II. Mandatory Academic Advising, Academic Disqualification, Probation and Grievances
It is the policy of the University of North Dakota School of Law that all students will achieve and at all times maintain a level of academic performance sufficient to permit the award of the degree of Juris Doctor.
A. Mandatory Academic Advising
1. Any student who (a) at the end of the fall or spring semesters of the first year has not achieved a cumulative grade point average of 2.67, or (b) has received a grade of D or less in any first-year class, is required to make an appointment with the Assistant Dean for Student Life for academic advising.
2. As part of the mandatory academic advising, the Assistant Dean for Student Life may require the student to complete tasks designed to address legal study and exam taking skills or address other issues hindering the student's academic performance. Any student failing to comply with all of the requirements and conditions established by the Assistant Dean for Student Life will not be permitted to sit for final exams.
B. Academic Disqualification
A student, whose cumulative grade point average at the end of the second or any subsequent semester is less than 2.00, is disqualified from registration for continuation in the academic program except as provided for below. For purposes of this rule any course work completed during the summer will be treated as if it was taken during a semester that ends prior to the beginning of fall semester. If the student is determined to be ineligible before the drop date for any classes in which the student is then currently enrolled, the student will be administratively dropped from those courses. If the student is determined to be ineligible after the drop date, the student will be allowed to complete any classes in which the student is then currently enrolled, but the grades from the classes will not be considered in assessing the student's disqualification for any subsequent term, although the grades may be considered by the Probation Committee in assessing the student's application to continue the academic program on probation.
1. Eligibility for Probation
a. A student academically disqualified after the second semester of law study with a cumulative grade point average of at least 1.75 is eligible to apply to continue in the academic program on probation. A student academically disqualified after the second semester of law study with a cumulative grade point average of at less than 1.75 is disqualified from registration for continuation in the academic program, and is not eligible to continue in the academic program. Such student may only apply for admission to the School of Law as a new first year student in accordance with the rules, regulations, and policies of the School of Law concerning admissions.
b. Notwithstanding the above, any student who has previously been on probation whose cumulative grade point average at the end of the probationary period or any subsequent semester is less than 2.00 is disqualified from registration for continuation in the academic program, and is not eligible to continue in the academic program. Such student may only apply for admission to the School of Law as a new first year student in accordance with the rules, regulations, and policies of the School of Law concerning admissions.
2. Probation Committee
The Dean will appoint at least three members of the law faculty to serve as the Probation Committee. The Probation Committee will receive and consider such applications as are properly filed and forwarded by the Dean. The Probation Committee will act upon and determine the merits of each application under the standards set out in this Policy. Applications will be received and handled in confidence by the Office of Admissions and Records and the Probation Committee. However, the filing of an application will be considered the filing party's consent to such limited revelations by the Office of Admissions and Records and by members of the Probation Committee as are necessary for the performance of their respective responsibilities. These may include, but are not limited to, such revelations as are required to inquire of third parties as to matters asserted in or relevant to the application and to utilize administrative personnel in the processing of the application. The student may be requested to furnish other information by the Office of Admissions and Records or the Probation Committee. The student must furnish such other information.
3. Standards for Probation
An academically disqualified student will only be allowed to continue the academic program on probationary status. Probation will only be granted to an eligible student who, in the judgment of the Probation Committee:
a. has honestly and objectively considered and reflected on the substandard academic performance and identified the true reason(s) therefore;
b. exhibits maturity of conduct and good judgment;
c. has demonstrated a serious interest in and dedication to legal study or entry into the profession, or can reasonably be expected to demonstrate such interest and such dedication in the future; and
d. is likely to achieve and maintain the required cumulative average in the probationary period.
4. Conditions of Probation
A student who is placed on probation will have the terms and conditions of the probation set by the Probation Committee. Such terms and conditions will be communicated to the student contemporaneously with notification of probation. The student's continued enrollment in the School of Law will constitute full and complete acceptance of the terms and conditions of the probation.
5. Time Limit
Any application for continued enrollment on probation must be filed within three years from the thirteenth day of June next succeeding the semester in which the student became academically ineligible. Thereafter, such student may only apply for admission to the School of Law as a new first year student in accordance with the rules, regulations, and policies of the Admissions Committee. Such application will be subject to the jurisdiction of the Admissions Committee.
D. Procedural Rules for Probation Application
1. Notification of disqualification will be mailed to the student by registered mail, return receipt requested, as soon as practicable after grades have been received and recorded by the Office of Admissions and Records.
2. A student who has been academically disqualified and who is eligible and desires to apply for probation must do so by delivering a probation application to the Office of Admissions and Records. The application must be received by the later of: thirty (30) calendar days prior to the commencement of classes in the semester for which the student seeks probation; or seven (7) days after receiving notification of disqualification. Delivery to the Office of Admissions and Records for the purposes of these rules will only be accomplished when the application is actually received in the Office of the Admissions and Records.
3. It is incumbent upon each student to maintain a current mailing address on file in the Office of Student Life. Should reasonable efforts by the School of Law fail to reach student through the address and telephone number supplied in the application, the application will be considered to have been abandoned and withdrawn. A student may change the address or telephone number provided in the application, but only by written communication addressed to the Office of Admissions and Records. Such change will be effective only when actually received in the Office of Admissions and Records.
