Student Regulations Committee

September 7, 2006

Minutes

 

 

Present:            Kent Barefield, Chair; Reta Pikowsky; Bill Schafer; Bill Drummond; Ray Vito; Pete McGuire; Larry Jacobs; Jeff Streator; Allison Graab, student representative       

 

Guests:             None   

 

 

The meeting convened at 2:00 pm.

 

1.      Kudos to Kent.  Because he has now served his statutory maximum of two elected terms, this is Kent Barefield’s last meeting with us as committee chair.  The committee members extended their heartfelt appreciation to Kent for his long and glorious reign.

 

2.      Committee purpose and membership.  Kent briefed the committee on the membership and purpose of the committee and noted that student members will be named soon.  He distributed the following information on the purpose and membership of the committee:

The Committee shall originate or receive all proposed changes in or amendments to institutional regulations pertaining to the student body, both graduate and undergraduate.  It shall review the proposed changes to determine whether they are in accord with those Statues and make recommendations to the Academic Faculty.

 

The Committee shall define and publish, with the approval of the Academic Faculty and the President, the official policy of the Institute concerning acceptable student behavior and academic honesty.  This policy shall include the definition of categories of offenses and penalties.

 

The Student Regulations Committee shall consist of four members of the Corps of Instruction elected from the Academic Faculty, two administrators elected from the Academic Faculty, two undergraduate students with at least junior standing elected by the Student Council, and one graduate student elected by the Graduate Student Senate.  The Chair shall be elected annually by the Committee from among the elected Corps of Instruction members.  The Secretary shall be appointed by the Chair from among the other members.  The Administrator in charge of student affairs and the Registrar shall be ex officio members without voting rights.

 

3.      New committee chair.  Kent nominated Jeff Streator to chair the committee.  Jeff was elected by unanimous acclaim.  Jeff appointed Bill Drummond to continue as secretary.

4.      Language cross-registration and the International Plan.  Currently, students can not cross-register for classes at other local-area institutions until they are juniors.  Some International Plan students, however, may need to take languages that are not offered at Georgia Tech (such as Polish or Portuguese) before their junior year.  Reta Pilowsky proposed adding a new sentence in the rules and regulations regarding Cross Enrollment and Concurrent Registration 1. Section B, which currently reads: “Special rules apply to students participating in the GTREP and REPT Programs.  Any students seeking an exception to these eligibility requirements should contact the Office of the Registrar.” 

Reta Pikowsky proposed adding the following sentences:

International plan students may cross enroll or register concurrently for a language course(s) NOT offered at Georgia Tech as early as the second semester of their first year of enrollment.  Special permission to do this will be granted to accepted IP students ONLY.  Please visit the Office of the Registrar for forms and procedures.

After discussion and minor amendment, the committee unanimously approved the following language to be added to the current section:

International plan students may cross enroll or register concurrently for courses in a language NOT offered at Georgia Tech as early as the second semester of their first year of enrollment.  Special permission to do this will be granted to accepted IP students ONLY.  Please visit the Office of the Registrar for forms and procedures.

5.      Grievance procedure changes for International Plan and Co-op students.  Attached is the current grievance procedure, Chapter XX of the Student Rules and Regulations.  Following a meeting of Andy Smith with student leaders, the following additional sentence was proposed to be appended to chapter XX, section A, subsection 1:

Cooperative Education students and students participating in the Study Abroad program in the semester after the course in question will have an additional semester to file a grievance.

The committee discussed several issues related to this change.  From a student perspective, when students leave campus to study abroad or work in a co-op position it can be very difficult for them to follow the current procedure, whose first step is an informal meeting with a faculty member (or unit head).  This usually involves a mutual review of the student’s work, which virtually requires the student’s presence on campus.  From a faculty perspective, many faculty members retain final exams, papers, and other student work for a maximum of one semester.  For large courses with many assignments, the cost requirements for extended warehousing of past student work is prohibitive.

Several faculty members suggested that a change in the procedure could be possible if there were sufficient notification to individual teachers that the exams and papers of a particular student needed to be retained for an additional semester.

Alison Graab volunteered to talk with one or more of the students who initiated this proposal, and she will request that Bobby Beaulieu (VP for campus affairs) attend our next committee meeting.

 

6.      Additional issues for future meetings. 

a. There is a second proposal to add similar “additional semester” language to the removal of incomplete section of the regulations.

 

b. Reta Pikowsky is proposing to delete the re-examination provision as a “relic from the past.”

c. She is also proposing that in the case of an alleged academic honor code violation that remains unresolved by the end of the grading cycle for the term, the instructor report a grade excluding the assignment that is under review, rather than an incomplete.

 

7.      Next meeting.  Our next meeting is proposed for Thursday September 14th, at 2:00. 

The meeting adjourned at 3:20 pm.







Appendix:
XX. Student Academic Grievance Procedures          

 

The procedures set forth here are intended to provide students at the Georgia Institute of Technology a means for setting forth grievances relating to academic matters and grade disputes when the student believes that an instructor has acted unfairly or improperly in assignment of grades. It is not the intention of these procedures to provide a forum for questioning the judgment or grading policies of faculty.

 

A. Applicability of the Grievance Procedures

 

1.  Subject Matter:

These procedures apply to the review of grievances concerning academic matters and grade disputes. Grade appeals must be initiated by the grievant within their next enrolled term following the term of the course in question, and best efforts should be applied to resolve the appeal within that term.

2. Grievant:

These procedures shall be the appellate procedures for students at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Students who have pursued a formal grievance procedure or who have pursued informally the resolution of a grievance in their own school, college, or unit and have had that appeal dismissed, may submit the grievance for review under these procedures.

 

B. Overview of Grievance Process

 

1. Informal resolution attempted at the school, department or unit level.

2. Formal resolution sought at the school, department, or unit level.

3. Formal resolution sought at the Institute level: appeal reviewed and, if so determined, heard by the Student Grievance and Appeal Committee.

 

 

C. Steps in the Grievance Process (to be followed in the order presented)

 

1. The student shall attempt to resolve the grievance with the individual faculty member, the department, or the unit involved.

 

2. If the grievance is not resolved in step C.1., and the student elects to continue the grievance process, the student may request a formal hearing setting forth in writing the complaint and the remedy sought at the school, college, or unit level. Upon receipt of such appeal, the unit director will acknowledge the appeal in writing within seven calendar days, and will expeditiously proceed to constitute an ad hoc appeal committee. The unit director will serve as a nonvoting member of the committee. In addition, the following four committee members will be selected:

 * One tenured faculty member from within the unit, selected by the unit director.

 * One member of the academic faculty, selected by the student. The student may elect not to select a faculty member; in that case, the committee will consist of three members.

 * One member from outside the unit, selected by the Student Grievance and Appeal Committee in consultation with the unit director.

 * One member of the academic faculty selected by the faculty member whose action is in question.

 

The committee will proceed with due haste to examine the merits of the complaint and to render a decision within 30 days. During the proceedings, the student may present any and all evidence that the student deems necessary to support the complaint, except that the committee must agree that the evidence is in some way relevant. Such evidence may consist of documentation and/or testimony, within reason. Both complainant and respondent may be accompanied by advisors; the role of advisor must, however, be restricted to advice. Complainant and respondent must make their own cases before the committee.

 

Following a hearing and a written decision at the school, college, or unit level, the grievance is presumed to be resolved unless the grievant appeals.

 

3. The grievant may appeal the decision that has been rendered by the school, college, or unit to the Student Grievance and Appeal Committee.

 

a) If the Committee, or subset thereof appointed by the chairperson, rules that the procedures are not applicable or that based on the facts stated by the grievant viewed in the light most favorable to the grievant, there is no basis for relief, then the appeal is denied.

 

b) If the Committee rules that the Institute procedural rules are applicable and that a hearing of the appeal is warranted, the Committee shall initiate a hearing process.

 

c) If a student wishes to have a grievance outcome reviewed by the Student Grievance and Appeal Committee with a view to a formal hearing, the student shall observe the following requirements:

 

1. The appeal must be in writing. It must state the basis for the grievance and the facts that support it, including a summary of the steps that have already been taken to resolve the grievance, reasons why the student finds the resolutions unfair or unsatisfactory, and a statement of the desired remedy.

 

2. The written appeal must be presented to the chairperson of the Student Grievance and Appeal Committee within 30 days after the student has received notice of a decision from a school, college, or unit.

 

3. The decision as to whether a formal hearing is warranted shall be made available, in writing, to the parties concerned within 30 days after the Committee has received notice of the appeal.

 

4. The Committee may alter a deadline specified in these procedures on written petition of either party showing a meritorious reason for delay; if the Committee itself needs to extend a deadline, it may do so on its own authority for periods up to 14 calendar days; for longer delays, the Committee must request an extension from the Executive Board of the Institute.

 

5. The determination of the Committee as to whether a hearing is warranted is final.

 

6. The Committee shall develop and, with the approval of the Academic Senate, establish and publish its own rules of procedures for the conduct of formal hearings.

 

7. After receiving testimony and the relevant documents, the Committee shall make a decision within 30 days on the basis of the received material.

 

8. The Committee's decision shall contain finding of fact, the decision arrived at, reasons for the decision, and the criteria or policy applied in reaching the decision.