Appeal Process

An appeal is defined as a review of the original case. This may involve a review of the decision as recorded on paper, or other procedures as described below. During an appeal, the burden is placed on the appealing student or student organization representative to demonstrate why the finding or sanction should be changed.

Appeals may be based only on the following grounds (as determined by University Senate Rules and Regulations 6.7.3):

  1. Failure to Follow Procedures. The decision of a hearing body may be set aside if the hearing body failed to follow required procedures. However, if the failure to follow procedures was harmless, that is, did not prejudice the appellant, the hearing body decision should be affirmed notwithstanding the procedural error. The burden shall be on the appellant to identify the prejudicial effects of any alleged procedural error
  2. Inconsistency with Applicable Provisions. The decision of a hearing body shall be set aside if applicable provisions of the University Senate Code, University Senate Rules and Regulations, Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff, Board of Regents policies or procedures, or state of federal law require a contrary result.
  3. Factual Determinations Not Supported by the Record. The decision of a hearing body may be set aside if it is not supported by substantial evidence in the record compiled at the hearing. For purposes of this provision, a decision is supported by substantial evidence if a reasonable person could find that the decision was justified on the basis of the evidence submitted at the hearing, with due regard for any contrary evidence in the record. The appeals panel should bear in mind the superior opportunity of the hearing panel to judge the credibility of witnesses.
  4. Arbitrary and Capricious Decisions. In exceptional cases, the decision of a hearing body may be set aside if it is arbitrary, capricious or an abuse of discretion. A decision is arbitrary and capricious or an abuse of discretion if it is based on improper considerations, entirely fails to consider an important aspect of the problem, or lacks a plausible explanation of the connection between facts found and the recommendations made.

Appeal requests may be denied in cases not having sufficient grounds in one or more of these areas. All appeals must be submitted to University Governance Office located in Strong Hall, Room 33.

The written request for an appeal, stating the specific grounds upon which the appeal is based, must be received by University Governance the end of the thirtieth (30th) calendar day following the rendering of charges against the students/student organization.  Appeals submitted after the thirtieth calendar day will not be accepted.

The Chair of the University Judicial Board, through University Governance, shall appoint an appeal panel which shall hear all appeals from formal hearings and from decisions pursuant to the administration of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The appeal panel will review the entire hearing file and record of the hearing (if requested). The appeal panel may request a personal appearance of the student or organizational representative to discuss the incident in question. After reviewing the record, and depending upon the demonstrated grounds for appeal, the appeal panel may take any of the following actions:

  1. Affirm the charge;
  2. Impose greater or lesser sanctions; or
  3. Order a new conduct hearing.

The action of the panel considering an appeal will be communicated to the student or organizational representative in writing. This is the final step in the appeal process.

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