PD-1980-17

November 24, 1980

To: Deans, Department Chairs, and Administrators
From: President Gail Fullerton
Subject: Procedure for Petitioning for Academic Redress of Grade

Attached is a copy of the procedure to implement University Policy F80-3. Also attached is a copy of that policy and Executive Order 320. This is the current policy regarding the assignment of grades and grade appeals.

This information should be available to all faculty. Any questions should be directed to Dr. Charles Whitcomb, Ombudsman.

Enclosures

Academic Fairness Committee(AFC)

Procedure For Petitioning For Academic Redress of Grade (pursuant to E.O. 320 and F80-3, Fall 1980).

Appeals must be filed no later than the end of the second semester following that in which the grade was posted to record. University action on the appeal shall be completed within one semester of the time in which the appeal is filed. Appropriate extensions of these time limits shall be given when circumstances warrant it.

A student who unsuccessfully challenges a grade by first seeking to resolve the matter with the instructor of record may present his or her case to the AFC.

  1. Advisement with designated official
  2. Student wishing redress for unfairness must seek counsel with the Ombudsman, ADM 201, 277-2262. Ombudsman shall give the student a petitioner's instruction sheet.

  3. Collection of supporting data/formal filing of petition
  4. The petitioner shall submit a written summary of the circumstances and the type of redress sought, gather all the supporting data, and submit a complete file to the Ombudsman.

  5. Petitioner file to AFC Chair
  6. The Ombudsman shall forward the complete file to the AFC Chair for assignment to a student-faculty subcommittee.

  7. AFC Investigation
  8. The AFC Chair shall assign the case to an investigation subcommittee consisting of a faculty member and a student member of the AFC. The team shall consult with the petitioner, the instructor of record, and where appropriate, the Department Chair/Program Coordinator, School Dean, etc., for clarification of alleged complaint of injustic.
    Note: Both student and faculty member of the AFC investigation team must be present when interviewing the petitioner and the instructor of record.

  9. Presentation of Case/Recommendation of the Investigation Subcommittee to the AFC
  10. Upon completion of their investigation, the investigation subcommittee shall present a written report to the AFC members outlining their find ings and indicating the subcommittee's recommendation.

  11. AFC Recommendation
  12. "The AFC shall hear the case and determine the need and direction for a change of grade.... The AFC may, then, recommend, but not assign, an appropriate grade." (Academic Senate Policy Recommendation F80-3, Oct. 1980)

    If the petition is denied, the petitioner will be advised of the decision by written statement from the AFC Chair, including an explanation of the basis for the decision (copies to the instructor of record and appropriate Chair/Coordinator).

    If a Grade Change is Recommended by the AFC, the AFC Chair shall prepare a written statement to the instructor, advising him/her of the AFC's decision, including an explanation of the basis for the recommendation (copies to the appropriate Chair/Coordinator). The instructor will be permitted ten (10) university working days (reference: S71-24) to comply with the AFC's recommendation.

  13. Department Chair/Program Coordinator Action
  14. If the instructor is unwilling to coply with the AFC's recommendation for a change of grade, the AFC Chair shall forward the petitioner's complete file to the appropriate Chair/Coordinator.
    Upon receipt of the AFC report and petitioner file, the Chair/Coordinator shall select a department/program adhoc committee of regular (tenured) faculty (to consist of the Chair/Coordinator plus at least two (2) faculty other than the instructor).
    Note: If the Chair/Coordinator is the instructor of record, the School Dean shall convene the department/program committee, and act as its chair.

  15. Department/Program Committee Deliberations
  16. The Chair/Coordinator and the department/program committee shall together determine the appropriate grade. This group must invite the AFC faculty member involved in the original investigation of the case to sit in, with voice but not vote, on all deliberations of the adhoc committee.

    The committee's deliberations may or may not result in reassignment of a grade. A decision that a grade should be changed shall result in assignment of that new grade by the instructor of record. "In the event that the instructor of record cannot or refuses to change the initial grade to that grade determined by the department/program committee, the chair shall assign the grade to the record." (F80-3)

  17. AFC Minority Report
  18. In the event that the department/program committee's decision is at variance with the recommendation of the AFC, a written minority report shall be submitted by the AFC faculty observer to the Ombudsman.

