Appealing a Hearing Decision
Students who are found responsible for a violation may appeal all or part of the decision according to the following guidelines. An appeal is not a re-hearing of the case. The Dean of Students and/or appropriate designee(s) will review all appeal requests to determine if there are sufficient grounds for the appeal. At the JFRC, appeals are reviewed by the Dean of Rome Student Life or may be assigned to the Dean of Students in Chicago.
Any request for appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds:
a. New substantive information is available that could not have been discovered by a diligent respondent at the time of the hearing and that would have likely changed the outcome of the case.
b. A substantive procedural error or error in the interpretation of University policy occurred that denied the respondent the right to a fair hearing and decision.
c. The finding (as to responsibility or assigned outcomes or both) was manifestly contrary to the information presented at the hearing or to the established Community Standards (i.e., the decision was clearly unreasonable and unsupported by the preponderance of the evidence).
A student has five business days from the time the decision letter is sent to request an appeal (or 48 hours at the JFRC). Appeals must be requested online via a hyperlink at the bottom of the decision letter. Electronic submission is the only accepted method to request an appeal. At the end of the designated appeal period, the hyperlink will no longer be active. Failure to submit a request within this period waives the right to appeal and renders the decision final.
While a request for appeal is under review (final decision is pending), assigned outcomes and other disciplinary actions may be enforced on an interim basis at the discretion of the OSCCR or University administration.
Appellate review of a case may take two weeks or longer to complete. Once the appellate review has been completed, students will be notified in writing of the final decision within five business days (two business days at the JFRC).
Requests for appeal must state the grounds for appeal and include a personal statement explaining, in detail, why the student is contesting the results of the hearing. Any relevant documentation available that substantiates or clarifies the request for appeal. Such additional documentation may be uploaded electronically via the online appeal request form.
All properly completed requests for appeal will be considered by the Dean of Students and/or designee(s) (“appeal officer(s)”), who will determine whether there is sufficient basis for modifying the original decision. The appeal officer may or may not request to meet with the respondent, complainant, or other relevant individuals before making a final decision. The degree and nature of the appealing student’s engagement and participation in the conduct process may also be strongly considered in making an appellate determination. Respondents participating in an agreed resolution process and who approve the terms of the agreement waive their right to an appeal (see §402 Consideration and Resolution Options).
The responsibility lies with the appealing student to provide clear and convincing information demonstrating that the original process or decision was substantively flawed.
The appeal officer will choose one of four possible outcomes for all appeals:
a. Affirm the original decision and uphold the original outcome(s).
b. Affirm the original decision but modify the original outcome(s).
c. Overturn all or part of the original decision and uphold, assign, modify, or remove outcome(s) appropriately.
d. Remand for further investigation and/or a new hearing. The outcome of a remanded case may be appealed again (as if the case were being decided for the first time).
The disposition of a case by the appeal officer following an appellate review is final within the University and is not subject to further review.