Appeal requests are limited to the following grounds:
- A procedural or substantive error occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.);
- To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and explanation for why it was not available at the time of the original hearing and its potential impact must be included;
- The sanctions imposed are excessive or substantially outside the parameters or guidelines set by the University for this type of offense or the cumulative conduct record of the responding student.
Appeals must be filed from the student’s Mount Union email with the director of student conduct or designee (via firstname.lastname@example.org) on the appeal form (obtained on the Student Conduct website or from the director of student conduct) within five (5) business days of the notice of the outcome to the hearing, barring exigent circumstances. Any exceptions are made at the discretion of the associate dean of students.
The director of student conduct or designee will refer the request(s) to the University’s designated appeal review officer, the associate dean of students. The director of student conduct or designee will also draft a response memorandum to the appeal request(s), based on the appeal review officer’s determination that the request(s) will be granted or denied, and why.
The appeal review officer will conduct an initial review to determine if the appeal request meets the limited grounds and is timely. They may consult with the director of student conduct or designee on any procedural or substantive questions that arise.
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 appeal review officer determines whether to refer the appeal to the Appeal Panel, the vice president for student affairs/dean of students or to remand it to the original decision-maker(s), typically within 3-5 business days. Efforts should be made to use remand whenever possible, with clear instructions for reconsideration only in light of the granted appeal grounds. Where the original decision-maker may be unduly biased by a procedural or substantive error, a new administrative hearing officer or Student Conduct Board Hearing Panel will be constituted to reconsider the matter, which can in turn be appealed, once. Full re-hearings by the Appeal Panel is not permitted. Where new evidence is presented or the sanction is challenged, the appeal review officer will determine if the matter should be returned to the original decision-maker for reconsideration or if it should be reviewed by the Appeal Panel or the vice president for student affairs/dean of students or designee with instruction on the parameters regarding institutional consistency and any applicable legal guidelines. In review, the original finding and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately, thus the burden is on the appealing party to show clear error. The Appeal Panel or the vice president for student affairs/dean of students or designee must limit its review to the challenges presented.
On reconsideration, the Appeal Panel, vice president for student affairs/dean of students or designee, or original decision-maker may affirm or change the findings and/or sanctions of the original hearing body according to the permissible grounds. Procedural or substantive errors should be corrected, new evidence should be considered, and sanctions should be proportionate to the severity of the violation and the student’s cumulative conduct record.
All decisions of the Appeal Panel or vice president for student affairs/dean of students or designee are to be made within five (5) days of submission by the appeal review officer and are final, as are any decisions made by the original hearing body or officer as the result of reconsideration consistent with instructions from the appeal review officer.