The University Review Board (URB) is the duly authorized appellate
body which serves as an advisor to the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor
and the Chancellor. (Regional Campuses may establish similar appellate
bodies which serve as an advisor to their President and whose appellate
jurisdiction shall be limited to non-academic matters).
The URB shall be a standing body of fifteen members of the University community appointed for staggered terms of two years. Appointment shall be made in the following manner:
1. Five faculty members elected by the University Senate.
2. Five graduate and professional students appointed by the Graduate and Professional Student Association.
3. Five undergraduate students:
a. two appointed by the General Studies Student Council; and
b. three appointed by the Undergraduate Student Government Board.
A matter properly submitted for review shall be heard by a Review Board of five members of the URB. Review Boards shall be composed as follows:
1. In academic cases, three faculty members and two students.
2. In non-academic cases, two faculty members and three students.
An attorney appointed by the Chancellor who shall serve as URB Moderator is authorized to:
1. Conduct the administrative and procedural operations of the URB.
2. Determine the appropriateness and completeness of Petitions to the URB in consultation with one student and one faculty member of the URB.
3. Provide advice and assistance to members of the University community regarding the processing of an appeal.
4. Select members from the URB membership to serve on Review Boards.
5. Moderate all proceedings before the URB.
6. Serve as legal advisor to the URB.
7. Provide legal advice related to URB proceedings and recommendation,
if requested, to the Chancellor or other referring authority.
BASIS FOR APPEAL
The URB shall hear an appeal whenever requested by the Chancellor, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, or the Vice Provost and Dean of Students.
The URB shall also hear appeals on the petition of a faculty member, student, or student organization when either petition, together with supporting documentation, presents a substantial question within the scope of review of the URB and either the prior adjudication or action resulted in:
1. Suspension or dismissal from the University for violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
2. Suspension or dismissal from the University or the imposition of a serious academic sanction for violation of academic integrity standards.
3. Grant or denial of a remedy in an academic grievance proceeding.
4. Suspension or dismissal from the University residence halls.
5. Procedural rulings or substantive interpretations which have an important
continuing impact upon the University Student Judicial System or the University
SCOPE OF REVIEW
The scope of review of the URB shall be limited to consideration of the following questions:
1. Whether rights affirmed by the Board of Trustees have been denied.
2. Whether the adjudicatory process of an initial hearing was conducted fairly and in conformity with properly prescribed procedures.
3. Whether the adjudication was supported by substantial evidence.
4. Whether the regulations involved were lawful and proper and whether they were properly applied in the particular case.
5. Whether the sanction or remedy imposed was in due proportion to the
gravity and nature of the conduct.
Any faculty member or student adversely affected by the decision of a judicial body within the University Student Judicial System may institute an appeal before the URB by filing a petition in the Office of the URB Moderator.
A petition must set forth the following:
1. The name and address of the petitioner adversely affected by the prior adjudication.
2. The name and address of the respondent.
3. The result of the prior adjudication.
4. One or more of the questions within the scope of review of the URB.
5. A statement supporting, through factual narrative and argument, the petitioner's position.
The Moderator, in consultation with one student and one faculty member of the URB, shall review petitions and determine whether all requirements set forth for the filing of an appeal are satisfied and whether the petition sets forth the basis for an appeal and raises a question within the scope of review.
Upon receipt of a properly filed petition, the Moderator shall notify the parties that an appeal has been instituted. Notice shall include:
1. A copy of the petition.
2. A copy of the relevant regulations and procedures.
After determining the appropriateness and completeness of a petition and allowing a reasonable amount of time for preparation and review of any documents and recordings, the Moderator shall schedule an appeal. All parties shall receive written notification of the time, date, and place.
The Moderator shall convene a Review Board at the time, date, and place scheduled, and the appeal shall be conducted under the procedural guidance of the Moderator.
* The URB, at its discretion, may elect to decide an appeal based on
the submission of briefs by the parties without oral argument. In
such cases, the Moderator will provide written instruction to the parties.
POSTPONEMENT OF SANCTION PENDING APPEALS
A sanction or remedy which has been recommended by a judicial board and approved by the appropriate administrative officer may be postponed upon petition by the affected party or parties upon a determination that pending the final examination of an appeal it would be unfair not to postpone imposition of the sanction or remedy.
Persons wishing to postpone a sanction or remedy may petition the URB by separate petition setting forth reasons why the imposition of a sanction or remedy would unfairly prejudice a party. Petition for postponement shall be reviewed by the Moderator, one student, and one faculty member of the URB. The criteria to be applied in determining whether to postpone a sanction or remedy are as follows:
1. Whether the issues raised in the appeal may be resolved in favor of the petitioning party.
2. Whether the petitioning party will be unfairly prejudiced pending a final determination of the appeal by the immediate imposition of the sanction or remedy.
3. Whether the responding party will be unfairly prejudiced by the postponement of the sanction or remedy.
All decisions regarding the postponement of sanctions shall be
made within five (5) days of the receipt of such a petition and shall be
communicated to all parties in writing through the office of the Moderator.
A party may be represented or assisted by whomever he or she wishes,
but only one representative may take an active part.
Each party in interest shall be given ample time to present his or her position. In support of a position, a party may refer to any records, documents, or recordings from a prior proceeding and may present an oral or written argument.
Each party may question the other about his or her argument. Members of the URB may question the parties.
The URB shall make factual findings and shall render a final adjudication
in the form of a written opinion. A majority shall control all decisions,
but there may be an accompanying minority opinion.
The URB may remand a matter to the initial adjudicatory authorities for further proceedings if it determines there are insufficient written findings or prejudicial procedural error. In other cases, the URB shall render a written opinion and recommend action to the Chancellor, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, or the Vice Provost and Dean of Students, accompanied by the complete record.
The Moderator shall be responsible for promptly communicating
any formal action of the URB to the parties, transmitting remanded cases
to the initial adjudicatory authorities, and forwarding the recommendations
to the Chancellor and his or her representatives.
ACTION BY THE CHANCELLOR OR OTHER REFERRING AUTHORITY
The Chancellor and/or his or her representatives shall consider
the opinions and recommendations of the URB, the record, and such other
advice as they may deem necessary and proper. He, she, or they may
remand the matter to the initial adjudicatory authority or to the URB for
further proceedings or may enter a final decision, accepting or rejecting
the recommendations in part or in their entirety. (A sanction imposed
by an initial adjudicatory authority may not be increased.)
The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis or race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University’s mission. This policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in University programs and activities. This is a commitment made by the University and is in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.
For information on University equal opportunity and affirmative
action programs and complaint/grievance procedures, please contact: William
A. Savage, Assistant to the Chancellor and Director of Affirmative Action
(and Title IX and 504, ADA Coordinator), Office of Affirmative Action,
901 William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.