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Appeal of Decisions and/or Sanctions

With respect to allegations of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sex-based misconduct, the Designated Administrator’s decision and the sanction(s) imposed by the sanctioning authority can be appealed by the complainant(s) and/or the respondent(s), but only on the following bases, as applicable:

  • a procedural irregularity that affected the outcome;
  • New evidence, not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome. The new evidence must be provided at the time of appeal with the appropriate member appeals form;
  • the Civil Rights & Title IX Director, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome;
  • the appropriateness of severity of the sanctions.

The appeal will be confined to a review of the written documentation and record of the investigation and/or hearing, and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal. The appeal does not create an entitlement to a new investigation or a full re-hearing of the complaint. The appeal process for both the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) must be equitable, but not necessarily identical. A request for appeal must be submitted in writing, within five (5) business days to the Designated Administrator chairperson after the final decision and sanction have been issued.

Members must notify the other party in writing when an appeal is filed and implement appeal procedures equitably for both parties. Parties will be given three (3) business days to review the appeal and submit any written response in support of, or challenging, the outcome to the appellate authority.

If the respondent is an employee or third party, the appellate authority will provide a draft decision to OGC for review within five (5) business days after receiving the appeal(s). OGC will coordinate with SECO and provide its review of the draft decision within five (5) business days. The appellate authority will then have five (5) additional business days to finalize the decision and provide it to the complainant(s), the respondent(s), and the investigative authority simultaneously to the extent possible. If the complaint on appeal is substantiated, the respondent’s supervisor will also be informed. Circumstances may warrant extensions to the timeframes in this section. The appellate authority should send extension requests, if needed, to the office or individual(s) who appointed them. Both the complainant(s) and the respondent(s) must be notified of any extensions in writing.

For student cases, the appellate authority has ten (10) business days to reach the decision and provide it to the complainant(s), the respondent(s), and the investigative authority simultaneously to the extent possible. Appellate authorities are exempt from obtaining OGC review of the decision prior to issuance but may request assistance from OGC and SECO when needed.

The appellate authority may reach one of the following outcomes:

  • affirm the original finding and sanction
  • affirm the finding and modify the sanction
  • remand the case to a new hearing officer for review.