University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Grade Accountability: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester

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 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 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 until the end 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 by the end of the following semester. The instructor is not obligated to reconsider the grade.
    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 director of undergraduate studies, director of graduate studies, or department chair for assistance in obtaining an explanation. Students also may seek assistance from the campus student conflict resolution office.


This policy is not applicable to the Duluth campus.

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?
You are entitled to an explanation for the grade assigned. If you are not able to get an explanation for the grade from your instructor, consult the appropriate director for undergraduate students or department chair. Students also may wish to seek assistance from the Student Conflict Resolution Center. 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.


Primary ContactStacey Tidball612-626-0075[email protected]
Twin CitiesAmber Cellotti [email protected]
CrookstonJason Tangquist218-281-8424[email protected]
MorrisMarcus Muller320-589-6011[email protected]
RochesterNorman Clark507-258-8028[email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
  • Stacey Tidball
    Associate Vice Provost - Academic Support Resources


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 chair, to handle grades and grade changes for courses in which the instructor has left the institution is no longer available.


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

Related Information

There is no related information associated with this policy.



March 2023 - Comprehensive Review. The proposed changes provide clarity to existing policy and includes language to better clarify instructor responsibility.


November 2017 - Comprehensive Review. Minor edits to clarify what happens when an instructor leaves or is no longer available.


December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.


April 2009