Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Academic Policies & Procedures

Grade Grievance Policy and Procedure

Grade Grievance Policy and Procedure

Students who feel that they have received an unfair or improper grade in an Anthropology course, and who wish to seek redress, should follow these procedures:

Step 1. Preamble

Within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, instructors are expected to set fair and consistent grading procedures for their respective courses. The key to implementing fair grading procedures in courses across the College is that individual instructors adhere to grading rubrics that are applied evenly and consistently to all students within a respective course. If the grading rubric is used consistently for each student, then the final grade is assumed to be the correct grade. Nevertheless, students can inquire about a grade and subsequently initiate a grade grievance when they think that the grade was unfairly given.

Step 2. Consultation with Instructor

The first step in inquiring about the accuracy of a final grade should be directed to the lead instructor of the course. This initial inquiry should take place within the first fifteen University business days of the first full term following the term in which the disputed grade was issued. If, after this inquiry, the student is not satisfied with the instructor’s response, the student may choose to initiate a formal grade grievance. To initiate a formal grade grievance, the student should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) within the Department of Anthropology before the end of the fifth week of classes in the first full term following the term in which the disputed grade was issued.

Step 3. Formal complaint to Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS)

To initiate the formal grade grievance process, the student must convey in writing the basis for the complaint, with specific evidence in support of the argument that the grade either was given in error or was unfairly determined. This formal complaint also should summarize the outcome of the initial inquiry to the course instructor, indicating what aspects are in dispute. Upon receipt of the written complaint, the DUS will ask the instructor to provide a written summary restating how the final grade was determined and to respond to the specific claims made by the student.

After receiving this information from both the student and the instructor, the DUS will then determine if sufficient evidence exists to convene the Department’s Grade Grievance Committee. (In Anthropology, Grade Grievance Committee responsibilities are held by the Department’s Curriculum Committee.) If the DUS determines that there is insufficient evidence for the grade grievance, the matter is considered closed, and the original grade stands.

If the DUS determines that the grade grievance should proceed, a date for a formal hearing with the Grade Grievance Committee will be set.

Step 4. Grade Grievance Hearing

Once it has been determined that a formal hearing will be held, the DUS will empanel the appropriate Departmental Grade Grievance Committee. The student filing the grade grievance will be provided with the instructor’s summary in advance of the formal hearing, and the respective instructor will be provided with the student’s written complaint in advance of the formal hearing. During the formal hearing, the student will be asked to first present the basis of his or her complaint. The instructor will then be asked to present his or her explanation for how grades were determined. If the instructor is not available (e.g. on leave) to respond in person, the instructor may provide a written statement. Following an open period of questions to all parties, i.e., the student, the instructor (if feasible) and the Grade Grievance committee members, the formal hearing will be adjourned.

Step 5. Grade Grievance Committee’s Recommendation

The Grade Grievance Committee will then have ten University business days to determine its recommendation and submit a written report to the DUS.

If the Grade Grievance Committee decides that a grade change is not warranted, the DUS will convey this in writing to the student and the instructor. The original grade will stand and the matter is considered closed.

If the committee recommends a grade change, the DUS will communicate that decision directly to the instructor. The instructor will then be asked to respond in writing within five University business days to the DUS indicating whether or not he/she will abide by the Grade Grievance Committee’s recommendation. If the instructor agrees to a grade change, the DUS will in writing inform the student of the instructor’s decision and the student’s final course grade will be changed. The matter is considered closed.

If an instructor does not accept the Grade Grievance Committee’s recommendation to change the final grade, the original grade will stand. By College policy, a final course grade rests solely with the instructor and, as such, a course grade cannot be changed without the instructor’s consent. When this occurs, the DUS will convey in writing this decision to the student. The matter is considered closed. There is no appeal beyond the Department.

* All Departmental policies and procedures are subject to possible change as University and LSA policies change.

