Any UMaine student may appeal an action or decision made by a University administrator. The procedure outlined below is intended to assure a fair and equal adjudication of student grievances.
Note: The Administrative Appeal Policy cannot be used for appeals which are covered under other policies and procedures, such as appeals of parking tickets, student conduct cases, or faculty actions/decisions, i.e., grading policy or attendance policy. Also, student employees in Residence Life should follow the appeal process outlined in the Residence Life Staff Guide.
Students should take the following steps to appeal an administrative action.
Students must initiate an appeal of an administrative action within ten working days of notification of the action. An extension to make an appeal may be granted of up to ten additional working days with a written request to the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee.
An appeal is made directly in writing to the administrator or staff person involved. If the appeal is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student may continue the process by appealing in writing in the following order:
The student must receive a written response to the appeal within five working days of the date of receipt of the appeal at each level.
A student who continues to feel a grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved may ask to be heard by the Student Administrative Appeals Board. Within five working days from the date of the denial by the vice president involved the student must request in writing that the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee convene the Appeals Board. If the Vice President is involved in the grievance, then the student should request in writing that an appropriate alternate (Executive Assistant to the President, Assistant Dean of Students, Vice President for Student Life, or other) convene the Board. This Board will meet to hear the appeal and render its recommendation to the President within five working days of the date of the hearing.
The Board shall consist of seven members; five members shall constitute a quorum:
The President, upon recommendation of the Vice President for Student Life or the person convening the Board, will name the chair from the members selected above who will preside over the hearing unless removed for cause (see below.). In such case the President will appoint another member of the hearing Board as chair.
The following guidelines shall govern the workings of the Student Administrative Appeal Board, except where the Board chairperson determines otherwise for cause:
- the time and place of the hearing.
- the names of Board members. Both parties have the right to challenge for cause any member of the Board by submitting a written memorandum to the Board chair stating the grounds for this challenge at least two days prior to the scheduled meeting. Removal of a member for cause shall be within the authority and at the discretion of the Chair of the Board or by a majority of the Board if the Chair is unable to exercise that function or is challenged for cause. If removing a member for cause from a specific hearing results in a lack of quorum, the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee will appoint a replacement to hear that specific case.
- each party’s right to call witnesses, to bring an advisor to the hearing, and to present documents or other information. No party shall be accompanied by legal counsel, except when the grievant also faces criminal charges for the same incident.
- the order each party will follow to present his/her interest.
- The grievant presents the appeal:
- The Board may ask questions of the grievant.
- The administrator presents the background for the decision.
- The Board may ask questions of the administrator.
- Both parties are dismissed.
- The Board discusses the circumstances of the appeal and decides on a recommendation. A majority vote by the committee members present shall prevail.
- The Chair submits a written recommendation to the President within five working days of the hearing of the appeal. In its recommendation to the President, the Board shall specify the basis for its recommendation, including which one or more of the specified grounds (below) were found to be sufficiently credible and compelling if its recommendation is to overturn any part of the administrator(s)’ decision(s).
- Demonstrated bias on the part of the decision maker(s); or,
- New and significant information not reasonably available to the decision maker(s); or,
- Substantial and material departure from printed procedures; or,
- Judgments shown to be arbitrary or capricious; or,
- A remedy or sanction not in due proportion to the nature and seriousness of the situation or offense.
Other than for these reasons, the Board may not substitute its judgment on the substance of the decision for that of the original decision maker.
The final decision on any student administrative appeal rests with the President or the President’s designee and shall be made after receipt of a recommendation from the Student Administrative Appeals Board. The President’s decision shall be presented to the student within five working days of receiving the Board’s recommendation. The President, if he or she accepts the recommendation, shall also forward the Board’s statement of the grounds for its recommendation to the President to all those who have rendered decisions on the matter at all previous levels.
Note: The Vice President for Student Life shall be responsible for widespread distribution of and publicity for this policy and for periodic review of this policy and procedures.
Last Revised/Approved: 05/10/2013