Policies and Procedures for the Appeal of Academic Dismissal

University of Maryland Graduate School, Baltimore (UMGSB)

A. Purpose

These procedural guidelines are designed to provide a means for the resolution of appeals by students who have been dismissed from the UMGSB because of poor academic performance or progress. Cases of alleged academic misconduct or scientific fraud are handled under the UMGSB Policies and Procedures for Student Academic Misconduct. Cases of alleged arbitrary and capricious grading of a course are handled under the “Procedural Guidelines for Handling of Allegations of Arbitrary and Capricious Grading.

B. Procedure

  1. A program director may recommend dismissal of a graduate student for failure to meet the program's standards of academic performance or progress. A student shall be given written notice of dismissal by the Graduate School accompanied by a brief statement of the reasons for the dismissal. Within five days of the date of the notice, a student who disputes the reasons for the dismissal must contact the department chairperson(s), the graduate program director, and the studentís faculty mentor for informal discussion of the situation.

  2. If a student remains dissatisfied after the discussions required by paragraph 1, the student may file a formal appeal of the dismissal, no later than 30 days of the notice of dismissal. The appeal must be made in writing in the form of a letter to the associate dean of the Graduate School and include (a) in detail, the basis for the appeal; (b) the date the student was advised of the dismissal; and (c) a summary of the informal discussions held pursuant to these procedures. An appeal also should be supported by any attachments necessary to explain the issue and by an attachment giving the names and contact information (i.e., campus addresses, telephone numbers) of persons with relevant information. An appeal may be supported by written statements from other persons, provided such persons are identified in the statement and contact information is included.

  3. Upon receiving an appeal, the associate dean shall forward a copy of it to the faculty mentor, the program director, and department chairperson(s) of the program from which the student is dismissed.

  4. The associate dean shall review each dismissal appeal and shall dismiss the appeal if (a) the student has submitted the same or a similar complaint through any other formal grievance procedure; (b) there are no procedural grounds or other evidence supporting the appeal; (c) the appeal was not filed with the associate dean within 30 days of the student's notice of the dismissal; or (d) the student did not fulfill the requirements of paragraph 1 before filing the appeal to the associate dean. If the appeal is dismissed, the associate dean shall notify the student, the chairperson, and the graduate program director in writing.

  5. If an appeal is not dismissed by the associate dean within five days of receipt of the appeal, the program involved shall submit a reply to the appeal within two weeks of the program's receipt of the appeal.

  6. The associate dean shall submit the appeal of the student and the response of the program involved to the Graduate Council Grievance Committee (GCGC). The GCGC will hear statements from the student and the program at its next regular monthly meeting. GCGC review may be waived upon the written request of the student and the program.Following deliberations, the Committee will give its recommendations in writing to the associate dean.

  7. The associate dean shall issue a decision in writing to the student, the faculty mentor, the chairperson, and the program director within two weeks after receiving the recommendations of the GCGC or the request to waive GCGC review.

C. Appeals

  1. Either the student or the program involved may appeal the decision of the associate dean to the dean of the Graduate School. An appeal to the dean must be made in writing within 30 calendar days of a student's or faculty member's receipt of the associate dean's decision. An appeal may be taken from a decision on the merits or from the decision to dismiss the appeal pursuant to part B.4.

  2. The appeal shall be decided by the dean based upon the written record reviewed by the GCGC, the report of the GCGC, and the associate dean's written decision. If the dean requires additional information, the dean will return the file to the associate dean for further investigation.

  3. The dean's decision with respect to an appeal shall be final. The dean will endeavor to make a decision on the appeal within 10 days after its receipt.

D. Schedules

Times stated in these procedures will be shortened, if feasible, when an appeal is relevant to an advancement decision. The associate dean may extend or shorten the deadlines stated in these procedures when circumstances do not permit student, faculty or administrative actions within the specified time frames. Requests by the faculty or student to extend or shorten these deadlines must be in writing, but the associate dean may not require the dean to decide an appeal within a certain time. The associate dean's decisions with respect to scheduling shall be in writing and shall be final.

Approved by the UMGSB Graduate Council. October 1995. Revised, November 2009.