Policies & Resources
Responding party or complainants/reporting party must petition within 5 business days of receiving the written decision for a review of the decision or the sanctions imposed. Any party who files an appeal must do so in writing to the Executive Director of Student Affairs Office. The Executive Director of Student Affairs will share the appeal with the other party (e.g., if the responding party appeals, the appeal is shared with the complainant/reporting party, who may also wish to file a response), and then the Executive Director of Student Affairs will draft a response memorandum (also shared with all parties).
All appeals and responses are then forwarded to the appeals officer/committee for initial review to determine if the appeal meets the limited grounds and is timely. The original finding and sanction will stand if the appeal is not timely or substantively eligible, and the decision is final. If the appeal has standing, the documentation is forwarded for consideration. The party requesting appeal must show error as the original finding and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately. The ONLY grounds for appeal are as follows:
- A procedural error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.);
- To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included.
If the Executive Directorof Student Affairs determines that new evidence should be considered, it will return the complaint to the original hearing body to reconsider in light of the new evidence, only. The reconsideration of the hearing body is not appealable.
If the Executive Directorof Student Affairs determines that a material procedural error occurred, it may return the complaint to the original hearing body with instructions to reconvene to cure the error. In rare cases, where the procedural error cannot be cured by the original hearing officers (as in cases of bias), the appeals officers or committee may order a new hearing on the complaint with a new body of hearing officers. The results of a reconvened hearing cannot be appealed. The results of a new hearing can be appealed, once, on the four applicable grounds for appeals.
If the Executive Directorof Student Affairs determines that the sanctions imposed are disproportionate to the severity of the violation, the appeals officer or committee will return the complaint to the student conduct office, which may then increase, decrease or otherwise modify the sanctions. This decision is final.
The procedures governing the hearing of appeals include the following:
- All parties should be timely informed of the status of requests for appeal, the status of the appeal consideration, and the results of the appeal decision;
- Every opportunity to return the appeal to the original hearing body for reconsideration (remand) should be pursued;
- Appeals are not intended to be full rehearings of the complaint (de novo). In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original hearing, and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal;
- This is not an opportunity for appeals officers to substitute their judgment for that of the original hearing body merely because they disagree with its finding and/or sanctions. Appeals decisions are to be deferential to the original hearing body, making changes to the finding only where there is clear error and to the sanction only if there is a compelling justification to do so;
- Sanctions imposed are implemented immediately unless the Executive Directorof Student Affairs states their implementation in extraordinary circumstances, pending the outcome of the appeal.
- The Executive Directorof Student Affairs will render a written decision on the appeal to all parties within seven (7) business days* from hearing of the appeal. The Executive Directorof Student Affairs decision to deny appeal requests is final.