Student Disciplinary Procedure

 

 

Dean of Students Office

Student Disciplinary Procedure

Prior versions of this procedure were known as the Student Grievance Procedure. The Student Grievance Procedure was approved by the Faculty Senate 3/10/87, ASUNM Senate 4/1/87, GPSA Senate 5/2/87 and by the Board of Regents 8/11/87.

Revisions approved by the Faculty Senate in May 1994 and by the President in May 1995. Revisions approved by the President: March 5, 1999; June 19, 2001; July 2, 2013; May 13, 2014; May 21, 2015; January 13, 2016; February 24, 2021.

Subject to Change Without Notice

I. Introduction

 

The Dean of Students Office Student Disciplinary Procedure is intended to provide University of New Mexico (“University” or “UNM”) procedures for handling student disciplinary matters.  The Dean of Students Office is the office responsible for the administration of these procedures and has primary authority with student disciplinary matters on UNM’s main campus.  These procedures are created and administered in accordance with Faculty Handbook Policies D175: Student Conduct and Grievance Procedures and D176: Graduate Student Grievance Procedures and the Student Code of Conduct.   Faculty Handbook Policies D175 and D176 are in effect and should be reviewed in conjunction with these procedures: https://handbook.unm.edu/section-d/.  Any question regarding these procedures should be directed to the Dean of Students Office.

II. Jurisdiction

 

The Dean of Students Office may take disciplinary action against a student for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct when the offense occurs on UNM premises or at a UNM-sponsored event, or when the violation occurs off campus and failure to take disciplinary action is likely to disrupt the academic process or other campus functions or endanger the health, safety or welfare of the UNM community or any individual Student or employee.

Student grievances or disciplinary matters arising in UNM Health Science Center (“HSC”) programs shall be handled under the procedures in effect for that HSC program.

Student grievance or disciplinary matters arising in the UNM School of Law shall be handled under the procedures in effect for the School of Law.  The School of Law may refer the matter to the Dean of Students Office and handled pursuant to these procedures if approved by the Dean of Students.

Branch campuses shall follow this Student Disciplinary Procedure, as modified to identify the decision-makers at their respective campus or program.  HSC departments or the School of Law may elect to follow this Student Disciplinary Procedure, as modified to identify the decision-makers at their respective campus or program.

At times, the Dean of Students Office may review allegations of Student Code of Conduct violations at the same time as another department (ex: Office of Compliance, Ethics and Equal Opportunity “CEEO” or Residence Life & Student Housing) is reviewing the allegations for violations of another University policy.

The Student disciplinary process is entirely separate from criminal or civil litigation. Legal outcomes do not affect the Student disciplinary process, nor will pending criminal or civil litigation stop or delay the Student disciplinary process.  As such, the Dean of Students Office may proceed with the Student disciplinary process before, during, or after any legal proceedings related to the allegations of Code of Conduct violations.

III. Definitions

 

For purposes of these procedures, the following definitions shall apply.

Student: includes all persons currently enrolled both full-time and part-time while pursuing undergraduate, graduate or professional studies at the University, whether full-time, part-time, non-degree, credit or no credit, or online-only; those who withdraw or graduate after allegedly violating the Student Code of Conduct or other University policy; those who were previously enrolled as Students but are not officially enrolled for a particular term yet have a continuing relationship with the University; and those who have been notified of their acceptance for admission.  For purposes of these procedures, Student may also mean Student Organization.

Student Organization: means any number of persons or entities who have associated as a group and complied with the University’s formal chartering requirements for recognition as a chartered Student Organization.

Student Organization Activity: means any activity on or off campus which is group sponsored, initiated, financed, advertised or attended by a significant portion of the members.

Complainant: refers to the person or persons filing a complaint about Student misconduct.  Complainant may refer to the University, where the University itself pursues an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct or other University policy against a Student.

Respondent: refers to the Student or Student Organization who is responding to allegations of violating the Student Code of Conduct.

Witness: means any person who may have direct or indirect knowledge of the alleged incident or Evidence.

Good Cause: means adequate or substantial grounds or reason to take a certain action.  Good Cause may be specifically defined or limited as noted herein.

Evidence: consists of, but is not limited to, eyewitness statements, photos, video, security video, audio recordings, social media, emails, texts, cellular records, police reports and any other information that would assist the Hearing Officer in making a finding.

Advisor: means an individual whose role is to provide the Complainant or Respondent support or counsel regarding the disciplinary process, subject to limitations as noted herein.  The role of an Advisor under these procedures may differ from the role of an Advisor under procedures of other offices.

