Academic Rights and Responsibilities – Academic Freedom

A. Evaluation of Students

Free discussion, inquiry, and expression in the classroom are essential to the task of a liberal education at Gettysburg. Student performance, therefore, should be evaluated solely on the basis of academic achievement, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. Students are responsible for maintaining the academic standards established by the College and the respective instructor(s) for each course in which they are enrolled. Students have the right to know the criteria on which they are being evaluated and, where possible, an estimation of their standing in any course in which they are enrolled. Students have the right to be evaluated solely on the stated criteria in any course in which they are enrolled. They should never be subjected to prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. Any student who feels they have been subjected to such evaluation should ask the professor involved to explain their grade.

B. Grade Appeal

Students have 15 days from the start of the following semester to appeal a final grade to the instructor in writing. The instructor shall respond in writing to the appeal within 15 days of receipt. If the student still feels that the grade is unjustified, the student has an additional 15 days to appeal the grade, in writing, to the Department Chair. (In cases involving the Department Chair, the appeal may be addressed to the Provost.) The Chair shall respond to the student within 15 days of receipt of the appeal. (A Department Chair may, however, at their discretion refer any grade appeal to the Provost for a decision.) If the student is still dissatisfied with a decision made by the Department Chair, the student may appeal in writing to the Provost within 15 days of the Chair’s decision. The Provost’s decision should be communicated to the parties involved within 15 days of receipt of the appeal. Any grade not changed during this appeal period shall be official.

C. Honor Code

Students enroll at Gettysburg on condition that they will abide by and support the College’s academic honor system. Thus, they have the responsibility to adhere to all parts of the Honor Code and to foster its application by other students of the College, and they have the right to exercise its privileges. Details about the Honor Code are found on the Honor Commission’s area on the Office of Academic Advising website.