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Academic Freedom in the Assignment of Student Grades

CAUT Policy Statement

The assigning of student grades is an element of academic freedom, which includes the academic staff member’s right to autonomy in establishing a pedagogical approach and assessment of student work.

An essential element of this academic freedom is that the academic staff member has the sole authority to assign student grades, keeping in mind the official grade appeal policies and procedures of the institution.

It is a violation of academic freedom for any administrative official unilaterally, arbitrarily, or outside of official procedures to influence, attempt to influence, or intervene in, the grading or evaluation of student performance by the academic staff assigned evaluation responsibility for a course or part of a course.

It is a violation of academic freedom to impose a mandatory grading policy which constrains or prohibits an instructor from issuing grades which he/she deems and can defend as reasonable.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2015.