members who serve on the Academic Senate Academic Standards Committee; and the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, who shall serve as the Hearing Officer.  The Hearing Officer will not vote during the proceedings except in the case of a tie vote.  The Campus Hearing Committee will follow prescribed hearing procedures and make a recommendation directly to the Chancellor, who makes the final
decision.  The Chancellor will then have fifteen (15) University business days to send a formal and final decision to the student.

Prior Learning Assessment Policy

At Montana State University Billings, students may earn credit through a variety of methods including work experience and challenge tests.  Our University will work with the student to determine which type of experience can be translated into credit.  See page 33 for the policy and procedures.

NEXT: Graduation Requirements


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