The Catholic University of America

Appeal Process

Students have two (2) business days from the date they received the outcome letter to appeal the decision of either the case officer or the University Hearing Board. Appeals must be in writing and must successfully meet one of the following criteria:
  • There is a significant procedural error that changes the findings of fact of the disciplinary proceeding.
  • New evidence that significantly alters the findings of fact, that was previously unknown to the respondent, has been discovered and is available during the appeal process.
Please refer to the Code of Student Conduct for a more detailed explanation of the appeals process.
The following is a quick checklist of how to prepare an appeal letter, should you choose to file an appeal. The appeal letter should be approached like a position paper.
  • The first thing you should do when writing an appeal letter is to brainstorm a list of every reason why the appeal should be granted. You should then review the list of reasons and determine which reasons meet the criteria listed above.
  • If you determine that there are reasons to appeal that you believe meet the criteria above, then you should prepare an appeal letter.
  • The appeal letter should have an introductory paragraph, three or four paragraphs in the main body, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you should introduce yourself and explain the grounds of your appeal. The introduction should end with a brief statement of why your appeal should be granted.
  • In the body, you should state the grounds of the appeal (must be one of the two listed above, with a clear rationale) and talk about the situation from your perspective. When you finish the main body, you should then write your conclusion. The conclusion should briefly restate reasons why the appeal should be granted.
  • The appeal letter should be typed. If you have access to a word processing program with spell checking (i.e. Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, etc.), make use of it. Reread your letter, and make sure that you catch and correct any grammatical mistakes (i.e. - incomplete sentences, subject/verb agreement, etc).
  • The letter should have your name in the upper right hand corner and the date right under your name. It should also list your contact information, such as your CUA e-mail address and cellular/home phone number. About an inch or so down the page, you should have the title centered. The title should be listed as Student Conduct Appeal.
  • Please be as informative as possible so the appellate officer can see your view of the incident. The review of an appeal does not automatically constitute a meeting with the Associate Dean of Students, who serves as the appellate officer. If the appellate officer needs more information or clarification, he/she will contact you to arrange a meeting.