Appeals Process for Academic Honesty/Grievance Decisions

This policy applies across all Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences divisions. It includes all Decker College courses, including those cross-listed with other programs/schools that have a Decker College faculty member as the primary instructor.

Appeals Process

A student or instructor may appeal the final decision of academic honesty violations or grievances after a hearing has been concluded and decision rendered.

Appeals, including all supporting documentation must be submitted, in writing, either by email or paper to the dean of Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences (DCNHS) within 10 business days of the date of receipt of the dean's disposition letter; the dean will then appoint an appeals officer who will take charge of the appeals process.

Failure to appeal within the allotted time renders the original decision final and conclusive with no further avenue to appeal to campus. The appeals process is an administrative process and not a rehearing of the original case.

Appeals will be considered only if one or more of the following applies:

  • Procedural error (if the error is substantive enough to alter the committee's decision)
  • New information exists that was not available at the time of the hearing
  • Sanction/penalty is not commensurate with the violation

The dean's appeals officer will be selected from members of the voting faculty and will take charge of the appeals process. The appeals officer will not have had any involvement in the original academic honesty/grievance process for the appellant.

The written appeal must include:

  1. Appellant name and the date appeal is written. The appellant is the person filing the appeal
  2. An opening paragraph that includes the date of the original hearing and the reason for the appeal (procedural error; new information that was not available at the time of the hearing; sanction/penalty not commensurate with the violation)
  3. A detailed explanation of the basis for the appeal
  4. Appellant's signature
  5. Supporting documents, if pertinent; supporting documents must be submitted for appeals relating to new information

Upon receipt of the appellant's written appeal and within five business days, the appeals officer will attempt informal mediation. In cases resolved by mediation, a concluding statement will be prepared by the appeals officer and signed by all the parties, including the appeals officer. This will be filed with the Decker College Dean's Office. Any informal mediation will be completed within 14 business days of the receipt of the appeal.

Appeals Committee

If informal mediation fails to resolve the issue, the case will be considered by the Appeals Committee in a formal hearing within 14 business days of the Appeals Committee's receipt of the appeal.

  1. The Appeals Committee will consist of three faculty members, preferably one from each school within DCNHS, and at least one of whom must be voting faculty, as well as two currently enrolled DCNHS student members.
  2. Any person who was a party in the original academic honesty/grievance is disqualified from serving on the committee, as is any person who may hold bias against either party in the grievance. If a committee member holds bias against either party, that member must recuse themself. If the member does not voluntarily recuse, the remaining members of the committee will decide, by written ballot, whether that member is disqualified from that hearing. Recused/disqualified members will be replaced with a comparable (student for student, faculty for faculty) committee member.
  3. The committee will elect a chair from among its membership by a simple majority vote of the committee members.
  4. A committee quorum will consist of at least three committee members with the requirement that at least one of these be a student and two be faculty members.

The appeals officer will distribute copies of the written appeal and supporting documents within five business days to the appellant, to all committee members and to all pertinent parties initially involved in the case. Respondents from the other parties may submit a signed and dated written response within five business days. The response must be in writing (email or paper) and no longer than two single-spaced, 12-point font pages. Evidentiary documents may be attached. Following review of the written materials, the committee may choose to either make its report and recommendation to the appeals officer based upon the submitted documents and the existing record, or to hear testimony.

Should the committee choose to hear testimony, it must be done at a time that does not preclude the attendance of either party. Parties (the appellant and the respondent) will be provided at least five business days' notice of the hearing date, whenever practicable. The appellant and the respondent each have the right to an advisor (who is present in a nonparticipating capacity) in the event of a hearing.

  • Both parties to the appeal have the right to present evidence supporting their positions and to identify witnesses who can substantiate their claims. However, the committee retains the authority to determine if witness testimony is necessary. The committee may call witnesses if it believes that it cannot resolve the issue without them.
  • Both parties will be present during the hearing and will hear all testimony relating to the appeal from both sides. Disruptive behavior by any party, witness or advisor may result in removal from the proceedings. If either party is absent from a hearing or if both are absent, the committee members will make a decision based on the available documentation of the case before them. In either instance, the case will then be considered closed.
  • After the hearing, the committee will assess all the evidence and formulate a recommendation. No one other than committee members will be present during these deliberations.
  • The committee chair will present the committee's recommendation in writing to the appeals officer within 24 hours.
  • The appeals officer will review the committee's written decision.
  • Within five business days after the formal consideration of the appeal, the appeals officer will prepare a written report forwarding the officer's recommendation to the dean of DCNHS, who will review and act on the case. The appeals officer will convey the dean's decision in writing to the parties involved and, in cases of academic honesty appeals, to the University Provost's Office, within 10 business days after receipt of the committee's report. Copies of the appeals officer's final report will be kept on file in the DCNHS Dean's Office in accordance with the federal, state and SUNY records retention schedule(s).

The policy above was initially accepted by the Decker School of Nursing in April 2006 and was reviewed and re-accepted by Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences in March 2021.