Waitlist Policy

  • All undergraduate Anthropology classes (ANTHRARC, ANTHRBIO, ANTHRCUL) will have waitlists available in Wolverine Access as soon as registration begins with the exception of large lecture/discussion classes, which will have a waitlist added after the lecture section is entirely full. If a student wishes to register for a closed Anthropology class they should add themselves to the waitlist on wolverine access.
  • Prior to the first day of classes, permissions will be issued to students on the waitlist by Anthropology department staff as spots open up in the class. Permissions granted before classes begin will expire one week from the issue date.
  • Permissions will be given first to anthropology majors and minors, then to the first non-major or non-minor on the list.
  • After the first day of classes, instructors will be given the opportunity to decide who receives a permission into their classes based on the instructor’s criteria, such as attendance, field of major, etc., and not necessarily on waitlist position. The instructor will apply his/her criteria consistently. Permissions granted after classes have begun will expire in 24 hours.
  • If the instructors do not notify department staff that they would like to control their own waitlists, then department staff will issue permissions based on anthropology major or minor status, then on waitlist position as spots open up in the class.
  • Students are notified by email when a permission has been issued.
  • If all students on a waitlist have been given an opportunity to enroll, but do not, they will be dropped from the waitlist by the Registrar’s Office. This will allow the class to open back up for registration.

As of 10/8/2015

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct in Department of Anthropology courses will be appropriately sanctioned and reported in accordance with LSA policies. It is the responsibility of every student to know what constitutes academic misconduct and how to avoid it.

What is academic misconduct? Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • cheating
  • plagiarism
  • unacceptable collaboration
  • falsification of data, records, and/or official documents
  • aiding and abetting another’s academic dishonesty

What happens if I violate the LSA standards for academic integrity?

The LSA Assistant Dean has the authority to impose sanctions such as community service, notation on a student’s official academic record, permanent expulsion, and even withholding a student’s degree.  

Independent Study Policy

Undergraduate Independent Study Policy, Department of Anthropology

Independent Study courses can fill an important gap for U. Michigan undergraduates who have either exhausted existing course offerinds in their anthropological subfield of greatest interest or whose specialized interests coincide with those of a faculty member, but where no courses on the topic are regularly offered in the department.

In January, 2009, the LSA Curriculum Committee approved guidelines for all independent study courses in the College. These guidelines required departments to: a) develop a written independent study policy; b) institute a policy requiring that an independent study form be submitted for each proposed independent study course; c) set a policy on the maximum number of students or credit hours a faculty member could supervise in a semester; and d) keep on file copies of the signed agreement and the finished project satisfying the agreement for a period of seven years. In light of these guidelines, the Department of Anthropology policy on independent study courses is:

a)  Independent study courses must be supervised by regular (tenure-track or lecturers) faculty members in the department. Students cannot be supervised by graduate students. In addition, faculty on leave should not conduct independent studies with students, nor should they supervise students on subjects that fall outside of their areas of specialization, or on subjects covered by regular course offerings in the department or in other units.

    The minimum requirement for a 3-credit course will be:

        1.  To read two articles or book chapters—or the equivalent—per week,

        2.  One hour of contact with the supervising faculty member per week (a total of fourteen hours for the semester), and

        3.  A final product that is a fifteen-page research paper or the equivalent. One or two-credit courses should require one-third or two-thirds this amount of work, respectively.

b)  Students interested in enrolling in an independent study course must fill out a form describing the topic that will be covered and the reason why it is necessary to study this topic in an independent study format rather than in a regularly offered course. The form must be signed by both the student and the faculty supervisor.

c)  Each regular faculty member may supervise a maximum of four credit hours per semester. Additional credits will require approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies (see below).

d)  The department will keep on file copies of the signed agreement and sufficient evidence of student work to demonstrate that the agreement was fulfilled for a period of 7 years. It is the responsibility of the faculty supervisor to file a copy of the finished project with the departmental registrar within 30 days of the end of the semester in which the independent study has taken place.

The Director of Undergraduate Studies can grant an exception to any of these policies on the basis of petition by the supervising faculty member.

Independent Study Application

V1: Approved 12/14/2015 by the anthropology curriculum committee and 1/11/2016 by the anthropology executive committee