Grade Appeal

Recommended By
Academic Senate
Ming Tung "Mike" Lee, President
Issue Date
Sunday, October 10, 1993
Current Issue Date
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Effective Date
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Contact Office
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Policy number



  1. Executive Order 1037: CSU Grading, Repetition of Courses, Academic Renewal, and Appeals Policy gives authority to each campus Senate to provide policy and procedures for the proper implementation of faculty responsibilities in connection with the assignment of grades and their appeal. Executive Order 1037 directs that the standards established by the procedures be based on the following principles:
    1. Faculty have the sole right and responsibility to provide careful evaluation and timely assignment of appropriate grades. (Administrative grading symbols may be assigned only in accordance with the provisions of this executive order.)
    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 capriciousness, 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 their 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 they do 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 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 are in conformance with the principles and provisions of this executive order and for ensuring that such established policies and procedures are carried out.
  2. In compliance with Executive Order 1037, Sonoma State University has established Formal Dispute Resolution Procedures to hear grade appeals. These procedures rely on the good faith of all parties to achieve a reasonable resolution of the appeal. In order to protect the rights of students and faculty, the rights listed below are incorporated into the Grade Appeal Policy and Procedures.
    Students and faculty have the right to:
    1. impartial review;
    2. advice and assistance;
    3. reasonable time limits throughout the process;
    4. an adjudication by the Dispute Resolution Board;
    5. access to relevant documentation;
    6. a decision based on the record of the adjudication;
    7. a written statement of the grounds for the decision and the evidence relied upon.
  3. The Dispute Resolution Board does not have purview over allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.  Students who believe that they have experienced discrimination, harassment, or retaliation that has impacted their grade in a course should file both a grade appeal and a complaint with the Title IX officer in the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination. In accordance with Executive Order 1097, in the case of a grade appeal that alleges discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, “the Student will promptly request a grade appeal and note that the grade appeal procedure should be paused until such time as the campus investigation and any appeal process under these procedures have concluded. The determination of whether a violation occurred under the Policy” will be communicated to the Dispute Resolution Board, which "will be bound by the determination when the grade appeal process resumes under Executive Order 1037.”