GRADE COMPLAINTS & DISCRIMINATION

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: the student should follow regular procedures for disputing a grade, starting with speaking to the instructor to find out how the student’s performance was evaluation.  If this process does not yield a resolution satisfactory to the student, they should speak to the chair of the department in question, the campus ombuds office, or the Dean of Students to inquire about other potential avenues of resolution.

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 https://equity.ucla.edu/report-an-incident/ .

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.