Every graduate student has the right to appeal actions taken by faculty, committees of the faculty, or administrative officers of the Museum. Such appeals should be restricted to those cases where it can be demonstrated that the student has not been fairly treated in accordance with the graduate rules of the Museum and Field Studies Program. Letters of appeal should be addressed to the Director of the Museum and should explicitly state the reasons for the appeal, along with corroborative documentation.
One of the fundamental responsibilities of every faculty member in the Museum and Field Studies Graduate Program is to evaluate the academic performance of our students fairly and conscientiously. The grades our students earn form part of their permanent academic records, and can have far-reaching impacts on their future success in a variety of endeavors. As individual faculty members, and collectively as a Museum, it is our duty to ensure that these grades are an accurate assessment of performance.
We take the prerogative of faculty members to assign grades very seriously, and we are extremely reluctant to interfere in this basic aspect of our academic lives. At the same time, both the courts and the AAUP have recognized the need for a well-designed appeals process to provide remedies on those rare occasions when grades are assigned in an arbitrary or capricious manner, or when grading is improperly influenced by prejudice or emotion.