Code of Student Conduct

Hearing Procedures

The following procedures are applicable to any hearing before the appropriate Committee.  A Committee will hear all appeals of Temporary Disciplinary Actions, and all matters that may result in suspension or expulsion.

 

5.01 PRE-HEARING PROCEDURES
a.     Notice. Upon initiation of the hearing process, as described in Sections 5, the appropriate Committee will provide written notice to all parties:
        1.     Time of Hearing: Notice shall state the date, time and location of the hearing.  A Committee hearing shall be held no later than ten class days after the required written notice to the student.  Every effort will be made to accommodate a student’s request for a more immediate hearing. 
        2.     Summary of Allegations:  Notice shall include a short and plain statement of the University policies alleged to have been violated, the factual background of the matter, and the basis for the Committee hearing (i.e. student appeal of interim suspension, suspension, or expulsion hearing). 
        3.     Service of Notice:  Service shall be by correspondence (1) sent by mail, addressed to the addressee at the local address, as shown on University records in the Office of the Registrar; (2) personally delivered to the addressee; (3) personal contact; or (4) University email address, (5) hand delivery or by (6) certified mail, return receipt requested, to the student. When the above steps have been taken, return receipt or other delivery notice, whether signed or not, shall be deemed sufficient evidence that the student has been properly served and it shall be presumed that the student has received and read the notice.

b.     Disclosures.  At least two (2) class days before the hearing, all parties shall make the following disclosures to the Committee, in writing.  The Chair of the Committee will provide copies of the disclosures to all parties.
        1.     Whether any legal counsel or advisor will attend the hearing with a party.
        2.     Names of all witnesses each party intends to call to testify during the hearing, including a brief summary of each witness’s expected testimony.
        3.     Copies of all documents and/or exhibits the parties intend to introduce during the hearing.  NOTE:  The Committee may, in its discretion, allow introduction of evidence not previously disclosed, in accordance with Section 5.03(b)(2)(e).

c.     Pre-Hearing Meeting.  At the discretion of the Committee Chair, a pre-hearing meeting may be convened to present objections to documents or witnesses or clarify the charges, responses, or procedures to be used during the hearing. 

 

5.02  HEARING REGULATIONS
a.     General Decorum.  The Chair shall exercise control over the hearing to insure fairness and a professional atmosphere.  Any person who disrupts a hearing or who fails to adhere to the established procedure or rulings of the Chair may be disciplined, including without limitation exclusion of witnesses or evidence.

b.     Advisors.  Parties are entitled to have parents, legal guardians, and/or a legal advisor present during the hearing. Advisors may support the student and provide advice about the investigation and disciplinary process. During meetings and hearings, the advisor may talk quietly with the student or pass notes in a nondesruptive manner. The advisor may not intervene in a meeting or hearing or directly address panel members, complainants, or witnesses, nor may they make objections. If parties desire to have attorneys serve as their advisors, they may do so at their own cost.

c.     Confidentiality.  Hearings and matters discussed therein are confidential and should be closed to the public.

d.     Evidence.  Formal judicial procedures are not required, and formal rules of evidence do not apply.  The Committee Chair makes final rulings on all objections to evidence and the admissibility of evidence and testimony.  Evidence will be admitted if the Chair determines that it is the sort of information reasonable people would rely upon in the conduct of their affairs.     
        1.     All parties should have reasonable opportunity to respond, present relevant information, question witnesses, and present argument.  
        2.     A party may conduct cross-examinations required for a full and true disclosure of facts.  When the Committee Chair determines that a hearing will be expedited and the interests of the parties will not be prejudiced substantially, any part of the evidence may be received in written form.  In case of an expulsion hearing, affidavits should not be permitted in lieu of live testimony unless agreed to by the opposing party or unless the Committee Chair determines that the parties’ interests will not be prejudiced.  
        3.     Information from Non-Parties.  At the request of either party, the University shall instruct a University student or employee to appear as a witness.  The University may require the witness to attend the hearing or to furnish documents or other physical evidence requested by the party.
        4.     Transcript.  A record of the proceeding will be made, by electronic recording or through use of an official court reporter.  Audio or written transcripts of the recording shall be provided by the Committee at the request any party, at the expense of the requesting party.
        5.     Record.  The record in a proceeding shall include all evidence and testimony received or considered by the Committee at the hearing, any objections to evidence and the Committee’s rulings, and all other information or data considered by the Committee, provided all parties have had access to such evidence.

