Grade Accountability Policy

Grade Accountability Policy

Version History: Drafted in shared governance 2022-23; approved by the Teaching & Learning Committee 3-22-2023; approved by the EVCAA 6-30-2023.

Policy Owner: Academic Affairs

Policy Contact(s): Jennifer Mencl (undergraduate education), Erik Brown (graduate education), Tracey Bolen (Registrar)

Policy Statement

By the start of the term, every department must identify, for each course offering, the instructor responsible for the course.

  1. Instructor responsibility
    1. The instructor who is in overall charge of a course offering is accountable for all grades given to students. Responsibility for grading or evaluating student work in a course may be assigned to a teaching assistant or grader who has completed FERPA training but ultimate responsibility remains with the instructor for the course. All individuals who grade or evaluate student work in a course must have a formal affiliation with the course (e.g., as instructor of record, teaching assistant, paid grader).
    2. Instructors in charge of a course with multiple sections or laboratories must take reasonable steps to ensure that grading across sections or laboratories is consistent.
    3. If the instructor in charge of a course has left the institution or is no longer available, the department or academic unit has the authority to handle grades and grade changes for the course. The department or academic unit should assign a regular (tenured/tenure-track) faculty member to be accountable for grades after the course has ended.
    4. Students in every course must be clearly informed of who is ultimately responsible for assigning grades in the course.
  2. Student questions about grades
    1. Students have the right to request and receive an explanation for a grade during and after the course. However, the instructor is not obligated to reconsider the grade.
    2. Students may seek an explanation for a grade through the first 30 calendar days of the following semester (not including summer). The instructor is obligated to provide an explanation for a grade within a reasonable time if a request is made within this timeframe. 
    3. If a student does not receive an explanation for a grade from the instructor within a reasonable time of making a request, the student may consult the department head for assistance in obtaining an explanation. Students also may seek assistance from the campus Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.


Reason for Policy

This policy clarifies both the accountability and responsibility for assigning grades; and for responding to requests for explanations about the grades.

Frequently Asked Questions

I don't agree with the grade I received from my instructor. Is there anything I can do?  
Students are entitled to an explanation for grades, and they have 30 days into the following semester to contact the instructor to request an explanation: 

  • Spring and summer course grades: 30 calendar days into the fall semester of the same calendar year
  • Fall course grades: 30 calendar days into the spring semester of the same academic year

Should a student want to meet in person with the instructor and are not able to do so within the notification timeframe listed above, then they should work with the instructor to make appropriate arrangements so the instructor maintains the student’s course records beyond policy requirements. 

If you are not able to get an explanation for the grade from your instructor, consult the appropriate department head. Students also may wish to seek assistance from the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. An instructor's judgment in assigning a grade is not a subject for a formal hearing, and can only be reviewed through these informal processes.

Related Policy
Maintaining Course Records Policy


Explanation of a grade

The criteria used to formulate a grade, not an automatic change of grade.



  • Identify an instructor for each course offering by the start of the term.
  • Assign a responsible faculty member, typically the department head, to handle grades and grade changes for courses in which the instructor has left the institution or is no longer available.


  • Inform students in class of who is ultimately responsible for assigning a grade.
  • Respond in a timely way to grade inquiries and provide explanations upon request.