XII. Appeals

A decision by a COD hearing panel, or sanctioning panel to suspend or expel a student, revoke a degree, revoke recognition of a student group, or terminate a student organization residence may be appealed by the respondent to the Chancellor. In all other cases, the COD decision is final, unless otherwise specifically noted (see Section XIII for special rules regarding appeals in cases involving sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, and Title IX Sexual Harassment).

All appeals must be submitted in writing to the OSCCS staff by the appealing party (usually the respondent; see Section XIII for situations when the complainant may appeal) within five business days of the date the appealing party received the letter advising them of the decision of the COD.

A. Appeals may only be made on one or more of the following grounds:

i.  there exists substantive and relevant information that was not available at the time of the decision;
a.  In cases involving complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment, this includes 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.
ii. there was a substantial departure from the COD rules and procedures that significantly affected the fairness of the process;
a.  In cases involving complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment, this includes procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter.
iii. a material finding that formed a basis for the COD's decision was substantially against the weight of the evidence that was before the COD when it made the decision; or
iv. the sanction is at significant variance with the range of sanctions appropriate in the situation.
v. In cases involving complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment, a party may also appeal on the additional ground that the Title IX Coordinator, the investigator(s), or the decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

B. The Chancellor makes a decision based upon the written appeal(s) providing the ground(s) on which the party is relying for appeal, and as much of the record of the COD hearing or sanctioning panel of the case as the Chancellor determines it is appropriate to consider.

C. The Chancellor will consult with the Chair on all appeals. The Chancellor may also confer with other participants of the hearing or sanctioning panel and, in sexual misconduct cases, with the Title IX Coordinator and/or the investigator(s).

D. Before modifying or overruling a decision of the COD, the Chancellor will meet with available members of the COD who decided the case, and will make a final decision after consulting with them.

E. The final decision will be communicated in writing to the same people who received written notice of the COD decision (including simultaneously to both the complainant and the respondent in all cases involving complaints of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, and Title IX Sexual Harassment), and to any other officials of MIT who need to be aware of it in order to permit them to fulfill their professional responsibilities. When it is reasonable, a member of the OSCCS staff shall meet with the parties regarding any appeal decision.

F. This appellate decision by the Chancellor is final.

G. If the COD decision imposes a sanction of suspension or expulsion to take effect before the time for the respondent to file an appeal has expired, or while an appeal is under consideration, the respondent may request in writing from the Chair a postponement of the effective date of the sanction. The Chair may approve the request, with or without conditions relating to the respondent's remaining at MIT, while the appeal is pending. If the Chair denies the respondent’s request for a postponement of the effective date, the respondent may request the postponement from the Chancellor, who may approve the postponement, with or without such conditions, after discussing with the Chair the respondent’s request and the reasons the Chair denied the request.

H. No appeal is available for the decision of (i) the COD to resolve a complaint, either in whole or in part, by making recommendations to MIT Senior Leadership, or (ii) MIT Senior Leadership to accept, reject, or modify a recommendation of the COD under Section XI.J.


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