6.4 Appeal Review Process
The appellate officer will review the written letter of appeal from the student and determine if one of the bases for appeal is present. If it is, a review of the appeal will be granted. The appellate officer shall review:
- The response from the hearing officer/body, and
- Materials presented at the original hearing.
Appeals shall be decided upon the record of the original proceedings and upon the written responses submitted by the parties. Decisions of the conduct bodies will be given great deference by the appellate decision maker. After reviewing these materials, the appellate officer may decide to do one of the following:
- Affirm the finding and the sanction imposed;
- If specified errors occurred, remand to the original decision makers to address the error, change the procedures, consider new evidence that could not have been discovered by a properly diligent accused before or during the original hearing, substitute new adjudicators, or otherwise repair the grounds that gave rise to the appeal;
- Affirm the finding and reduce, but not eliminate or increase the sanction if found to be grossly disproportionate to the offense; or
- Cases may only be dismissed if the finding is held to be arbitrary and capricious.
A crucial point in the appeals process is the shifting of the burden of proof. At the initial hearing, the burden of proof lies with the complainant. Once there is a finding of responsibility, the burden shifts to the petitioner. The decision on the appeal will generally be made within ten (10) business days of receipt of the appeal, but may take longer during University recesses or in the event of complex cases.