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Policies

The Germanic department's policies on waitlists, independent studies, and grade grievances are below. If you have any questions, contact us at germandept@umich.edu.

Waitlist Policy

From the first day of registration until the last business day before the first day of classes, a member of the GLL staff will monitor enrollments and note any waitlisted courses that have spaces available. When available, a member of the GLL staff will issue an override for each open space in a waitlisted course in the order of the waitlist. The overrides issued will have an expiration date of 48 hours (including weekends). If the student does not accept the override within that time frame, it will expire. This will allow the staff member to offer the space to the next eligible student on the waitlist, who will then have 48 hours to enroll. If all students on a given waitlist have been given an opportunity to enroll, but do not do so, a member of the GLL staff will ask the Registrar’s Office to drop them from said waitlist. This will allow the class to reopen for registration. Once classes begin, no overrides will be issued for closed courses without the consent of the instructor for the course. S/he has final authority on whether or not to issue overrides.

Independent Study Policy

Independent study is intended for a serious Germanic Languages & Literatures student with a strong academic record who seeks advanced knowledge in a particular area of study that cannot reasonably be met by normal course offerings. You should be aware that due to limitations of faculty, most requests for independent study cannot be met and permission will be granted only to requests that show substantial merit. Therefore, before you request a discussion with a faculty member regarding an independent study, please consider the following:

  • Independent studies are ordinarily reserved for a student who has reached junior or senior standing.
  • All independent study projects must have a faculty supervisor who agrees to work closely with the student. A faculty supervisor should be regular faculty in the Department (tenured, tenure-track, Post-Doctoral Research Fellows, Lecturer III/IV). A faculty member is limited to supervising two independent study projects per semester. The Department may grant exceptions to this policy.
  • The student must work with the faculty supervisor to develop the proposal form. It involves written agreement detailing a description of the project, the academic goal(s) of and plan for the project, clearly articulated expectations, interim deadlines, and a final deadline for completion of the project.  A student must also list relevant courses that have prepared him/her for the independent study and note which previous courses he/she has taken with the faculty supervisor.
  • A copy of this proposal/agreement, signed by the faculty supervisor and the student, should be delivered to the Student Services Coordinator who will consult with the Associate Chair for final approval. Because of the time needed to obtain this approval, a student request for independent study needs to occur by the first day of class during the semester of the independent study enrollment.
  • Independent study in Germanic Languages & Literatures is a graded course (not to be taken P/F), ordinarily available to a German major/minor and a Scandinavian minor and can be taken for 1-4 credits.  A student is expected to put in at least 2 hours per week of actual work for a 14-week term for each credit elected. Over the course of the term, a student is expected to meet with the faculty supervisor a minimum of 4 hours. A student is expected to complete a substantial amount of written work in consultation with the faculty supervisor.
  • Repeat credit for an independent study in the Germanic Languages & Literatures Department can only be granted in exceptional circumstances by the Associate Chair.
  • According to LSA policy, the Department will keep on file, for a period of 7 years, copies of the signed application/proposal agreement and sufficient evidence of student work to demonstrate that the agreement was fulfilled.

Grade Grievance Procedures

Updated and Approved February 2012; for more information, see LSA's grade grievance page.

The faculty of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures recognizes that instances may arise where a student feels that his or her academic performance has been unfairly or improperly graded due to prejudice, capricious changes in course requirements, inconsistency in the criteria applied to judge the student's work, or clerical error. Although an unfair or improper grade should certainly be changed, the following principles must be understood: (1) a grade given by a faculty member can be changed only by that faculty member (Faculty Code B 5.07); (2) a grade given by a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) can only be changed by that GSI, or by the faculty supervisor of that course; (3) these grievance procedures are intended to result in a recommendation to change or not to change a grade, and will not supersede the faculty member's judgment of a student's performance.

If a student believes that he or she has received an unfair or improper grade for a course in this department, these steps should be taken:

  1. Within two weeks of the subsequent term of receiving the grade in question, the student should confer with the instructor and attempt to resolve the issue. The student will be expected to write a thorough rationale (calculation) for what s/he expected his/her grade to be and submit this calculation to the instructor. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of this meeting, the instructor or supervisor must make available to the student a copy of these procedures, in order that the student may proceed with the grievance properly and promptly.
  2. If the first step does not produce a solution that is agreeable to the student, and if the instructor is a German 101-232 Graduate Student Instructor or Lecturer, the student is to submit a written appeal to the language program coordinator. The student must initiate this appeal no later than ten days after the meeting with the instructor. If this does not produce a solution that is agreeable to the student, then the language coordinator, student, and instructor will involve the Chair of the Department. The student is to submit to the department’s Chair a written appeal, citing all relevant factors, and attach papers, homework assignments, tests, and other supporting evidence. The student must initiate this appeal (to the Chair) no later than one week after the meeting with the language program coordinator. If the issue is not resolved at this point, the process continues with step (4) below.
  3. For a student in a class other than German 101-232, or a course taught by a Visiting, Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor, the student is to submit to the Chair of the Department a written appeal, citing all relevant factors, and attach papers, homework assignments, tests, and other supporting evidence. The student must initiate this appeal no later than ten days after the meeting with the instructor. If the issue is not resolved at this point, the process continues with step (4) below.
  4. If the Chair, instructor, and student cannot produce a solution, the Chair of the Department will appoint a Grievance Committee to review the appeal. The committee will consist of the Department Chair, one additional professor, one department advisor, and a student from the Student Advisory Committee.
  5. The Chair of the Department will ask the instructor to respond to the appeal in writing; this response should be submitted no later than two weeks after the student's initial appeal to the Chair. The Chair will distribute copies of this response, of the student's letter of appeal, and of all other relevant documents, to the members of the Grievance Committee; the Department’s Chair will also make a copy of the instructor's response available to the student.
  6. Within two weeks after the committee has been appointed, the committee will conduct a hearing at which the instructor, the course supervisor (if any), and the student must be present, and at which they may present their cases orally. The time and place of the hearing will be announced at least one week in advance. If the instructor is off campus, the Chair of the Department will solicit a letter from him/her in which the instructor's position is set forth.
  7. Immediately after the hearing, the committee will consider the matter and arrive at its recommendation. The recommendation will be delivered in writing to the instructor, with copies to the course supervisor (if any), and to the student. The committee may recommend:
    1. that the grade be changed;
    2. that the grade not be changed; or
    3. that some other solution be sought, e.g., additional time to write a paper.
    4. If the instructor refuses to follow a recommendation to change the grade, then the grade will stand. The student, however, may request that the Chair of the Department provide him or her with a letter recording the decision of the Grievance Committee, and the faculty member's refusal to follow its recommendation. The student may request to have a copy of the letter retained by the Office of the Assistant Dean.