Article II

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Disciplinary Officer and Subcommittee Hearing Procedures

Section 2.01 – Definitions

  1. Advisor. A person intended to protect the rights of the student. Since the Senate Committee on Student Discipline wants to retain the student committee dialogue, the advisor may not participate in that dialogue.
  2. Alleged Victim. A person who claims to have been or is perceived to have been a victim of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense.
  3. Business Day. Any weekday when university offices are open for official business.
  4. Complainant. The university who alleges a complaint against a student that violates the Student Code.
  5. Disciplinary Officer (DO). The staff or faculty member responsible for making an initial determination of whether or not a Code violation has occurred. May also be referred to as a "Hearing Officer".
  6. Educational Sanction. An assignment, requirement, or task educationally related to the violation.
  7. Director. The Director of the Office for Student Conflict Resolution or their designee.
  8. Executive Session. Executive session includes the voting members of the committee and other non-voting parties at the discretion of the committee.
  9. Formal Sanction. A formal disciplinary status.
  10. Notice. Notice is deemed given on the first business day after mailing, or immediately when hand delivered or sent to the respondent’s e-mail address.
  11. Respondent. A person who is alleged to have violated the Student Code.
  12. Senate Committee. The Senate Committee on Student Discipline (SCSD).
  13. Witness. A person who has relevant information to share.

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Section 2.02 – Disciplinary Officer Procedures

For undergraduate and graduate students, the Disciplinary Officer (DO) is a staff member in the Office of the Executive Director of the Senate Committee on Student Discipline. For students in the College of Veterinary Medicine, the DO is the Dean of the college or their designee. This responsibility may be delegated to the Office of the Executive Director. Procedures for the College of Law are located in the appendix.

  1. Intake and Review. All concerns about violations of the Student Code will be referred to a DO. The DO will review the allegations and select the appropriate charges to be considered, if any.
  2. Charge Letter. The DO will issue a charge letter which shall inform the respondent of the approximate date, location, and type of incident, as well as of the section(s) of the Student Code that have allegedly been violated. The DO will encourage the respondent to schedule an appointment to discuss the matter. The respondent may waive their right to a charge letter.
  3. Administrative Appointment. At the appointment, the DO shall summarize the charge(s), explain the process, and engage in a discussion concerning the incident in question with the respondent. A respondent may have an advisor present at any point during the DO procedures.
  4. Administrative Disposition. With the exception of cases in which the allegations, if found true, would likely result in suspension or dismissal, the DO has the authority to make a finding of fact and decide whether it is more likely true than not true that the respondent’s conduct constitutes a violation of the Student Code.
    1. Contested Charges. If the respondent does not admit to the charges, the respondent should provide a written response to the allegations within three business days, unless otherwise agreed. The response should include the respondent’s reaction to the charges, outline any possible mitigating factors in the offense, and include the names and contact information of potential witnesses and the nature of the witness information.
    2. Investigation. The DO will review all information submitted and may conduct further investigation to determine if it is more likely true than not true that the respondent is responsible for violating the Student Code. The DO may forward a matter to a subcommittee before reaching a DO finding and sanctioning decision.
    3. Decision. The DO is authorized to make a finding of fact, determine violations of code, and assign any disciplinary sanction, educational sanction, or restriction, with the exception of suspension or dismissal. The respondent must be notified of the outcome of the DO’s decision and sanctions in writing.
    4. Appeal. The respondent may appeal the DO decision according to the guidelines in this document.
  5. Expedited Case Disposition. If a code violation that by itself or when combined with the respondent's disciplinary history would warrant suspension or dismissal is found, the DO may offer the respondent an Expedited Case Disposition and waiver of appeal (ECD). If the offer is accepted, the respondent and DO must sign the ECD, which must then be ratified by the appropriate subcommittee. A respondent may request to void the ECD within three business days of their signature by notifying the Executive Director in writing. If the respondent rejects or fails to respond to the ECD, a hearing will be scheduled before the appropriate subcommittee on student conduct.
  6. Failure to Participate. If a respondent fails to participate in the process by failing to attend a meeting or providing information, the DO may render a decision based on available information.

