When a student complains about his/her grade because of discrimination, there should initially be a distinction between the two classes:

  • Discrimination: the student should be referred to the Discrimination Prevention Office (DPO) to investigate claims that the instructor’s behavior was discriminatory.
  • Grade Complaint: A grade may be appealed to the instructor, the chair of the department, and the dean of the division or school.  If the student believes that the instructor has violated the Faculty Code of Conduct by assigning the grade on any basis other than academic grounds, the matter should first be taken up with the instructor.  If the matter is not resolved, the student may go for counsel to the Office of Ombuds Services, or may follow the procedures for the formal filing of charges . You may not appeal a grade simply because you disagree with the grade.

If possible, academic advisors should try to see if the student will discuss specific details about the alleged discriminatory behavior.  To help guide the student, the advisor should try to find out: What happened?  When did it happen?  Where did it happen?  Were there any witnesses to the behavior? Who was involved?  If the behavior described is concerning, then the advisor may also wish to contact DPO directly in addition to referring the student:

For more information about filing a complaint, see .

It may be that an investigation of the complaint will reveal that discriminatory behavior did affect the grading, in which case the appropriate steps will be taken.  However, the investigation may find that even though the behavior was discriminatory, the grade was appropriately assessed, in which case measures may be taken to address the behavior itself, or that there was no discriminatory behavior and the grade was appropriately assessed.