Shepherd University

Campus Student Conduct System

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Academic Freedom and Responsibility

I. Academic Rights and Responsibilities

A. All students, faculty, and staff are responsible for understanding and complying with the University’s stated academic requirements.

1. Student grades are based solely on academic performance as measured by the standards set forth in the course syllabus.

2. Students should feel free to express their thoughts and opinions in an academic forum.

3. Assignments must be completed by the student for whom the work is assigned and without unauthorized aid of any kind.

4. Instructors shall encourage honest effort by exercising care in planning and supervising academic work.

5. A student who does not comply with the University’s honesty standard may be subject to appropriate penalties imposed by the instructor, and even to academic probation, suspension, or dismissal.

6. The policies regarding both academic standing and academic dishonesty are outlined in the Shepherd University Catalog.

B. Students who choose to enroll at Shepherd have the following academic rights.

1. Access to the Shepherd University Catalog, which describes all academic program requirements including: required courses, total credit requirements, residence requirements, special program requirements, minimum grade point average requirements, probation standards, professional standards, and other pertinent information.

2. A written syllabus containing the academic requirements of, and the instructor’s expectations for the course.

a. Course syllabi will be distributed by instructors of record, and should contain information pertaining to: attendance policies, grading procedures, course information, special requirements including field trips, extra costs, and other pertinent matters.

b. Students have the right of appeal if they are discriminated against due to: race, color, national origin, age, gender, familial or associational status, disabilities, religion, or sexual orientation.

II. Academic Actions Imposed by the University

 A. Shepherd University will take appropriate academic action when a student fails to maintain the academic standards of the University, or when there is evidence that a student has violated an academic policy. Students also have the right to appeal academic actions.

B. Examples of situations requiring academic action would include the following.

1. Infraction of institutional academic standards, rules, and regulations (required grade point averages, etc.) as stated in the Shepherd University Catalog.

2. Final grade challenges.

3. Academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating, falsifying records, etc.)

4. Failure to meet the standards required for continuing in a program of instruction, thus leading to dismissal from that program.

C. For failure to maintain academic standards, the University may impose the following student sanctions.

1. Instructor Imposed Sanctions include the reduction of a grade, or the failure of a course, all of which may be applied by an individual instructor. The maximum penalty a professor may impose is a grade of F in the course. The individual instructor may report the plagiarism to Dean of Students.

2. Academic Probation is a sanction imposed for failure to meet academic standards (see the Catalog).

3. Academic Suspension is the exclusion from all institutional activities for a definite stated period of time not to exceed one calendar year (see the Catalog).

4. Academic Dismissal is the termination of student status from some or all programs, including any right or privilege to receive a benefit, recognition, or certification.

III. Academic Actions Concerning Admissions and Credits

A. Institutional procedures for administering admission policies are detailed in the Shepherd University Catalog.

1. The Office of Admissions shall be responsible for administering admissions policies outlined in the Shepherd University Catalog.

a. Prospective students who fail to meet the academic standards necessary for admissions will be notified of their deficiencies.

b. Prospective students who wish to challenge or seek an exception to an admissions policy may petition the Admissions and Credits Committee for an exception to the rules in particular cases.

2. The Office of the Registrar is responsible for administering the institutional academic standards as outlined in the Catalog.

a. The University Registrar will notify students who have deficiencies and thus fail to meet the minimum academic standards necessary for remaining in a given program.

b. Students wishing to challenge or seek an exception to a University policy may, in particular cases, petition the Admissions and Credits Committee for an exception to the rules in particular cases.

(i) All petitions shall include required signatures on the appropriate petition.

(ii) All petitions will include a written statement of the reason that an exception to a policy should be granted.

B. Decisions of the Admissions and Credits Committee may be appealed to the University President whose decision is final.

 IV. The Academic Appeal Committee

A. The faculty pool utilized in this process consists of 14 tenured faculty members nominated by the Curriculum and Instruction Committee.

B. At its last meeting of the academic year, the Shepherd University Faculty Senate shall confirm the Committee’s nominees to serve in the following year, for a term from July 1 to June 30.

C. The faculty pool shall be selected annually.

D. Members of the committee will hear cases involving grade appeals, academic dishonesty, and program dismissals.

V. Student Grade Appeals

A. In any grade appeal procedure, the student has the burden of proof in establishing good cause for changing a final grade rests on the student.

