Appeals within the Student Conduct Review Process


Appeals within the Student Conduct Review Process (Non-Title IX Live Hearings):

Students found in violation as a result of a formal hearing may appeal the finding(s) and sanction(s) imposed. The appeal must be made in writing to the Appellate Officer (VP of SDES or designee) within ten (10) business days after the date the student was notified of the decision by the Director of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (SCAI) or designee.

Students may appeal the finding(s) and sanction(s) imposed on the basis of one or more of the following:

    1. Irregularities in fairness and stated procedures of the hearing that could have affected the outcome of the hearing.
    2. Discovery of new and significant information that could have affected the outcome of the hearing and that was not known or could not reasonably have been discovered and/or presented at the time of the initial hearing.
    3. The sanction(s) are extraordinarily disproportionate to the violation(s).

The appellate officer shall first determine if sufficient grounds for appeal exist and then, if so, the appellate officer may:

    1. Deny the appeal, thus sustaining the initial decision
    2. Alter the sanction(s)
    3. Return the case for a new hearing

The appellate officer should issue a written decision to the student’s appeal within twenty (20) business days of receipt of the appeal. Should the appellate officer require additional time for review beyond the twenty (20) business days, the appellate officer shall notify the charged student in writing of the need for additional time. Decisions of the appellate officer reflect final agency action.

Appeal of Live Hearing Outcome:

The Complainant or Respondent may appeal a Determination of Responsibility. To appeal, the individual must submit its written appeal within five (5) business days of being notified of the decision, indicating the grounds for the appeal. The limited grounds for appeal available are as follows:

a. Procedural irregularity that materially affected the outcome of the matter (i.e., a failure to follow the university’s own procedures);
b. New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the Determination of Responsibility was made, that could materially affect the outcome of the matter;
c. The Hearing Chair and/or Decision-Maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against the Complainant or Respondent, or for or against Complainants or Respondents in general, that materially affected the outcome of the matter; or
d. For students, any other ground for appeal established in an applicable student appeal procedure in university policy or regulation.

The submission of appeal suspends any sanctions awaiting the outcome of the appeal. Supportive measures and remote learning opportunities remain available during the pendency of the appeal.

If the Complainant or Respondent appeals, the university will as soon as practicable notify the other individual in writing of the appeal, however the time for appeal shall be offered equitably to the Complainant and Respondent and shall not be extended for any individual solely because the other individual filed an appeal.

Appeals may be no longer than ten (10) pages, plus relevant documents not otherwise included in the investigation or live hearing documentation. Appeals should be submitted in electronic form using Times New Roman, 12-point font, and single-spaced. Appeals should use footnotes, not endnotes, and cite to relevant documents. Appeals that do not meet these standards may be returned to the Complainant or Respondent for correction, but the time for appeal will not be extended unless there is evidence that technical malfunction caused the appeal document not to meet these standards.

Appeals in cases where the Respondent is an employee will be decided by the vice president for compliance and risk or designee. Appeals in cases where the Respondent is a student will be decided by the vice president of Student Development and Enrollment Services or designee. The appeal officer will be identified in the Determination of Responsibility letter. The appeal officer will be free of conflict of interest and bias, and will not otherwise serve as the Investigator, Title IX Coordinator, Hearing Chair or Decision-Maker in the same matter.

The outcome of any appeal will be provided in writing simultaneously to both the Complainant and Respondent and include a rationale for the decision.