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Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance
The Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance process is a mechanism by which an undergraduate or graduate student can request a formal review when:
- they believe that their grade on an exam, an assignment, a project or other similar course component is not "fair" (more on what constitutes "unfair" is below). may opt to file a petition for a Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance;
- they receive an Academic Dishonesty Report (ADR) for engaging in behavior categorized as academic dishonesty here at CSUEB;
- they believe they were unjustly released from an academic program
Before you can file a petition for a Grade Appeal or Academic Grievance, you must first attempt to resolve the situation with your course instructor. If you are not able to reach a resolution, then you must next meet with the Chair of the Department from which the course is offered to discuss the matter with them. If a satisfactory resolution is not identified at that stage, you must make a final attempt to resolve the matter with the Associate Dean of the College in which the course is housed. These are critical steps to take as it allows you an opportunity to discuss the matter with personnel that are closest to the matter at hand, and arguably your best chance at finding a satisfactory decision in your case.
(From the Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance Document, Article III, Section A)
The GAAG committee is composed of five tenured faculty members elected from the Colleges to serve two-year terms, two students serving one-year terms, and a Presidential Appointee to serve at the pleasure of the University President.
The Members of the Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance Committee for Academic Year 2023-2023 are:
- CLASS Faculty: Dr. Maria Ortuoste, Political Science (‘22-24; co-Chair)
- CEAS Faculty: Dr. Michele Korb, Teacher Education (‘23-25; co-Chair)
- CSCI Faculty: Dr. Arnab Mukherjea, Public Health (‘23-25)
- CLASS Faculty: Dr. Michael Moon, Public Affairs and Administration (‘23-25)
- CBE Faculty: Dr. Balaraman Rajan, Management (‘23-25)
- ASI Representative: Charan Reddy Doolam, ASI Senator, Science (Fall '23)
- ASI Representative: Tanya Gupta, ASI Senator, Business & Economics (Fall '23)
NOTE 1: If you are alleging discrimination as part of your grade appeal case, you should also file a separate discrimination case with Ms. Terri Labeaux, the Senior Investigator in the Department of Investigations. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 885-4918) The grade appeal and discrimination complaint processes will take place simultaneously with the results of the discrimination case added to your case file before being distributed to the Grade Appeals Committee (Step 9 below) for their consideration.
NOTE 2: Students with concerns about an Academic Dishonesty Reports (ADR) filed against them, if there are no other ADRs in your file, the only thing that occurs (unless otherwise requested by the faculty person) is that these reports are placed in your file where they will remain for five years or up until your graduate, whichever comes first. These reports are placed in your file so that there is a record of any previous incidents in the event that another ADR is filed against you. Under normal circumstances, it is only after one (possibly two) ADRs that Judicial Affairs may then contact you to speak to you about additional consequences. Otherwise, these reports are not forwarded to anyone, placed on your transcript or even communicated to teachers of courses that you take moving forward. In the case that a student believes that an ADR has been filed against them inappropriately, they can petition the Grade Appeal Committee to have a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to have the ADR removed from a student's file. The steps for doing this are listed below.
STEPS OF THE GAAG PROCESS
1) Before you can file a petition, you will need to formally bring up your concerns to the instructor for the relevant course;
2) The next step would be to discuss your concerns formally with the Chair of the Department in which the course is taught.
3) If your concerns are not addressed to your satisfaction following your discussion with the Department Chair, you would then bring your concerns formally to the Associate Dean of the college to see if your concerns can be resolved there.
4) Once you have completed these steps, the next step involves you contacting me (i.e. the Presidential Appointee to the Grade Appeals and Academic Grievance (GAAG) Committee) regarding moving forward with filing a formal petition. I can advise you on the strength of your case and provide you with additional details about filing an appeal.
5) Following making contact with me again, if you decide to pursue filing a petition to have your case heard, then you will need to fill out the petition form. As part of your filing, you will be asked to attach a Statement of Grievance and any additional any materials (e.g., the course syllabus, copies of emails; copies of relevant exams and/or assignments; a copy of the Academic Dishonesty Report where relevant) which help clarify or support the points you make in your statement. For your Statement of Grievance, be sure to describe the specific basis on which you are filing your petition (i.e., see points a-g on pgs. 1-2, of the GAAG document here to read more about what constitutes "unfair"). Also, since your case would be submitted for consideration following the above-stated deadline, you should make sure that you indicate in your petition why you did not submit your petition before/by the deadline.
6) After you have attached your Statement of Grievance and supporting materials to the two-page petition form and you have submitted it, you need to send an email to the Presidential Appointee (P.A.; Dr. Erica Wildy) of the GAAG Committee at email@example.com letting her know that you have completed this form.
7) The P.A. will next send the packet to the Associate Dean of the College sign off on (on the second page of the petition form) as an acknowledgement that they are aware of this submission (during Fall 2022, this will be done electronically).
8) Once the Associate Dean has signed off on the petition packet, they will send the packet back to the P.A. The P.A. will then start a file for you. The dates of the Spring 2024 GAAG Committee meetings are listed below.
