A report that a student has committed an act of personal misconduct [or academic misconduct unrelated to a particular course] may be filed by any person. The report must be in writing (or e‐mail) to the Dean of Students and submitted within 30 days of the incident. The Dean determines if disciplinary proceedings should be instituted. [Note: The Office of the Dean of Students is a unit of the Department of Student Affairs.]
If, after reviewing the report of the incident, the Dean believes the violation is serious enough to warrant further review, he/she can request an informal hearing with the student. The student must be notified in an efficient and timely manner (letter, e‐mail, and appointment) that a conference is required and that failure to attend may result in a sanction(s). The notification to the student requiring an informal hearing/conference should include sufficient information that the student understands the seriousness of the situation. Prior to the conference the Dean must collect all relevant information including statements from witnesses. This information must then be presented to the student at the initial conference, allowing for the student to respond to any of the facts as known.
After hearing the student’s side of the matter, the Dean can choose to take no action. Conversely, the Dean may determine that the violation necessitates an appropriate sanction(s). [See Appendix B, personal misconduct sanctions] If a sanction(s) is imposed by the Dean, the student must be informed in conference and in writing. The student must also be apprised that the Dean’s action is subject to review by the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, if requested by the student.
The levels of review in cases of personal misconduct are 1) Dean of Students, 2) Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management 3) campus hearing commission. There is an expectation that cases of personal misconduct be resolved expeditiously. If a student asks for a second level review or even a third level (hearing commission) this process should take place in the span of 30 days. The student is required to initiate any higher level review.
If a student ultimately seeks a hearing before a hearing commission, then a reasonable amount of time must be allowed to assemble the hearing body and assure time for preparation. In general, the hearing commission would commence no later than 30 days from the first level informal conference. The hearing commission will consist of 5 members, 2 students, [Junior or Senior level status], and three faculty. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will arrange the hearing and appoint a chair. Ideally, hearing commission members should not be familiar with the case and should not include faculty from the student’s major. Generally, faculty are selected from the Faculty Senate’s standing Faculty Affairs Committee.
The student will be notified of the hearing and provided an opportunity to prepare. If witnesses are involved, each side must disclose in advance who will be present. At the hearing, witnesses can be questioned by the student, employee, or hearing commission member. The student may also bring an advisor (or parent), but the advisor cannot comment or engage in questions. There are few formal procedures for conducting the hearing. It is up to the chair to assure that all necessary information is presented and that the proceedings are balanced and fair. The hearing chair also decides when sufficient information has been presented. The hearing commission can take up to 10 days for a decision and it is final. A written summary of the proceedings is mandated.
The decision of the hearing commission must be based solely upon the information presented at the hearing, i.e., verbal presentations and any written documents submitted. The final disposition requires a majority vote. The hearing commission can find for the student or uphold the action and sanction rendered by the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. The authority of the hearing commission is such that it can find for student‐dismiss all charges, 2) uphold action and sanctions by Vice Chancellor, 3) change, reduce, or add sanctions, and 4) assess the Vice Chancellor’s action and or sanction to be without basis or arbitrary and submit a report to the Chancellor.
Note: As previously stated in rare situations a student may commit an act(s) that is both academic and personal misconduct. Such simultaneous acts will be handled in accord with the complaint of record.