    The Ombudsman shall submit copies of the minority report to the Chair/Coordinator, the School Dean, and the Academic Vice President.

  19. Chair/Coordinator Report
  20. The Chair/Coordinator shall submit a full written report, detailing the committee's deliberations, to the School Dean (copies to the AVP and Ombudsman). The petitioner's complete file, includingall documents as originally submitted to the Chair/Coordinator, shall be returned to the Ombudsman.

  21. School Dean Action
  22. The School Dean shall verify that the correct procedures have been followed in a written statement to the Academic Vice President (copy to the Ombudsman).

    The Ombudsman shall report the final outcome of the case to:

    1. the petitioner
    2. the AFC

Question should be directed to the Ombudsman, ADM 201, 277-2262

President Gail Fullerton

GF:er

Attachments:
1) F80-3 Interim Policy and Procedures for Assignment of Grades and Grade Appeals
2) Executive Order 320 dated January 18, 1980

Academic Senate Policy Recommendation

At its meeting of September 29, 1980, the Academic Senate approved the following modifications to S80-16, Interim Policy and Procedures for Assignment of Grades and Grade Appeals. The modifications were presented by Dr. Paul Betten, Chairman, Instruction and Research Committee. This document amends and supersedes 580-16.

Interim Poliy and Procedure for Assignment of Grades and Grade Appeals (Implementation of E. 0. 320)

Whereas, Executive Order 320 (January 18, 1980) establishes minimum standards for campuses governing the assignment of grades by faculty and for provisions for appeal to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of faculty and students are properly recognized and protected; and

Whereas, E. 0. 320 sets precedent by charging each campus faculty Senate/ Council with the authority and responsibility for providing policy and procedure for the proper implementation of the principles stated in E. 0. 320, and limits each campus president to the responsibility for ensuring that the policies and procedures developed by the faculty Senate/Council are in conformance with the principles and provisions of E. 0. 320 and to ensuring that such policies and procedures are carried out; and

Whereas, Faculty have the right and responsibility to provide careful evaluation and timely assignment of appropriate grades; and

Whereas, Assigned grades, which are normally assumed to be correct, may be challenged by the recipient based on compelling reasons including instructor or clerical error, prejudice or capriciousness; and

Whereas, A student who unsuccessfully challenges a grade by first seeking to resolve the matter with the instructor of record may present his/her case to the Academic Fairness Committee for review; and

Whereas, E. 0. 320 mandates that the Academic Fairness Committee must include student members but prevents the students from "participation in the assignment of grades"; now therefore be it

Resolved: That the student seeking a change of grade shall first attempt to resolve the matter with the faculty member who assigned the grade; and in the event that this informal process fails to resolve the matter, the following procedures shall be available to the student:

  1. The Academic Fairness Committee (AFC) shall hear the case and determine the need and direction for a change of grade for consideration by the appropriate faculty committee as specified in 03 below. The AFC may then recommend, but not assign, an appropriate grade.
  2. The AFC judgment, including any recommendations for a grade change and full written disclosure of the basis and documents in the case, shall be submitted to the appellant the instructor of record and to the chair of the involved department.
  3. Upon receipt of the AFC report, and if the instructor of record does not agree to the recommended change of grade, the department chair/program coordinator and a department/program committee of regular faculty shall determine the appropriate grade. In its determination this group shall invite one faculty member of the AFC to sit in with voice but not vote on its deliberations. In the event that the instructor of record cannot or refuses to change the initial grade to that determined by the department/ program committee, the department chair shall assign the grade to the record.
  4. Appeals must be filed no later than the end of the second semester following that in which the grade was posted to record. University action on the appeal shall be completed within one semester of the time in which the appeal is filed. Appropriate extensions of these time limits shall be given when circumstances warrant it.
  5. Upon assignment of the grade to record, the chair shall submit a full written report to the Dean of the School who shall verify that the correct procedures have been followed; and be it further

Resolved: That the AFC in conjunction with the AVP shall report to the Executive Committee annually regarding the number of cases heard and the disposition of each case; and be it finally

Resolved: That this interim policy be reviewed in academic year 1980-81 by the Instruction and Research and Student Affairs Committees of the Senate for the purpose of recommending a permanent policy to the Academic Senate with a time certain of December 8, 1980.

