The University will use the following procedures to respond to behavior which goes against the values of the University community as defined in this Statement. The University considers the procedures for resolving disputes a part of its educational mission and is committed to a process that provides for peer review. Persons who have questions about the Statement should contact the Assistance Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs who provides support to all participants. Resolution and appeal processes are administrative functions and are not subject to the same rules of civil or criminal proceedings. Because some violations of these standards are also violations of law, students may be accountable to both the legal system and the University.
Any person who knowingly and intentionally files a false complaint under these procedures is subject to disciplinary action.
Records of non-academic misconduct will be maintained by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and destroyed seven (7) years after the charged student’s separation from the University.
For good cause, any times limit in these procedures may be extended by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
The Hearing Panel is not bound by the legal rules of evidence.
The Hearing Panel shall exercise control over the hearing to avoid needless consumption of time and to prevent the harassment or intimidation of witnesses. The Hearing Board may limit testimony based on redundancy or lack of relevancy.
Initiating the Resolution Process: any student, faculty member, or staff member may also submit a complaint based upon information reported to that person. All complaints must be submitted to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (AVC DSA), in writing, within six months after the incident(s) alleged in the complaint. The AVC DSA may waive the six-month limitation when a late submission is reasonable. If the AVC DSA determines, based on an investigation, that the alleged behavior may be a violation of the Statement, the AVC DSA will notify the accused student and schedule a meeting as described below.
- State Resolution Process: The AVC DSA will meet with the accused student to explain the complaint and the resolution process. The student may be accompanied by an advisor. The student will have the opportunity to ask questions and make a statement. The AVC DSA will inform the accused student (1) that statements the student makes to the AVC DSA may be considered at any hearing, (2) that the student does not have to make a statement at the initial meeting, (3) that all disciplinary records are confidential to the extent permitted by law, and (4) that the student has a right to know the potential sanctions before admitting responsibility (but may not appeal if he/she accepts responsibility without asking about sanctions).
The accused student has a choice of the following methods of dispute resolution:
- Acceptance of Responsibility: The accused student has the option of accepting responsibility for the chargers and accepting the sanction chosen by the AVC DSA. Upon request, the accused student has the right to know the potential sanctions before accepting responsibility, however the accused student may not appeal if he/she accepts responsibility without asking about sanctions. The accused student also has the option of accepting responsibility for the charges and requesting a hearing on the sanctions under the procedures outlined in B.
- Hearing: The accused student may choose to have a Resolution Officer or a Student Resolution Panel arbitrate the dispute. In cases which involve more than one accused student, the students will have the option of choosing whether they have the same or separate hearings. If students cannot agree, the hearings will be separate.
Each party may be accompanied at the hearing by a personal advisor, who may be an attorney; however, the advisor may not participate directly in the proceedings, but may only advise the party. For example, the advisor may not question witnesses or make presentations.
At a hearing, the AVC DSA will be in charge of preparing and submitting information gathered during the investigation. Both parties may have access to all written or other information that will be considered prior to the hearing. Both parties have the right to the names of witnesses providing information prior to the hearing.
During the hearing, the Resolution Officer, AVC DSA, accused student, complaining witness and student panelists (if applicable) have the right to question (See Appendix A) the complaining witness and the AVC DSA. Each of the above-enumerated persons may also ask questions of (1) the accused student, if he/she chooses to testify and (2) of any witnesses who have presented information. Silence by the accused will not be used as evidence of responsibility for a charge. Witnesses may be present in the hearing room only when they are presenting information. At any time during the hearing, the accused student may request a recess to consult with his/her advisor.
The accused student, complaining witness, and AVC may also present written reports to the panel or Resolution Officer. The accused student and complaining witness may make statements to the panel or Resolution Officer at the beginning and end of the proceeding.
To ensure the privacy of the parties and to maximize the educational potential of the process, both parties must agree to the admission of any other people (except witnesses or advisors) to the hearing. To ensure fairness and consistency, and to maximize the educational potential of the process, panelists must have access to details, rationales, and results of past cases. The student is presumed no responsible unless clear and convincing evidence is presented that a violation of the Statement has occurred.
A tape recording will be made of Statement hearings, and will be made available (in the Assistant Vice Chancellor’s office) to the accused student or complaining witness upon request during the period in which an appeal may be filed or is pending. In all cases, the Resolution Officer will issue a written decision containing findings of fact, conclusions as to responsibility, and rationales for all sanctions imposed.
The hearing body will deliberate in closes session and its decision will be communicated to the student charged, in writing, by the Assistant vice Chancellor for Student Affairs within five (5) days.