Student Appeals Board Process and Procedures
The function of the Student Appeals Board is to hear students' appeals on actions by the Vice President for Student Affairs (or Designee) and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (or Designee) in behavioral and academic matters as specified in the Student Handbook. The Student Appeals Board will also hear appeals regarding exceptions from academic policy and decisions on academic dismissal.
Only after the student has pursued appropriate channels in behavioral or academic matters and remains dissatisfied with the results, the appeal process may be instituted. This Board will hear Northwest College student appeals only.
The Student Appeals Board is comprised of the Grievance Officer, who serves as chair; three faculty members; two students; and three non-voting members who are the Vice President for Student Affairs, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and a college counselor. The faculty members are appointed by the College President, for three-year staggered terms, on recommendation of the President of the Faculty Organization. The student members are appointed by the Student Senate to serve a one-year term. In addition, an alternate faculty person and Senate member will be appointed by their respective organizations. In the event the regular member is unable to attend and a quorum is needed, the alternate will be expected to attend, and have full discussion and voting privileges. Non-voting members may designate substitutes, as long as the substitute does not have a role in the preceding complaint process or a conflict of interest. Any voting member attending a specific hearing must be in attendance for all presentations and discussions in order to cast a vote. The Student Appeals Board meets as needed (at the discretion of the Chair) to hear appeals and to conduct relevant Code of Conduct business.
Appellant is the student filing the appeal.
Respondent is the College Department or person (i.e., Vice President for Student Affairs, Director of Judicial Affairs, etc.) responsible for the decision which is being appealed.
Expulsion is the removal of a student from college for more than ten days due to behavioral (non-academic) misconduct.
If the sanction being appealed to the Student Appeals Board is expulsion, the student shall have the right to a full due process hearing pursuant to the rules governing contested case hearings before the Student Appeals Board. These rules are available from the Vice President for Student Affairs.
The student may waive his/her right to a full due process hearing and utilize the procedures for other appeals to the Student Appeals Board.
Appeals Process and Procedure
- The Appellant must submit a written appeal statement to the Board Chair's office within two working days after sanction has been imposed/upheld. Appeals of academic policy must be made within one year of the end of the semester for which the policy is being appealed. The written statement will be dated on receipt. For information on how to submit an appeal, contact the Chair of the Appeals Board. The Chair will send a copy of this letter to all involved parties.
- The Board will hear behavioral and academic appeals at the scheduled available meeting time following receipt of the written appeal, provided College is in session. The Board Chair may delay the hearing to another scheduled meeting for extenuating circumstances with the approval of both Appellant and Respondent.
- A copy of the appeal request will be provided at least two working days prior to the hearing (if time allows) to each Board member as well as other involved parties or academic division personnel, and others identified by the Chair.
- The Appellant has the right to be present for his/her hearing, but need not be present if choosing to waive this right.
- The Appellant and Respondent may each present supporting documents and three witnesses. Both are responsible for timely appearance of their witnesses.
- All documents and witness lists presented by the Appellant and Respondent should be copied by them and made available to the other as well as to Board members.
- Legal counsel cannot represent the Respondent or the Appellant at the hearing, nor can legal counsel be present at the hearing.
- The appeal meeting is closed, and its deliberations are confidential.
- A quorum is 3/5 of the voting members. Voting members are the three faculty and two students, with the Chair voting only to break a tie.
- In the absence of the Chair, the Vice President member of the Board who is least directly involved in the hearing will serve as Chair.
- The Board will convene and the hearing is called to order by the Chair. The Secretary appointed by Student Affairs is recording secretary and will record the members present, the motion and results. The Board reviews the student written appeal. The Appellant is summoned to the meeting and may expand or explain his/her written statement.
- The Respondent is then summoned to provide information to the Board, absent the Appellant. Witnesses are called one at a time, and respond to questions from Board members. The Appellant and Respondent will have the right to question witnesses in front of the board. The Appellant may make a final statement.
- The Board enters executive session and discusses the appeal evidence presented, then comes to a decision by vote.
