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PREVENTING

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									PREVENTING AND RESOLVING STUDENT-FACULTY DISPUTES: A Handbook for Students

Office of the Dean Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Condita MCMIX Revised 01/07

We all hope that your college experience at ECU will go smoothly! Sometimes students and faculty members disagree on important matters. This handbook aims to give you some background on the areas that may be an issue for you and to give you information on how to resolve these issues in a constructive way. There is also a list of helpful resources on the last page. Feel free to contact the Office of the Dean of the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences if you need additional assistance. Preventing Disputes The best way to deal with disputes or disagreements with your instructors is to try to prevent them in the first place. Here are some prevention tips:  Understand your responsibilities as a student by being familiar with University rules and procedures. Be sure to read the academic regulations section in the University catalog and the Student Code of Conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook (The Clue Book).  Read each course syllabus thoroughly at the beginning of the semester and make sure you keep a copy handy. Ask your instructor for clarification of anything you don’t understand or that is unclear.  Attend class, turn in assignments on time, and don’t miss exams. This will prevent most of the common conflicts between students and faculty members.  Develop a positive relationship with your instructors, participate in class, and talk with them throughout the semester. Conflicts are easiest to resolve when your instructors know you.  Don’t ask your instructor to ignore the rules in the syllabus or violate University regulations.  Talk with your instructor immediately if there is a problem. Don’t put it off or hope that it will “go away.” Problems usually don’t go away by themselves; they just get more difficult to resolve.  If you must miss an exam or scheduled assignment, notify your instructor by phone or email before the scheduled time for the exam or assignment.  Immediately upon your return you should make an appointment to talk with your instructor about your absence. Bring with you any documentation that you have to explain your absence. Handling Disagreements Most student-faculty disagreements center around grades or missed examinations or assignments. The University policies about grade appeals and examinations are clear. Here are some things you can do improve your odds of productively resolving a disagreement:  Clearly identify your disagreement and the basis for it. It usually helps clarify your thoughts to put your concerns in writing.

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Identify what you think would be a satisfactory solution to the disagreement. It is helpful if you can identify several different options that are satisfactory and to which you could agree. Pull together and make several copies of all documentation to support your position—course syllabus, university policies, copies of emails to your instructor, etc. If you are nervous about this, practice presenting your perspective by talking with a trusted friend, parent, or an advisor. Make an appointment and talk with your instructor about your concerns. Be sure to allow sufficient time to talk about this without feeling rushed. Be calm, polite, and clearly state your concerns and suggested solutions. Do not whine, get angry, call names, or make accusations about the instructor’s motivation. Your purpose is to have your argument heard and considered. Agree to a compromise if appropriate. Thank the faculty member for their consideration regardless of the outcome. If you are not satisfied after talking with your instructor, then prepare a written appeal for the department chairperson (see section on Grade Appeal Policy). In your written appeal, be clear about what your disagreement is and what outcome you would like. Spell out what you have done to resolve this so far, and include copies of all documentation. Make an appointment with the chairperson to discuss your concerns. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the appeal to the department chairperson, then you may submit your written appeal to the Dean’s office. The Assistant or Associate Dean will discuss the issues with you and the other persons involved to help identify a solution. Note, however, that the faculty member has the final authority for grades.

University Policies Grade Appeal Policy A student wishing to contest a course grade should first attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor who determined the grade. The student may appeal the instructor’s decision by submitting a written appeal to the instructor’s department chairperson or dean, as appropriate, not later than the last day for undergraduate students to drop semester-length courses during the next regular semester. The instructor’s department chairperson or dean, as appropriate, shall review the student’s request with the faculty member and either concur with the grade or request that the faculty member reassess the grade. The final decision shall rest with the faculty member responsible for the course grade. Missed Examination Policy An instructor should not administer make-up quizzes or allow credit to those students who miss announced or scheduled intermediate tests and quizzes. Students who are absent from intermediate tests and quizzes with an excuse acceptable to the instructor or an official university excuse from the Dean of Students will be given a make-up test

