Academic Leadership Toolkit

Grade Appeals System

 

Overview:

GradeAppeals11-2017v2.jpg

 

 

Goals:

  • To provide students with the opportunity to challenge final grades that they can show were awarded in an arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory manner.

 

Authority and Responsibility:

  • FSU Faculty Senate makes all academic policy. The Office of Faculty Development and Advancement assists academic leaders in implementing those policies appropriately.
  • Instructors should establish grading standards in their syllabi and adhere to them consistently.
  • Students bear the burden of proving that a grade was not awarded properly.
  • Department chairs appoint three independent students (recommended by a departmental student organization, if possible) to serve on the student screening committee.
  • Instructors are responsible for providing grade records, syllabi, and other necessary information to the grade appeals screening committee and the grade appeals board.
  • Department chairs, with advice from the grade appeals board, assign the final grade in cases where the original grade is not upheld.
  • Department chairs and deans are responsible for ensuring that the grade appeals system is followed appropriately in their units.

 

Common Pitfalls:

  • Lack of specificity in grading standards leaves instructors vulnerable to grade appeals.
  • Boards (or screening committees) are not given clear instructions regarding their roles and the amount of weight to give the instructor’s academic judgment.
  • Departments sometimes implement more elaborate procedures than are needed.

 

Resources:

  • The assistant/associate deans in the colleges who work directly with student issues can provide valuable advice to faculty and department chairs and sometimes have background information that can facilitate problem resolution.
  • The Associate Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement [Jennifer Buchanan at 644-6876 or jbuchanan@admin.fsu.edu] can help at any stage in the process.
  • The Office of Faculty Development and Advancement hosts information about the Grade Appeals System.