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Section 2.03 – Subcommittee Procedures

  1. Jurisdiction. The subcommittees have jurisdiction over two categories of matters: (1) cases in which the allegations, if found true, would likely result in suspension or dismissal; and (2) appeals from actions of record taken by Disciplinary Officers.
  2. Process.
    1. Pre-hearing Information.
      1. The DO will provide written notice of the hearing. The notice must include:
        1. The approximate date, place, and nature of the alleged violations.
        2. The date, place, and time of the scheduled hearing.
        3. The code violations the subcommittee will address.
        4. The web location of the procedures for the hearing.
        5. A statement concerning the respondent's right to review the hearing file prior to the hearing.
        6. A statement concerning the respondent's right to have an advisor present during the hearing.
        7. A statement that the hearing may go forward if the student fails to appear.
      2. The DO may meet with the student prior to the hearing to assist him/her in preparation.
      3. The Chair will have access to each hearing file before the hearing, and, if he/she determines that a case file is incomplete, he/she may request the Executive Director to remedy any deficiency or to secure additional information or materials. The respondent and the alleged victim may submit materials to be included in the hearing packet. For full consideration, materials must be submitted no fewer than three business days prior to the hearing. Materials submitted prior to the deadline will be included if they are determined to be relevant by the Chair. The Chair may also at their discretion consider the inclusion of materials that have been submitted late.
      4. A hearing may proceed regardless of the failure of a respondent to appear, as long as the respondent has been properly notified of the hearing at least five business days prior to the hearing.
      5. Hearings will be closed. The Chair may exclude or remove from the hearing room any person who may interfere with the orderly process of the hearing. An alleged victim of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and their advisor are allowed to be present for all parts of the hearing at which a respondent may be present, with the exception of any discussion of the respondent’s disciplinary history. Witnesses (other than an alleged victim) may be present only while presenting evidence or testimony.
      6. In the event that oral testimony is to be presented, the Executive Director shall invite those witnesses whose presence is deemed appropriate. The respondent and alleged victim may each suggest potential witnesses to appear on their behalf. Each must submit a witness list and a description of the nature of each witness’s testimony to the Executive Director no fewer than three business days prior to the hearing. Witnesses are subject to the approval of the Chair. The Chair may also at their discretion consider the participation of witnesses whose names were not submitted by the deadline. Character witnesses will only be allowed to present written statements that may be read by the committee in the sanctioning phase. The respondent and the alleged victim are responsible for inviting and notifying any approved witnesses of the date, time, and location of the hearing.
      7. In order to preserve a record for appeal to the Senate Committee on Student Discipline, hearings will be electronically recorded by the subcommittee. In order to protect the confidentiality of the process and the privacy rights of the individuals involved, other parties will not be permitted to make a separate recording. If the respondent decides to appeal, he/she can make an appointment to review the recording of the hearing. The respondent may not make a copy of the recording. The recording will remain the property of the university. Recordings of all hearings are subject to destruction after the appeals process has been exhausted.
    2. Procedures at the hearing. The chair will ensure that:
      1. A quorum of five subcommittee members is present. The hearing committee must consist of at least one faculty member and one student. The Chair will count towards quorum. [Special quorum requirements of some subcommittees are noted in the appendices of this document.]
      2. The respondent, alleged victim, and their respective advisors are introduced.
      3. The members of the subcommittee, the Executive Director and/or Disciplinary Officer, and other authorized personnel are introduced.