Hearing Officer: means a University Official authorized by the Dean of Students to facilitate Student conduct hearings and determine whether a Student or Student Organization has violated the Student Code of Conduct or other University policy.  The Hearing Officer may or may not be the Student Conduct Officer or Administrative Hearing Officer.

Student Conduct Officer: means the staff person(s) in the Dean of Students Office with authority to facilitate Student conduct hearings and determine whether a Student or Student Organization has violated the Student Code of Conduct or other University policy.  The Student Conduct Officer has authority to impose sanctions when violation has been substantiated by a preponderance of the Evidence and to issue interim or supportive measures when necessary.  For purposes of these procedures, the Student Conduct Officer may also mean the Associate Conduct Officer.

Administrative Hearing Officer: means the staff person(s) serving as an independent officer under the supervision of the President with authority to adjudicate cases related to personnel issues, Student conduct violations, allegations of discrimination, Title IX violations, and other related matters.

University Official: includes any person employed by the University performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.

 

IV. Provisions Governing This Procedure

The following provisions govern the disciplinary process and apply to all matters referenced herein.

 

 A. Evidence

The standard of proof utilized to resolve alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct shall be that of preponderance of the Evidence, meaning that the Evidence, considered in its entirety, indicates that, more likely than not, the Respondent violated the Code of Conduct or University policy.

The formal rules of process, procedure and Evidence used by the legal system in civil or criminal trials do not apply to the University disciplinary process.  Hearsay is admissible as Evidence in the University disciplinary process.

 B. Email As Official Communication

The Dean of Students Office sends official notifications and other documentation or communication to Students via email to University email addresses.  All correspondence sent from the Dean of Students Office by email is considered received by the Student on the date the email is sent.  Students are responsible for these correspondences and any deadlines communicated therein regardless of whether they opened or read the email correspondence that was received.  If the Student does not have access to a University email address (for example as a newly admitted Student), the Dean of Students Office will communicate via the email or mailing address otherwise provided to the University.  See University Administrative Policy 2540: Student Email for Student responsibilities regarding email accounts.

 C. Deadlines

Any University Official referenced in this procedure may set deadlines by which parties are required to respond to correspondence, meet with the University Official, or complete a sanction requirement.  University Officials should set deadlines to ensure that a decision is rendered within sixty (60) days of a complaint being received by the Dean of Students Office.  If a deadline has passed with no response from the party, the party has waived their right to respond or participate and the University Official shall proceed with the process without the response or participation.

Extensions of deadlines may be granted for Good Cause at the discretion of the University Official.  Extension requests must be received prior to the deadline in order to be considered.

 D. Role of Advisors

The Respondent and Complainant may be accompanied by one (1) Advisor at any meeting or hearing regarding the disciplinary process.  The Advisor may be family, friend, or other personal or professional connection providing support or counsel to the Student during the disciplinary process.  The Advisor may also be an attorney retained by a party at the party’s own expense, but is not required to be.  The Advisor, including an attorney Advisor if applicable, cannot act as a representative of the party, cannot have a voice in meetings or hearings and therefore is not permitted to present arguments or Evidence or otherwise participate directly in meetings or hearings.  The Advisor must act in decorum at all times; this is, they must not object, raise their voice, argue, or seek to intimidate the University Official.  The Advisor may not serve in a dual role as a Witness in any investigation or hearing.

The Student must provide the University Official conducting the meeting or hearing notice of the name of the Advisor and whether the Advisor is an attorney at least two (2) days prior to the meeting or hearing.  A Student may not bring an Advisor without such prior notification.   The University Official is not required to extend a deadline or reschedule a meeting or hearing because the Student did not provide such notification. 

The Student, not the Advisor, is responsible for scheduling a meeting or hearing with the University Official.  Reasonable efforts will be made to schedule meetings and hearings to include the Advisor, but the scheduling of meetings or hearings shall not be delayed due to the unavailability of an Advisor. 

The Advisor must comply with the limitations set forth in this procedure.  Should the Advisor act in noncompliance with this procedure as determined by the University Official conducting the meeting or hearing, the Advisor will first receive a warning that future acts of noncompliance will lead to their removal from the meeting or hearing.  Upon any additional acts of noncompliance as determined by the University Official conducting the meeting or hearing, the University Official may direct the removal of the Advisor from the meeting or hearing.  In such instances, the University Official may but is not required to reschedule the meeting or hearing to accommodate the presence of the Advisor.

