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Academics - Appealing Grades and Assignments

The University of Maine has formal procedures by which students may appeal the assignment of grades by an instructor, accusations of cheating or plagiarism, or certain aspects of classroom procedure.

I. Cheating or Plagiarism

  • The student should discuss the concern with the appropriate faculty member.
  • If the concern persists, the student may consult with the chairperson of the department (or the dean of the college if there are no departments) who attempts to resolve the complaint.
  • Failing this, the faculty member may bring the complaint before the conduct officer under the provision of the Student Conduct Code. The student may appeal any disciplinary sanction imposed by the conduct officer to the Conduct Committee.

II. Problems of Classroom Procedure

  • If a student alleges the guidelines for class procedure have not been followed and harmed the student in some way, that student should discuss the concern with the appropriate faculty member.
  • If the concern persists, the student may consult with the chairperson of the department (or the dean of the college if there are no departments) who attempts to resolve the complaint.
  • Failing this, the student may write to the dean of the college where the course is offered requesting a review of the situation.
  • Following this, and if there is lingering dissatisfaction on the part of the student, the student may make a final appeal in writing to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

III. Evaluation of Work and Grades

  • If a dispute arises over a grade or evaluation of a paper or work, the student should discuss the concern with the appropriate faculty member.
  • If the concern persists, the student may consult with the chairperson of the department (or the dean of the college if there are no departments) who attempts to resolve the complaint.
  • Failing this, the student may request the use of a departmental ad hoc committee composed of three members:
    • faculty member chosen by student;
    • faculty member chosen by the involved faculty member;
    • faculty member chosen by the department chairperson with the agreement of student and involved faculty member. Both the student and faculty member will prepare a written brief and appear before the committee. Any witnesses desired by either person may be called. The student and/or the faculty member may be represented by a person of their own choosing, such person being acceptable to the committee.
  • If the student is not satisfied with the committee decision, he or she may write to the dean of the college where the course is offered requesting a review of the situation. If the appeal concerns the awarding of an F grade as a consequence of cheating or plagiarism, and if the departmental committee (described in III (3) above specifically) declines to support the instructor’s accusation of cheating, the Dean has the discretionary authority retroactively to drop the student from the course in question without penalty, and to recommend a corresponding tuition credit or refund.
  • Following the review by the dean, and if there is lingering dissatisfaction on the part of the student, the student may make a final appeal in writing to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. However, the faculty member has the ultimate responsibility for determination of grades.

The foregoing steps must be made in order of progression and all information, recommendations, and decisions made available to the next level of appeal. Maximum efforts and attempts should be exerted toward resolution of concerns without the necessity of appeal. (Council of Colleges, 12/8/76)


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