Academic Policies, Rights and Responsibilities

Academic Policies, Rights and Responsibilities

A. General Statement

As members of the academic community, students have both rights and responsibilities. The most essential student right is the right to competent instruction under conditions conducive to learning. The most important responsibilities are to respect the rights of other members of the academic community and to conform to standards essential to the purposes and processes of the University.  The following policies and procedures are designed to facilitate communication, foster academic integrity, and defend freedoms of inquiry, discussion, and expression.

B. Access to Academic Programs

As a comprehensive, land grant, public university, OSU is committed to serving a wide spectrum of people. Access to the programs and services of the institution should be governed by the following principles:

Within the limitations of its facilities, resources, and personnel, the University should be open to all persons who are qualified according to admissions standards.

Except where limited by admission standards of professional and graduate programs of study, students who have been admitted to and are in good standing with the University are allowed to enroll in any major offered by any college.

Students are responsible for representing themselves truthfully and accurately at all times. Providing false or misleading information to gain admission to or advancement in a program or course of study violates this responsibility and may result in forfeiture of one's opportunity to access an academic program.

C. Student/Faculty Relations and Classroom Activities

The University is an academic community where academic integrity is fostered and where even-handed treatment in all aspects of the teacher-student relationship exists. The following principles will facilitate such an environment.

Students should enjoy free inquiry and expression. They should be free to take reasoned exception to the data and views offered in a course and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion. However, students are still responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance and learning the contents of any course of study for which they are enrolled.

Subject matter presented to students in a course of study should be generally consistent with the description, purpose, and scope announced for the course.

Students should be free from arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory action by faculty and should have protection and proper recourse through established procedures.

Faculty should evaluate students and award credit based on professionally judged academic performance and not on matters irrelevant to that performance, whether personality, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, degree of political activism, or personal beliefs. Course grades given to students should reflect the standards of academic integrity and performance established by the faculty member and the University.

Students and faculty are expected to help maintain the quality and integrity of the educational process by conducting themselves in an honest and ethical manner. Any violations of academic integrity represent an erosion of academic standards and should not be tolerated by the teacher or the student. Knowledge of any violations should be reported and dealt with through established policies and procedures.

Students are responsible for fulfilling degree requirements and planning class schedules. It is their responsibility to become informed of degree requirements and to meet those requirements satisfactorily.

Students should enroll in courses with the intention of devoting the effort both inside and outside the classroom to complete all their requirements satisfactorily.

It is the responsibility of the student to be prepared, prompt, attentive, and courteous in the classroom and conform to policies set by the teacher to maintain academic decorum.

D. Grievance Procedure on Spoken English Proficiency of Teaching Personnel

It is the policy of OSU that all persons employed as members of the faculty, as teaching assistants or teaching associates, or for any other assignments involving oral instruction, be proficient in spoken English. Any student may file a complaint regarding the English language ability of any instructional employee. Students should file such complaints initially with the head of the academic department in which the course is taught.  The department head shall report to the office of the dean of the college the name of the person against whom the complaint was received; the name of the person making the complaint, the course number, section, and semester involved; and the nature and resolution of the complaint.  The President or his designee shall investigate the complaint and make such disposition as may be warranted.

E. Student Appeal of a Final Grade Not Involving an Allegation of a Violation of Academic Integrity

The following statements regarding appeals of a final grade are excerpted from the official University policy, #2-0821.  For copies of the policy and the procedure go to For assistance, contact your adviser or the office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

1. It is the responsibility of the faculty members to communicate to students early in the term a clear statement of the grading practices and procedures that will be used to determine the student's final grade. If a student believes those practices and procedures were not consistently and accurately followed when the faculty member determined the student's final grade and if informal discussion fails to resolve the issue, the student shall have the right to appeal the case to the Grade Appeals Board within four months after the grade was assigned, or six weeks after the student begins a new semester, whichever comes first.

2. In hearing a case, the Grade Appeals Board shall base its decision of changing or not changing the assigned grade solely upon whether the grade was assigned fairly within the grading system communicated by the faculty member. In all other instances, the case will be referred back to the departmental and college levels for resolution.

3. The Grade Appeals Board has the authority to instruct the Registrar to change a final course grade.