University-wide Disciplinary System Review Process

Standard of Review

The preponderance of the evidence standard is used when evaluating and deciding requests for review.

Request for Review Following an Allegation of Unlawful Harassment or Sexual Misconduct

In the event that the Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity Programs (or designee) recommends that an allegation of unlawful harassment or sexual misconduct should not be referred to a University-wide Disciplinary Committee for adjudication, the complainant may request a review of the Associate Provost’s decision. The student must make that request in writing to the Dean of Students in the University (or designee) no more than fifteen days following the date on which the Associate Provost’s decision was transmitted to the complainant. The only legitimate grounds for review are: (1) that the preceding investigation of the alleged misconduct was incomplete; and/or (2) that new and material information unavailable to the Associate Dean of Students in the University for Disciplinary Affairs bears significantly in the complainant’s favor.

Request for Review Following a University-wide Disciplinary Hearing

When a University-wide Disciplinary Committee has made a determination regarding allegations of unlawful harassment or sexual misconduct the respondent and the complainant each may request a review of the decision regarding those allegations. The only legitimate grounds for review are: (1) that prescribed procedures were not followed; (2) that new and material information unavailable to the University-wide Disciplinary Committee would substantially change the outcome of the proceeding; and (3) the sanction is disproportionate to the violation. Requests for review must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students in the University (or designee) not more than fifteen days following the date on which the University-wide Disciplinary Committee’s decision is formally communicated to the requesting student in writing. The student must submit the request for review and any supporting material in writing; the Review Board will consider only a request for review and/or supporting materials prepared and/or submitted by the student, i.e., the Review Board will not consider materials prepared or arguments advanced by other parties (e.g., an attorney). At the written request of the student, the student may be granted an additional fifteen days to submit those materials. Extension requests must be submitted to the Dean of Students in the University (or designee) not more than fifteen days following the date on which the University-wide Disciplinary Committee’s decision is formally communicated in writing.  Further extensions of time will not be considered (nor will “supplemental” submissions of supporting materials).

Requests for review should clearly state the basis for the request (i.e., that prescribed procedures were not followed, new and material information is newly available and/or disproportionate sanction) and include in the submission materials that directly support the complainant’s or respondent’s claim(s). Character references should not be submitted and will not be considered by a Review Board.

The Dean of Students in the University (or designee) will evaluate the request for review to determine whether it meets the above-stated criteria for convening a Review Board. Key to this evaluation is whether the claims presented in the request for review individually or collectively were more likely than not to have had a bearing on the University-wide Disciplinary Committee’s decision.

When both complainant and respondent submit requests for review and the Dean of Students in the University (or designee) determines that both meet one or more of the criteria for convening a Review Board, the Dean of Students in the University will decide whether the dual requests should be considered by separate Review Boards or by a single Review Board.

The Dean of Students in the University will inform the complainant and/or the respondent in writing if the other party has submitted a request for review and will subsequently inform both parties, in writing, if the request meets one or more of the criteria for referral to a Review Board. The complainant’s and/or respondent’s request for review will be made available to the other party, who will have 7 days to submit an optional response statement. This statement, if submitted, will be provided to the Review Board along with the request for review.

Review Boards will be convened as soon as is practicable but not before the deadline (either fifteen or thirty days, if an extension has been granted) for submitting a request for review.

University-wide Disciplinary System Review Board

The Review Board consists of the Dean of Students in the University (or designee); one faculty member of the University-wide Disciplinary Committee, who serves as Chair; and one student member of the University-wide Disciplinary Committee. The faculty and student members are both appointed by the Dean of Students in the University (or designee) and none shall be a member of any preceding Review Board that was involved in referring the incident to a hearing or of the University-wide Disciplinary Committee that rendered the decision under review.  All members of the Review Board must be able to maintain independent judgment and discharge their obligations in a fair-minded fashion, free from material bias and conflicts of interest, or they should recuse themselves. As soon as practicable before the hearing, the Dean of Students in the University (or designee) will notify the respondent of names and academic affiliation of Review Board members. The respondent may request a replacement for any member of the Review Board on the grounds that such member has a genuine and material conflict of interest. Such  requests must be made to the Dean of Students in the University (or designee) within 2 business days of receiving notice of the identities of the Review Board members. Requests must identify with specificity the alleged nature of the conflict of interest. Using reasoned judgment, the Dean of Students in the University (or designee) will decide whether the alleged conflict is genuine and material and, if so, whether it compels the Review Board member’s replacement.

In making a decision, the Review Board does not conduct a new disciplinary proceeding and normally does not interview witnesses or seek additional information from the student seeking review or witnesses, although the Review Board has the authority to do so and may seek additional information regarding the proceeding from the Associate Dean of Students in the University for Disciplinary Affairs. The Review Board, acting on the basis of the entire record, may sustain, reduce, increase, strike or otherwise modify the sanctions imposed if it determines that prescribed procedures were not followed or that the sanction is disproportionate to the violation. Additionally, if the Board is satisfied in its reasoned judgment that the new and material information not available to the University-wide Disciplinary Committee more likely than not would have resulted in a different decision, it may require the quorum of the original University-wide Disciplinary Committee to reconvene and consider the new information in the proceedings.

The complainant and the respondent shall be notified formally, in writing, of the outcome of the request for review within 7 days after the conclusion of the review. The review constitutes the final process for student disciplinary proceedings, and the outcome is final and not reviewable within the University.