- The Appellant is verbally notified during the next two working days by the Chair. A written notification of the decision agreed to by the Board will be sent to the involved parties within five working days. The Chair also may share general information with the Respondent in the event that the Board suggests that the department might wish to consider making changes related to current procedures which led to the appeal being filed.
- With the agreement of the Appellant and Respondent and at the discretion of the Chair, some academic cases may be resolved by distribution of materials to Board members, followed by voting via e-mail.
- An official, confidential record of Appeals meetings is to be maintained by the Grievance Officer. A copy of a letter confirming the Board's decision will be forwarded to the appropriate Vice President or other personnel to be placed in either the Appellant's academic or behavioral file, whichever is appropriate.
- The Student Appeals Board is the final procedure constituted by the College for all matters within its purview. Decisions made by the Appeals Board are final.
- End of Term - During the last 14 days of each term, hearing officers may consider complaint reports within 24 hours of meeting notice. Complaint reports not reviewed in meetings before the end of the term will be reviewed (without the presence of the student(s) named on the report) by the Director of Residence and Campus Life and a panel of Student Affairs representatives. Notification of decisions and sanctions will be by mail. Appeals for End of Term decisions may be heard during the first week of classes of the next semester. Individuals appealing dismissal from the residence halls, disciplinary suspension, and expulsion will not be permitted to register until their appeal has been reviewed and a decision has been made.
- Special Procedures - The Vice President for Student Affairs may immediately review emergencies or unusual circumstances in which student conduct interferes seriously with the right of others, with the normal ongoing work and activities of the College, or poses possible danger to the health, safety, and welfare of that individual or other people and property. In reviewing such special situations, the Vice President for Student Affairs may issue a sanction which may be appealed to the Student Appeals Board in the manner provided for by this policy.
Appeals for Behavioral Misconduct Where Expulsion is Recommended
- Where a decision has been made to expel a student for behavioral misconduct, the student shall have the right to request a full contested case hearing before the Student Appeals Board. If a contested hearing is requested, the rules governing the contested case hearing shall be the Rules of Practice Governing Contested Cases Before the Board of Trustees of Northwest Community College, State of Wyoming (Chapter XI). For purposes of hearings before the Student Appeals Board, those rules shall apply with the following modifications:
- The reference to "Board" shall mean the Student Appeals Board.
- The reference to "President" shall mean the Chair of the Student Appeals Board.
- "Secretary" means the secretary appointed by the Student Appeals Board.
Residence Life Appeal
A student who has been sanctioned with dismissal from the Residence Halls by the Residence and Campus Life Director (or Designee), and the sanction has been upheld by the Vice President for Student Affairs (or Designee), may further appeal by writing a letter to the Student Appeals Board and delivering it to the Student Grievance Officer. This process must begin within two working days following the receipt of the official letter from the Vice President for Student Affairs (or Designee).
- Your appeal letter should be typed and signed in ink, and include your full name, phone number and campus/local mailing address.
- Include your justification, your side of the story – telling what happened at the time of the incident.
- Be prepared to appear in person before the Student Appeals Board to present your case.
- At the discretion of the Chair of the Student Appeals Board, additional witnesses may be requested to speak to the Board on your behalf. Legal counsel cannot represent either the Appellant or the Respondent at the hearing, nor can legal counsel be present at the hearing.
Request for a Withdraw From a Class(s) After the Official Withdrawal Date
Write a letter to the Student Appeals Board. Appeals to academic policy must be made within one year of the end of the semester for which the policy is being appealed.
- Your appeal letter should be typed and include your full name, phone number and campus/local mailing address and should state what you are requesting (e.g. withdrawal from a class after the official withdrawal date.) It should include the complete Course Title, number, and instructor’s name.
- State in a paragraph the extenuating circumstances that have prevented or will prevent your successful completion of the class. Be completely honest in telling your story. Present evidence that you have been in contact with the instructor concerning your status in the class, and, if possible, provide documentation from the instructor in support of your request.
The Student Appeals Board is the final procedure constituted by the college for all matters within its purview. Decisions made by the Students Appeals Board are not grievable.
Vice President for Student Affairs