or an exemption from taking the test at the discretion of the instructor. Students should not be permitted to continue a test or an examination after the end of the class period. Class Attendance and Absences Policy The ECU policy on class attendance is that each student is expected to attend classes regularly and to be on time to classes. Each instructor sets the class attendance policy for their own class, so you must read the syllabus for each class carefully as your classes are likely to have different class attendance rules. The University policy is as follows: Students are expected to attend punctually all lecture and laboratory sessions and field experiences and to participate in course assignments and activities as described in the course syllabus. Absences are counted from the first class meeting, and, at the discretion of the instructor, absences because of late registration may not be automatically excused. Each instructor shall determine the class attendance policy for each of his or her courses, as long as the instructor’s policy does not conflict with university policy as described herein. The instructor’s attendance policy, along with other course requirements, will be presented to the class, preferably in writing, at the first class meeting. Faculty may include class attendance as criteria in determining a student’s final grade in the course. If class attendance is to affect a student’s grade, then a written statement to that effect must be part of the course syllabus. Excused absences should not lower a student’s course grade, provided that the student, in a manner determined by the instructor, is able to make up the work that has been missed and is maintaining satisfactory progress in the course. If a student anticipates that he or she may miss more than 10% of class meeting time as a result of universityexcused absences, the student is required to discuss this matter with the instructor at the beginning of the semester. Instructors are expected to honor valid University excuses for student absences and to provide reasonable and equitable means for students to make up work missed as a result of those absences. Student experiences that cannot be made up should be discussed at the onset of the courses to ensure that continued enrollment is feasible while there is still the opportunity to drop the course within the schedule change period. Instructors may require that students provide reasonable advanced notice of a university-excused absence, when possible. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain verification of a university-excused absence by contacting the Dean of Students’ office. The death of an immediate family member or student participation in religious holidays may be considered an excused absence under university policy. Should such a circumstance occur, and the faculty member desires verification, the student should

contact the Dean of Students’ office for a university-excused absence and provide documentation of the particulars. The Student Health Service does not issue official written excuses for illness or injury except in the case of a final examination when a grade of incomplete (I) is requested by the student. Upon student request, however, the Student Health Service will confirm that the student has received medical care. Final Examination Policy Final examinations are held at the close of each term. There will be no departure from the printed schedule of examinations. Changes for individual circumstances of a serious nature will be made only with the approval of the instructor, the chair of the department or dean of the school involved, and the associate vice chancellor for academic services. Dealing with Academic Integrity Issues Academic integrity is expected of every East Carolina University student. Academic honor is the responsibility of the students and faculty of East Carolina University. Academic integrity violations include:  Cheating. Unauthorized aid or assistance or the giving or receiving of unfair advantage on any form of academic work.  Plagiarism. Copying the language, structure, ideas, and/or thoughts of another and adopting same as one’s own original work.  Falsification. Statement of any untruth, either spoken or written, regarding any circumstances relative to academic work.  Attempts. Attempting any act that if completed would constitute an academic integrity violation as defined herein. You should be familiar with the Academic Integrity policies and procedures. The procedure for dealing with academic integrity issues is spelled out in the Student Handbook (http://www.ecu.edu/studenthandbook/) Privacy of Student Records The university policy for the administration of student educational records is in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, sometimes referred to as the Buckley Amendment). This means that members of the faculty are unable to discuss your educational records (including grades) with any other person (including your parents). If you are over 18 but still a federal tax dependent then your parents have access to your records, but they must file a form with the Registrar’s Office attesting to this. If you want your parents to talk with a professor or an administrator about your personal educational record or performance here you must complete a waiver form available on your Onestop. On your tools page there is a line “Buckley Admin.” You must complete the permission form electronically

to allow access to or discussion about your records with anyone else. For more information call the Registrar’s Office (328-6748) or go to: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/registrar/FERPA.cfm Further Information & Assistance Office of the Dean Harriot College of Arts and Sciences 1002 Bate Building Phone: 252-328-6249 Student Code of Conduct Online: http://www.ecu.edu/studenthandbook/ University Catalogs Online: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/aa/SrchCatalog.cfm General university problems: Dr. Lynn Roeder 328-1744 Interim Dean of Students Student conduct or academic integrity issues: Ms. Margaret Olszewska, Director Student Rights and Responsibilities 328-6824 Suspension, probation, or readmission appeal: Student Appeals Committee File appeals in the Registrar’s Office, Whichard Building. http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/registrar/Students.cfm Office of the Dean Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences 1002 Bate Building Phone: 252-328-6249 Fax: 252-328-4263 http://www.artsci.ecu.edu/cas/ Dr. Alan R. White Dean Dr. Michael Brown Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies Dr. Heather Ries Associate Dean for Graduate Studies


								
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