Any party may file a request for appeal, but it must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within five (5) business days of the delivery of the Notice of Outcome.

An Appellate Officer chosen from the Pool will be designated by the Title IX Coordinator. No appeal panelists will have been involved in the process previously, including any dismissal appeal that may have been heard earlier in the process.

The Request for Appeal will be forwarded to the Appellate Officer for consideration to determine if the request meets the grounds for appeal (a Review for Standing).

This review is not a review of the merits of the appeal, but solely a determination as to whether the request meets the grounds and is timely filed.

a. Grounds for Appeal

Appeals are limited to the following grounds:

(A) Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
(B) New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; and
© The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), or a Hearing Panel member had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the specific Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

If any of the grounds in the Request for Appeal do not meet the grounds in this Policy, that request will be denied by the Appellate Officer and the parties and their Advisors will be notified in writing of the denial and the rationale.

If any of the grounds in the Request for Appeal meet the grounds in this Policy, then the Appellate Officer will notify the other party(ies) and their Advisors, the Title IX Coordinator, and, when appropriate, the Investigators and/or the original Hearing Panel Chair.

The other party(ies) and their Advisors, the Title IX Coordinator, and, when appropriate, the Investigators and/or the original Hearing Panel Chair will be emailed the request for an appeal with the approved grounds and then be given five (5) business days to submit a response to the portion of the appeal that was approved and involves them. All responses, if any, will be forwarded by the Appellate Officer to all parties for review and comment.

The non-appealing party (if any) may also choose to raise a new ground for appeal at this time. If so, that will be reviewed to determine if it meets the grounds in this Policy by the Appellate Officer and either denied or approved. If approved, it will be forwarded to the party who initially requested an appeal, the Investigator(s) and/or original Hearing Panel Chair, as necessary, who will submit their responses, if any, within five (5) business days, which will be circulated for review and comment by all parties. If not approved, the parties will be notified accordingly, in writing.

Neither party may submit any new requests for appeal after this time period. The Appellate Officer will collect any additional information needed and all documentation regarding the approved grounds for appeal, and the subsequent responses will be reviewed and the Appellate Officer will render a decision in no more than seven (7) business days, barring exigent circumstances. All decisions are final and apply the preponderance of the evidence standard.

A Notice of Appeal Outcome will be sent to all parties simultaneously including the decision on each approved ground and rationale for each decision. The Notice of Appeal Outcome will specify the finding on each ground for appeal, any specific instructions for remand or reconsideration, any sanctions that may result which Iowa Wesleyan University is permitted to share according to state or federal law, and the rationale supporting the essential findings to the extent Iowa Wesleyan University is permitted to share under state or federal law.

Notification will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person or emailed to the parties’ University-issued email or otherwise approved account. Once emailed and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.

b. Sanctions Status during the Appeal

Any sanctions imposed as a result of the hearing are stayed during the appeal process. Supportive measures may be reinstated, subject to the same supportive measure procedures above.
If any of the sanctions are to be implemented immediately post-hearing, but pre-appeal, then emergency removal procedures (detailed above) for a show-cause meeting on the justification for doing so must be permitted within 48 hours of implementation.

Iowa Wesleyan University may still place holds on official transcripts, diplomas, graduations, and course registration pending the outcome of an appeal when the original sanctions included separation.

c. Appeal Considerations

  • Appeals are not intended to provide for a full re-hearing of the allegation(s). In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original hearing and pertinent documentation regarding the specific grounds for appeal.
  • Decisions on appeal are to be deferential to the original decision, making changes to the finding only when there is clear error and to the sanction(s)/responsive action(s) only if there is a compelling justification to do so.
  • An appeal is not an opportunity for the Appellate Officer to substitute their judgment for that of the original Hearing Panel merely because they disagree with the finding and/or sanction(s).
  • The Appellate Officer may consult with the Title IX Coordinator and/or legal counsel on questions of procedure or rationale, for clarification, if needed. Documentation of all such consultation will be maintained.
  • Appeals granted should normally be remanded (or partially remanded) to the original Investigator(s) and/or Hearing Panel for reconsideration. The results of a remand may not be appealed. Other appeals may be remanded at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator or, in limited circumstances, decided on appeal.
  • When appeals result in no change to the finding or sanction, that decision is final. When an appeal results in a new finding or sanction, that finding or sanction can be appealed one final time on the grounds listed above and in accordance with these procedures.
  • In rare cases where an error cannot be cured by original Hearing Panel members (as in cases of bias), the Appellate Officer may order a new investigation with new investigators and/or a new hearing with a new Hearing Panel..
  • The results of a new hearing can be appealed, once, on any of the three available appeal grounds.
  • In cases in which the appeal results in reinstatement to the University or resumption of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the Respondent to their prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irreparable in the short term.