G-005 Academic Appeals Policy

Academic Appeals Committee

The Academic Appeals Committee (AAC) shall consist of the following members with the expectation of in-person participation to ensure confidentiality of the proceedings:  

  1. At least one (1) academic dean who will only vote to break ties  
  2. Five (5) to seven (7) faculty members as appointed by the Faculty Association  
  3. President of the SMSU Student Association or designee  
  4. Two (2) non-voting members from the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center, appointed by the provost  
  5. Four (4) voting members of the committee must be present for a quorum.  


AAC shall hear all cases related to the following student appeals 

  1. Students appealing final course grades (SMSU Policy A-034, “Grading”)
  2. Students accused of violations of academic honesty, (SMSU Policy A-032, “Academic Honesty” 

  3. Students failing to maintain satisfactory academic progress, (SMSU Policy A-005, “Satisfactory Academic Progress” 

Student Rights  

Note: Failure to complete all appropriate steps in the appeals process will result in the appeal not being considered by the committee. In this case, the result cannot be appealed. Students involved in AAC hearings shall have the following rights:  

  1. Students have the right to a representative in preparing for or to be present at hearings. Should a representative be present at the hearing, the representative may only respond to direct questions from members of AAC 
  2. Students have the right to appear at hearings and to present evidence or first-hand account witnesses. A student may meet with AAC in person or via teleconferencing. 
    1. To meet via teleconferencing, students are responsible for having the technology needed for the meeting. At the time students are notified of the opportunity for appeal, they will receive information regarding the software needed for a teleconference.
    2. Students choosing teleconferencing must also submit written materials for the appeal, in case there are problems with technology.  
  3. Students have the right to decline to be present at hearings and may present evidence in writing. The administration of Southwest Minnesota State University shall respect the right of students to refuse to testify against themselves.  
  4. Whether choosing to appeal in person, via teleconferencing, or in writing, students have the right to submit any and all evidence they want AAC to consider in its deliberations for grade and academic dishonesty appeals. For satisfactory academic progress appeals, the committee will only consider the questionnaire the student will complete prior to the hearing. 
  5. AAC shall not consider statements against an individual associated with the appeal unless both of the following conditions are met: ​
    1. The individuals are present when the statements are made, or they are advised in writing of their content and the names of those who made them 
    2. The individuals are given an opportunity to rebut unfavorable inferences which might otherwise be made
  6.  Students will have the right to review any evidence against them. 

Appealing Decisions of AAC 

Students may appeal to the provost should they have demonstrable grounds to believe that either the reasons cited by the committee were factually or contextually incorrect, or insufficient reasoning was provided by AAC. 

  1. Decisions for grade appeals are final and may not be appealed. 
  2. Decisions for academic standing may be appealed.  
  3. Decisions for academic dishonesty may be appealed. 


All evidence presented and discussions undertaken in the course of any appeal shall be held in the strictest confidence. 

Related Documents 

Minnesota State Board Policy 3.1, “Students Rights & Responsibilities 
SMSU Policy A-005, “Satisfactory Academic Progress 
SMSU Policy A-032, “Academic Honesty 
SMSU Policy A-034, “Grading 
SMSU Procedure G-005.1, “Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals 
SMSU Procedure G-005.2, “Course Grade Appeals 
SMSU Procedure G-005.4, “Academic Dishonesty Appeals  

Policy History

Date of Adoption: August 1984
Date of Last Review: March 2023

Date and Subject of Amendments

3/15/2023 - Procedures were split out from the policy.

Note: While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, SMSU reserves the right to correct any clerical errors herein. Also, you can submit feedback.