Because the steps that come between a student submitting their materials and a case being brought before the Grade Appeal Committee follows specific timeline (see steps 9-10 below), the deadlines for you to submit your materials in order for your case to be heard at a specific meeting are as follows:
- the January 22, 2024 meeting: deadline December 4, 2023
- the February 12, 2024 meeting: deadline January 22, 2024
- the February 26, 2024 meeting: deadline February 5, 2024
- the March 11, 2024 meeting: deadline February 19, 2024
- the March 25, 2024 meeting: deadline March 4, 2024
- the April 8, 2024 meeting: deadline is March 18, 2024
- the April 22, 2024 meeting: deadline is April 1, 2024
9) Next, the Presidential Appointee for the GAAG committee contacts the instructor of the course in question and provides them with your case file and an opportunity to submit a response. They will have ten "academic" days (i.e., does not include weekend days).
10) Following the ten academic days, the Presidential Appointee of the GAAG Committee will make sure all of the received materials are copied and distributed to all of the GAAG committee members at least a week ahead of the next meeting to review The GAAG Committee meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month (see specific dates listed above for Spring 2024. This includes any findings from the Office of Investigations (i.e., the Discrimination Office) if your case includes allegations of this nature.
11) At that point, the GAAG Committee, which consists of five faculty and one or two students, vote on whether your case should be forwarded to be considered at a Hearing Panel.
12) If the GAAG Committee decides that your case should not be forwarded to a hearing panel, then the faculty member's decision stays in place and that is where things end. However, if they decide to forward your case to a hearing panel, then your case will be heard by a new, smaller group of individuals referred to as the Hearing Panel:
The Hearing Panel will consist of two new faculty and one student They will:
- consider your case more in depth;
- call for any additional materials that they think are important;
- give you an opportunity to speak on your own behalf;
- give the faculty person a chance to speak on their own behalf (at a separate time from you);
- after they consider all of the information in front of them, they deliberate on the matter and issue a final decision on whether you should have your resolution met and/or if the faculty's decision should remain in place.
As described in the Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance document, prior to submitting a petition for a Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance hearing, you must discuss the matter with the course instructor. If no resolution is reached, then you must meet with the Chair of the Department from which the course originates to discuss the matter. If no resolution is reached with them, then you must make a final attempt to resolve the matter by meeting with the appropriate Associate Dean for the College in which the course originates. To assist you with this process, the names of the relevant Associate Deans for the four Colleges are listed below:
- College of Business & Economics: Dr. Vish Hegde (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- College of Education & Allied Studies: Dr. Ana Garcia-Navarrez (email@example.com)
- College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences: Dr. Linda Ivey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- College of Science; Dr. Julie Glass (email@example.com)
As described in the beginning of Article II of the Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance document, faculty members at Cal State East Bay have the sole right and responsibility to assign grades. It is assumed that the grades assigned by faculty members are free from error, prejudice, or capriciousness (randomness)." Violations of this default understanding, and grounds on which you can file a petition for a Grade Appeal/Academic Grievance hearing are:
- Grading based on anything other than the student’s performance in the course.
- Grading based on prejudice.
- Arbitrary grade assignment (the lack of consistent and equitable standards for grade assignment).
- Instructor’s failure to notify students as to the basis of grade determination in a clear and timely manner.
- Grading that results from a substantial departure from the instructor’s announced standards.
- Clerical error in calculating or recording the grade.
- An academic dishonesty charge that the student feels was filed in error and wishes to dispute.
As the student petitioner, you must present evidence that the grade(s), academic dishonesty report, or program separation was due to standards and procedures that were inconsistent, unfair, inequitably applied, or unclearly communicated. Otherwise, the grade assigned by the instructor of record is considered to be correct and final.
Committee Meeting Dates
|Deadline to Submit Your Petition to Have it Considered on this Meeting Date
|January 22, 2024
|December 4, 2023
|February 12, 2024
|January 22, 2024
|February 26, 2024
|February 5, 2024
|March 11, 2024
|February 19, 2024
|March 25, 2024
|March 4, 2024
|April 8, 2024
|March 18, 2024
|April 22, 2024
|April 1, 2024
- CSUEB Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance website
- Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance document
- Flowchart explaining the steps to the Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance process following visiting with the instructor, Chair, Associate Dean and with me in an attempt to resolve the issue
- Form to fill out to seek a Petition for a Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance Hearing
Q. What if I want to file a petition for a Grade Appeal/Academic Grievance at the end of the term in which I am scheduled to graduate?
A. In this case, you need to notify your graduation evaluator that you filing a petition, and they will provide you with your options. In general, once your degree has been posted, no grade changes will be recorded. So, one option will be to delay your graduation. After the Grade Appeal/Academic Grievance process concludes, you can apply to have your graduation term retroactively backdated, If this is not granted, then you would receive your diploma at the end of the upcoming term.
Q. What do I need to do before I can submit a petition for a Grade Appeal & Academic Grievance Hearing?
A. The Grade Appeal and Academic Grievance (GAAG) process involves student-filed complaints/cases where the student feels that they were assigned a final grade by a course instructor based on "unfair" practices and/or had an Academic Dishonesty Report filed on them "unfairly". (See the first and second pages of the GAAG document here (see pgs. 1-2) to read more about what kinds of actions may be appropriate to describe as "unfair" as it pertains to this GAAG process.) While a course is ongoing and/or before you can file a petition for a GAAG hearing, your resources for addressing your concerns would be the course instructor as well as the Chair of the Department from which the course is delivered and, if you cannot find a resolution at that level, the Associate Dean for the College. These are also Steps 1-3 of the GAAG process (see summary of steps below and a more in depth description of the GAAG process here.) These steps have been put in place prior to filing a petition because the hope is that you would be able to resolve your concerns more locally, which has a higher likelihood of working out in a manner that is satisfactory to you.