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Fairness Board

The Fairness Board ("Board") is one of the primary campus groups concerned with providing "due process" of academically related matters for students and instructors at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, particularly in terms of student/faculty grading relationships.  The Board hears grade appeals based on the grievant's belief that the instructor has made a mistake, shown bad faith or incompetence, or been unfair.  Issues of cheating, dishonesty, and plagiarism are addressed by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR).  Grades received due to cheating, dishonesty, and/or plagiarism cannot be appealed to the Board.

In grade appeals, the Board operates under the presumption that the grade assigned was correct.  The grievant must prove otherwise by a preponderance of the evidence; in other words, the grievant must show that her/his version of the events is more likely than not (equal or greater than 51 percent probability) to have occurred.  Should the Board's members find in favor of the grievant, the chair will recommend to the Provost that the grade be changed.  In all cases, the Board's authority is limited to actions consistent with campus and system policy.

A student who submits a grievance cannot receive a grade lower than the one originally assigned.

In addition to grade grievances, the Board may hear grievances that do not involve grade appeals and are not covered by existing policies administered by other University offices.


Academic Senate Resolution: AS 684-09 "Resolution on Revision to Fairness Board Description and Procedures" (PDF).  Adopted 26 May 2009.

Cal Poly "Fairness Board Description and Procedures" (PDF). Revised 21 June 2013.


See also:

Cal Poly policies: "Cheating and Plagiarism".

Updated: 3/12/2024


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Office Contact

Academic Programs and Planning 
1 Grand Avenue
Kennedy Library
  (Bldg. 35), Suite 319  
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 

Main Number 
(805) 756-2246

General Email