 

5.03  HEARING PROCEDURES
a.     General Rules
        1.     A hearing may be postponed at the discretion of the Committee Chair for good cause upon written request being filed with the Committee Chair at least 24 hours before the hearing.
        2.     The student or any pertinent party, may challenge the impartiality of a Hearing Committee member at any time prior to the hearing. The Committee Chair shall be the sole judge as to whether the specific individual can serve with fairness and objectivity. In the event the member is disqualified, a substitute will be chosen by the DOS. A majority of the committee must be present for an appeals hearing.
        3.     During the hearing, only the Committee members, the student and the advisor, the student’s parents or legal guardians, and the witness currently testifying will be allowed in the hearing room. No witnesses, after testifying, may remain in the hearing room. All persons present at the hearing shall treat the matters discussed therein as confidential information not to be disclosed to others.
        4.     The student may not be compelled to testify against himself, and the hearing officer and appropriate committee shall presume the student innocent of the charges until the Committee is satisfied, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a violation has occurred.
        5.     The hearing will occur regardless of the student’s attendance, based on the information and evidence available.

b.     Hearing Process
        1.     Opening Remarks.  If desired the parties may briefly outline their cases before the presentation of evidence.  The Committee should use discretion when determining the proper evidentiary value of information presented during Opening Remarks.
        2.     Presentation of Evidence.
                a.     The University will usually present its case first, followed by the student.
                b.     Each party is allowed an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses presented by the other party.
                c.     Further questioning of the witnesses by the parties is at the discretion of the Committee Chair.
                d.     The Committee members may ask questions of the witnesses at any time, at the discretion of the Chair.
                e.     After each party has presented its case, upon request of either party the Committee, at its discretion, may permit introduction of additional evidence to clarify or rebut evidence presented during the course of the hearing.  
        3.     Closing Remarks.  At the Committee’s discretion, the parties may make brief summary statements.

 

5.04  POST HEARING PROCESS
a.     Committee Decisions.  
        1.     For appeal hearings regarding interim suspension, Committee Decisions shall be provided to all parties, in writing, within five class days of the hearing date.
        2.     For suspension and expulsion hearings, the Committee shall provide its written Decision to the President, who shall review the official record of the hearing and, in writing, either approve, reject or modify the Decision, or remand the matter back to the Hearing Committee for further hearing or consideration.  Unless remanded, the action of the President, in conjunction with the approved or modified decision, shall be disposition of the matter.
                a.     The final disposition of a suspension or expulsion matter shall be subject to rehearing, reopening, or reconsideration by the President.  Any application or request for such rehearing shall be made by an aggrieved party within ten class days from the date of the notice of final disposition.  The grounds for such request may be:
                        i.      Newly discovered or newly available evidence, relevant to the issues;
                        ii.     Need for additional evidence adequately to develop the facts essential to proper decision;
                        iii.    Probable error committed by the Committee in the proceeding or in its decision, which would form a reasonable independent basis for reversal of the decision;
                        iv.    Need for further consideration of the issues and the evidence in the public interest;
                        v.     A showing that issues not previously considered ought to be examined in order to properly dispose of the matter;
                        vi.    Fraud practiced by the prevailing party or procurement of the Decision by perjured testimony or fictitious evidence.
                b.     Any rehearing, reopening or reconsideration by the President shall be confined to those grounds upon which the rehearing was ordered.
        3.     Each party shall be provided, either personally or by certified mail, a copy of the Final Disposition. 

b.     Discretionary Review.  The DOS, the President, and the Board of Regents may, on their initiative, review any disciplinary case. Upon such review they may approve, reject, or modify the decision or the penalties imposed, or may remand the matter to the Hearing Committee for presentation of additional evidence and reconsideration of the decision. 
CASES REQUIRING ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

a. Voluntary Withdrawal for Psychological Reasons

When a student initiates a voluntary withdrawal from the University for psychological reasons, the general guidelines established by the University will be followed. This process is initiated by the student, beginning with the Office of Student Services. Documentation is required if a student is seeking reimbursement. The evaluation will be reviewed by both the Office of Student Services and the Office of Academic Affairs as to the appropriateness of determining withdrawal status.

b. Immediate Interim Withdrawal or Interim Suspension

In cases where a student poses an imminent threat of safety to the University community, DOS may order immediate interim withdrawal or interim suspension.