B. Unless the student can offer convincing arguments to the contrary, good faith on the instructor’s part is presumed.

C. When supported by sufficient evidence, any of the following reasons shall constitute good cause for challenging a final grade.

1. The grade was the result of discrimination (as defined in I, B, 2, b).

a. A successful appeal must demonstrate that the instructor did not apply a consistent standard to all students in the classroom.

b. The student making the appeal must show that the instructor did not apply the same grading standard to the student making the appeal that was applied to other students in the course.

2. The grade was awarded in an arbitrary or capricious manner.

3. The grade was the result of an error on the part of the professor in calculating, recording, or reporting a final grade.

D. None of the following shall constitute good cause for appealing a final grade.

1. Disagreement with the course requirements established by the professor.

2. Disagreement with the grading standards established by the professor.

3. Disagreement with the instructor’s judgment when applying grading standards, assuming that the instructor has made a reasonable effort to be fair and consistent in exercising that judgment.

4. The desire or need of the student to attain a particular grade.

5. Consequences that a student might face as the result of a grade award.

E. What constitutes standing in a grade appeal case?

1. In the grade appeal process, standing is defined as those parties who are directly linked to this action procedurally.

a. Those parties who have standing include the instructor and the student desiring a grade change.

b. Those parties who do not have standing include classmates, other instructors, other administrators, and family members.

2. Parties with standing shall be allowed to present oral testimony to the Appeals Committee in the grade appeal process.

3. Relevant testimony from parties who do not have standing in the grade appeal process should be presented in the form of written statements that shall be made part of the official appeal file.

a. Committee members may invite other parties to be interviewed or to give testimony based on the written statements.

 b. All written statements shall become part of the appeal file.

VI. Grade Appeal Procedures

A. Step 1: Scheduling a Faculty-Student Conference.

1. A student wishing to appeal a grade shall first confer face-to-face with the instructor of record (hereafter referred to as instructor) who assigned that grade.

a. The instructor-student conference shall take place within the first 10 class days of the regular semester immediately following the semester that the disputed grade was assigned (Summer sessions are not considered as regular semesters).

b. At the request of the student or the instructor, the Department Chair shall assign another departmental faculty member to witness the conference.

c. The reasons for questioning the grade shall be stated by the student, and the reasons for assigning that particular grade shall be explained by the instructor.

2. In a case where the instructor is not available for this conference (non-reappointment, retirement, death, extended absence from the area, or other debilitating circumstances), the instructor’s Department Chair shall act as the instructor of record.

3. Students who appeal a grade can expect one of two possible outcomes from the student-instructor conferences.

a. If the instructor finds that no grade change is justified, the student shall be so notified at the end of the conference.

b. If the instructor does decide to change the grade, the instructor shall complete a Change of Grade form and file it with the Registrar within five class days from the time that the conference occurs.

B. Step 2: The Student Appeals to the Department Chair.

1. Following the instructor-student conference, a student receiving an unfavorable decision may file an appeal with the instructor’s Department Chair.

a. The appeal to the Department Chair must be in writing and filed within five class days of the instructor-student conference, or within the first 15 class days of the semester that the grade is eligible for appeal.

b. If the student fails to contact the Department Chair within 15 class days of the beginning of the appropriate semester, the instructor’s grade award shall be considered final.

2. The student’s grade appeal to the Department Chair must be in the form of a written memo or letter.

a. The appeal memo or letter must be copied to the instructor.

b. The student’s written statement must include a justification that should conform to at least one of the criteria listed above for making a grade appeal.

c. The appeal must include all completed assignments that have been returned to the student.

3. The instructor shall submit a written justification for the assigned grade with supporting documentation that includes any assignments that have not been returned to the student.

4. In order to make an equitable decision, the Chair may hold a hearing involving the instructor and the student desiring a grade change.

5. If the instructor is the Dean then the following procedures shall be followed:

a. Following the faculty-student conference, Step 2 shall occur.

b. If applicable, Step 3 will be skipped and the case will proceed to Step 4.

