Academic and ACPE Complaint Procedures

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Complaint Procedures

The UW School of Pharmacy PharmD Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Information on filing a complaint related to ACPE Standards, Policies and Procedures may be found on the ACPE Complaints page.

Complaints related to ACPE standards, policies and procedures shall be made formally in writing, signed by the student, and may also be submitted to the Department or Committee Chair, Associate Dean or other administrator who has jurisdiction over the concern. Due process will be followed per University policy. A file will be maintained containing the written complaint, a written record of the complaint procedure and outcome, except as otherwise prohibited by state or federal law. The file will be available for inspection to ACPE at on-site evaluations or otherwise at ACPE’s written request.

UW School of Pharmacy Grade Appeal Process

The School of Pharmacy follows the University of Washington’s Scholastic Regulations, Student Governance and Policies

How to Appeal a Grade Error

A student who believes that an instructor erred in the assignment of a grade, or who believes a grade recording error or omission has occurred, will follow these steps to resolve the matter:

  1. The student should first discuss the matter with the instructor before the end of the following academic quarter.
  2. A student who is not satisfied with the instructor’s response may submit, no later than 10 class days after her/his discussion with the instructor, a written appeal to the Chair of the department with a copy of the appeal to the instructor. This time may be extended by the Chair in exceptional circumstances, such as the situation in which the student did not learn of the appeals process deadlines in time. If the Chair has a conflict of interest, the appeal will be heard by a Chair’s designee pre-determined from among the Department faculty.
  3. Within 10 calendar days of receipt of the appeal, the Chair will consult with the instructor to determine whether the evaluation of the student’s performance was fair and reasonable or whether the instructor’s conduct in assigning the grade was arbitrary or capricious.
  4. If the Chair determines that the instructor’s evaluation of the student’s performance was not arbitrary or capricious, the Chair notifies the student that the appeal is denied and that the assigned grade is final.
  5. If the Chair believes the instructor’s conduct in assigning the grade was arbitrary or capricious, the Chair will request that the instructor revise the grade.
  6. If the instructor declines to revise the grade, the Chair, with the approval of the voting members of his or her faculty, shall appoint an appropriate member, or members, of the faculty of that department to evaluate the student’s performance and assign a grade. The Chair will inform the Dean and Provost of this action. The department’s decision will be final.
  7. The Dean will refer the matter to the Director of Assessment & Accreditation, who will review the Chair’s decision to verify that the appeal process was followed.
  8. Once a student submits a written appeal, this document and all subsequent actions on this appeal shall be recorded in written form in a school file residing with the Director of Assessment & Accreditation.

UW School of Pharmacy Academic Grievance Procedures

Students who encounter academic problems, such as, but not limited to, faculty, departmental or school policies affecting individual student prerogatives, deviations from stated grading practices (but not individual grade challenges (see above for grade appeal procedures), unfair treatment and similar issues, may seek resolution of their complaints as described below.

Informal Conciliation

The student is encouraged first to attempt to resolve a grievance with the faculty or staff member(s) most directly concerned. If discussion with the faculty or staff member(s) concerned does not resolve the grievance, the student should contact the Department Chair or Supervisor respectively within 10 days of the discussion with the faculty or staff member. If this discussion does not result in resolution of the grievance, the student may request the Associate Dean for Assessment and Accreditation or the UW Ombudsman to conciliate. If the student is dissatisfied with the informal conciliation, he or she may file a formal written complaint with the Dean.

Initiation of Formal Complaint

School of Pharmacy Academic Grievance Committee: The Dean shall appoint an administrator or other senior faculty member to serve as Chairperson, as well as four ad hoc members and two students to serve on this Committee. The Dean shall consult with representative members of the student body for nominations of student members. No person who has an obvious conflict of interest shall be appointed. Appointments of student members shall be from classes other than that of the complainant.

A formal grievance will be referred to the Chairperson of the School of Pharmacy Academic Grievance Committee who shall within five working days (hereafter, time limitations are stated in working days) of its receipt, notify the student and the faculty or staff concerned of the membership of the Committee. The student and the faculty or staff member concerned shall then have the right to exercise one peremptory challenge of Committee membership. If a challenge is made, the Dean shall designate another faculty or student member to replace the member challenged. All members of the Committee shall have the right to vote upon any matter that may come before it. No faculty member of the Committee shall be from the department of any of the parties to the grievance.

Hearing Procedures

When a student has filed a formal complaint, the Chairperson of the Academic Grievance Committee shall distribute a copy of the complaint to each faculty or academic staff person directly involved. The Chairperson shall establish a time and place for a hearing to be held within five days from the date of final determination of the Committee membership, unless for good reason stated in writing to the complainant and other concerned parties, the Chairperson schedules the hearing for a later specified date. The Chairperson shall announce the time and place of the hearing to the student, the member(s) of the faculty and staff involved, the Dean, the chairperson of the department and all other prospective witnesses. A list of the persons notified will be given to the student and the other individuals directly involved.

Hearings will be conducted in closed session except when and to the extent mutually agreed upon by the student and faculty or staff involved. All parties may present evidence and testimony necessary either to establish or refute the alleged grievance. Only evidence presented at the hearing will be considered in determining the validity of the complaint. Hearings may be continued from day to day until all evidence has been presented. An adequate summary of the proceedings shall be kept and shall include, as a minimum requirement, a tape recording of the proceedings. The Dean shall retain such summary until the student graduates to insure adequate review, if requested. Upon graduation the summary shall be destroyed.

Within five days after the hearing adjourns, the panel shall present to the Dean its report, including findings, conclusions and recommendations for action. The Committee shall reach its findings and recommendations by a majority vote of all the members. Dissenting opinions, if desired, may be presented with the majority report. The Dean, within five days after receipt of the Committee report, shall issue his decision as to the action to be taken on the grievance. The Dean’s decision shall include an evaluation of the validity of the grievance and a statement of the action to be taken. Copies of the decision shall be transmitted to the student, the faculty and staff member(s), their chairperson, and the Grievance Committee.

The decision of the Dean shall become final at the close of the seventh day after issuance, unless the student or any other party directly involved files a written request for consideration of the findings by the Provost.

Appeal Procedures

When a request for reconsideration has been received, the Dean shall transmit to the Provost a copy of the decision issued, together with the documentation, transcripts or tape recordings of testimony and other information relevant to the grievance.

The Provost shall examine the record and determine that either:

  • There are no procedural irregularities and the decision is fair, in which case the request will be rejected, thereby making the decision of the Dean immediately final; or
  • The record reflects some basis for reconsideration, in which case, the matter will be remanded to the Dean for appropriate action.
  • The Provost shall notify the student and the Dean of findings within 10 days after receipt of the student’s request

Other Resources

The following University resources are also available.