I. Appeal of Finding and/or Sanction

Regardless of whether a complaint is resolved through the Investigator Resolution or the Hearing Resolution, both the complainant and respondent may appeal the outcome, including a finding of responsibility (or no responsibility) and/or the sanction. In a request for an appeal, the burden of proof lies with the party requesting the appeal. Dissatisfaction with the outcome of the investigation is not grounds for appeal. The limited grounds for appeal are as follows:

  • procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;

  • 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;

  • the Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or Hearing Chair/Panel 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 decision of the investigators under Section XI.G.5, the Hearing Chair/Panel under Section XI.G.6, or the adjudicator under Section XI.G.5. was clearly erroneous based on the evidential record.

The Appeal Officer for all cases, regardless of the respondent’s classification, is the Vice President for Student Affairs. In the instance when the Vice President for Student Affairs is unable to serve, the alternate Appeal Officer is determined by the classification of the respondent:

  1. For students, the alternate Appeals Officer will be the Provost.

  2. For faculty, the alternate Appeals Officer will be the Director of Human Resources.

  3. For staff, the alternate Appeals Officer will be the Provost.

When the typical or alternate Appeal Officer is unable to serve, or is not otherwise designated in this policy, the Title IX Coordinator will select a trained individual to be the Appeal Officer with notice to the parties. 

The Appeal Officer must be a neutral and impartial decision maker. The parties will be informed, in writing, of the specific Appeals Officer. Within 1 calendar day of receiving the notice of the designated Appeals Officer, the complainant and the respondent may submit a written request to the Title IX Coordinator to replace the named Appeals Officer if there are reasonable articulable grounds to establish bias, conflict of interest or an inability to be fair and impartial. The designated Appeals Officer will only be replaced if the Title IX Coordinator determines their bias precludes impartiality or constitutes conflict. Additionally, an Appeals Officer who has reason to believe they cannot make an objective determination must recuse themselves from the process.

A complainant or respondent must submit a written appeal to the Title IX Coordinator and within 5 business days of receipt of the Notice of Outcome. The written appeal must include the specific basis for the appeal and any information or argument in support of the appeal. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will provide the other party notice of the appeal and the opportunity to respond in writing to the appeal. Any response to the appeal must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator within 3 business days from the other party’s receipt of the appeal. Appeal responses are shared with the other parties but no reply is permitted.

The Appeals Officer will make a decision regarding the written appeal and, within 10 business days of receipt of all appeal documents, notify the complainant and the respondent of the outcome. The Appeal Officer may affirm the finding(s); alter the finding(s); alter the sanctions; or request that additional steps be taken.

Appeal decisions are final. All appeal deadlines may be extended for good cause by the Title IX Coordinator. Any extension will be communicated to the parties.