Appeal Process

Under normal circumstances, enforcement of disciplinary responses will be deferred pending the review of the appeal. Disciplinary decisions will be made at the lowest level possible.  Following formal discipline for conduct subject to sanction, students are guaranteed the right to a single appeal to the next highest level.  However, if a student refuses to sign the written notice within 2 business days of notification, he/she has forfeited the possibility of appealing the decision. 

  • Decisions made by a residence hall director may be appealed to the Director of Residence LifeEducation and Housing
  • Decisions made by the Director of Judicial Affairs or the Director of Residence Life Education and Housing may be appealed to the Dean of Students.
  • Disciplinary decisions made by the Dean of Students may be appealed to the Disciplinary Review Board.  

The appropriate appeal process is indicated on the formal written notice of conduct probation or suspension the student signed.  There is no appeal process for written warnings or administrative agreements.

Appeals will only be granted on at least one of the following grounds:

  1. The disciplinary response is unreasonably disproportionate to the misconduct (including consideration of the student’s prior offenses or willingness to cooperate in the disciplinary process).
  2. The disciplinary process as outlined in the Student Handbook was not followed, and this failure significantly affected the student’s opportunity to receive a fair hearing.
  3. The disciplinary decision was not supported by reasonable evidence.
  4. New evidence has become available since the initial hearing that would have significantly altered its results.

Appeal to the Dean of Students   

The procedure for an appeal to the Dean of Students on a decision from a Student Life representative is as follows:

  • Within two working days from the date of the decision, the student will file a written notice of appeal with the Dean. Appropriate paperwork is also available from the Assistant to the Dean of Students (McKinzie Hall Room 135).  A student involved in a disciplinary process will be notified of his or her right to appeal by Student Life at the time the disciplinary decision is conveyed to the student.  A deadline to appeal will also be assigned at that time. 
  • Within two working days from the date the notice is received, the Dean of Students or designee will review the appeal notice and may decide to meet with the student to further discuss his or her grounds for appeal.  The Dean will meet with only the student. No one else may represent the student during the appeal process.
  • If based on the written notice of appeal, the Dean of Students determines there is not substantial cause for appeal, he or she may choose to provide a written summary of the decision to the student.  A copy will be kept for Student Life documentation purposes.
  • If the Dean of Students decides to meet with the student, the Dean will consider the appeal and uphold, reverse or otherwise modify the previous decision.  The appeal decision of the Dean of Students may not be appealed as students are provided one single appeal.  The Dean of Students will communicate the decision to the student in writing.

Download a printable version of the Notice of Appeal to the Dean of Students

Download printable guidelines and instructions on appeals

Appeal to the Disciplinary Review Board   

The procedure for an appeal to the Disciplinary Review Board from a decision of the Dean of Students is as follows:

  1. Within two working days from the date of the decision, the student will file a written notice of appeal with the chair* of the Disciplinary Review Board (in the Legal Services Offices in Hardin Administration Building, Room 111).  Appeal forms are also available from the Assistant to the Dean of Students (McKinzie Hall Room 135).  A student involved in a disciplinary process will be notified of his or her right to appeal by Student Life at the time the disciplinary decision is conveyed to the student. A deadline to appeal will also be assigned at that time. 
  2. The Student Life Office will be promptly provided with a copy of the notice.  Within two working days after receiving the notice of appeal from the Legal Services Office, the Dean of Students or designee will file with the chair a written statement of the facts and summary of the appealed decision and applicable policy.  A copy will be provided to the student by the Legal Services Office.
  3. Within two working days of receiving a copy of the dean’s statement, the student may choose to file with the chair a response, including his or her statement of the facts, reasons for the appeal and such other statements and documents he or she believes relevant to the appeal.  A copy will be provided to the Student Life Office. 
  4. The chair may request or obtain from any party or source further information and statements he or she deems appropriate to the reasonable completion of the record.
  5. The chair will schedule a hearing before the Disciplinary Review Board if he or she determines from the record that the appeal involves a substantial dispute of material facts and/or a substantial issue with the existence, publication and/or implementation of applicable policy.  If the chair does not find substantial cause for appeal, he or she shall issue a final written decision to the student and Dean of Students or designee.
  6. If a hearing of the Disciplinary Review Board is convened, it will undertake such inquiry as the chair may direct and after considering the appeal, will uphold, reverse or otherwise modify the previous decision.  The chair of the Disciplinary Review Board will then issue a final written decision to the student and the Dean of Students or designee. The decision of the Disciplinary Review Board may not be appealed.

Download a printable version of the Notice of Appeal to the Disciplinary Review Board

Download printable guidelines and instructions on appeals

* The role of chair of the Disciplinary Review Board may be filled by more than one person appointed as co-chairs, and all references to the chair will co-chair.