Grievance Procedure

A student may invoke the Department of Psychology Academic Grievance Procedure for either of two reasons:  (1) to question the fairness or accuracy of a grade; or (2) to charge an instructor with a violation of Good Teaching Practices.  The aggrieved student should first identify the type of grievance involved and then adhere to the appropriate procedures outlined below.  Violation of Good Teaching Practices is a serious charge that should never be levied if the only intent of the grievance is to question a grade.

Questioning a Grade:

  1. A student with a grievance about the fairness or accuracy of an assigned grade should first meet with the instructor, voice a complaint, and receive an adequate explanation and/or possible redress.  (Fairness refers to the expectation that all students in a course should be graded on the same basis.)
  2. If not satisfied as a result of step A, the student should submit to the Chair of the Department of Psychology a written statement that outlines the grievance(s).  The Chair will then forward this formal complaint to the instructor for response.  The Chair may also elect to appoint an Ad Hoc Committee, composed of Department of Psychology faculty members, to help in the adjudication of the grievance.  The Chair will then provide a written report of findings and recommendations to both the student and the instructor.  Finally, the student and instructor will meet to discuss the report and effect reconciliation.  The final decision about a grade rests with the instructor.

Violation of Good Teaching Practices:

  1. If a student wishes to charge an instructor with violation of good teaching practices (see Student Handbook, Section 1.7.A.1.), the student should first follow step A and B as outlined in Part 1 above.
  2. If still not satisfied, the student should then request and receive a conference with the Dean of the College of Arts & Science.
  3. If the student is still not satisfied, further steps are outlined in the Student Handbook, Section 1.7.B.1 can be followed.

Affirmative Action and Fair Treatment:

The Department of Psychology endorses the principles of diversity and affirmative action in the selection of faculty, staff, and students.  Further, it is the policy of the department that equal opportunity, fairness, and equity shall be assured in the evaluation, promotion, and retention of faculty, staff, and students without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, or sexual preference.  The department believes in the importance of a working and educational environment that is free from discrimination or harassment on any of the above grounds.  All members of the department, who are the victims of such misconduct, as well as those who are aware of discrimination or harassment, should seek remedy.  If at all possible, attempts to resolve problems should begin with the individuals directly involved jointly addressing any inappropriate conduct.  Should such efforts fail or be deemed not possible, consultation with the department’s Affirmative Action Officer or Chair may be undertaken.  If a satisfactory resolution is not attained at the departmental level, appropriate procedures may be taken as outlined in the Miami University Policy and Information Manual (e.g., Sections 3.6.G – 3.6.O).  The University’s Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity is available for consultation and advice in these matters.