Appeal Procedures

Any student wishing to appeal the decision of any hearing officer/board must submit a letter to the director of Student Conduct by 5 p.m. on the second working day after the initial decision is rendered.  Any exceptions are made at the discretion of the director of Student Conduct or the associate dean of students for leadership and honor code.

Appeal requests are subject to the procedures outlined below. The written appeal must be clear, specific, and detailed.  This information will be used to determine whether or not the case will be reviewed and the appeal officer or appeal board may base its decision solely on the written appeal. An appeal does not guarantee the opportunity to meet with the appeal officer or board. The written request must contain a detailed statement of the grounds for appeal, the date, and the signature of the student. Only those requests for appeal on the following grounds will be considered.  The review by the appeal officer or board will be based on these grounds and will not be a rehearing of the original case.

New Facts

Discovery of substantial new facts that were unavailable at the time of the hearing and which could affect the original finding or sanction. If the appeal is based on substantial new facts the request must outline the following:

  • Source of new information;
  • Name(s) of who can present this information;
  • Reason(s) why this information was not presented at the original hearing; and
  • Reason(s) why this information may contribute to a decision other than that which was originally made.

Inappropriate Sanctioning

If the assigned sanctions are substantially outside the parameters or guidelines set by the University for specific offense(s) or the cumulative conduct record of the responding student, the request for an appeal must include specific information indicating how the sanction is not consistent with the sanctions presented in the student handbook.

Procedural Violation

If it is believed there was a substantial violation of the hearing procedure that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.), the appeal request must outline the following:

  • Citation of specific procedural errors with appropriate reference;
  • Reason(s) why procedural error was not mentioned in the original hearing; and
  • Reason(s) why correction of error can contribute to a decision other than that which was originally made. 

After the submission of a request for an appeal, all sanctions imposed by the original hearing body remain in effect until a final decision is made and communicated to the student(s).  (Exceptions to this policy are at the discretion of the director of Student Conduct, the associate dean of students for leadership and honor code, or their designee).

The director of Student Conduct will refer the request(s) to the associate dean of students for leadership and honor code (for social policies) or associate provost for assessment and academic operations (for academic policies) for review. The director of Student Conduct will also share the appeal by one party with the other party (parties) when appropriate (e.g., if the responding student appeals, the appeal is shared with the complainant, who may also wish to file a response or request an appeal).

The reviewer will conduct an initial screening to determine if the appeal request meets the limited grounds and is timely. They may consult with each other, the original hearing officer, director of Student Conduct, and/or Title IX Coordinator on any procedural or substantive questions that arise.  A response will be sent to the student(s) and share whether the reviewer has determined that the request(s) for an appeal will be granted or denied, and why.

If the appeal is not timely or substantively eligible, the original finding and sanction will stand and the decision is final. If the appeal has standing, the reviewer determines the appropriate appeal officer/board and forwards the request with clear instructions for reconsideration only in light of the granted appeal grounds. 

The appeal officer or appeal board has the authority to:
• Uphold the original decision;
• Uphold the original decision but change the sanction (more or less severe);
• Change the not/responsible decision; or
• Remand the case to the original hearing officer or hearing board.

Appeals for Social Policy Cases

When original sanctions are less than disciplinary suspension or permanent separation from the University, the associate dean of students for leadership and honor code or her designee will review eligible requests for appeals. The decision of the associate dean is final.  In cases where the associate dean of students was the original hearing officer, the request will be forwarded to the associate vice president for student life who will review the appeal. In those cases the decision of the associate vice president is final.

Appeals for Academic Policy Cases

A student found responsible for academic policy violations may request an appeal of the honor board decision or the "university related" sanctions assigned by the associate vice president for academic affairs. (Grade-related sanctions may not be appealed.)  If an appeal hearing is granted, it is heard by the University Appeals Board and their decision is final.

University Appeal Board

When the student has been found responsible for academic policy violations or social policies where original sanctions were disciplinary suspension or permanent separation from the University and the appeal request meets the grounds for an appeal, the vice president for student life (or designee) will convene the University Appeal Board.  (Should the request for an appeal be denied due to lack of grounds, the student may resubmit their request for an appeal to the Assistant Vice President of Student Life whose decision is final.)  The decision of the appeal board is final.  (Note, for academic policy cases, the student may request an appeal of the Honor Board decision or the "university related" sanctions assigned by the associate provost for assessment and academic operations but grade-related sanctions may not be appealed.) 

A panel for the University Appeal Board is comprised of the vice president for student life or his designee; the provost and vice president for academic affairs or his designee; the president of the Student Government Association (SGA), another executive officer of the SGA, or the SGA President’s designee; and a faculty member.  The panel is drawn from the appeal board pool, with the following requirements to serve:
1) they did not serve on the panel for the initial hearing;
2) they were not involved in the investigation in any way; and
3) they have been properly trained on the honor system, code of conduct, and appeals procedures.

Administrative Appeal Board

When the request meets the grounds for an appeal and the case is related to sexual misconduct or gender discrimination, the associate dean will forward the request for appeal to the vice president for student life who will convene the Administrative Appeal Board to review the case.  The decision of this appeal board is final.

The Administrative Appeal Board mirrors the board used for the initial hearings for conduct cases involving sexual misconduct or gender discrimination.  The panel is convened by the vice president for student life (or designee) and comprised of at least three panel members.  The three-member Administrative Appeal panel is drawn from the pool of trained board members, with the following requirements to serve:
1) they did not serve on the panel for the initial hearing;
2) they were not involved in the investigation in any way; and
3) they have been properly trained on the Honor System, the code of conduct, the unique nature of incidents involving personal violence or sexual misconduct, and appeals procedures.