        1. The respondent and the alleged victim may challenge the objectivity of any voting member of the hearing committee. Such a challenge must be based on a prior relationship that may result in substantial bias.
        2. In the event of such a challenge, the hearing committee will meet in executive session without the challenged member to determine whether the challenged member may continue to serve on the committee. Following this determination, the hearing will proceed with the remaining members present, and any quorum requirement will be waived.
      4. The record is identified.
        1. Documentary evidence, statements, and memoranda included in the hearing file are presented.
        2. Additional information is received or identified. The committee will determine whether any new information is to be added to to the hearing file, and, if so, whether this addition requires a continuance.
      5. The hearing proceeds in an orderly fashion, as follows:
        1. The complaint, charges, and any pre-hearing investigation are summarized by the DO.
        2. The respondent is invited to provide a narrative description of the alleged incident.
        3. The respondent is asked whether he/she is responsible or not responsible for the alleged charges. If the respondent agrees that he/she is responsible, the hearing committee may move immediately to sanctioning.
        4. The alleged victim is invited to provide a narrative description of the alleged incident.
        5. Witnesses invited by the subcommittee through the Executive Director are escorted into the room one at a time to make statements. The committee may ask questions. When invited to do so, the respondent and the alleged victim may ask questions of the witnesses directed through the Chair.
        6. If further information is deemed necessary, the subcommittee will suspend its hearing in order to pursue such inquiries and request the Executive Director or the respondent attempt to secure additional information.
        7. The alleged victim is invited to make a final comment.
        8. The respondent is invited to make a final comment.
      6. All questions are asked appropriately, in the following manner:
        1. All witnesses are questioned first by the subcommittee.
        2. The respondent and alleged victim are invited to ask questions. In order to preserve civility, all questions asked by the respondent or the alleged victim must be directed through the Chair rather than posed directly to the other party or the witnesses.
    3. Deliberations.
      1. The deliberations will proceed as follows:
        1. There will first be a review of testimony, then a determination of the facts and a decision as to whether it is more likely true than not true that the respondent’s conduct constitutes a violation of the Student Code.
        2. If a violation is found, the subcommittee may invite statements regarding possible aggravation or mitigation. In addition, the subcommittee will review the respondent’s disciplinary history. After this information is provided, the subcommittee will deliberate again in executive session.
        3. The appropriate, authorized actions will be determined.
          1. The Subcommittee will consider a formal sanction.
          2. The Subcommittee may also assign educational sanctions.
        4. The decision of the subcommittee will be by a simple majority vote of members present, including the Chair. In the event of a tie vote, the respondent will be found not in violation.
    4. Notice of action taken.
      1. If the respondent has waited to hear the outcome, notice will be communicated personally to the respondent by the Chair immediately following deliberations.
      2. A letter confirming the actions taken will also be delivered to the respondent. If a sanction is imposed, this letter will include a statement of the respondent’s right to appeal to the SCSD within five days from the date that notice of actions taken is transmitted to the student.
      3. As permitted by FERPA and the Clery Act, the university will, upon request, disclose to the alleged victim of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the university against a student who is the alleged perpetrator of such crime or offense. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of such crime or offense, the next of kin of such victim shall be treated as the alleged victim for purposes of this paragraph.
      4. Additional notices and records will be made as required by the nature of the sanction.

