Student Disciplinary Committee Hearings
If, after reviewing a report of misconduct, the associate dean determines that the incident is deemed sufficiently serious, the incident will be submitted for hearing by the Student Disciplinary Committee. The Committee will be composed of two students, two faculty members, and one staff member. A quorum of one student, one faculty member, and one staff member is necessary to conduct a hearing. The associate dean (or designee) will chair the Committee but is not a voting member unless there is a tie vote.
Before meeting with the Student Disciplinary Committee, the student will be provided in writing with a summary of the behavior that allegedly violates particular provisions of the Code of Conduct. The notice will also include the date and time of the hearing, not less than five or more than fifteen calendar days after the student has been notified. Maximum time limits for scheduling hearings may be extended at the discretion of the associate dean.
Hearings are not required to adhere to formal rules of procedure or technical rules of evidence followed by courts of law. Hearings will be conducted according to the following guidelines:
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the associate dean designee.
- The hearing will normally be conducted in private. Admission of any person to the hearing will be at the discretion of the associate dean. The associate dean may accommodate concerns for the personal safety, well-being, and/or fears of confrontation of the reporting party, accused student, and/or other witness during the hearing by providing separate facilities, and/or by permitting participation by telephone, video conferencing, written statement, or other means, where and as determined in the sole judgment of the associate dean to be appropriate.
- Accused students may be assisted at hearings by an advisor. The advisor must be a current student, faculty, or staff member of the University who was not involved in the incident. The advisor cannot speak for the accused student. The role of the advisor is to accompany the student and advise him or her privately during the hearing process.
- Hearings will be chaired by the associate dean (or designee), and will proceed in
the following manner:
- Reading of the charges.
- The student's denial or admission of the charges. (If the student admits the charges, then the Committee may dismiss the student and deliberate on the appropriate sanctions.)
- Presentation of information and/or witnesses supporting the charges.
- Presentation of information and/or witnesses by the student charged that rebuts the charges.
- Closing statement by the accused student.
- The chair and the accused student may call witnesses. Witnesses may only be present while giving testimony. Accused students must present a list of witnesses and purposes of their statements to the chair 24 hours in advance of the hearing. The chair may, at his or her sole discretion, exclude any witness from attending the hearing if the witness's testimony is duplicative or irrelevant.
- A list of witnesses called by the University should be presented to the accused student 24 hours before the hearing.
- Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by the Committee at the discretion of the chair. This information must be submitted to the chair at least 24 hours before the hearing.
- If, during the course of the hearing, additional charges are discovered, the accused student will be notified of the new charges and will be granted additional time, if needed, to prepare a defense of the new charges. The accused student may waive the additional time and the hearing can proceed with the new charges taken under consideration by the Committee. A record should be made in the hearing notes of additional charges and whether or not the student desires additional preparation time.
- Information about the misconduct of other students shared at the hearing may be used as the basis for disciplinary action.
- The Committee's determination will be made on the basis of the preponderance of the evidence standard (whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Code of Conduct).
- After the hearing, the Committee will determine by majority vote whether the student has violated each section of the Code of Conduct that the student is charged with violating.
- If the student is found to have violated the Code of Conduct, the Committee will then make a recommendation to the associate dean (or designee) on the appropriate sanctions.
- The associate dean will notify the student in writing of the Committee's decision and the sanctions issued, if any.
- There will be a single written record of the hearing, which normally consists of the statement of alleged misconduct, a summary of the information presented in the hearing, a summary of the statement of the accused, statement of the decision, and the sanctions issued, if any. The hearing will not be transcribed or otherwise recorded.
- If the accused student fails to appear at the hearing, the Committee may make a decision based on the available information. If the associate dean determines that good cause exists for the accused student not appearing at the hearing, a new date may be set for the hearing.