STUDENT CLASSROOM/COURSE-RELATED BEHAVIOR POLICY

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT COLORADO SPRINGS

PASSED BY REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY  5/9/03

Introduction

Students and faculty share responsibility for maintaining a positive educational environment. Disruptive students in the academic setting hinder the educational environment. 

Faculty have a responsibility to treat students with understanding, dignity, and respect. Faculty have the right and the authority to guide classroom discussion and to set reasonable limits on the manner in which students express opinions. Students who fail to adhere to such reasonable limits shall be subject to disciplinary action(s).

Disruptive student conduct is prohibited by Regent Laws and the CU-Colorado Springs Students’ Rights and Responsibilities:  Standards of Conduct. The purpose of this policy is to clarify what constitutes disruptive behavior in an academic setting; what actions faculty and Academic Deans (or their designees) may take in response to disruptive conduct; and the authority of the Dean of Students Office to initiate disciplinary proceedings against students for disruptive conduct.

What Constitutes Disruption?

“Disruption,” as applied to the academic setting, means verbal and other behavior in the classroom that a reasonable faculty member judges as interfering with normal academic functions.  Examples include, but are not limited to, speaking persistently without being recognized, persistently interrupting other speakers, verbal and other behavior that distracts the class from the subject, intimidation,  physical threats, harassing behavior, personal insults, and refusal to comply with faculty direction.

Civil expression of disagreement with the course instructor, during times when the instructor permits discussion, is not in itself disruptive behavior and is not prohibited by this policy.

Some disruptive students may have emotional, mental, or physical disorders.  Although such students may be diagnosed with disabilities and eligible for accommodation under the Rehabilitation Act/ADA, they are held to the same standards of conduct as other students.

Policy

·  Students are required to adhere to the standards listed in the CU-Colorado Springs Students’ Rights and Responsibilities:  Standards of Conduct and to refrain from disrupting classes and other academic settings, as defined in this policy.

·  The faculty member is hereby authorized to initiate means to ensure that the normal academic functions of the classroom and other academic settings are not compromised by disruptive student behavior. The procedures for this process are specified below.

·  Students excluded from the classroom or other academic settings and the faculty member who excluded the student are expected to attempt to resolve the matter prompting the exclusion at the lowest possible level of resolution.

EXCLUSION PROCEDURES:

·  If, in the considered judgment of a faculty member, a student is disruptive in the classroom, the faculty member shall ask the student to stop the disruptive behavior and shall warn the student that such disruptive behavior shall result in academic or disciplinary action. The faculty member shall, verbally or in writing, inform his/her department chair of the disruptive behavior as soon thereafter as possible.

·  If the student is not disruptive in the classroom for the remainder of the semester, the matter shall be dropped by all parties.

·  If a student is disruptive in class at any point in a semester subsequent to being asked by a faculty member to stop being disruptive, the faculty member is authorized to exclude the student from the classroom or other academic site for the duration of the semester or any portion thereof until the matter is resolved.

·  Upon excluding a student  from the classroom, the faculty member shall file a Disruptive Incident Report with the Dean of Students (or designee) and provide a copy of that Disruptive Incident Report to the Academic Dean of the College (or designee) and Department Chair within 24 hours of the second incident prompting the exclusion. 

·  Upon receipt of that Disruptive Incident Report, the Dean of Students (or designee) shall provide the student with a copy of the Disruptive Incident Report and shall inform the student of his/her rights.

·  Nothing in this policy prohibits an immediate call to the CU-Colorado Springs Department of Public Safety or referral of the matter to the Dean of Students Office or the relevant Academic Dean, as determined to be appropriate by the faculty member. Nothing in this policy supercedes CU-Colorado Springs Public Safety policies.

RESOLUTION PROCEDURES:

·  All resolutions of student conduct problems that result in classroom exclusion shall be in writing and shall be binding on all parties.

·  Upon exclusion from a class, the student shall make every reasonable effort to resolve the matter with the faculty member.

·  If an excluded student and the faculty member who excluded that student cannot resolve the matter, either the student or the faculty member shall ask the Chair of the involved academic department or Director of the involved academic program to mediate a resolution of the dispute.

·  Upon reaching a resolution of the matter prompting the exclusion, either between the student and the faculty member or as a result of mediation by the Chair of the involved academic department or Director of the involved academic program, the student shall be permitted to return to the classroom on the condition that he/she abides by the terms of the resolution agreement.