 E. Reasonable Accommodations for Documented Disabilities

The Dean of Students may consider exceptions to any portion of these procedures on a case-by-case basis for a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability or serious medical condition.  Students who need an accommodation for the disciplinary process should contact the Accessibility Resource Center (arc.unm.edu).   The Accessibility Resource Center works with Students to develop reasonable accommodations and verify accommodation needs.

 F. Designees

Whenever these procedures specify a University Official by title, the University Official may designate someone to consider and/or decide the matter.  A designee may only be appointed by a Dean, Vice President (“VP”) or Senior Level Administrator.  Such designee will normally be, but is not required to be, a member of the decision-maker's staff.

 G. Former Students

If the Respondent has left the UNM community by graduation or otherwise, these procedures shall continue to apply so long as the event giving rise to the dispute occurred while the Student was a member of the UNM community and so long as UNM has the power to resolve the matter.

 H. Conflict of Interest

The University Official deciding a matter shall not have a conflict of interest or bias with respect to the matter to be heard such that they cannot hear the matter fairly and impartially.  Prior knowledge of the parties in the case or the conduct that is subject of the case does not constitute a conflict or bias.  Prior decision-making regarding either party or prior sanctioning of either party does not constitute a conflict or bias.  Allegations that a decision-maker has a conflict of interest or bias shall be reviewed by the Dean of Students, whose decision is final.

 I. Calculation of Time and Time Limits

Unless otherwise specified herein, the term “days” refers to regularly recognized University business days and does not include weekends, holidays, or other University closures. For Good Cause, the University Official may extend any time limit set forth in this procedure. Good Cause includes but is not limited to the fact that a deadline falls during finals week or during a period such as vacations, holidays, intercessions, or summer session.

 J. Use of Technology

Any meeting or hearing referenced herein may be conducted by telephone or videoconference technology where parties may be in separate rooms or locations.  During a videoconference hearing, all participants, including but not limited to the Respondent, Complainant, Hearing Officer, and Advisors, must be able to both see and hear one another at all times, unless granted an exemption by the Hearing Officer for Good Cause.  Good Cause may include inability to access videoconference due to unavailability of internet or technology.

 K. Deviations from Procedures

Reasonable deviations from these procedures by UNM will not invalidate a decision or proceeding unless significant prejudice results.

 

 V. Student Rights

Students participating in the disciplinary process as described in these procedures have the following rights:

  • The Respondent has the right to written notice of the charges at issue in the proceeding that contains sufficient detail and time to prepare for a hearing.
  • The Respondent has the right to a timely hearing before an appropriate official or committee.
  • The Respondent has the right to know the nature and source of the Evidence used in a hearing process. Both parties may have access to the Evidence, upon request.
  • Both parties have the right to present Evidence on their own behalf.
  • Both parties have the right to choose not to testify and/or not to answer questions; in such cases, the decision-maker will decide the allegations based upon all the Evidence presented.
  • Both parties have the right to be accompanied by an Advisor.
  • The Complainant has the right to submit a victim impact statement during the sanctioning portion of the discipline process.
  • The Complainant has the right to have past irrelevant behavior excluded from the discipline process.
  • Both parties have the right to be free from retaliation for having made an allegation of misconduct or having participated in an area covered by this procedure. See University Administrative Policy 2200: Reporting Suspected Misconduct and Whistleblower Protection from Retaliation.

 

VI. Reporting Alleged Misconduct 

All members of the University community are encouraged to contact the Student Conduct Officer within the Dean of Students Office if they observe, experience, or encounter Student conduct they suspect may violate the Student Code of Conduct or other University policy.

Reports of alleged Student misconduct may be submitted in writing such as through email or by telephone, videoconference or in person through meeting with the Student Conduct Officer.  Reports of alleged misconduct should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place, preferably within sixty (60) days. Absent Good Cause, reports must be submitted within one year following discovery of the suspected misconduct.

Reports of alleged Student misconduct may be submitted anonymously via the University’s Compliance Hotline, Ethicspoint at unm.ethicspoint.com or 1-888-899-6092.

Reports of alleged Student misconduct specific to hazing may be submitted online at the Dean of Students Office website.  Hazing Report Form

 

VII. Interim And Supportive Measures

 

In certain circumstances, the University may issue interim or supportive measures upon notification of alleged Student misconduct.  Interim and supportive measures are not sanctions and do not replace the Student disciplinary process.  Rather, they are issued while the investigation or disciplinary process is proceeding.  The University Official will assess the specific situation and the severity of the allegations to determine the appropriate interim or supportive measures to implement pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.

