The course or clerkship director is the primary authority with respect to a student’s proficiency and final grade in that course/clerkship. A student who believes that his or her final grade reflects a capricious, arbitrary or prejudiced academic evaluation should first discuss the matter with the course/clerkship director. Students can grieve any official document concerning their grades.
A student wishing to appeal the final grade received in a particular course or clerkship should first attempt to resolve the matter by meeting with the course or clerkship director. Students not satisfied after attempting such resolution may file a formal written appeal with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs (ADSA) or other Dean designee.
The appeal must be made within twenty (20) business days (based on SOM academic calendar) from the date of the student’s grade, narrative or final grade release to E-portfolio. The student must detail the reasons for appeal and list any potential faculty or student(s) to serve as advisors or witnesses in the event of an appeal hearing in writing addressed to the ADSA. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs (ADSA) or Dean Designee may appoint an ad hoc appeal committee (AHAC), may dismiss the appeal, or may consider another remedy. The appeal hearing process is described in more detail below.
The ad hoc appeal committee (AHAC) will consist of three members of a combination of either the course/clerkship directors (not responsible for the grade), or department Chair (not supervising faculty owner of grade), College Mentor (not over student involved) or member of the grading and promotion committee. The committee will appoint one of the AHAC members as committee chair.
If the ad hoc appeal committee is formed, then the committee chair is responsible for following the appeal procedure for grades and for fact finding. After reviewing all documents and completing necessary interviews, the ad hoc appeal committee will then make a recommendation to the ADSA or Dean’s designee.
Appeal Hearing: If an appeal hearing is formed under the direction of the ADSA, it will be convened by the ad hoc appeal committee chair (AHAC-Chair) within ten (10) business days of the AHAC-Chair being appointed.
The AHAC-Chair will ensure procedural integrity and a thorough review of the case by the AHAC, of the students’ written evaluations of the entire course or clerkship of which the appeal is made and the appropriate portions of the course/clerkship syllabus. The AHAC will meet with the student and hear their reasons for the appeal. The AHAC will also meet with the director of the course or clerkship.
Witnesses may be called at the discretion of the AHAC-Chair, but must include the student and the course/clerkship director. Students requested to be present as a witness by the school or by the student who is appealing the grade are not compelled to testify. Although no legal counsel is permitted in the appeal hearing, a student may request that a faculty member or another student be present and participate in an advisory role. This advisor may not represent the student, or directly question or cross-examine witnesses. A family member may not serve in this role. The output of the AHAC will be a written recommendation to the ADSA.
If after being notified of the final decision, the student feels that the School of Medicine did not properly follow its established procedures, then an additional written appeal may be forwarded to the TTUHSC El Paso Vice President for Academic Affairs within ten (10) business days (based on SOM academic calendar) after receiving the ADSA’s final recommendations. Students may only appeal procedural issues. This step exhausts the student’s appeal options, wherein the TTUHSC El Paso Vice President for Academic Affairs decision is final.