6. Within ten class days of receiving the student’s appeal, the Department Chair shall provide both the student and the instructor with a written notice of the Chair’s decision.

a. The written notice should give the reasons for the decision and may be given to the parties directly or mailed by certified mail.

b. Following notification of the Chair’s decision to all parties, the Department Chair shall forward the original grade appeal file to the Dean.

(i) The file should include a copy of the decision and all written materials including notes from oral investigations that were used for reaching the decision.

(ii) The Department Chair shall retain a copy of these files for five years.

7. Both the student and the instructor have the right to appeal the Department Chair’s decision to the Dean of the school in which the original course was taught.

8. If the Department Chair’s review decides that a change in grade is warranted, and the instructor agrees with the decision, the instructor shall file a Change of Grade form with the Office of the Registrar within ten class days of the date of the decision.

9. If the Department Chair’s review decides that a change in grade is warranted, but the instructor does not consent to the change, the Department Chair shall automatically forward the appeal to the Dean of the school in which the course is taught.

C. Step 3: The Student Appeals to the Dean.

1. A student or an instructor may appeal the Department Chair’s decision to that Chair’s Dean within five class days of being notified of the Department Chair’s decision.

a. The appeal memo or letter must be copied to the Department Chair and the instructor.

b. The appeal shall be in writing and shall contain the student’s reasons for appealing the Department Chair’s decision.

2. Upon receiving an appeal, the Dean shall review the appeal file.

a. In arriving at a decision, the Dean should consider the written appeal, the instructor’s written response, and the Department Chair’s written report.

(i) The Dean may also consider the student’s written work for the course in question.

(ii) In order to make an equitable decision, the Dean may hold a hearing involving the instructor and the student desiring a grade change.

b. The Dean shall communicate the decision and the justification to the student, the instructor, and Department Chair within ten class days of receiving the student’s appeal directly or by certified mail.

3. Both the student and the instructor have the right to appeal the decision of the Dean to the Academic Appeal Committee.

4. If the Dean’s review decides that a change in grade is warranted, and the in-structor is in agreement, the instructor shall file a Change of Grade form with the Office of the Registrar within 10 class days of the date of the decision.

5. If the Dean’s review decides that a change in grade is warranted, but the instructor does not consent to the change, the Dean shall automatically forward the appeal file to the Appeal Committee.

D. Step 4: Petition to the Academic Appeal Committee.

1. A student or instructor may appeal the Dean’s decision to the Academic Appeal Committee, by filing a written statement with the Academic Affairs Office within five class days of receiving the Dean’s report.

a. Within five class days of receiving the written appeal, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall notify the Dean, Department Chair, and the instructor that an appeal has been filed.

b. Within five class days of receiving an appeal, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall:

(i) Provide the student with a list of seven faculty members chosen from the faculty pool as described in Section IV.

(ii) The student shall be instructed to strike two names within three class days.

c. Next, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall submit the five names to the instructor asking that the instructor strike two names within three class days.

(i) The three remaining names shall constitute the Academic Appeal Committee for the current grade appeal.

(ii) The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall appoint one of these three faculty members as chair for this appeal process.

2. The Academic Appeal Committee may consider all materials in the appeal file constructed by the Dean (i.e., the student’s original appeal, the instructor’s written justification, the Department Chair’s written report, the Dean’s written report, the student’s written work for the course, and all other documents the Dean may have used in reaching a decision).

a. The student and the instructor shall each be entitled to submit additional written statements for consideration by the Academic Appeal Committee.

b. The Academic Appeals Committee shall hold a formal hearing, including all parties having standing (see above), and should address the following:

(i) Questions from members of the Academic Appeal Committee.

(ii) Cross examination of witnesses by both parties.

(iii) Additional inquiries that the Academic Appeal Committee feels are necessary or beneficial to determine a successful outcome.

3. The Academic Appeals Committee shall reach a decision no later than the last day of regular classes before the final exam period of the semester when the appeal was filed.

a. Within three days following the decision, the student, the instructor, the Department Chair, the Dean, and the University President shall be given written notice of the Committee’s decision.

b. If the Academic Appeal Committee decides that a grade change is justified, and with the instructor’s agreement, the instructor shall complete and submit a Change of Grade form to the Office of the Registrar within five class (or business) days following this decision.

c. If the Appeal Committee decides that a change in grade is warranted, but the instructor does not consent to the change, the Appeal Committee will meet in discussion with the instructor with regard to its decision. If the instructor again will not consent to the grade change, the Appeal Committee chair will instruct the Registrar to make the appropriate grade change.

