Appeals Standard Operating Procedures
Consistent with Section 1(III)(1), the director of Student Conduct and Community Standards has adopted these procedures to implement the Student Conduct Code as its relates to Appeals.
- Submitting an appeal: Either party may submit an appeal by e-mailing the appeal to email@example.com or by delivering a copy of the appeal to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Appeals must be submitted within 14 calendar days of the date the initial decision is issued and should state the basis for your appeal. Please submit your appeal on the appeals form. As noted on the appeals form, you do not need to submit any additional information regarding your appeal at this initial stage.
Please note that you will be given an opportunity to provide more information at a later point.
- Basis for appeals: As stated in Section IV of the Student Conduct Code, parties to a student conduct proceeding may appeal a decision for four reasons:
- To determine if the administrative conference was conducted fairly in light of the complaint made and information presented and in conformity with procedures required in this Code, giving the Complainant a reasonable opportunity to present information, and giving the Accused Student reasonable notice and an opportunity to prepare and to respond to the allegations. A deviation from procedures required by this Code will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results;
- To determine whether the decision reached regarding the Accused Student was based on substantial information, that is, whether there were facts that, if believed by the Director or designee were sufficient to establish that a violation of the Code occurred;
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were commensurate with violation;
- To consider new information sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing only if such information or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the hearing.
- Notice to the parties: Within three business days of submitting an appeal, the parties will both receive notice that an appeal has been filed and the basis for the appeal (Notice of Appeal). If it is an appeal filed under the Sexual Misconduct standard operating procedures (SOPs), the parties will also be notified that an appeals officer has been assigned and will be provided with the name and contact information for that officer. For all other appeals, the appeal will be assigned to the University Appeals Board.
- Scope of the appeal: Except as the appeals officer or appeals board determines necessary to explain the basis of new information, an appeal is limited to the verbatim record of the administrative conference and any supporting documentation. For matters arising out of the SOPs, this means that the appeals officer will consider the Record, the administrative conference hearing recording and, to the extent at issue in the appeal, information and questions submitted by a party during the SOP process but not considered by the original decision-maker. It is important that parties understand that information submitted during the appeals process may be viewed by the other party.
- Submitting information supporting or opposing an appeal:
- Within a reasonable time, usually three to five business days, the officer or body hearing the appeal will send the parties a notice indicating that the parties can submit information supporting or opposing the appeal.
- After reviewing the information submitted by the parties, the appeals officer or board may request additional information from the parties or may ask the parties to respond to the other party’s information.
If a response is requested, both parties will be allowed to view the other party’s information submission and both parties will be allowed the opportunity to respond to the information presented.
- Decision: Within thirty business days of the Notice of Appeal, the appeals officer or Board will issue a decision. The decision will be delivered to both parties at the same time. To the extent possible, the appeals officer or board will give the parties notification at least 24 hours prior to sending out the decision.
- Modifying or changing a decision: If the appeals officer or board determines that the decision or sanction should be modified in whole or in part, the officer or board will send the matter back to the original decision-maker to either proceed with additional hearings, as necessary, or to issue a new sanction that is consistent with the appeals officer or board’s recommendation.
- Sanctions: Sanctions imposed by the original decision-maker will remain in effect through the university’s appeals process. Exceptions to this rule may be granted if a party demonstrates that he or she will be irreparably harmed if the sanctions are not stayed pending an appeal. Parties wishing to make a petition to stay the sanctions pending appeal must submit a petition to the Director of Student Conduct within ten calendar days of the date they file an appeal. The Director will decide whether to stay the sanction pending the appeal. If the appeal relates to a matter arising out of the SOPs, the Director will consult with the Title IX coordinator prior to issuing a decision. In considering whether to grant a petition for a stay, the university will consider the harm caused to the appealing party as well as the impact on the non-appealing party. After the university’s appeals process has concluded, any sanctions imposed will take effect. This means that sanctions imposed by the university will remain in effect through any external appeals process. Parties requesting an exception to this rule must submit a petition within five calendar days of the date they file an external appeal. The petition must include evidence demonstrating that the party will suffer irreparable harm if a stay is not granted. In considering whether to grant such a request, the university will consider the harm to the appealing party and the impact to the non-appealing party. If the matter arises under the SOPs, the Director will consult with the Title IX coordinator prior to issuing a stay. The university has the discretion to stay its sanctions in full or in part.
- Procedure modifications: The appeals officer or board may modify these procedures (including extending time frames) for good cause. Both parties will be notified of any extensions or modifications.
- Petitions: Parties may request modifications to these procedures by submitting a petition to the Director of Student Conduct. Petitions must state the party’s name, the requested modification and the reason for the request. Once a petition is filed, both parties will be notified of the petition and the Director’s decision. If the petition relates to a matter arising under the SOPs, the Director will consult with the Title IX Coordinator prior to issuing a decision.
- Communications and the role of an advisor: The appeals officer or board will communicate with students directly. If requested on the appeals form and if an appropriate release has been signed, a student’s advisor may be copied on these communications. The role of advisors during the appeals process is subject to the limitations set forth in the Student Conduct Code and the SOPs, to the extent applicable.
- Confidentiality: To the extent possible, the university will keep information submitted during the appeals process confidential and will only disclose it on need to know basis. However, it is important that the parties understand that in some instances, information will be shared with the other party. Additionally, the university may be required to disclose information in response to a court order (including a subpoena), the order of another state agency or tribunal or a public records request.