NKU plans to rethink grade appeals

Northern Kentucky University currently has an academic grievance policy, but it is more about unfairness and sexual harassment than grades. SGA and NKU administration are attempting to make a change to the policy at the current time.

“The school recognized that there was not a very good, well-developed, well defined process to do a grade appeal,” Jeffrey Waple, dean of students, said.

This policy is two years old, which is the last time the code was rewritten.

“About two years ago we went to chairs council, Jeff Smith was the chair, we worked with him, we wrote, redrafted, redrafted and finally came to a decision and we took that draft late last spring to the Provost had been there a few months and met with the academic affair council which is her leadership team,” Waple said. “The deans presented to them the draft and she recommended we go to the AAPC [admissions and academic policy committee].”

NKU is the only state institution to not have a well-defined grade appeal policy. Some institutions like Western Kentucky have a final grade appeal policy, Eastern Kentucky only has a grade appeal policy and UK’s includes coursework, paper, quiz and final grades in its policy, according to Waple.

This will be the third rewrite of code since Waple has been at NKU and every time there has been another focus or change made. The first change was about developing a process to investigate, decide how to hear cases, decide how to organize hearings and alter the university’s honor code.  The second review was mainly for the new sexual misconduct policy and sexual harassment.

“The policy is not yet in place and not yet defined. So they looked at it and the folks at AAPC want to talk to faculty and faculty senate and get their opinions, so we are gathering a lot of opinion on it,” Waple said.

SGA senator Donald Taylor agrees with Waple that a change is needed.

“When the policy is closer to being done it will definitely be made public… because I feel like this is a really important step in the right direction for campus,” Taylor said.

Waple said the specifics of the policy have not been released, since the policy is still in the draft phase. When it goes to the board of regents for the vote Northern Kentucky University will publicize the policy.