Samford University

Student Handbook: Students' Rights and Responsibilities

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Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy: Appeal Process

Appeal Process    

The request of an appeal of the Values Council’s decision is to the Appeals Council

Either party engaged in a sexual misconduct incident may request an appeal of the decision of the Values Council. The request for an appeal must be within 48 hours of the notification of the outcome of the Values Council hearing. The grounds for appeal shall be limited to the following:

  • University procedures and regulations related to Values hearing process were not followed
  • New and compelling evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing is now available or recently discovered
  • The decision of the Values Council was not supported by the evidence presented at the hearing

The complainant or the responder has 48 hours from the time of the notification of the hearing’s outcome is sent to initiate an appeal request. To initiate the request for an appeal, the responder or the complainant must obtain the Appeal Form from the office of Values Advocacy.  Once the form is obtained, the completed form must be returned to the office within 24 hours.

An appeal will not be automatically granted. Individuals requesting an appeal must fill out all questions on the form, and communicating clearly and completely in writing provide reasons why the appeal should be granted. Once the form is submitted back to the Values Advocate’s office, the completed Appeal Form, along with the requestor’s reason for the appeal, will be submitted independently to three members of the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council is composed of faculty and staff members who have been oriented to managing sexual misconduct on the campus.

Members of the Appeals Council will independently review the information submitted.  Each member of the council will have one vote.  In order for a request for an appeal to be acted on, 2 of the 3 members of the Council must vote to take action on the request.  Actions the Appeal Council my put into effect: 

  • Affirm the original decision and sanction
  • Return the case back to the original hearing body due to:
    • The discovery of a procedural error
    • Reconsideration (the reconsideration of the hearing body is not appealable)
    • New and compelling evidence that was not available at the time of the original hearing
  • Order a new hearing before different council members 

Once a decision is made, the Values Advocate will communicate the Appeals Council’s decision. The outcome of a reconsideration review or a different council review is not appealable.

 Additional Petition for Decision of Expulsion

After the completion of the appeals process, a student who has been expelled from Samford University, within 5 days of notification of the expulsion, may request reconsideration of the expulsion by the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.  The decision of the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management is final.