Section 6: Student Conduct Appeals

1. Introduction

An appeal is the process to request a review of the original student conduct outcome. The Referred Party has the right to submit one application for appeal. In cases of Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence, both the Referred Party and the Referring Party have the right to appeal (see Section 6.4 for further clarification). An appeal does not rehear a student conduct case, but rather, determines if the conclusion reached in the original case is valid based on substantiation of a procedural error, new evidence, or the severity of the sanction.  
Note: Student conduct cases that are resolved through Administrative Resolution: Sanction Agreement (Section 4.2.A.I) are not eligible for appeal.

2. Appeal Grounds

An application for appeal may only be filed on the grounds below and must meet at least one of the three standards to be considered for appeal.
    1. Procedural Error:   Procedural error occurs when the policies outlined in Community Rights and Responsibilities are not followed, and as a result, the outcome of the case was significantly impacted. A procedural error and its impact on the case outcome must be clearly described in the appeal.

    2. New Evidence: This refers to new evidence that was unavailable during the original hearing or investigation that could significantly impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of the new evidence and its potential impact must be included. This does not include information available but not disclosed at the Student Conduct Hearing by choice (i.e., opting not to disclose information for any reason).

    3. Sanction Severity: A sanction imposed as a result of the original student conduct hearing that is significantly outside of the parameters of the Sanction Guidelines may be appealed. Evidence must show that the sanction is inappropriate based on the infraction, according to standard Sanction Guidelines available at http://www.albany.edu/studentconduct/assets/Sanction_Guide.pdf.

3. Appeal Procedure

    1. A. An application for appeal must be submitted electronically within seven calendar days of receiving the decision letter via University e-mail. Instructions on how to file an application for appeal are provided in the decision letter. Applications for appeal may not be submitted by a third party.

    2. Applications for appeal are reviewed by the Assistant Vice President for Student Success or his/her designee to determine if the appeal is timely AND meets the grounds for appeal. The original decision and sanction will stand if the appeal is not timely or does not meet the grounds for appeal, and the decision is final.

    3. If the application is timely AND meets the grounds, the appeal will be reviewed based on the preponderance of evidence standard.

    4. Appeal outcomes are determined based on the Referred Party’s approved written application for appeal and the rationale of the original Student Conduct Body. 

    5. Appeal findings shall be recommended to the Vice President or the Vice President’s designee who will render a final decision. A written notification of the appeal decision will be made via University email. This decision is final.

4. Appeals of Cases of Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, or Sexual   Violence

In such cases, both parties will receive written notification of the Student Conduct Body’s decision and either party can then submit an application for appeal within seven calendar days according to the procedures described above under “Student Conduct Appeals.”
If one party submits an application for an appeal, the non-requesting party will receive notice that an appeal was submitted and may then submit either his/her own appeal or a written response to the requesting party’s appeal within seven days of the notification.  If both parties appeal, the appeals will be considered concurrently. The appeal(s) shall be considered in accordance with the “Student Conduct Appeal Procedure” described above in Section 3. Both parties will be notified of the appeal decision within thirty days of the last appeal received and the decision is final.

5. Appeals of Cases Heard by the Committee on Student Conduct

Cases heard by the Committee on Student Conduct are subject to the “Student Conduct Appeals Procedure” described above in Section 3.  Appeal findings shall recommend to the Provost or the Provost’s designee who will render a final decision.