University Hearing & Appeals System (UHAS)
The University Hearing and Appeals System (UHAS) is the formal campus process used to adjudicate and resolve serious, non-academic conduct issues involving University students.
UHAS is the formal campus student conduct process at Northwestern. It was first established in 1969 and was crafted specifically for our academic community.
A UHAS matter starts with the filing of a Complaint. Any student, group of students, student organization, as well as designated University officials, can file a complaint alleging that a student, group of students, or student organization violated a University rule or policy.
At that point, the Executive Secretary (a neutral party who oversees the process and advises the parties but who is not an advocate or a decision-maker in the case) will meet with the parties, make sure they are aware of their rights and responsibilities, and then schedule the matter for resolution. Complaints filed in UHAS can be resolved in two ways: (1) Conciliations and (2) Hearings.
A Conciliation is a structured dispute resolution process in which the parties - with the assistance of members of the UHAS Conciliation Board - are able to discuss the issues underlying the situation and then attempt to come to an agreement on ways to resolve or address those issues. Conciliation is a voluntary process and is only successful when there is complete agreement by all parties on the outcome.
Hearings are conducted before a UHAS Hearing Panel composed of six to nine members of the University community (students, faculty and staff). Hearings follow a specific procedure and are more formal than Conciliations, but they remain an educational process that is unique to Northwestern. Thus, they are not analogous to court proceedings, and attorneys may not participate.
In a Hearing, the parties (who are entitled to have a representative assist them through the process) are each entitled to state their own case, present witnesses and exhibits, and ask questions of other parties and witnesses. Ultimately, members of a UHAS Hearing Panel are asked to address to key questions: (1) were any rules, regulations or policies violated? and (2) if so, what is the appropriate sanction or outcome to address the situation?
If a student (or group of students or student organization) is found in violation of a University rule, that student is entitled to seek an Appeal or Rehearing of that decision before a UHAS Appeals Panel. Additionally, if a student is suspended or excluded from Northwestern, that student is entitled to seek an additional appeal to the President of the University (or a Vice President designated by the President).
Additional information about UHAS is available through the resources below and by reviewing the full-text of the UHAS policy by clicking on the links in the navigation bar to the left.
UHAS Resources & Materials
- UHAS Complaint Form (.doc format) - blank form that can be filled out and submitted to the Office of Judicial Affairs to begin a case
- Information for Students Involved in UHAS (.pdf format) - provides overview of the UHAS process, including a step-by-step outline of the Hearing process
- Information for Students Involved in UHAS Appeals & Rehearings (.pdf format) - provides information on the grounds for seeking an appeal or rehearing of a UHAS case
- FAQs on UHAS Conciliation (.pdf format) - provides information regarding the Conciliation process, as well as its strengths and weaknesses