APPEAL PROCEDURES:

·  If an excluded student cannot resolve the matter prompting the exclusion despite making every reasonable effort to do so as per the resolution procedures enumerated above, the student may request that the Dean of Students (or designee) review the matter.

·  The Dean of Students (or designee) shall review the exclusion with the excluded student, the faculty member, and the Chair of the department within three business days of the date the student requests the review and shall inform the student, the faculty member, and the Chair of the department of his/her decision resulting from that review within ten business days of the date the student requests the review.

·  If, upon review of the exclusion, the Dean of Students (or designee) determines that the student's exclusion from the class is warranted, the Dean of Students or designee shall, in writing, so inform the student, the faculty member, and the department chair. A typed copy of the Dean of Students' review shall be forwarded by the Dean of Students to the academic dean of the college (or designee). The Dean of Students' determination on this matter shall be final.

·  If, upon review of the exclusion, the Dean of Students (or designee) determines that the student's exclusion from the class is not warranted, the Dean of Students (or designee) shall bring the matter to the attention of the academic dean of the college (or designee). A typed copy of the Dean of Students' review shall be forwarded by the Dean of Students to the Academic Dean of the College (or designee).

·  The Academic Dean of the College (or designee) shall review the Dean of Students' review of the exclusion within three business days of receipt of the Dean of Students' written documentation of the case. The Academic Dean of the College (or designee) shall notify the student, the faculty member, the Chair of the department, and the Dean of Students of his/her decision within five business days of receipt of the Dean of Students' written documentation of the case.

·  If, upon review of the Dean of Students' review of the exclusion, the Academic Dean of the College (or designee) determines that the exclusion is warranted, contrary to the judgment of the Dean of Students, the Academic Dean of the College shall, in writing, so inform the student, the faculty member, the Chair of the department, and the Dean of Students. The Academic Dean's determination on this matter shall be final.

·  If, upon review of the Dean of Students' review of the exclusion, the Academic Dean of the College (or designee) concurs with the Dean of Students and determines that the exclusion is not warranted, the Academic Dean of the College (or designee) shall, in writing, so inform the student, the faculty member, and the Chair of the department. The Academic Dean's determination on this matter shall be final.

·  The Academic Dean of the College (or designee) shall inform the faculty member and the Department Chair of the faculty member's rights to grieve his/her decision to the privilege and tenure committee.

·  Upon exclusion from a class and until a resolution has been reached, a student shall not attempt to return to the classroom for any reason. The student shall have the right to receive, in a timely manner, all relevant information required to keep abreast of the work for the course, including any and all evaluation tools. The Chair of the Department shall serve as mediator and facilitator, where necessary.

·  If, upon review by the Dean of Students and the Academic Dean of the College (or designee), the student's exclusion from the classroom is upheld, the matter shall be referred to the appropriate authority or authorities for University disciplinary action if warranted.  

Possible Sanctions

Authority of Instructor and Relevant Academic Dean (or designee):
·  Warning;
·  Exclusion from the instructor’s classroom or academic area, pending expedited review by the Dean of Students Office;
·  Academic sanctions, if course participation is a component of the final grade and is indicated in the course syllabus.

Authority of the Dean of Students Office:
·  Warning;
·  Educational sanctions (e.g., classes, papers or community service);
·  Disciplinary probation;
·  Refer the case to the Faculty Discipline Committee with a recommendation for suspension or expulsion from the University;
·  Refer the case to the Public Safety Department with a recommendation for exclusion from any part or all of campus.

Authority of the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor:
·  Summary suspension;
·  Exclusion from any part or all of campus.

*In cases of suspension and expulsion, the student will receive a failing grade for the course and will not be refunded any of the educational costs for the course.

Documentation

Notes of the dates, times, witnesses and details of the incidents of disruption, and the impact of the disruption on those present, may be important in any future proceedings.  Referrals to the Dean of Students Office require written documentation containing factual and descriptive information.  The student is entitled to see this documentation.

Resources

Univeristy of Colorado Colorado Springs Public Safety
  • Emergency
  • 911
  • Non-Emergency
  • 255-3111
    Office of the Dean of Students 255-3091
    University Counseling Center 255-3265
    Disability Services 255-3354
    Affirmative Action/Sexual Harassment 255-3359
    University Legal Counsel 255-3820
    Academic Dean's Offices in relevant schools and colleges