In matters involving Title IX, the University Official shall consult with the Title IX Coordinator before issuing any supportive measure.

Interim or supportive measures include, but are not limited to:

A. Interim Registration Hold

A registration hold is placed to prevent a Student from registering for classes. 

Interim registration holds may be placed at the discretion of the Student Conduct Officer when a Student fails to meet regarding the disciplinary process by the required deadline.  The interim registration hold will be lifted after the Student meets with the Student Conduct Officer. 

B. Interim Transcript Hold

A transcript hold is placed to prevent a Student from receiving an official copy of their transcript.

Interim transcript holds may be placed at the discretion of the Student Conduct Officer where a Student is facing serious allegations of misconduct that, if substantiated by a preponderance of the Evidence, would likely result in a Suspension or Expulsion from the University.  The interim transcript hold will be lifted after the Student either is found not responsible for the allegations or, if responsible, after the sanctioning process has been completed and all appellate avenues exhausted.

C. Interim Restriction of Student Organization Social Events

An interim restriction of Student Organization social events is a temporary restriction of social gatherings.  The restrictions may include but are not limited to formals, dinners, mixers, other social events, any activity involving alcohol, and some philanthropic events.

An interim restriction of Student Organization social events may be placed at the discretion of the Student Conduct Officer where a Student Organization is facing allegations related to drugs and/or alcohol; alleged violations that occurred at a social gathering; or alleged violations of the Fraternity and Sorority Risk Management Procedures.

D. Interim Suspension of Student Organization Activity

An interim suspension of Student Organization Activity is a temporary suspension of all or some Student Organization activities and/or a temporary suspension of the Student Organization charter.  Interim suspension terms may include but are not limited to suspending meetings, practices, games, philanthropic events, recruitment and social gatherings. 

The Dean of Students has designated the Student Conduct Officer to issue interim suspensions of Student Organization Activity.  Interim suspensions of Student Organization Activity may be issued if the Student Conduct Officer determines, based on the seriousness of the allegations, that the organization’s continued presence on the campus may endanger persons or property or may threaten disruption of the academic process or other campus functions.

Interim suspensions of Student Organization Activity may be appealed to the Dean of Students.  The Student Organization President, or designee, may request an appeal meeting with the Dean of Students.  This appeal meeting shall be held as soon as possible after the request but no later than five (5) days after the request. The Dean of Students shall give the Student Organization an opportunity to explain their position and present Evidence.

After the meeting, if the Dean finds that the Student Organization’s continued presence may endanger persons or property or threaten disruption of the academic process or other campus functions, the Dean shall uphold the interim suspension. The Dean may also revoke or modify the terms of the interim suspension.

E. Interim Ban from Campus

An interim ban from campus means being temporarily barred from all or designated portions of the University property or activities.

The Dean of Students has designated the Student Conduct Officer to issue interim bans.  Interim bans from campus may be issued if the Student Conduct Officer determines, based on the seriousness of the allegations, that the Student’s continued presence on the campus may endanger persons or property or may threaten disruption of the academic process or other campus functions.  The Student Conduct Officer will conduct an individual risk assessment prior to issuing an interim ban.

Interim bans from campus may be appealed to the Dean of Students.  The Student may request an appeal meeting with the Dean of Students.  This appeal meeting shall be held as soon as possible after the request but no later than five (5) days after the request. The Dean of Students shall give the Student an opportunity to explain their position and present Evidence.

After the meeting, if the Dean finds that the Student’s continued presence may endanger persons or property or threaten disruption of the academic process or other campus functions, the Dean shall uphold the interim ban. The Dean may also revoke or modify the terms of the interim ban.

The Student Conduct Officer and Dean of Students may consult with the University’s Threat Assessment Team, Title IX Coordinator, UNM Police, and/or any other appropriate University Official in decision-making regarding interim bans from campus.

F. No Contact Directive

A No Contact Directive is a means of preventing unwanted contact and communication and serves as a way to help prevent harassment and/or retaliation or other learning environment disruptions within the University setting.  In an effort to support Students at the University of New Mexico, the Student Conduct Officer has the authority to issue and enforce No Contact Directives to a Student affiliated with the University of New Mexico.

