Academic Rights of Students

The University Senate Rules provide students attending the University of Kentucky certain rights, and occasionally the rights afforded to them are violated. Below are some highlights of students' academic rights:

Substantive and Procedural Academic Rights

The most important of a student’s substantive academic rights are the following:

  1. A fair and just evaluation of each student’s performance in each course that the student takes at the University of Kentucky.  This fair and just evaluation is required to be made on the basis of the standards that are defined in the course syllabus made available to all students on the first day of class.
  2. A right to have an absence treated as excused when it meets the standard defined by the rules and a requirement that students may not be penalized for having an excused absence from class. 
  3. Notice to each undergraduate of the student’s mid-term performance in each course.
  4. A right to have course requirements during the last week of classes, the so-called dead week, limited to those permitted by the University’s rules. 
  5. A right to no more than two final exams on the same day. 

The most important of a student’s procedural academic rights are the following:

  1. A right to notice and an informal hearing before the course instructor and department chair when a student is accused of an academic offense. 
  2. A right of appeal to the University Appeals Board to review the decision that a student has committed an academic offense and, in many cases, the penalty that was imposed for the violation.
  3. A right to appeal to the University Appeals Board an academic decision, usually the grade awarded, if the student believes that the student’s academic rights have been violated. 
  4. A right to participate fully in University academics while an academic appeal is pending.  There are, though, some exceptions to this right. 

The University does not, however, stop at its recognition and protection of these student rights.  The University’s Rules also establish important student responsibilities that are closely integrated with these student rights.  

If a student believes his or her rights have been violated, first review the Senate Rules.  Next, schedule an appointment to speak with the instructor and/or the Chair of the Department where the course is taught. The student may contact our office for clarification and assistance.