4. A decision of the Academic Appeal Committee may be appealed to the President of the University, whose decision will be regarded as final.

E. Step 5: Unusual Circumstances in Processing Grade Appeals.

1. Some grade appeal cases may present practical obstacles for pursuing the procedures precisely, as outlined above.

a. An instructor may be absent from campus during the applicable appeal period or the student may have an overwhelmingly compelling reason for a rapid decision.

b. A last semester senior’s qualification to graduate may depend upon the outcome of a currently received grade.

2. In such circumstances, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Vice President’s designee has the discretion to modify the procedures, as little as possible, to accommodate the special requirements of the situation.

a. In exercising this discretion, the Vice President for Academic Affairs must attempt to adhere to the spirit of the procedures outlined above.

b. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall commit to writing and distribute these exceptional rules to parties having standing.

VII. Academic Integrity Procedures

A. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on examinations, falsifying records, submitting plagiarized work of any kind, or providing or receiving assistance in course work in a manner not authorized by the instructor. Plagiarism is defined in the Shepherd University Catalog as “the act of stealing and using, as one’s own, the ideas of another or the written expression of ideas of another.”

B. Any student, administrator, staff, or faculty member may bring charges of academic dishonesty against a student.

1. A student charged with academic dishonesty shall be accorded the presumption of innocence.

2. Consistent with the stated process articulated below, all willful incidents of academic dishonesty are to be reported by the faculty member to the Dean of Students, and to the Department Chair. Generally, any second offense of academic dishonesty will be grounds for suspension or expulsion from the University.

3. The instructor should carefully evaluate the evidence of academic misconduct and the severity of the offense prior to imposing sanctions on a student.

a. The instructor of record should make a charge of academic dishonesty directly to the student involved and decide on the sanctions to be imposed.

(i) Instructor-imposed sanctions for academic dishonesty include requiring work to be rewritten and resubmitted; lowering a grade; reducing the grade on the assignment, even to zero; advising the withdrawal of a student from a class; and assigning a student a failing grade for the course in which the academic dishonesty occurred. Additionally, the instructor may recommend institutional action to the Dean of Students.

(ii) For a case of academic dishonesty, an instructor may impose a penalty no greater than a failing course grade.

(iii) If an instructor believes that a student penalty greater than a failing course grade is warranted by a particular case of academic dishonesty the instructor should:

(1) Arrange a conference with the student, the Department Chair, and the instructor, and thereafter,

(2) Submit a statement, in writing, to the Dean of Students, to report the policy violation under the Student Code of Conduct, which may result in suspension or expulsion.

b. The instructor should inform the student, in writing, of the sanctions to be imposed, the reasons for those sanctions, the availability of the appeal process, and the need to file an appeal within five days.

(i) If the student admits responsibility and accepts the instructor-imposed sanctions, the instructor should submit a written description of the offense and the sanctions to the Department Chair, the Registrar, and the Dean of Students.

(ii) If the charges are denied, the accused student has five class days to contact the instructor’s Department Chair to request a conference.

(iii) If the student does not respond to the instructor’s charges of academic dishonesty by contacting the Department Chair within five days, the instructor-imposed sanctions shall be imposed, and the reported charge is thereafter maintained on the student’s record in the office of the Dean of Students.

c. When dealing with a case of academic dishonesty, the instructor may request a conference with the Department Chair and the student charged with the offense.

d. A student who accepts a failing grade because of academic dishonesty shall not be permitted to withdraw from that course, even if the failing grade is given prior to that semester’s official withdrawal deadline.

e. A student who receives a failing grade in a course as the result of a charge of academic dishonesty and chooses to appeal the grade shall not be allowed to withdraw from the course unless the appeal is resolved in the student’s favor.

f. A student who is in the process of appealing a charge of academic dishonesty has the right to remain enrolled in the class in which the charge was made until the completion of the appeal process.

4. When brought by anyone other than the instructor of record, a charge of academic dishonesty involving a student or students in a specific course should be made to the instructor’s Department Chair who may take one of two actions.

a. The Department Chair may refer the matter to the course instructor for appropriate action following the procedures outlined in Section VII, B, 3.

b. The Department Chair may contact the student and the instructor directly and initiate a conference as outlined in Section VII, C.

