14.3.10. Appeals

Both the Respondent and Complainant may appeal the Hearing Panel decision or complaint dismissal by the Title IX Coordinator. An appeal must be made in writing within five (5) business days of the decision letter or dismissal notice.

The Complainant or the Respondent will be notified if the other Party submits an appeal and be provided with a copy of the appeal for review. The non-appealing Party will have five (5) business days from review of the appeal to prepare and submit a written response, if they choose to do so.

Upon receipt of an appeal and any response, or upon exhaustion of the deadline for a Party to provide a written response, the Hearing Officer will call together an Appeals Committee to review the appeal and any written response. The three-member committee will consist of three members of the President’s Cabinet. The Hearing Officer may substitute a staff member at the Director level if sufficient Cabinet members are not available or otherwise conflicted. The Appeals Committee for faculty Respondents will consist of the Provost and two members of the Board of Trustees as designated by the Chair of the Board of Trustees. If the Provost is conflicted, the Hearing Officer may substitute the Associate Provost or another Trustee.

The timeframe from the receipt of an initial appeal to a written determination by the Appeals Committee is forty-five (45) calendar days, subject to reasonable delays or extensions for good reason as determined by the Hearing Officer. In such instance of a delay the Parties will be noticed in writing.

An appeal may be made on one or more of the following grounds only: 

  • Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter; or
  • New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; or
  • The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter; or
  • The sanctions or remedies were not appropriate for the specific policy violation for which the Respondent was found responsible, or did not sufficiently restore access to University programs or activities for the Complainant.

An appeal is not a new hearing and the Appeals Committee will meet alone with the support of the Hearing Officer and/or Title IX Coordinator who can provide any requested information. The Appeals Committee will consider the merits of the appeal based only on the written appeal request, the response, the hearing recording, and written records of the case. Based on these materials, the Appeals Committee may:

  • Reject the appeal if the Committee finds that the grounds for an appeal are unsubstantiated; or
  • Reject the appeal if the Committee finds that any procedural errors were minor in nature and would not have altered the outcome of the hearing or the sanctions imposed; or
  • Remand the case to a new Hearing Panel for a new hearing, or back to investigation, when a substantial procedural error is determined to have occurred and has unfairly influenced the original hearing; or
  • Remand the case to the Hearing Panel for further deliberation if new evidence, as described above, has arisen. In such cases the original Hearing Panel will be reconvened as soon as possible. If a member of the original panel is no longer available, the Hearing Officer will select a new member from the hearing panel pool; or
  • Remand the case to the Investigator, or a new Investigator, then to a Hearing Panel for further deliberation if new evidence, as described above, has arisen; or
  • Remand the case for new hearing or investigation if there was a conflict of interest that affected the outcome of the matter; or
  • Modify the sanctions or remedies if they are found inappropriate.

Once the Appeals Committee has made its decision, the Hearing Officer will notify the Respondent and the Complainant simultaneously of the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result. The Appeals Committee’s decision is final and there are no further appeals permitted by either Party.