Student Handbook 2020-2021

Conduct Appeal Process

For an appeal to be considered, appeals must be submitted in writing to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards within three (3) business days after the student has received written notice of the findings and/or any outcomes. Appeals must state one of the following specific grounds to be considered.

A three-member appeals panel, chosen from the a pool of all hearing panel members (Campus Hearing Committee), shall be designated by the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards. No member of the appeals panel may have been previously involved in any part of the case under review.

Appeals are limited to the following grounds:

  1. Review of Procedures — a procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures, etc.)
  2. New Evidence — new evidence, which was unknown or unavailable during the original hearing, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included.
  3. Appropriateness of Outcome—The sanction(s) imposed are substantially inconsistent with the severity of violations(s).

The appeals panel will review all appeal requests.The original finding and sanction will stand if the appeal is not timely or is not based on the grounds listed above, and such a decision is final. The appeal letter must demonstrate that the grounds for an appeal request have been met. The original finding and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately. 

When the appeals panel finds that at least one of the grounds for appeal has been met, additional principles governing the hearing of appeals will include the following:

  • Decisions by the appeals panel are to be deferential to the original decision, making changes to the finding only where there is clear error, and to the sanction only if there is a compelling justification to do so.
  • Appeals are not intended to be full re-hearings (de novo) of the allegation. In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original hearing, and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal. An appeal is not an opportunity for appeals panelists to substitute their judgement for that of the original hearing panel merely because they disagree with its findings and/or sanctions.
  • Appeals granted based on new evidence should normally be remanded to the original hearing panel for reconsideration. Other appeals may be remanded at the discretion of the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, or in limited circumstances, heard by the three-member appeals panel.
  • Keuka College’s Chief Discipline Officer will confer with the Appeals panel, incorporate the results of any remanded grounds, and render a written decision on the appeal to the student within three (3) business days from the hearing of the appeal.
  • The appealing student will be informed of whether the grounds for an appeal are accepted and the result of the appeal decision.
  • Once an appeal is decided, the outcome is final; further appeals are not permitted, even if a decision or sanction is changed (except in the case of a new hearing).
  • The appealing student will be notified in writing within three (3) business days of the outcome of the Appeals panel, without significant time delay between notifications, and in accordance with the standards or notice of outcome as defined above.
  • In rare cases where a procedural error cannot be cured by the original hearing panel (as in cases of bias), the appeals panel may recommend a new hearing with a new hearing panel. The results of a remand to a hearing panel cannot be appealed. The results of a new hearing can be appealed, once, on any of the three applicable grounds for appeals.
  • All sanctions from the hearing body will be stayed, pending the outcome of the appeal. All student statuses (interim residential or campus suspensions), will remain in place pending the completion of the discipline process, which concludes with a final decision from the appeals panel.