5. A charge of academic dishonesty that does not involve a regular academic course (e.g., falsifying records, cheating on a standardized test) should be made to the Dean of Students, who will either contact the appropriate academic units or initiate action as a policy violation under the Student Code of Conduct.

6. Separate from instructor imposed sanctions, the Dean of Students has jurisdiction to potentially take institutional action under the Student Code of Conduct policies and procedures, which may include suspension or expulsion, in response to any willful academic dishonesty. In the case of a first offense, substantial deference is accorded to the intent of the faculty member. In the case of a second offense, suspension or expulsion is presumed to be an appropriate institutional sanction.

7. Separate from instructor imposed sanctions, some academic programs at Shepherd are limited enrollment programs and/or have specific standards of professionalism associated with the program. If the student is enrolled in such a program and is found culpable of academic dishonesty under this policy, the Dean of Students shall give notice of the incident to the Department Chair of the student’s program. The program may choose to proceed with Academic Action, as provided for in Section VIII.

8. Any individual making a charge of academic dishonesty has the responsibility to demonstrate that a preponderance of evidence indicates that a violation has occurred.

C. Charges of academic dishonesty in a specific course that cannot be resolved by the instructor and the student involved should be referred to the instructor’s Department Chair.

1. A Department Chair conference can be initiated by a request from either the student or the instructor involved or by the Department Chair acting on a complaint from any member of the academic community.

a. The conference should take place in person within 10 days of the Department Chair first receiving a request from either a student or an instructor to hold it.

b. This conference does not constitute a hearing on the student’s responsibility for academic dishonesty.

2. The purpose of the Department Chair conference shall be to clarify procedures and possible sanctions for both the student and the instructor and to coordinate further appeals.

a. The Chair may review the evidence and recommend particular courses of action that are acceptable to both the student and the instructor.

b. The Chair may not overturn an instructor-imposed sanction without the instructor’s consent.

c. The Department Chair conference cannot result in any penalties being imposed on a student beyond those previously described as instructor-imposed sanctions.

3. If, at the end of the conference, the student admits responsibility for the act of academic dishonesty and agrees to accept the sanctions proposed by the instructor and the Department Chair, those sanctions will be implemented.

a. The Department Chair should obtain a written statement from the student who agrees to the sanctions that will be imposed as a result of the conference.

b. The Department Chair shall forward copies of this written statement, along with a description of the offense and the instructor-imposed sanctions, to the Registrar and to the Dean of Students.

4. If, at the end of the conference, the student denies responsibility for an act of academic dishonesty, the Chair shall contact the Vice President of Academic Affairs to schedule a hearing by the Academic Appeal Committee.

a. The student may only appeal the charge of academic dishonesty itself and not the sanctions imposed for academic dishonesty once responsibility has been established.

b. A student who admits responsibility in a case of academic dishonesty but disagrees with the instructor-imposed sanctions cannot appeal under the Academic Integrity policies.

(i) A student must appeal a disagreement with an instructor-imposed sanction under the grade appeal procedures detailed in Section VI.

(ii) The student’s initial meeting with the instructor shall count as the meeting with the instructor under the grade appeal policy.

5. At the end of the conference if either the faculty member or the Department Chair deems that the case warrants further disciplinary action, the Chair shall contact the Dean of Students to ascertain procedures for a violation under the Student Code of Conduct. However, all willful incidents of academic dishonesty are to be reported to the Dean of Students to establish the centralized record of such offenses.

6. If the instructor involved in the academic dishonesty dispute is a Department Chair, the Dean shall act in the capacity of a Department Chair for the purposes of the conference.

D. Academic dishonesty disputes that are not resolved by the conference with the Department Chair should be referred to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).

1. Upon receiving a request for a hearing, the VPAA shall constitute a three-member hearing board from the pool of faculty members composing the Academic Appeal Committee following the procedure outlined in Section VI, D, 1.

2. The chair of the Academic Appeal Committee shall present, to the student and to the person making the charge of academic dishonesty, written notification of the charges, including at least the following items:

a. A written enumeration of the charges.

b. A statement that a hearing will be held together with a notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

c. A clear statement of the information, data, and evidence directly supporting the proffered charges.

d. A statement advising the student of his or her rights, which include:

(i) The student’s right to the presumption of innocence until respon-sibility can be established through a preponderance of evidence.

