Student Grievance Policy

1. Introduction

Students of Savannah State University who believe they have been treated unfairly with respect to academic matters or are convinced that they have been discriminated against in any matter on the basis of race, color, handicap, religion, age, national origin or sex, may initiate and pursue the grievance procedure in accordance with the provisions of this document. Academic matters are those concerned with instructional activities, research activities, closely related to either of these functions, grading procedures, or decisions involving instruction or affecting academic freedom.

2. Preliminary Steps

To initiate or pursue a grievance, the following steps must be observed before the tenth week of the fall or spring semester which follows the term in which the alleged grievance occurred.

3. Formation of the Committee

At the beginning of each academic year each school shall choose from among its faculty two representatives to serve on the Student Grievance Committee pool for that year.

4. Committee Action

Upon receipt of the written statement of an academic grievance, the Student Grievance committee shall:

5. Hearing Process

All hearings conducted by the Student Grievance Committee shall be conducted confidentially in the following manner:

6. Decision

The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall approve or reject the committee's recommendation(s) within twenty-eight (28) days after it is received, unless the Vice President for Academic Affairs feels that more information is necessary, in which case the Dean may resubmit the case to the Committee for further findings prior to decision. If the decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs is not in accord with the committee's recommendation(s), he shall state the reasons for that decision, in writing, to all persons directly involved in the grievance to the committee. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall then take appropriate action to implement his decision.

7. Rehearing

The Committee, within twenty-one (21) days after the Vice President for Academic Affairs' decision, may be petitioned by the grievant(s) or respondent(s) to reconsider its decision based upon evidence clearly not available at the original hearing. Such a rehearing is discretionary and shall be made only upon majority vote of the members of the hearing committee.

8. Grievances Involving Grades

If the grievance concerns an appeal of a grade, the following additional provisions shall apply:

  1. The Committee shall not substitute its judgment for that of the instructor concerning the substantive quality of the student's academic performance.
  2. However, if the Committee finds violation of the provisions of Chapter 7, Faculty Related Policies and Procedures of the Savannah State University Policy and Procedure Manual, or other instructional irregularities to have existed which might reasonably have had a detrimental effect on the student's grade, the Committee may determine that a passing grade be changed to "P" that a grade of "F" be changed to "W" (Withdrawal) or that "I" (Incomplete) be substituted for the grade given. The instructor is first provided opportunity to comply with the decision of the Committee. If the instructor indicates non-compliance with the decision of the Committee, the Committee by its own authority may effect change for the student's record.
  3. It is recognized that the changing of a grade to "P" may, on occasion, necessitate waiving the present regulations with respect to the pass/fail option. Under such circumstances the Committee is empowered to make such a waiver.