Appeal of Major Sanctions

4.5 APPEAL OF MAJOR SANCTIONS 

4.5.1  Appeal on Grounds of Inadequate Consideration    If the faculty member alleges that a decision resulting in a major sanction was based on inadequate consideration, the FAGC shall review the allegation and determine whether the decision was the result of adequate consideration in terms of the relevant standards of the University. The term “adequate consideration” refers to procedural rather than substantive issues.  It requires that the decision be arrived at conscientiously; that all relevant evidence be considered; that there be adequate deliberation by the appropriate committees and administrative officers over the import of the evidence in the light of the relevant policies; that irrelevant and improper standards be excluded from consideration; and that the decision be a bona fide exercise of professional academic judgment. The standard of adequate consideration does not permit the FAGC to substitute its judgment for those of the committees or administrative officers.

4.5.1.1  Filing an Appeal Based on Inadequate Consideration    Allegations of inadequate consideration, with supporting information, maybe filed with the FAGC only after receipt of the letter from the Provost imposing the sanction (including dismissal).  The allegation must be filed no later than 14 calendar days after receipt of such letter.

4.5.1.2  Written Report of Appeal Finding    The FAGC shall provide a written report of its findings to the accused faculty member, the appropriate committees and administrative officers involved, and the President not later than 30 calendar days after the date of the accused’s request for reconsideration is filed with the Committee.  If the FAGC finds that the accused’s case was not given adequate consideration, it shall indicate in its report the respects in which it believes the consideration may have been inadequate and the point in the process at which reconsideration is to begin. If the FAGC finds that the accused’s case received adequate consideration, the Committee’s determination shall be final.

4.5.2  Appeal to the President    In the case of dismissal or other major sanction, the faculty member may appeal to the President within 15 calendar days of receipt of the written sanction from the Provost.  If the faculty member appeals to the President, the Provost will transmit to the President the record of the case. The President’s review will be based on the record of the formal hearings; the President will determine whether his/her review will provide opportunity for oral or written argument or both, by the parties at the hearings or by their representatives.  The decision of the Provost will either be sustained, or the proceeding returned to the Provost or the FAGC, depending on where the earliest disagreement occurs, with specific objections and/or instructions. The Provost or the FAGC will then reconsider, taking into account the President’s stated objections and receiving new evidence if necessary. The President will make a final decision only after study of the report of reconsideration; the decision will be transmitted to the faculty member in writing.

4.5.3  Appeal to the Board of Visitors    If a decision for dismissal or major sanction is appealed to the President, the President renders the final decision on the substance of the appeal.  A faculty member may request, through the President, that a further appeal to the Board of Visitors is warranted on the grounds that the faculty member’s due process rights were not properly followed during the procedures for determining that violation of university policy had occurred.   A claim that the faculty member’s due process rights had been abridged is the only grounds for requesting that the President notify the Board of Visitors of the faculty member’s request for an appeal to the Board. The determination of whether the faculty member’s due process rights were violated will be made by the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia.