Appeal Panel Guidelines

Appeal Panel Guidlines   Appeal Panel Guidelines (PDF Version)

I. Introduction

This is a formal hearing for issues which have resulted in dismissal from a degree program and which have not been resolved at the department or school level. The Appeal Hearing Panel is composed of three members, two of whom are deans or designees drawn from schools other than that of the appellant, and an Appeal Panel Chair. The hearing is chaired by either the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs or designate (the "Hearing Chair"). When the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs acts as Panel Chair, the panel is staffed by the non-voting Associate Dean of the Graduate School or designee. Following the appeal hearing, the panel will deliberate in closed session and will issue a formal opinion and ruling. The decision of the Panel will be final. There is no further appeal.

II. Preparation

All materials that the Appeal Hearing Panel and Appellant are to review must be submitted to the Graduate School at least two weeks (14 days) in advance of the hearing, at which time such materials will be distributed to all parties to the appeal (that is, to the appellant[s], to the chair of the department against which the appeal has been filed, and to the members of the Appeal Hearing Panel). Thereafter, if either of the parties wishes to have additional materials considered by members of the panel, those materials must be received by the Graduate School no later than one week (seven days) in advance of the scheduled hearing date. The Graduate School will notify the other party of the submission of additional materials and will make a good faith effort to distribute the additional written materials to the parties and the Appeal Hearing Panel prior to the hearing.

The Graduate School will pay for reasonable reproduction costs of the appellant's materials, up to a limit of 50 pages. The department which is the subject of the appeal is expected to provide 5 copies of their materials (for the Appellant, each of the 3 Appeal Hearing Panel members and the Graduate School staff member); and to fund their own reproduction costs. No audio/visual equipment will be available at the hearing unless a request for same is receiving in writing by the Graduate School at least one week (seven days) prior to the scheduled date for the hearing. It is the responsibility of the requesting party to provide his/her own audio/visual equipment. If witnesses are to be called by either side, their names must be received by the Graduate School, in writing, at least one week (seven days) in advance of the hearing. Presentation of the issues should be concise and relevant. Obviously, the case is complex or it would not have reached this stage. The points of dispute or ambiguity may be summarized or illustrated by anecdote. Experience suggests that the best approach is to minimize formalized presentations and allow the panel members maximum time for questions.

III. Attorneys

An attorney is neither necessary nor recommended. The Graduate School Appeal Hearing Panel described herein operates as an academic hearing, not a judicial proceeding. However, if the student appellant elects to have counsel present, the University's attorney must also be afforded an opportunity to attend. Accordingly, the student appellant must notify the Graduate School, in writing, at least two weeks (14 days) prior to the hearing if he/she intends to use an attorney. Once a lawyer has contacted the Graduate School on behalf of an appellant, all contact, both written and oral, must be through the Office of University General Counsel rather than through the Graduate School. The lawyer(s) presence at the hearing does not change the proceeding. The lawyer(s) will not be able to examine witnesses, ask questions or otherwise take part in the proceedings, except in an unobtrusive manner, in an advisory capacity to their clients.

IV. Format

  1. Hearing Chair's introduction, summary of issues and process overview.
  2. Student's (appellant) presentation of issues (15 minutes maximum).
  3. Departmental/School representative's presentation of issues (15 minutes maximum).
  4. Optional: Presentation by witnesses (limited to three per side and a maximum of 15 minutes per side).
  5. Appellant's rebuttal (limited to 10 minutes).
  6. Questions by Appeal Hearing Panel members.
  7. All presenters and witnesses are excused.
  8. Deliberation by panel members.
  9. Written opinion and ruling (within 15 calendar days, unless extended by the Hearing Chair, with notice of the extension given to all parties (the appellant[s] and the department) in writing.

footer rule