7.5 Hearing Procedures

  1. The hearing is not a legal proceeding. Formal rules of process, procedure, and evidence do not apply.

  2. Objectives of the Hearing. Requisite levels of due process and fairness will be provided to all participants during these proceedings. The hearing shall have the following objectives.

    1. Inform the student of the charges.

    2. Give the accused student an opportunity to respond to the charges.

    3. Review the facts of the case.

    4. Determine if any violation of the Student Code of Conduct was committed.

    5. Recommend any Disciplinary Sanction(s) to be imposed based upon the facts, as determined at the hearing.

  3. Witnesses. Witnesses at hearings will not be sworn in. Each witness will be admonished that he or she is required to tell the truth. A student giving untrue testimony at a hearing is subject to disciplinary charges.

  4. Information. Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by the Hearing Officer or the Student Conduct Board at the discretion of the Chair.

  5. Burdens of Proof. The Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer shall determine whether it is more likely than not that the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct by a preponderance of evidence.

  6. The charged student may choose one advisor to be present at the hearing. The advisor can be chosen from a group of faculty or staff members who have been specifically trained to serve in the advisor role. The student may also choose any university person as his/her own advisor. The student may select, at his or her own expense, an attorney to serve as his/her advisor. The advisor or attorney cannot present statements, arguments, or question witnesses or participate directly in any Student Conduct Board Hearing or the Initial Review.

    1. Members of the Student Conduct Board may not serve as a student’s advisor at the hearing.

    2. The charged student must name his/her advisor during the Pre-Hearing Meeting with the Student Conduct Director.

  7. Hearings.

    1. All hearings before the Student Conduct Board will be digitally recorded by the University. That recording will serve as the only official record of these proceedings and shall be the property of the University. No other recordings are permitted. Deliberations shall not be recorded.

    2. The following is a guide to the format of events for hearings. The Board or Hearing Officer may change the order if necessary. The Board or Hearing Officer may question any party or witness directly.

      1. Review of Hearing procedures.

      2. Reading of Charges by the Student Conduct Director.

      3. Opening statement and presentation of evidence by the University by person bringing forward the charges, followed by the opening statement and presentation of evidence by the charged student.

      4. Questioning of University witnesses, followed by the questioning of charged student’s witnesses. All questions shall be directed to the Student Conduct Board chairperson or Hearing Officer who will question the witnesses.

      5. Questions directed to the charged student and the University by the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer.

      6. Closing statement by the University, followed by the closing statement of the charged student.

      7. Deliberation by the Board or Hearing Officer (not taped).

      8. Decision and recommendation of sanction by the Board or Hearing Officer.

  8. The Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer will find the student “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” for each of the alleged violations listed on the Notice of Charges. If the Board or Hearing Officer cannot reach a finding of “Responsible” or “Not Responsible” to a charge within a reasonable time period based on the complexity of the case, the chairperson shall call the Board as deadlocked and the Dean of Students may call a new hearing date with new board members to hear that charge. No person serving on the first board shall serve on the second board. If the second board also deadlocks, then the charges against the charged student shall be dismissed.

  9. If the charged student fails to appear at the scheduled hearing (after proper notice), the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer will review the case and make a decision without the student. Consideration will be given for non-appearance due to extenuating circumstances. The student relinquishes the right to appeal the decision of the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer and retains the right only to appeal the severity of the sanction.

  10. The Student Conduct Director shall send a notification in writing (Notice of Decision and Sanction) to the student of the decision of the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Office and the sanction(s) imposed within five academic days of the conclusion of the hearing.

  11. Sanction recommendations will be reviewed by the Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to the dissemination of the Notice of Decision and Sanction. The Provost/Executive Vice President can return the decision to the Student Conduct Board or Hearing Officer for reconsideration.