Community Standards and Student Conduct

Section XIII. Appeals

The appellate process is designed to ensure the integrity of the deliberations and decisions of the University hearing panel(s) and/or the decisions of a conduct officer.

  1. A student participating in a conduct conference due to a category “A” violation may appeal the outcome of the conference to the Director of Community Standards and Student Conduct or designee. The appellate decision of the Director or designee will be final.
  2. A student participating in a health and wellness conference may appeal the outcome to the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs or designee. The appellate decision of the Assistant Vice President or designee will be final.
  3. A student may appeal a decision to the University Appeals Panel when any of the following criteria are met:
    1. A student participated in a conduct conference with the Director or designee where suspension or expulsion is the sanction.
    2. A student participated in a Conduct Review Panel hearing or Gender-Based Harassment and Violence Panel hearing.
    3. A student participated in an Academic Integrity Hearing Panel hearing (non-academic sanctions only).
    4. The appellate decision of the University Appeals Panel is final.
  4. A student who has participated in a conduct conference (except those involving gender-based harassment or violence) with the Director or designee and where sanctions do not include suspension or expulsion, may appeal to the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs or designee.  The appellate decision of the Assistant Vice President or designee will be final.
  5. In all cases, a detailed, written appeal must be submitted using the link provided in the decision letter within five business days after the date the student is sent written notification of the decision. The Director or designee is responsible for processing all appeals as described in this Code.

    A student may request an appeal on one or more of the following grounds:
    1. The student has been deprived of his or her rights as defined herein.
    2. The facts appear to be insufficient to support the decision to find that a violation was committed.
    3. In cases of gender based harassment and violence the accused student was found not responsible but the complaining party believes that the facts were sufficient to establish the violation.
    4. The sanction(s) imposed by the officer/body of original jurisdiction was not justified by the nature of the offense.
    5. To consider new evidence, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.

      The appeal should state in plain and simple language that the decision is being appealed. An appeal also should describe, in plain and simple language, each error of procedure or fact allegedly made by the conduct officer or hearing panel and the facts that support the student’s assertion that an error was made.

      In cases appealed to the Director or designee or Assistant Vice President, he/she, as necessary, may request the student appear in person to provide oral arguments in addition to the written appeal in order to render a decision. The appellate decisions of the Director or designee, Assistant Vice President, and the University Appeals Panel are final.

      In non-academic cases referred to the University Appeals Panel, the panel examines the hearing or other records to determine whether the procedures employed were proper, whether the decision is adequately supported by the documents, testimony, or other evidence, or the propriety of any sanction imposed, or new evidence presented.

      The appellate process differs from that of the hearing. The Appeals Panel does not hear testimony from witnesses; consider documents or other evidence not previously considered by the hearing body unless the appeal is based upon the discovery of new information and/or evidence. The Appeals Panel may, however, permit the student who has appealed and the conduct officer to make oral arguments and answer questions posed by the board. Furthermore, after oral arguments and questioning are complete, the Appeals Panel will meet in closed session to review records, including any tapes or transcripts, and to determine whether the procedural and substantive decisions made were proper. If there were no procedural or substantive errors made which would have significantly affected the outcome of the hearing, the decision will be upheld.

      If, however, there were procedural or substantive errors significantly affecting the outcome of the hearing, the Appeals Panel shall remand the case to the hearing panel or Director for appropriate action.  Every effort will be made to notify students of the findings of the Appeals Panel within five business days of the date of the decision. Students are entitled to a single appeal.  The decision(s) of the Appeals Panel is final.