University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

University Appeals Board

The Pitt-Johnstown Appeals Board is the duly authorized appellate body which serves as an advisor to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Its appellate jurisdiction shall be limited to nonacademic matters.

The Appeals Board may meet from time to time for the purpose of orienting new members and reviewing prior decisions and shall meet at such other times as are necessary to conduct appellate hearings.


UNIVERSITY APPEALS BOARD STRUCTURE

The Pitt-Johnstown Appeals Board shall be a standing body of eleven members of the University community. They are appointed for a term of two years, commencing the first day Fall term and may be appointed for additional terms of office. The standing body shall be composed of five students, three faculty members, and three staff members. Vacancies may be filled at any time.

A matter properly submitted for review shall be heard by the Pitt-Johnstown Appeals Board consisting of five members.

BASIS FOR APPEAL

The Pitt-Johnstown Appeals Board shall hear an appeal whenever requested by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Pitt-Johnstown Appeals Board shall also hear appeals on the petition of a student or student organization when a petition, together with supporting documentation, presents a substantial question within the “Scope of Review” of the Pitt-Johnstown Appeals Board and either the prior adjudication or action resulted in:

  1. Suspension or dismissal from the University for violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
  2. Suspension or dismissal from University residence halls.
  3. Procedural rulings or substantive interpretations which have an important continuing impact upon the University Student Judicial System or the University community.

SCOPE OF REVIEW

The scope of review of the Appeals Board shall be limited to consideration of the following questions:

  1. Whether rights affirmed by the Board of Trustees have been denied.
  2. Whether the adjudicatory process of an initial hearing was conducted fairly and in conformity with properly prescribed procedures.
  3. Whether the adjudication was supported by substantial evidence.
  4. Whether the regulations involved were lawful and proper and whether they were properly applied in the particular case.
  5. Whether the sanction or remedy imposed was in due proportion of the gravity and nature of the conduct.

POSTPONEMENT OF SANCTION PENDING APPEALS

A sanction or remedfy which has been recommended by a judicial board and approved by the appropriate administrative officer may be postponed upon petition by the affected party or parties upon a determination that pending the final examination of an appeal it would be unfair not to postpone imposition of the sanction or remedy.

Persons wishing to postpone a sanction or remedy may petition the Appeals Board by separate petition within five (5) working days of the date of the decision letter setting forth reasons why the imposition of a sanction or remedy would unfairly prejudice a party. Petition for postponement shall be reviewed by the Director of Judicial Affairs, one student and one faculty/staff member of the Pitt-Johnstown Appeals Board. The criteria to be applied in determining whether to postpone a sanction or remedy are as follows:

  1. Whether the issues raised in the appeal may be resolved in favor of the petitioning party.
  2. Whether the petitioning party will be unfairly prejudiced pending a final determination of the appeal by the immediate imposition of the sanction or remedy.
  3. Whether the responding party will be unfairly prejudiced by the postponement of the sanction or remedy.

All decisions regarding the postponement of sanctions shall be made within 5 days of the receipt of such a petition and shall be communicated to all parties in writing through the Vice President for Student Affairs.

APPEALS BOARD ACTION

After reviewing all materials relevant to the appealed case, the Appeals Board may choose one of the following options:

  1. Recommended to the Vice President for Academic Affairs:
    1. The decision of the initial hearing board should be upheld and the sanction should be implemented.
    2. The decision of the initial hearing board should be upheld, but the severity of the sanction should be decreased.
    3. The decision of the initial hearing board should be overturned. Reasons must be given for this recommendation.
  2. Recommend that the case be reheard by the initial hearing board. Reasons must be given for this recommendation.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall sustain or modify the recommendation. The decision of the Appeals Board is the final level of University review.

Last Reviewed: June 16, 2010