Undergraduate Request for an Academic Grievance Hearing
Undergraduate students may request a hearing to resolve a dispute with an instructor, to grieve a grade given in a course, or to grieve other violations of student rights as outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities document. Students must first attempt to resolve the issue informally through a conversation with the instructor and the relevant administrator (department chair, director, program coordinator, or the associate dean of the college). Students who wish to request an academic grievance hearing are encouraged to reach out to the Office of the University Ombudsperson.
Procedures for conducting undergraduate grievance hearings are outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities document. It is recommended that students review the document prior to requesting a hearing.
When an undergraduate student remains dissatisfied with the outcome of his or her discussions with the instructor and unit head, he or she may send a written request to the Office of Student Support and Accountability for a hearing with the appropriate board. For undergraduates who want to contest an allegation of academic dishonesty, that would be the University Academic Integrity Hearing Board. All other undergraduate academic grievances go to the University Academic Grievance Hearing Board.
For undergraduates the hearing request letter must include the following information:
- The student's name and PID
- The student's local address, phone number and e-mail address
- A detailed explanation of the alleged violation of student rights to justify a hearing, with reference to the specific article in the SRR or Code of Teaching Responsibility
- The name of the individual the student believes violated his or her rights
- The date of the alleged violation
- The name of the MSU instructor, student or staff member, if any, who will assist the student throughout the hearing process
- The names of witnesses, if any, who will speak on the student's behalf at the hearing, if the hearing board grants the request for a hearing
- The redress sought to rectify the situation.
Deadline: The student should sign and date the letter and submit it before the middle of the semester following the initial dispute.
If the student prevails at the hearing, the hearing board may direct the unit head to provide the appropriate redress for the student. The unit head, with advice from the hearing board, may then implement an appropriate remedy. If the instructor prevails, no additional action is required. Either party may appeal the hearing board's decision to the University Academic Appeals Board.
Both parties and the chair of the hearing board may consult with the University Ombudsperson at any time during the grievance process.
Please note that the SRR prohibits students from filing grievance hearing requests based on allegations of faculty incompetence. This matter may be judged only by the faculty.
Based on the specific type of grievance, the hearing process for an undergraduate student will follow one of these patterns:
- Academic Grievance Hearing alleging violations of student rights (including grade disputes) established in the SRR.
- Academic Disciplinary Hearing to impose sanctions in addition to, or other than, a failing grade in a course for an act of academic misconduct.
For more information see the flow charts of each process: