To begin the formal hearing process, the Office of the Dean of Students notifies the charged student of the hearing date, time, location, and the names of the Student Conduct Hearing Board (SCHB) members who may participate in the case. The hearing date may be changed if the student makes the request in writing, the request is received by the Office of the Dean of Students no less than five working days prior to the hearing date, and the student provides good reason for the requested date change. The Office of the Dean of Students determines whether to approve the student’s request and may require documentation or other evidence supporting the reason provided by the student. If the request is approved, a new hearing date is selected and the student is notified. The University also reserves the right to change the hearing date, time, and location if logistically necessary
A quorum consists of three SCHB members, who are appointed by the Dean of Students, and will always include at least one student and at least one faculty or staff member. Any SCHB member who believes she or he is unable to be an objective participant for a given case is expected to remove himself/herself from the SCHB for that particular hearing.
When a case is referred to the SCHB, the charged student will be informed, at least three working days before the formal hearing, of the names of the witnesses requested by the University to present information at the formal hearing.
At least five working days before the hearing date, the Office of the Dean of Students will give the charged student and the SCHB all additional documents to be used at the hearing that may not have been previously made available.
At least five working days before the hearing date, the charged student will give the Office of Judicial Affairs, in writing,
names of the witnesses (if any) being asked to present information at the hearing
all documents (if any) to be included at the hearing, including written statements of witnesses
objections (if any) to the service of the SCHB member(s), and
the name of the advisor (if any) who will appear with the charged student
The charged student may personally request witnesses to attend the hearing, or he or she may request in writing that the Office of the Dean of Students make the request on his or her behalf; however, the Office of the Dean of Students cannot guarantee the presence of a requested witness at a hearing. Students and employees are expected to participate as reasonably requested in the conduct proceedings as a responsibility of membership in the University community. Failure to do so may result in conduct proceedings.
The chair of the SCHB has full discretion regarding the management of the hearing. The SCHB chair may impose reasonable limits upon the number of witnesses presenting information, the inclusion of, and number of, written character statements, and upon the amount of cumulative information that may be introduced on a disputed issue. Technical rules of evidence and procedures applicable to civil and criminal court cases do not apply. The chair may exclude any person, including the charged student and his/her advisor, who disrupts the hearing.
Once the hearing has begun, the SCHB chair has the discretion to continue the hearing at another point in time.
If the charged student fails to appear for the hearing, the SCHB may hear the case and make a decision in his/her absence.
The complainant may be provided during the formal hearing, whenever practical, accommodations that do not require the complainant to be in close proximity to the charged student or such person’s family, friends, advisor, or witnesses.
The charged student and an alleged victim may provide an impact statement for consideration during the conduct proceedings.
Hearing procedures. A formal hearing will be conducted as follows, in order to provide fairness to all who are involved in the conduct process:
Call to order by the chair.
Announcements and opening remarks by the chair, including such items as:
Statement of the nature of the case under consideration
Statement of the conditions of the hearing:
Hearing is closed
Comments and/or statements must be restricted to matters relevant to the case
Any person who interferes with or obstructs the hearing, or who fails to abide by the rulings of the chair or the SCHB, can be dismissed from the hearing
The hearing will be audio recorded
SCHB deliberations are a closed session that is not taped
Establishment of quorum
The chair will review the charges and allegations against the student.
The chair will review the documents under consideration.
The chair will ask the charged student to respond to the charges noted in the complaint.
The chair will direct discussion of the information and presentation of the witnesses. Further, the charged student may ask questions of witnesses through the chair of the SCHB. The chair of the SCHB has the discretion to determine the appropriateness of the questions and whether the question will be accepted and presented to the witness.
The chair has the discretion to recall particular witness to address specific issues or questions at either the request of the students or SCHB.
The charged student and the chair may make closing statements.
The chair concludes the hearing and excuses the charged student and advisor.
The SCHB enters closed session deliberations and decides whether or not the charged student has violated the Student Code of Conduct. If a violation has occurred, the SCHB decides the sanction.
The chair notifies the Dean of Students of the SCHB’s decision. The Office of the Dean of Students then notifies, in writing, the charged student and appropriate university officials of the SCHB decision.
The Office of the Dean of Students keeps a record of the hearing. The record includes copies of all correspondence between the charged student and the University, an audio recording of the hearing, all documents admitted at the hearing, and the decision. The record is destroyed when the case file is expunged.
Evidence. In order to find that a student has violated a standard of conduct, the burden of proof required is a preponderance of evidence, i.e. does the evidence demonstrate that it is more likely than not that the conduct occurred? The hearing need not be conducted according to the technical rules of evidence. Any relevant evidence may be considered if it is the sort of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs.
No evidence other than that received at the hearing or in conjunction with the conduct process shall be considered.
Questions of Law. If questions of law arise during the formal hearing, the SCHB may request the Dean of Students to obtain a legal opinion from the Office of the University Counsel.