OSA Code Procedures Section 21: Appeal of a Hearing Panel Decision

Both the Complainant and the Respondent may appeal a decision of the Hearing Panel to a three (3) member Review Panel. The faculty member appointed to the Review Panel serves as its Chair. No person who served on the Hearing Panel will sit on the Review Panel in the same case. A member of the Review Panel may be asked to withdraw for good cause upon request of either party, which determination shall be made in the Review Panel Chair’s sole discretion. If the Review Panel Chair is reasonably challenged by a party, the Director shall appoint another member. In the event that a member withdraws or is excused, 1105 an alternate member shall be randomly selected by the Review Panel Chair.
Appeals will be based solely upon the hearing record except that when relevant to a stated ground for appeal, the Review Panel may supplement the record on appeal with evidentiary materials excluded or redacted from the investigative record or newly discovered evidence. If the Review Panel reverses a finding of not responsible, the record on appeal will be supplemented with the parties’ Impact/Mitigation Statements. Findings of fact will not be set aside unless clearly erroneous. Harmless error will be ignored.
Appeals may be brought only upon one or more of the following grounds:
  1. A University official or officials, including the Hearing Panel, assigned responsibility for performing specific functions by these procedures, committed an error in interpreting or applying the Code of Conduct or these procedures, and such error had a prejudicial effect upon the outcome.
  2. The Hearing Panel rendered a decision that is clearly erroneous.
  3. New evidence was discovered after the decision that could not have reasonably been discovered before the decision and that would with high probability, have changed the outcome.
  4. The sanctions or remedies are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the injury/violation or are otherwise manifestly unjust.
The appealing party commences an appeal by submitting a written statement to the Director within ten (10) business days of service of the Hearing Panel’s decision.
The appeal statement will be limited to 3500 words and must set forth:
  • the determination(s) being appealed,
  • the specific ground(s) for the appeal, and
  • the facts supporting the grounds.
Failure to submit an appeal within the ten (10) business days or any approved extension constitutes waiver of the right to appeal. The Review Panel has discretion to grant any such request upon a finding of good cause for the delay.
A copy of the appeal statement will be provided to the other party, who, within ten (10) business days may submit a written response to the Director. The response should address both the specific ground(s) for appeal set forth in the appealing party’s statement and the specific facts asserted by the appealing party. The response will be limited to 2500 words.
The Review Panel will issue a timely written decision, typically no later than thirty (30) business days after receipt of the non-appealing party’s submission or the time for submission has expired. The decision is final and binding on all parties. The decision must be by a majority vote of the Review Panel and will include the rationale for the Review Panel’s decision and any dissenting opinion.
The Review Panel may affirm the decision of the Hearing Panel or sustain any of the above-specified grounds for appeal, in which case the Review Panel may:
  • reverse a finding;
  • change a sanction or remedy;
  • remand a case to the original Hearing Panel for clarification or reconsideration consistent with the Review Panel’s decision, if doing so would assist with a timely, practicable, and efficient resolution of the case;
  • remand a case for a new hearing to either the original Hearing Panel or a newly composed Hearing Panel; or 
  • remand a case for a new or additional investigation, followed by an adjudication consistent with these procedures, to either the original investigator or to a new investigator.

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