Equitable Resolution Procedures ("ERP") Appeals

EACH APPEAL PROCESS FORMAT is referenced briefly here, but parties should also consult with the respective source of authority (i.e., the Community Standards, Faculty Handbook, collective bargaining agreement, or Employee Staff handbook) for additional information and details. Allegations involving student-worker respondents or other respondents who hold dual classifications will be routed to the most appropriate administrative resolution format depending on the individual context of the alleged misconduct, at the discretion of the Executive Director for Equity & Compliance.

Appeals When Respondent is a Student

Grounds for appeal
When the respondent is a student, either party (complainant or respondent) may appeal the investigative findings (whether “responsible” or “not responsible”), the administrative resolution decision, or both, on the following limited grounds:

  • A substantial procedural error or bias that significantly impacted the investigative findings or administrative resolution.
  • The discovery of substantial new evidence, not reasonably available during the investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or administrative resolution.
  • The sanction or sanctions are disproportionate to the violation(s).

Requesting an appeal
A concise written appeal request must be submitted by the appealing party to the OEC as directed in the decision letter within five business days following delivery of the decision letter. Notice of and access to appeal requests will be delivered to the non-appealing party, after which the non-appealing party may respond in writing to the appeal request. Written responses must be submitted within five business days following delivery of the notice of appeal request. Appealing parties will receive notice of and access to any responses received. Appeal requests and responses must be submitted by 11:59 PM CST on the respective deadline date.

All appeal requests are reviewed by the EDEC to ensure basic eligibility requirements are met (i.e., timely submission, applicable grounds articulated). If an appeal request does not meet the basic eligibility requirements, the appealing party will be informed (and if still within the eligible time frame, the appealing party may resubmit a modified request). If no eligible appeal request has been submitted by the end of the appeals window, the original finding(s) and sanction(s) stand and become final.

Appellate review
Eligible appeal requests (and responses, if applicable) are reviewed by one or more assigned appeal administrator(s) from among eligible CPAs to determine the merits of the appeal. If any appeal grounds are substantiated by the appeal administrator(s), the appeal will be granted. Otherwise the appeal will be denied, the matter will be closed, and the original finding(s) and sanction(s) will stand and become final. Appeal administrators will notify both parties in writing of the outcome of the appeal.

If the appeal is granted:

  • due to a substantial procedural error or bias, the matter will be remanded to the appropriate investigator or Administrative Resolution Officer ("ARO") (or, as in a case of bias, to a new investigator and/or ARO) for reconsideration to remedy the error;
  • due to the discovery of new evidence not reasonably available at the time of the initial investigation/resolution, the matter will be remanded to the appropriate investigator or ARO for reconsideration in light of the new evidence;
  • due to a sanction that is deemed disproportionate to the violation, the sanction may be administratively modified by the appeal administrator(s) or remanded to the appropriate ARO for reconsideration.

When a matter is remanded for reconsideration, written instructions will be provided to the receiving investigator and/or ARO to ensure that any error is remedied. The resulting outcome following any remand is final and not subject to further appeal.

Appeal decision
Decisions by appeal administrators are deferential to the original decision, which may be modified or overturned only when there is clear error and a compelling justification. An appeal is not an opportunity for an appeal administrator to substitute their judgment for that of the original investigator or ARO merely because they disagree with the finding or administrative resolution decision. Appeal administrators may consult with the investigator, ARO, or EDEC at any time and for any reason, if needed.

For students, sanctions imposed as part of an administrative resolution decision that is under appeal will not be fully implemented until the final resolution of the case. However, students’ activities and/or access (e.g., graduation, study abroad, internships/externships/assistantships, access to workplace/residence halls/facilities, etc.) may be postponed or restricted on an interim basis pending the resolution of a pending appeal.

In cases where the appeal results in reinstatement to the University or resumption of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the respondent to their prior status, recognizing that some lost opportunities may be irreparable.

Appeals When Respondent is a Faculty Employee

For procedural information about faculty conduct and discipline, please refer to the Faculty Handbook and/or any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Appeals When Respondent is a Staff Employee

When the respondent is a staff employee, appeals are governed exclusively by the Employee Staff Handbook and/or any applicable collective bargaining agreement, and may only be initiated by the respondent.

In cases where the staff respondent is a non-unionized staff employee, an appealing respondent must submit a written request for appeal to the Chief Human Resources Officer, as directed in the decision letter. The Chief Human Resources Officer either serves as the appeal administrator or assigns the matter to the Employee Complaint Appeals Committee, when applicable under the Employee Staff Handbook.

In cases where the respondent is a unionized staff employee, please consult the applicable collective bargaining agreement.