The California State University and Colleges
Office of the Chancellor
400 Golden Shore
Long Beach, California 90802
Executive Order No.: 320

Title: Assignment of Grades and Grade Appeals
Effective Date: January 18, 1980
Supersedes: None

This Executive Order is issued pursuant to Sections 40104 and 40104.1 of Title 5 of the California Administrative Code and Chapter III, Sections 1 and 2 of the Standing Orders of the Board of Trustees of The California State University and Colleges and is effective immediately.

This Executive Order establishes minimum standards for campuses governing the assignment of grades by faculty and for provisions for appeal to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of faculty and students are properly recognized and protected. Occasionally, a circumstance will prevent assignment of an earned grade or will cause an assigned grade to be questioned by a student. The purpose of this Executive Order is to provide mechanisms to deal with such unusual occurrences. The standards provided are based upon the following principles:

  1. Faculty have the right and responsibility to provide careful evaluation and timely assignment of appropriate grades.
  2. There is a presumption that grades assigned are correct. It is the responsibility of anyone appealing an assigned grade to demonstrate otherwise.
  3. In the absence of compelling reasons, such as instructor or clerical error , prejudice or capri?ciousness, the grade assigned by the instructor of record is to be considered final.
  4. Students who believe that an appropriate grade has not been assigned, should first seek to resolve the matter informally with the instructor of record. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, the student may present his/her case to the appropriate campus entity, have it reviewed and, where justified, receive a grade correction.
  5. If the instructor of record does not assign a grade, or if he/she does not change an assigned grade when the necessity to do so has been established by appropriate campus procedures, it is the responsibility of other qualified faculty to do so.
  6. "Qualified faculty" means one or more persons with academic training comparable to the instructor of record who are presently on the faculty at that campus.
  7. Each campus faculty Senate/Council has authority and responsibility for providing policy and procedures for the proper implementation of the foregoing principles.
  8. Each campus president is responsible for ensuring that the policies and procedures developed by the faculty Senate/Council are in conformance with the principles and provisions of this Executive Order and for ensuring that such established policies and procedures are carried out.

No later than the beginning of Fall term 1980 each campus shall implement policy and procedures covering the assignment of grades and grade appeals which include at least the following provisions:

  1. The time and manner of reporting course grades including provisions for assuring that such grades have been assigned by the instructor of record.
  2. Circumstances under which the instructor of record may change a grade once assigned, and procedures for making such changes.
  3. A means for preliminary review of potential appeals that may resolve differences before initiation of formal proceedings.
  4. One or more committees for hearing grade appeals which shall provide safeguards to assure due process for both student and instructor. Such committees shall include student membership. Student members shall not participate in assignment of grades.
  5. Procedures whereby grades are assigned by other qualified faculty in circumstances where the instructor of record does not do so, including those instances where a grade change is recom?mended by a grade appeals committee and the instructor of record does not carry out that recommendation.
  6. Specification of time limits for completion of various steps in the appeal process and of the time period during which an appeal may be brought.
  7. Grounds for which a grade appeal is permitted.
  8. Description of the extent of the authority of appeal committee(s), including provisions which clearly limit grade changes to instances where there is a finding that the grade was improperly assigned.
  9. Limitation of committee authority to actions which are consistent with other campus and system policy.
  10. A statement that there is a presumption that grades assigned are correct. Thus, the burden of proof rests with the individual who is appealing.
  11. Procedures for dealing with allegations of improper procedure.
  12. Assignment of authority to revise policies and procedures for grade appeals to the campus faculty Senate/Council. The campus president is responsible for ensuring that such revisions conform to the principles and provisions of this Executive Order.
  13. Provision for annual reporting to the President and campus faculty Senate/Council on the number of cases heard and the disposition of each case.

The President shall submit a copy of policies and procedures adopted pursuant to this Executive Order to the Chancellor by May 14, 1980 and shall submit revisions as adopted. These policies and procedures should be sent to the attention of the Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs.

These policies and related procedures shall be published in a manner that ensures that all faculty and students have an opportunity to be aware of them (in class schedules, faculty manuals, student handbooks, etc.). While it is not necessary that policy and procedures be published in their entirety in generally circulated documents, such publications shall ensure that the students are aware that policy and procedures exist and where they may be obtained.

Glenn S. Dumke, Chancellor
Dated: January 18, 1980