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Student Rights

What follows is a selected list of rights granted to students in two key MSU documents: Academic Freedom for Students at Michigan State University (also called the Academic Freedom Report or AFR) and Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities (GSRR). Much of the AFR covers both undergraduate and graduate students, while the GSRR covers only graduate students.  See Article II of the AFR and Article 2 of the GSRR.

  • Article 2.III.B.1 of the AFR and 2.3.9 of the GSRR requires instructors to provide their students with "good faith judgments of performance." It also requires instructors to inform students of course requirements and explain the grading criteria at the beginning of the semester.
  • Article 2.III.B.3 of the AFR and 2.3.5 of the GSRR gives the student a right to "take reasoned exceptions" to views presented in the classroom, without fear of reprisal.
  • Article 2.III.B.6 and 7 of the AFR and 2.3.2 and 2.4.1 of the GSRR calls for the university to provide students with a clear statement of graduation requirements as well as the requirements for maintaining acceptable academic standing within the university.
  • Article 2.III.B.10 of the AFR and 2.3.11 of the GSRR grants students the right to "scholarly relationships with faculty based on mutual trust and civility."
  • Article 3 of both the AFR and the GSRR guarantees the privacy of a student's educational records, in conformance with the university's published guidelines.
  • Article 2.4.7 of the GSRR requires a department/school/college (hereinafter referred to as "department") to notify new graduate students in writing and at the time they enter their program of professional standards they will be expected to follow.
  • Article 2.4.8 of the GSRR requires a department to provide graduate students with an annual written evaluation, conducted by a person "qualified to make that evaluation."
  • Article 2.4.9 of the GSRR requires a department to notify new graduate students in writing and at the time they enter their program of dismissal or withdrawal criteria.
  • Article 4.2.1 of the GSRR requires a department to assign a faculty supervisor or administrator to each graduate assistant (GA).
  • Article 4.2.3 of the GSRR requires a department to notify GAs of their reappointment by April 15.
  • Article 4.2.6 of the GSRR requires a department to provide GAs with secretarial/clerical help and supplies and grad students with a departmental handbook of practices, rules and policies at the time they enter their program.
  • Article 2.4.2.1 of the GSRR requires a department to establish a doctoral student's guidance committee within two semesters of the student's study. The committee, in turn, must establish the student's degree requirements within one semester after the committee is formed.

These are your rights. Know them.

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