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Contesting a grade

Any student who believes that a grade was assigned based upon criteria other than course performance may challenge that grade according to procedures set forth in Appendix V of the Academic Senate Manual. Graduate students should consult the Graduate Division on grades to be contested, regardless of level or college in which the course was taken.

Regulation 25

In the Santa Barbara division the term grade assigned to an individual student or, in the College of Creative Studies the number of units assigned, may be appealed on the grounds that the grade (or the number of units) was based on an evaluation of the student's work by criteria that were not clearly and directly related to student's performance in the course for which the grade was assigned.

The procedures are set forth in Appendix V of the Academic Senate manual, as follows:

Student Grade Appeal Procedures (Appendix V)

(A) If after speaking to the faculty member in charge of the course and department chair, a student wishes to contest a grade on such grounds, he/she must present a written appeal to an official designated by the Executive Committee, usually the Dean of Undergraduate Studies (or equivalent) of the appropriate school(s) or college(s) offering the undergraduate course or the graduate dean in the case of a graduate course (hereinafter, "the dean(s)"). This appeal must be submitted before the end of the term following the term in which the grade was assigned. Upon receipt of this appeal, the dean(s) shall promptly seek to resolve the issue by consulting the parties involved and the chair of the instructor’s department. If the chair was the instructor involved he/she shall not participate in these deliberations in any way except as one of the parties. In such cases, the dean shall proceed to attempt to resolve the dispute independently. If the dean was the instructor involved, he/she shall not participate in these deliberations except as one of the parties. In such cases, the immediate supervisor of the dean(s) shall recommend to the Executive Committee an appropriate alternate for the dean. If the complaint is resolved, the dean(s) shall provide a letter describing the resolution to the student(s), instructor(s), and chair(s) involved.

(B) If these efforts are unavailing within 30 days following receipt of the student’s initial written complaint by the dean(s), the student may within the next 15 days present a final written appeal to the Executive Committee(s) of the respective college(s) or the Graduate Council, a copy of which shall also be given to the Dean(s). If a member of the Executive Committee or the Graduate Council was the instructor involved, that person shall not participate in the case in any way except as one of the parties. As soon as feasible, the dean(s) shall prepare a report for the Executive Committee or the Graduate Council providing the details of (i) the prior investigations, including information as to the allegations and the evidence produced by the student to establish the case; (ii) the instructor’s response to the student’s allegations; (iii) all other information the dean may have gathered in the course of the investigation that bears on the credibility of the student’s complaint. Copies of the dean’s report shall be sent to the instructor and the student, both of whom submit written comments to the Executive Committee/Graduate Council within 30 days of receipt of the dean’s report. Having granted both parties a reasonable opportunity, the committee shall make a final determination within 60 days after receipt of the complaint. Should the dean’s investigation tend to demonstrate a pattern of faculty misconduct extending beyond the particular case, the dean shall inform the Executive Committee/Graduate Council which is then responsible for assuring that appropriate corrective actions are taken including but not limited to grade changes as specified in (C) below and referral of the case to other appropriate committees and agencies.

(C) If the Executive Committee/Graduate Council decides that the grade (or units) assigned is (are) not reflective of the student’s course performance, it shall authorize one of the actions stated below.

The committee/council may act only as follows:

  1. Authorize retroactive withdrawal from the course;
  2. Authorize a change of contested grade;
  3. For courses offered in the College of Creative Studies, the Executive Committee shall determine the number of units to be assigned.

The committee shall report its decision to the Registrar for recording.

Regulation 10

(A) (SR 542) No student may enter upon any organized instructional activity until he or she has registered and his or her enrollment has been approved by the appropriate study-list authority. No student may begin or continue a course if the officer of instruction in charge considers him or her unqualified by lack of preparation. Late registration may not be used to justify inadequate performance in a course.

(B) In the Santa Barbara division an instructor's refusal to permit a student to begin or continue a course may be challenged by the student on grounds that such refusal arises from discrimination on political grounds, or for reasons of race, religion, sex, ethnic origin, or for other arbitrary or personal reasons. The procedure for the initiation of such a challenge is set forth in Appendix V. However, the only final recommendations and decisions to be made by the officers and the committees therein specified shall be to deny or authorize the student's entry into or continuation in the course concerned.