4. The Probation Committee will report its decision within thirty (30) calendar days after the date of the receipt of the student's application for probation. An eligible student whose application is still pending at the commencement of the semester for which probation is sought will be permitted to complete registration and begin classes. The academic status of such student is pending, and the student is not in good standing. Should the Probation Committee deny the application, the student must cease the course work, the registration is automatically cancelled, and the academic record of the student will make no reference to the semester thus begun. Such a student's eligibility for a full or partial refund of all or any fees which may have been, prior to denial of the application, paid for the semester, will be determined entirely under UND regulations regarding return of fees. This permission to begin the semester before the decision on the application does not affect or assist in the request for refund.
5. The Dean may alter the time periods for submission and reporting if events make adherence to the schedule impracticable.
6. The student will be afforded an opportunity to appear personally before the Probation Committee in support of the application. The Probation Committee will consider relevant affidavits of third parties. The student must attach such affidavits to and submitted with the application. Any other evidence will be considered at the discretion of the Probation Committee. A student desiring to appear personally before the Probation Committee must so state in the application.
7. For purposes of considering an application under these rules, a quorum will consist of three eligible Probation Committee members.
E. Academic Grievances and Grade Changes
An academic grievance is any formal, written expression of a complaint, resentment or accusation lodged by a student about an academic circumstance. An academic circumstance is any event relating to a students education at the School of Law. Such events include grading, testing, quality of instruction, or compliance with the ABA Standards, among others.
1. First Stage:
The academic grievance procedure in the School of Law begins with a discussion between the grieving student and the faculty member, committee, or administrator with whom the student has a grievance. The student must meet with the faculty member, committee, or administrator within thirty calendar days after the event giving rise to the grievance (if the student's grievance arises from the grade received in a course, the thirty days will be measured from the date the grade was posted). If a student's grievance arises from the grade received in a course during the student's final term prior to graduation, the student must lodge his/her grievance within one (1) week of the date the grade was posted.
Final grades shall not be changed, except in extraordinary circumstances.
If the thirty-day period ends on a date outside the School of Law's regular academic year, then the student must meet with the faculty member, committee, or administrator within thirty calendar days after the first day of classes of the first full semester following the event giving rise to the grievance. The Dean may waive this stage for good cause.
2. Second Stage:
A. If the result of the First Stage is a decision by the faculty member to change a recorded grade, the faculty member must file a petition with the Office of Student Life to request the grade change. This petition must include an explanation of the reason behind the requested change. Changing a recorded grade is a serious matter and, in the usual course, petitions will be approved only upon certification that the original grade was in error. A grade change request based upon an arithmetical, administrative, or mechanical error may be authorized with the approval of both the Assistant Dean for Student Life and the Dean of the School of Law. A grade may not be changed as a result of a substantive reevaluation of a student's work, except by vote of the Committee of the Whole upon the faculty member's request, as set forth in the Third Stage (listed below). If a faculty member discovers an arithmetical, administrative, or mechanical error in reviewing one student's exam and discovers that the same error was also made in grading exams of other students, the faculty member must change the grades of all students affected by the error. This grade change decision will be made in writing, and the record will be maintained with the Office of Student Life for the duration of the most recent ABA-accreditation period.
B. If the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student at the first stage, the student may advance the grievance to the Dean. The Dean may appoint a designate, including a committee, to hear the grievance. If the Dean is the person against whom the grievance is lodged, the Dean shall appoint the Assistant or Associate Dean to hear the grievance. At this stage, the student must present the grievance in writing and describe the grievance and the remedy sought. The student must advance the grievance to the Dean within thirty calendar days of the completion of the first stage. The student's written grievance also must indicate the results of the first stage or the reason for not attempting to resolve the grievance through the first stage. The Dean or the Dean's designate will render a decision within forty-five calendar days of receiving the student's written grievance. This decision will be made in writing, and the record will be maintained with the Office of Student Life for the duration of the most recent ABA-accreditation period. A grade may not be changed as a result of a substantive reevaluation of a student's work, except by vote of Committee of the Whole, as set forth in the Third Stage (listed below).
3. Third Stage:
If the grievance is not resolved to the satisfaction of a party at the second stage, that party may petition the Faculty of the School of Law for relief within thirty calendar days of the completion of the second stage. The party's petition must be in writing and indicate the results of the second stage. The petition must also describe the reasons for the party's dissatisfaction with the results and the remedy sought. All tenured and tenure-track members of the law faculty shall sit as a Committee of the Whole. At the request of either party, a student member appointed by the Student Bar Association, will be added to the Committee. The Dean will convene the Committee of the Whole and appoint a Chair who will schedule a hearing to occur within a reasonable time, not to exceed twenty class days (counted as those days on which classes meet during the School of Law's regular academic year), except upon agreement of the parties or the inability of the Committee to make a quorum of at least one-half the Committee's membership. The Committee must render a decision, by majority vote of a quorum, within twenty class days of the conclusion of the hearing. The Committee's decision is the final decision of the
School of Law.
4. The decision of the School of Law in a matter of academic concern is final and may not be appealed under the procedures listed in the University of North Dakota's Code of Student Life or any other University process external to the School of Law. The School of Law is a professional post baccalaureate program approved by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools. The standards for approval of these accrediting bodies require that decisions of professional academic matters remain with the law school faculty. No further appeal is permitted or appropriate.
Adopted by administrative order, Spring Semester, 1991
Modified as submitted, Faculty Committee, January 25, 2002
Approved by Faculty Committee - April 26, 2002
Updated September 5, 2002
Amended by Faculty, April 13, 2012
Amended by Faculty Committee, April 16, 2013
As amended by the Faculty Committee April 9, 2013, and effective August 15, 2013.