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Section 2.04 – Actions Possible in Individual Student Discipline Cases

Please Note: Actions Possible in Organizational Discipline appear in the appendices to this document.

  1. Actions include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Finding of No Violation. This action can occur at any stage of the procedure. If a finding of no violation occurs, the student has no disciplinary history. This information will not be considered in future proceedings.
    2. Charge(s) Dropped. This action shall be taken when the DO or the hearing body determines that the student cannot be found in violation of the university's regulations governing student conduct. The behavior may have been unrelated to the rules of conduct, or evidence may be unobtainable or insufficient, etc. A dropped charge may be reinstated at the discretion of the Executive Director if substantial new information should become available. If a charge is reinstated, the respondent will be sent a charge notice. If a charge is dropped, the student will have no disciplinary history related to it.
    3. Finding of Violation. This action occurs when the disciplinary body has established that a policy of the Student Code has been violated based on a preponderance of the information.
    4. Continuance. The Executive Director may continue the proceedings when he/she determines it is in the best interest of the university community. Respondents may appeal a continuance decision to the appropriate committee.
  2. Formal Sanction Options:
    1. Non-Reportable. The following formal sanctions are not recorded on the academic transcript or released to others without a legitimate educational interest.
      1. University Reprimand. A University Reprimand indicates that the student’s behavior is inappropriate for a member of the academic community. A University Reprimand is maintained in the student’s disciplinary file for one year and would serve as a basis for further sanctioning should subsequent violations occur. If there are no further violations within that one-year period, the file will be destroyed. A University Reprimand will not appear on the academic transcript.
      2. University Censure. A University Censure is an official communication that a student’s behavior is inappropriate for a member of the academic community. A University Censure is maintained in the student’s disciplinary file until the student graduates and would serve as a basis for further sanctioning should subsequent violations occur. A University Censure will not appear on the academic transcript.
      3. Internal Conduct Probation. Internal Conduct Probation is a strong communication that a student is no longer in good disciplinary standing with the academic community. Any subsequent violations of the Student Code will be evaluated in the context of the student’s probationary status. Internal Conduct Probation is maintained in the student’s file for seven years. Conduct Probation is normally copied to the Dean of the student’s College and to the Recorder for notation on the transcript. However, Internal Conduct Probation means that mitigating circumstances warrant the formal sanction is not noted on the academic transcript, nor sent to the academic department.
    2. Reportable. The following formal sanctions are recorded on the academic transcript.
      1. Conduct Probation. Conduct Probation is a strong communication that a student is no longer in good disciplinary standing with the academic community. Any subsequent violations of the Student Code will be evaluated in the context of the student’s probationary status. Conduct Probation is maintained in the office for seven years and is copied to the Dean of the Student’s College and to the Recorder for a notation on the transcript. The notation remains until either the end of the probationary period or graduation unless a petition for early removal is approved. Conduct Probation shall be terminated automatically upon graduation.
      2. Suspension. Suspension shall be imposed upon a student when the hearing body determines that the student's relationship with the university must be suspended from the university for a definite period of time. Suspension may only be imposed by the appropriate subcommittee or the Senate Committee. A student who is suspended until the termination of a given academic term may not be required to petition the appropriate subcommittee on Student Conduct for readmission at the end of the period of suspension. However, it will be the responsibility of the student to make proper application to the Office of Admissions and Records for academic readmission to the university. A copy of the notice will be forwarded to the Dean of the Student’s College and to the Recorder for a notation on the transcript. Suspension records are maintained indefinitely. Any suspension imposed shall be recorded on the student's transcript during the suspension period and until the student matriculates for the following academic term. Should a student remain out of the university during an academic term following a suspension, he/she must apply for readmission as would a student who had withdrawn from the university. At the end of a suspension period, the student is placed on Conduct Probation until graduation, unless mitigating circumstances warrant a different sanction.
      3. Dismissal. Dismissal shall be imposed upon a student when the hearing body determines that the student's relationship with the university must be terminated. Dismissal may only be imposed by the appropriate subcommittee or the SCSD. When dismissal is imposed upon a student, he/she may petition the original hearing body for readmission to the university after the specified time. A copy of the notice will be forwarded to the Dean of the Student’s College and to the Recorder for a notation on the transcript. Dismissal records are maintained indefinitely. Dismissal shall be noted on the student's transcript until such time as the student is readmitted to the university or successfully petitions for the removal of the notation. Permission for readmission by the subcommittee does not abrogate the right of any dean or director to deny readmission on the basis of scholarship. At such time as a student is readmitted to the university, the student is placed on Conduct Probation until graduation, unless mitigating circumstances warrant a different sanction.
      4. Formal Sanction Held in Abeyance. In rare cases, the SCSD or an appropriate subcommittee may determine that a certain sanction is the appropriate formal sanction, but strong mitigating circumstances warrant holding the formal sanction in abeyance. The student may continue enrollment under restrictions and conditions. Formal sanctions may only be held in abeyance by the appropriate subcommittee or the SCSD. A student found to have violated the conditions or restrictions of a formal sanction held in abeyance will minimally have the formal sanction imposed. A copy of the notice will be forwarded to the Dean of the Student’s College and to the Recorder for a notation on the transcript. The notation remains until either the end of the formal sanction held in abeyance period or graduation unless a petition for early removal is approved. Formal sanctions held in abeyance shall be terminated automatically upon graduation.
  3. Other Conditions or Restrictions
    1. Other educational sanctions. This may include but is not limited to mandated service to the community, educational programs, research and reflective essays, presentations to the community, restitution, letters of apology, or other related discretionary sanctions.
    2. Restrictions. The student is restricted from certain activities on campus (e.g. participation in certain registered student organizations, intramural or varsity athletics; contact with specific people or physical locations; or other restrictions deemed just and appropriate).
    3. Deferral of the degree. The Senate Committee, appropriate subcommittee, or the Executive Director may withhold the conferral of the degree until the disciplinary action has been resolved.
    4. Withholding of the degree. In cases in which a student has not been awarded the degree but has completed all requirements for the degree, the Senate Committee, appropriate subcommittee, or the Executive Director may direct that the degree be withheld for a period of time.
    5. Revocation of a degree. A degree awarded by the institution may be revoked for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of the university standards in obtaining a degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
  4. The Senate Committee on Student Discipline may authorize any other sanctions it deems to be just and appropriate.

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