St. Mary's College of Maryland

Grade Grievance and Other Related Academic Complaints

Under the following conditions, a student may decide to grieve a grade either on a specific assignment or for a course as a whole:

The procedure to file a grade grievance or other related academic complaint is as follows:

  1. A student with a complaint should, where appropriate, first try to reach agreement with the faculty member. Informal conversation about the assignment and grade in question between the student and the professor is the first step in the grade grievance process.
  2. If the student is not satisfied with the result of the conversation, or if the faculty member does not respond to requests for such an informal conversation, the student then submits a written statement expressing concern about the grade to the chair of the faculty member's department, with a copy to the professor. In the case of individual assignments, such statements must be made within 10 business days of receipt of the grade in the case of individual assignment. In the case of overall course grades, such statements must be made by the end of the fourth week of the following semester in the case of overall course grades. The department chair will attempt to mediate the complaint as outlined in C below. ** (See note).
  3. Within ten business days of receipt of the student's letter, the chair will solicit the faculty member's point of view, in writing, about the grade and the criteria on which it was based. The chair may decide to render a decision based on the written communications or may call the student and faculty member together for a meeting to discuss the issues, after which the chair will render a decision to both the student and faculty member in writing.
  4. If either the student or faculty member is dissatisfied with the chair's decision, the dissatisfied party can make a request, in writing, within 10 days of receipt of the chair's decision, with a copy to the other party, and to the Associate Dean of Academic Services, who will seek counsel from the Academic Policy Committee. The Academic Policy Committee members will consult all parties concerned and then vote either for or against the recommendation of the department chair and will inform the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services, in writing, of their advice and the reasons for it, after which the Assistant Vice President will render a the decision to the parties in question.
  5. Final authority rests with the VPAA and Dean of Faculty of the College in the event that either the student or faculty member is not satisfied with the response given by the Associate Dean in consultation with the Academic Policy Committee. A written appeal to the Provost, which must be copied to the other parties involved, must be made within 10 business days following receipt of the Assistant Vice President's decision, and the Provost will render final judgment within 10 business days of receipt of the appeal, in writing, to all concerned individuals.
  6. Parents, family members, and attorneys are not permitted to attend any grade appeal conferences.
  7. If a grade appeal involves alleged academic misconduct, the grade appeal should be heard after the J-Board has reached a decision about the alleged infraction.

**Note: In the event that the faculty member in question is the department chair, the Associate Dean of Academic Services will substitute for the chair in step C.