 (ii) The student’s right to bring witnesses, to question the accuser, and to question any of the accuser’s witnesses.

(iii) The student’s right to bring an advisor to the proceedings to monitor due process.

(1) The advisor may consult with the student but may not speak on behalf of the student.

(2) The advisor may not otherwise participate directly in the proceedings unless given specific permission to do so by the Academic Appeal Committee.

3. The Academic Appeals Committee shall review all relevant evidence in the case to determine if the student is “responsible” or “not responsible” for the act of academic dishonesty.

a. The Committee shall interview the original instructor and the student against whom the charges have been brought.

b. The Committee may seek additional information and may interview witnesses whose testimony is relevant to the charge of academic dishonesty.

c. The student and the instructor have the right to bring witnesses and to question witnesses brought by the other party or by the Committee.

d. All proceedings in the hearing must be tape-recorded, and either party to the dispute may request a copy of the tape recording at his/her own expense.

4. Within ten days after the conclusion of the hearing, the Academic Appeal Committee shall send a written notice of its decision to both parties in the dispute, the VPAA, and the appropriate Department Chair.

a. If the Committee determines that the student is “responsible” for the act of academic dishonesty:

(i) The instructor-imposed sanctions shall be imposed.

(ii) The Committee chair shall send written notification to the Registrar and to the Dean of Students.

b. If the Committee determines that the student is “not responsible,” then the instructor shall be required to reevaluate the student’s work with the assumption that it is not the result of an act of academic dishonesty.

(i) An instructor who has awarded the student found “not responsible” a lowered or failing grade based on the charge of academic dishonesty shall be instructed to reevaluate the student’s final grade and, if necessary, submit a grade-change form.

(ii) A student found “not responsible” for an act of academic dishonesty shall be permitted to withdraw from the course in which the charge was made, even if the withdrawal deadline has passed or a final grade has been awarded.

(iii) The hearing may only rule on the factual question of whether or not an act of academic dishonesty has occurred.

(1) The Committee is not authorized to rule on the appropriateness of instructor-imposed sanctions once the student’s responsibility has been established.

(2) The Committee is not authorized to impose any sanctions on the student beyond those initially imposed by the instructor. Either the student or the faculty member may appeal the decision of the Committee to the President of the University, whose decision shall be final.

VIII. Academic Integrity Procedures for Selected Programs

A. Several departments at Shepherd University (which include, but are not limited to, teacher education and nursing) offer programs requiring a student to meet certain academic and professional standards in order to continue enrollment in the program.

B. When a point is reached in the programmatic study where a student might not qualify to continue in the program, the following procedures shall be followed.

1. The student shall be counseled about his or her lack of progress by one or more faculty members responsible for the program.

2. When it appears to one or more instructors that a student has failed to meet the standards for continuing in the program, that instructor or those instructors shall notify the Department Chair and a formal review of the student’s status shall be conducted by the department members, who shall determine whether the student may continue in the program.

a. If the department decides upon programmatic retention, the student shall be advised in writing of the necessary steps, if any, that will be required as a condition of retention.

b. If the department decides upon programmatic dismissal, the following procedures will be followed:

(i) The student will be informed of the department’s decision in writing.

(ii) The student will be notified of the available procedures for appealing the decision.

(iii) The student will be allowed to complete course work begun before the programmatic dismissal but will not be permitted to enroll in any further courses in the program unless permitted to do so by a successful appeal.

C. The Student Appeals to the Dean.

1. The student may appeal the decision of the department to the Dean of the School in which the program is offered, following the steps outlined in Section VI.C.1.

2. Upon receiving an appeal, the Dean shall follow the steps outlined in Section VI.C.2.

3. Both the student and the department have the right to appeal the decision of the Dean to the Academic Appeal Committee.

D. Petition to the Academic Appeal Committee.

1. A student or the department may appeal the Dean’s decision to the Academic Appeal Committee, following the steps in Section VI.D.1.

2. Upon receiving an appeal, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Academic Appeal Committee shall follow the steps outlined in Section VI.D.1.a through Section VI.D.4.