A No Contact Directive is not a disciplinary action and is not indicative of a Code of Conduct or University policy violation for either party of the directive.  Violations of a No Contact Directive involving a Student will be addressed as a disciplinary matter and allegations regarding Student violations will be resolved through the Student Code of Conduct pursuant to these disciplinary procedures.

The Student Conduct Officer will work with the appropriate University Officials at the Health Sciences Center colleges, School of Law, and branch campuses in requests involving Students in these programs.  Typically, No Contact Directives are issued between two or more Students.  In some cases, the Dean of Students Office may issue a No Contact Directive to a Student where another office on campus, such as Human Resources and/or the Provost’s Office, issues a No Contact Directive to a staff or faculty members. For more information about No Contact Directives, please see the Dean of Students, No Contact Directive FAQ

 

VIII. Pre-Hearing Process

Following receipt of a report or complaint, the Student Conduct Officer shall assess whether the allegations are jurisdictional to the Dean of Students Office. 

 

The Student Conduct Officer may perform a preliminary investigation regarding the allegations.  A preliminary investigation may be performed to aid the Student Conduct Officer in determining jurisdiction, assessing what sections of the Code of Conduct the Respondent is alleged to have violated, gathering Evidence, or for other Good Cause.

 

If the allegations are jurisdictional to the Dean of Students Office, the Student Conduct Officer shall provide notice of the allegations to the Student and either propose resolving the situation with the non-disciplinary Restorative Resolutions Process or send Notice of Allegations and Investigation to the Respondent to initiate the disciplinary process.

 

A decision, in most cases, will be rendered within sixty (60) days of the filing of a complaint. This date can be modified at the discretion of the Dean of Students Office if deemed necessary, such as to conduct a hearing that protects the rights of all parties.

 A. Restorative Resolutions Process

 

The Student Conduct Officer may propose resolving allegations against a Respondent through a non-disciplinary Restorative Resolution Process.  Additionally, with approval from the Student Conduct Officer, other entities on campus may refer Students to the Dean of Students Office Restorative Resolution Process. 

 

Under a Restorative Resolutions Process, a Student may bypass formal investigation and disciplinary action when their behavior may violate the Student Code of Conduct or other University policy.  Examples of Restorative Resolution Processes may include but are not limited to conflict coaching, mediation, and restorative justice. 

 

The use of the Restorative Resolution Process as an appropriate method of resolution requires the recommendation of the Student Conduct Officer, based on the facts and circumstances of the case as well as staffing and other business needs.  The nature of some situations, such as those involving power imbalances, serious violence, or repeated problematic behavior are not appropriate or permitted through the Restorative Resolution Process.

 

Participation in a Restorative Resolution Process must also be mutually agreed upon and voluntary for all parties and may or may not result in agreement or resolution.

 

If resolution is reached through a Restorative Resolution Process, the situation is considered resolved.  Any agreement or resolution is binding and not subject to appeal.  Failure to abide by the agreement or resolution may result in disciplinary action.

 

If resolution is not reached, allegations against the Respondent will be resolved through the Student Code of Conduct pursuant to these disciplinary procedures or otherwise referred to the University entity or official most appropriate to handle the matter.

 B. Notice of Allegations and Investigation & Pre-Hearing Meeting

 

To initiate the disciplinary process and official investigation, the Student Conduct Officer shall send a Notice of Allegations and Investigation to the Respondent.  The Notice of Allegations and Investigation shall contain a written summary of the allegations, what sections of the Code of Conduct the Respondent is alleged to have violated, and information for a pre-hearing meeting.

 

The Pre-Hearing Meeting is vital to the investigation and hearing process.  During the Pre-Hearing Meeting, the Student Conduct Officer will review the allegations and the investigation and disciplinary process with the Respondent.  The Student Conduct Officer will review with the Respondent the available hearing options, which are described below in section IX.  The matter will proceed with an Administrative Hearing where separation from the learning environment will not be considered as a potential sanction outcome should the Respondent be found responsible for the alleged violations.  The Respondent has the option to choose between Administrative or Formal Hearing if suspension, expulsion, ban from campus, or outcome which results in a significant interruption toward degree completion may be considered as a potential sanction if the Respondent were to be found responsible for the alleged violations.  If the Respondent does not attend the Pre-Hearing Meeting to consult with the Student Conduct Officer regarding the hearing options or does not select a hearing preference, the Student Conduct Officer will determine which of the hearing options will be utilized to resolve the matter. 

 C. Outcome Agreement Conference

 

An Outcome Agreement Conference may be held if, after the Pre-Hearing Meeting, the Respondent does not dispute the allegations and wishes to take responsibility for violating the Student Code of Conduct.

 

If a Respondent wishes to hold an Outcome Agreement Conference, the Student Conduct Officer will prepare an Outcome Agreement containing the proposed findings of Code of Conduct violations and the proposed sanction outcomes.  The Respondent may not present Evidence or Witnesses during the Outcome Agreement Conference.  If the Respondent agrees to the terms of the Outcome Agreement, the Respondent will sign the document and will be required to complete all sanctions therein.  A signed Outcome Agreement will constitute a waiver by the Respondent of the right to an Administrative or Formal Hearing as well as any appeal, and an acceptance of the findings and sanction.  Failure to fulfill the terms of the Outcome Agreement may lead to additional disciplinary action for the Respondent.

 

If the Respondent does not agree to the terms of the Outcome Agreement, the matter will proceed with either an Administrative or Formal Hearing, in accordance with section IX below.

 D. Designation to Office of Compliance, Ethics and Equal Opportunity

 

In matters involving allegations of Code of Conduct violations related to University Administrative Policy 2720 or University Administrative Policy 2740, the Dean of Students may designate the Office of Compliance, Ethics and Equal Opportunity to perform the Code of Conduct investigation and hearing process pursuant to the procedures adopted by their office.

 E. Investigation Report

 

Prior to the Administrative or Formal Hearing, the Student Conduct Officer will perform an investigation and prepare an investigation report.  The investigation is a neutral Evidence gathering process during which the Student Conduct Officer gathers Evidence from the Respondent; Complainant, if applicable; Witnesses; and from any other source with relevant information that the Student Conduct Officer determines may be useful or relevant to the investigation.  The parties may provide the Student Conduct Officer with documentation to review and Witnesses to contact. With regards to Witnesses, the parties must provide the Student Conduct Officer with contact information and expected testimony of any Witnesses for them to be contacted.  The Student Conduct Officer may decline to contact suggested Witnesses if the Student Conduct Officer determines that the expected testimony is not sufficiently relevant to the allegations, would be duplicative of other testimony, or would otherwise not be significantly helpful to the review and determination of the allegations.  

 

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Student Conduct Officer shall draft an Investigation Report containing the Evidence gathered in the investigation.

 

A party may not present additional Evidence at an Administrative or Formal Hearing that they did not present to the Student Conduct Officer during the investigation.  Exceptions shall be considered by the Hearing Officer for Good Cause.  Good Cause is limited to (1) Evidence requested by the Hearing Officer, (2) Evidence of which the party was not previously aware, that the party could not have possibly discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the absence of which would be sufficient to materially affect the outcome of the matter, or (3) relevant Evidence submitted to rebut information in the Investigation Report, and the absence of which would be sufficient to materially affect the outcome of the matter.

 

The University does not have the power to compel a person’s participation in the investigation or hearing process, nor does it have subpoena powers to obtain documents or other relevant Evidence. As a result, the Hearing Officer may reach a decision without the opportunity to consider a party’s or Witness’ testimony, or other relevant Evidence.  For individuals affiliated with the University, the Student Conduct Officer and/or Hearing Officer will make reasonable attempts to secure the participation.  However, a party or Witness’ non-participation in the investigation or hearing will not prevent the Hearing Officer from reaching a determination in a case.  The Hearing Officer shall decide the allegations based upon all the Evidence available.


 IX. Hearings

 

The Dean of Students Office shall resolve contested allegations of Code of Conduct violations through either an Administrative or Formal Hearing process, as described below.  Which hearing process will be utilized is determined via the process described in section VII (B) above.

A. Administrative Hearing

The Administrative Hearing is a hearing between the Respondent and Hearing Officer to discuss the alleged violations.  The Hearing Officer for an Administrative Hearing shall be the Student Conduct Officer. 

No less than five (5) days before the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall send to the Respondent the Investigation Report.

The Administrative Hearing allows the Respondent to confront the Evidence in the Investigation Report and to present arguments for consideration by the Hearing Officer.  The Hearing Officer may ask the Respondent any questions deemed relevant to determining the findings and/or sanctions, if applicable.   

Within three (3) weeks of the Administrative Hearing, the Hearing Officer shall send the Respondent written notice of the findings and the reasoning therefor.  If the Respondent has been found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct, the written notice shall contain the sanctions imposed for the violation(s).

 B. Formal Hearing

The Formal Hearing is a live hearing before a Hearing Officer to discuss alleged violations, present arguments, and question parties and Witnesses.  In most matters, the Hearing Officer for Formal Hearings will be the University’s Administrative Hearing Officer.  Formal Hearings shall be recorded by the University.

No less than seven (7) days before the Formal Hearing, the Student Conduct Officer shall send the Investigation Report to all parties, including the Hearing Officer.

The Formal Hearing shall follow those procedures adopted by the Hearing Officer as modified if necessary to comply with all provisions in this procedure.  The Student Conduct Officer may be called to the Hearing to attest to any questions regarding the Investigation Report.

The Hearing Officer shall determine responsibility for the alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct.  If the Respondent is found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct, the Respondent will be subject to sanctioning, pursuant to section XI (A) below.

A decision for Formal Hearings shall be issued in the manner and timeline as delineated in those procedures adopted by the Hearing Officer.

 

X. Sanctioning

The Student Conduct Officer shall issue a sanction in all matters where a Respondent has been found responsible for violating the Code of Conduct pursuant to these procedures.  Additionally, the Student Conduct Officer shall issue a sanction in all matters properly referred to the Dean of Students Office where a Student Respondent has been found responsible for violating the University’s policies on civil rights or discrimination, to include University Administrative Policy 2720 and University Administrative Policy 2740.  Branch campus, HSC, and School of Law Students shall be sanctioned by the appropriate University Official as outlined in the procedures of those programs.

No sanction shall be issued in matters where a Respondent was found not responsible for violating the Code of Conduct or other University policy.

To the extent practicable, all hearing decisions where a Respondent has been found responsible for a Code of Conduct or other University policy violation should contain both a written description of the responsibility finding rationale as well as a description of the sanctions issued.  This simultaneous notification of responsibility and sanction outcome may not be always be possible where the Hearing Officer is not the Student Conduct Officer

For matters where the Student Conduct Officer is not the Hearing Officer in the matter, such as in Formal Hearings or in cases decided through the Office of Compliance, Ethics and Equal Opportunity process, the Student Conduct Officer will either draft the sanction outcome for the Hearing Officer to include in the Hearing Officer’s written decision or will issue a sanction within five (5) days of the issuance of the Hearing Officer’s written decision.  Prior to determining a sanction, the Student Conduct Officer will review the Hearing Officer’s decision and rationale on responsibility as well as all Evidence in the matter.  The Student Conduct Officer may sit in on the Formal Hearing to expedite this review process.  Should the Student Conduct Officer be unavailable to sit in on the Formal Hearing, the Student Conduct Officer will review the hearing recording and all Evidence, or the Dean of Students may designate the Administrative Hearing Officer to determine the appropriate sanction. 

In any matter where the Dean of Students designates the Administrative Hearing Officer (who is not the Student Conduct Officer) to decide the appropriate sanction, the Administrative Hearing Officer shall consult with the Student Conduct Officer prior to issuing the sanction, unless the Student Conduct Officer was found to have a conflict of interest in the matter.  If such conflict of interest exists, the Administrative Hearing Officer shall consult with the Dean of Students prior to issuing the sanction.

Sanctions shall be set based upon numerous factors, including but not limited to the severity of the offense, the amount of harm created, the Student’s prior disciplinary record, and sanctions imposed in recent years for similar offenses.  In determining sanctions, the Student Conduct Officer should assess each case individually and use professional judgment when weighing facts as well as aggravating or mitigating factors that may exist to determine the most appropriate sanctioning for the development of the Student and the common good and safety of the University community.

In matters involving Title IX, the Student Conduct Officer shall consult with the Title IX Coordinator prior to issuing a sanction to ensure compliance with Title IX.

Sanctions for Code of Conduct violations shall not be implemented until the conclusion of the President-level appeal.  Sanctions for violations of University Administrative 2720 or University Administrative Policy 2740 shall not be implemented until the exhaustion of the appellate process, including the Regents-level discretionary appeal, as described in Section XI below.

If a Student fails to timely and successfully complete a sanction requirement, they may be subject to additional disciplinary action in accordance with this procedure.  A registration hold may also be placed at the discretion of the Student Conduct Officer where a Student fails to complete a sanction requirement by the deadline.  In such cases, the registration hold will be lifted after the Student successfully completes the sanction requirement.

