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When a student has not followed a University Faculty Senate policy or procedure and believes an exception to the policy may be warranted, he/she may submit a petition to the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education Subcommittee on Academic Standards. A petition may be used to request an exception to any policy and/or to request a retroactive procedure. The committee does not grant petitions automatically. Strong, documented justification must be provided to establish the circumstances that warrant a retroactive action.

1. Students should meet with an academic adviser who serves as a dean's representative in the College to discuss their plans for petitioning the Faculty Senate. The advising session will help students to identify exceptional circumstances that prevented them from following senate policy and determine whether or not a petition is warranted.

2. Student letter should include the following:
View a sample letter

  • What is being requested (late drop, withdrawal, late add, etc., and semester dates).
  • Name, address, student number.
  • A clear explanation to substantiate the request, with documentation.
    • If it is a late drop petition, explain why selected courses were affected and other courses not affected during the semester in question.
    • If it is a withdrawal petition, explain why that semester was different from other semesters.
    • In any petition, indicate why the standard procedures/timelines were NOT followed.
  • A typed and signed closing to the letter.

3. Student packet should include the following:

  • University faculty senate petition cover sheet (.pdf file) Not for student use - for College/Campus use only.
  • Any additional letters of support that will substantiate your case (i.e. letters from faculty, advisers, medical reports, counselors, etc.).
  • If the petition is for a retroactive add or drop, attach a drop/add form completed with all required information.
  • If the petition is for a retroactive withdrawal, attach a withdrawal form completed with all required information. Domestic students who are petitioning for retroactive withdrawal are required to complete and sign the first page of the Student Aid Review for Retroactive Withdwrawal form and review it with staff in the Office of Student Aid at University Park. International students complete the International Student Form for Retroactive Withdrawal to become aware of the implications for sponsorship and visa status.

4. Students should meet with the dean's representative in their department/school who handles Faculty Senate petitions. A draft of the student's letter and supporting documents could be taken to the first meeting with the dean's representative, or those documents could be written/obtained after the student has had an opportunity to discuss the petition with the dean's representative. Students should not submit the petition materials directly to the Faculty Senate. The petition must be submitted to the Faculty Senate from the dean's representative who is handling the petition.