Policy For Retention Appeal Hearing

(As Approved by the Graduate Council of the Fogelman College April 17, 2002, and amended May 1, 2002)

A retention appeal to the College on the part of a graduate student is initiated on the part of the student by informing the Dean of the Fogelman College of Business and Economics in writing.  The Dean’s Office then refers the appeal to the Graduate Council.  The following procedures serve as the basis for the Graduate Council’s actions on behalf of the Fogelman College.

The Graduate Council, excluding ex-officio members, will hear the appeal.  For the purpose of a PhD student retention appeal, the PhD Sub-council Chairperson will chair the Council.  For a master student appeal the Masters Sub-council Chairperson will chair the Council. If the designated Sub-council Chair cannot chair the hearing the other Sub-council Chair will do so.  The Associate Dean for Academic Programs will act on the Council’s behalf in receiving all relevant information and communicating with all relevant parties as discussed below.

According to university policy the date for the hearing must be set and all parties notified within 15 class days of receipt of the student’s request for a hearing.  We interpret all parties at this point to be the student, the Department Chair and the Department Committee.

In the notification of the date and time of the hearing, the Council will request all relevant information pertaining to the appeal including the student’s initial departmental appeal, the departmental response (which includes any record of deliberations of the examination committee, the department committee and any written response to the student on the part of the department by the department chair) and the student’s request to the Graduate Council for an appeal hearing and any supporting materials provided by the student up to that point.  Any of the parties may provide additional supporting evidence or request, in writing providing rationale and justification, that other relevant individuals provide materials or testimony on their behalf. The Graduate Council will determine the relevancy of additional testimony and may or may not request the participation of the other named individuals at the hearing itself.  If the Department Chair, any member of the Department Committee or any individual providing written evidence or testimony to the Council is also a member of the Council, they will be recused from the hearing.

All materials received by the Graduate Council will be distributed to all parties in a timely fashion.  If additional witnesses on the behalf of any party are requested the Graduate Council will notify them of the hearing and procedures for participating at this time.

All parties will have the opportunity for presenting the facts, as they understand them.  The Council will have already reviewed all documents and presentations should be succinct and to the point.  All presentations will be formal presentations or rebuttal and responses to questions at prescheduled times.  There will be no debate, but any participant may ask for a clarification of a statement or allegation with the consent of the Chair of the Council. Initial presentations will be limited to no more than 15 minutes.  Rebuttal and closing remarks will be limited to no more than ten minutes.  The order of the hearing will be:  student presentation, department committee presentation, Department Chair presentation, presentation by additional witnesses, questions to each by Council members, rebuttal by the student, rebuttal and closing remarks by the department committee, rebuttal and closing remarks by the Department Chair, recall of witnesses and other parties for questions by the Council if necessary, rebuttal and closing remarks by the student.  

All presenters and witnesses will be excused from the hearing. Based on the evidence and testimony provided, the Graduate Council will determine whether or not there is a basis for overturning the retention decision of the Department.  In the event that there are remaining questions, any of the parties involved may be called back for additional information or clarification of testimony. After all deliberation has taken place the final decision will be based upon the majority vote of the Council members present at the hearing, with the Chair voting only to break a tie or force a tie, on the following motions.  Motion A: “Upon reviewing all evidence and hearing all testimony the Graduate Council has determined that there is no cause for overturning the retention decision of the Department and the Graduate Council does not reinstate the student in the program.”  If and only if this motion fails the Council will consider Motion B:   “Upon reviewing all evidence and hearing all testimony the Graduate Council has determined that there is appropriate cause to overturn the retention decision of the Department and hereby reinstates the student in the program.”  The Graduate Council will convey the outcome to all parties within seven class days.  The Graduate Council will make no other recommendations concerning the appeal at this time, only to overturn the retention decision of the Department or not.  The Dean’s Office will also inform all relevant parties of the opportunity for appeal.