 

XI. Appeals

Decisions of the Student Conduct Officer regarding Code of Conduct violations or sanctions are final, unless the sanction imposed on the Respondent is suspension, expulsion or banning from campus or results in a significant interruption toward degree completion. Decisions of the Student Conduct Officer regarding discrimination claims under University Administrative Policy 2720 or University Administrative Policy 2740 may be appealed no matter the level of sanction.  In cases involving discrimination that related to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, the decision may be appealed by either the Respondent or Complainant. 

 

Below are the available appeals.

A. Appeals for Code of Conduct Violations

  1. Appeal to Vice President of Student Affairs

The decision on sanctions pertaining to Respondents made by the Dean of Students Office may be appealed to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Respondent must submit a written request for appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs within seven (7) days of the date of the written decision from the Dean of Students.

The grounds for appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs are that: 1) there was significant procedural error of a nature sufficient to have materially affected the outcome; 2) the decision was not in accordance with the Evidence presented; 3) there is significant new Evidence of which the appellant was not previously aware, that the appellant could not have possibly discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the absence of which was sufficient to have materially affected the outcome ; and/or 4) the severity of the sanction is grossly disproportionate to the violation(s) committed.

The Vice President for Student Affairs will send written notification of the decision to the appealing party within seven (7) days of receiving the request for appeal. A copy of the decision shall be sent to the Dean of Students Office.

  1. Discretionary Appeal to President

 

The President has the discretionary authority to review the decision of the VP for Student Affairs.  A request for a review by the President shall be made in writing, and must include the alleged facts, what happened in the proceedings to date, and the reasons justifying extraordinary review.  Such requests must be filed in the President's Office within seven (7) days of the date of the written decision from the last reviewer.

 

  1. Discretionary Appeal to Board of Regents

 

In accordance with Regent Policy 1.5, Students may appeal the decision to the Board of Regents. The Board has discretion to determine whether the appeal will be considered.”  A request for a review by the Board of Regents shall be made in writing, and must include the alleged facts, what happened in the proceedings to date, and the reasons justifying extraordinary review. Such requests must be filed in the President's Office within seven (7) days of the date of the written decision from the last reviewer.

 B. Appeals for University Administrative Policy 2720 or University Administrative Policy 2740

 

  1. Appeal to the President

 

The student may appeal the Hearing Officer’s finding and, if applicable the Dean of Students’ sanction. If a Student wishes to appeal both the Hearing Officer’s determination and the imposed sanction, the appeals must be filed at the same time; separate appeals will not be permitted.

The appeal must be in writing and contain a statement specifying what action(s) is/are being appealed and the grounds for appeal. The request for appeal must be received at the Office of the President within seven (7) days of the date of the written decision from either the Hearing Officer or the Office of the Dean of Students, whichever is later.

Refer to the CEEO Discrimination Grievance Procedures for allowable grounds and procedures for appeal of the Hearing Officer’s determination. Appeals of sanctions issued for violations of the University's prohibition against discrimination, including sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence, are only permissible if the grounds for such appeal are that: 1) there was significant procedural error of a nature sufficient to have materially affected the outcome; 2) the decision was not in accordance with the Evidence presented; 3) there is significant new Evidence of which the appellant was not previously aware, that the appellant could not have possibly discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the absence of which was sufficient to have materially affected the outcome ; and/or 4) the severity of the sanction is grossly disproportionate to the violation(s) committed.

The Hearing Officer’s determination and/or the sanctioning decision in cases involving discrimination that are not related to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence. may be appealed only by the sanctioned Student. However, the Hearing Officer’s determination and/or a sanctioning decision in cases involving sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence may be appealed by either the sanctioned Student or Complainant.

  1. Discretionary Appeal to the Board of Regents

In accordance with Regent Policy 1.5, Students affected by a decision of the administration, faculty, Student government, or hearing board may appeal the decision to the Board of Regents. The Board has discretion to determine whether the appeal will be considered.  A request for a review by the Board of Regents shall be made in writing and must include the alleged facts, what happened in the proceedings to date, and the reasons justifying extraordinary review. Such requests must be filed in the President's Office within seven (7) days of the date of the written decision from the last reviewer.

 

XII. Student Conduct Records

Records regarding Student conduct shall be kept in the Dean of Students Office for a period of ten (10) years after final disposition, except for records of suspensions or expulsions which shall be permanently maintained. Copies of the final decision in an academic dishonesty case shall be sent to the faculty member.

Other entities on campus may hold Student conduct records in addition to the Dean of Students Office.  These entities may include but are not limited to Residence Life & Student Housing, the Office of Compliance, Ethics and Equal Opportunity, HSC programs, and the School of Law.