Appeal or Complaint Procedure (how to file an appeal or complaint)
Written and verbal complaints from students will be directed by the person receiving the complaint to the administrative supervisor most closely related to the situation for investigation and response. The vice chancellor for each division may be involved if needed in responding to the complaint. Any complaint concerning a course, program or service should be directed to the person supervising that activity. Concerns about an academic class or any activity related to that class should first be discussed with the faculty member assigned to the class. If the complaint is not resolved, the student should then contact the chair of the department offering the course. Should the issue continue to be unresolved, the student should contact the dean of the college in which the class is taught. If all of these contacts are unsatisfactory, the next level of appeal is the vice chancellor for academic affairs. For complaints concerning program or service areas within the university, the director of the office or department should be contacted first. If the complaint is not resolved, the student should contact the vice chancellor responsible for that area. Service areas and the responsible administrative positions are listed below. In addition, sections of this Student Handbook contain information concerning how student appeals of certain situations are processed.
|Admission||See Appeals for Admission, Readmission, Reevaluation of Transfer Credits and Degree Requirements|
|Course Grades||See Appeals of Final Grades Assigned in Courses|
|Disability Discrimination||See Services for Students with Disabilities|
|Financial Aid Eligibility||See Appeal Procedures under Financial Aid|
|Graduation Requirements||See Appeals for Admission, Readmission, Reevaluation of Transfer Credits and Degree Requirements|
|Parking Tickets||See Traffic and Parking Regulations|
|Race Discrimination||See Race Discrimination Policy|
|Sex Discrimination||See Sex Discrimination Policy|
|Sexual Harassment||See Sexual Harassment Policy|
|Transfer Evaluation||See Appeals for Admission, Readmission, Reevaluation of Transfer Credits and Degree Requirements|
|Admissions and Records||Registrar & Director||Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs|
|Alumni Services||Director||Vice Chancellor, Development|
|Bookstore||Director, Auxiliary Enterprises||Vice Chancellor, Business Affairs|
|Buildings and Grounds||Director, Physical Plant||Vice Chancellor, Business Affairs|
|Campus Security||Director, University Police||Vice Chancellor, Business Affairs|
|Campus Wide Computer Labs||Director, Computing Services||Vice Chancellor, Business Affairs|
|Continuing Education||Dean||Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs|
|Departmental Computer Labs||Department Chair||Dean|
|Fee Payment||Director, Accounting Services||Vice Chancellor, Business Affairs|
|Financial Aid||Director||Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs|
|Food Service||Director, Auxiliary Enterprises||Vice Chancellor, Business Affairs|
|Housing||Director||Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs|
|Library||Dean||Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs|
|Public Information||Director||Vice Chancellor, Development|
|Student Development||Director||Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs|
|University Center||Director||Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs|
Appeals for Admission, Readmission, Reevaluation of Transfer Credits and Degree Requirements
University regulations and usual operating procedures determine such things as a student's admissibility to the university, readmission after scholastic suspension, probation or warning status, evaluation of credits earned in other institutions and completion of degree requirements. It is the function of the academic department to determine whether a given course at another institution is comparable to a course at LSUS; it is the function of the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled to determine how credits accepted at LSUS from another institution are to be applied towards graduation; it is the function of the proper administrators, by interpreting established policies, to determine in a given instance whether a student is admissible or re-admissible to the university. Only when a student believes that he or she has not been properly or fairly treated in one of these matters or that an error of interpretation has been made, should a student initiate an appeal on one of these matters.
- Admission, Readmission and Transfer Credits: Each appeal must be made in writing to the student's academic dean. The appeal should contain new information or explanations of previous information which could result in a new decision. Upon receiving a written appeal, the dean will meet with the student in an effort to explain university regulations. If the student then accepts the interpretation, the matter goes no further. If the student wishes to appeal the matter further, the dean sends a copy of the student's appeal and the report of the meeting with the student, an analysis of the circumstances, and a recommendation to the Admissions and Standards Committee. In executive session, the committee will reach a decision on a recommendation and will send that recommendation to the dean for final action, subject to the right of the chancellor to review the case.
- Credits and Degree Requirements: If the matter involves credit or other matters necessary for graduation, the case must be appealed to the student's academic dean no later than the semester prior to the semester at the end of which the student desires to graduate. The student cannot be assured that cases arising during the semester of the student's intended commencement will be resolved in time to allow the student to participate in the commencement at the end of the semester. Upon receiving a written appeal, the dean will meet with the student in an effort to explain relevant university regulations. If the student then accepts the interpretation, the matter goes no further. If the student wishes to appeal the matter further, the dean sends a copy of the student's appeal (and the report of the meeting with the student), an analysis of the circumstances and a recommendation to the Admissions and Standards Committee which will meet with the student if the student so desires. In executive session, the committee will reach a decision on a recommendation and will send that recommendation to the vice chancellor for academic affairs for final action, subject to the right of the chancellor to review the case.
Appeals of Final Grades Assigned in Courses
A student must initiate a written appeal within 30 days after the beginning of the next regular semester (i.e., fall or spring, exclusive of summer), and the appeal must be based clearly on alleged instructor prejudice, bad faith, capricious action or similar reason. Neither a lower than expected grade nor the alleged difficulty of a course or test warrants an appeal. If the faculty member who assigned the grade being appealed is an academic administrator, then that faculty member is excused from the decision making process after Step A. A replacement will be appointed ad hoc by the chancellor, or if the chancellor is the teacher, by the vice chancellor for academic affairs. Procedures for graduate students are in parenthesis.
- A student who has a question about a final grade must discuss the matter with the faculty member before initiating an appeal. The formal appeal process begins when the student presents to the faculty member a completed, signed and dated Student Appeal Form, available in departmental offices (Academic Affairs Office for graduate students), including copies of all pertinent documentation, requesting the faculty member to reconsider a final grade. The faculty member must respond in writing within three working days, regardless of the outcome. Clerical errors must be corrected as soon as possible by appropriate action.
- If the student and faculty member do not resolve the matter, and the student wishes to pursue the appeal, the student will ask the faculty member to forward the Student Appeal Form to the chair of the department in which the course was taught (or to the graduate program director if the course is not offered through a specific department). Within three working days after the faculty member's written response, the student will make a written request to the chair of the department in which the course was taught (or program director), for a meeting of the chair (or program director), the faculty member and the student. The request will clearly state the purpose of the meeting, the faculty member's name and the areas of disagreement. The chair (or program director) will confer with the student and the faculty member in an effort to reach agreement. If agreement is reached, the statement of agreement will be initialed by all three.
- If the student wishes to appeal further, he or she should ask that the chair (or program director) forward all documents to the dean of the college in which the course is offered. Within three working days of the meeting with the chair (or program director), the student must submit a written appeal to the dean, summarizing the points of disagreement with the chair (or program director). Upon receiving the appeal, the dean must, within three working days, forward copies to the chair (or program director) and faculty member concerned, who may reply, within three working days, with individually written statements supporting their previous actions. Copies of any written replies must be forwarded to the student. When replies from the chair (or program director) and faculty member have been received, the dean will meet, within three working days, with the student, faculty member and chair (or program director) in an effort to reach agreement.
- If the agreement is not satisfactory to the student, the faculty member or the chair (or program director), the dean will refer the appeal to an ad-hoc committee appointed by the dean from within the college. The ad-hoc committee will be composed of three faculty members, no more than two from the same department, and two students who will be voting members (three members of the graduate faculty of that college, with no more than two from the same department, and two graduate students who shall be voting members). The dean will designate a chair for the committee but should make no prejudicial statements to the committee or the chair. The committee will hold a hearing with the department chair (or program director), the faculty member and the student. After deliberation, the committee will make its recommendation in writing to the dean. Within 30 calendar days after receiving the student's appeal, the dean must make a written decision, listing the reasons supporting the decision. Copies must be given to all parties, to the vice chancellor for academic affairs and to the student's dean.
- If any party to the appeal believes that a serious procedural error in the appeal occurred, or that there was an abuse of discretionary authority in reaching the decision, a written petition for review may be filed with the vice chancellor for academic affairs. This petition, which must be filed within five working days after receiving the dean's decision, must contain a complete statement of the alleged serious procedural error or examples of abuse of discretionary authority and also must contain reasons for the relief requested. The petition must be accompanied by copies of all documents produced in the appeal. Copies should be sent to all parties to the appeal and to the student's dean. The vice chancellor for academic affairs will decide within ten working days after receiving the petition whether further action should be taken. In reaching this decision, the vice chancellor may ask other parties to the appeal to make a written reply to the request for a review, or these parties, on their own, may make a written reply. If the decision is reached that a review is not justified, the student and all other parties, including the student's dean, will be notified. If the vice chancellor for academic affairs decides to respond favorably to the petition for review, a formal meeting will be held with all parties. Based on discussions at this meeting, as well as on all written materials furnished, the vice chancellor for academic affairs will reject or affirm the decision already made. Once a decision is reached, the vice chancellor for academic affairs will notify all parties and the student's dean of the decision. If, at any stage in the process, a decision requires change in an official university record, the faculty member must comply with all university regulations and procedures necessary to accomplish the change. The decision of the vice chancellor for academic affairs shall conclude the matter.
Equal Access Policy
Louisiana State University in Shreveport assures equal opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, pregnancy, sickle cell trait or veterans' status in the admission to, participation in or employment in its programs and activities. Any student who has a concern or grievance related to any status listed above should contact the vice chancellor for student affairs at AD 208 or 318-797-5116.