Student Conduct Code Procedure: Twin Cities
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Table of Contents
- Introduction and purpose
- Different disciplinary processes: Twin Cities campus
- Complaints of violations of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code
- Informal resolution
- Formal resolution
- Possible sanctions for violation of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code
- Interim student suspension
Introduction and purpose
This procedure implements Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code and explains the Twin Cities campus's process for actions initiated against students or student organizations by the University under Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code. Procedures governing resolution of student-initiated complaints against the University are provided pursuant to Board of Regents Policy: Student Conflict Resolution Process.
The purpose of the student disciplinary process is to provide a framework for resolving complaints about violations of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code, so that:
- Informal resolution is encouraged. The disciplinary process encourages informal resolution of complaints where appropriate.
- Student development is emphasized. The disciplinary process emphasizes the educational purpose in student discipline, including helping students understand and accept responsibility for their own behavior.
- Community interests are met. While the emphasis of the disciplinary process is on responsible student self-development, the nature of the offense may require, in fairness to the community, the imposition of disciplinary sanctions.
- Students receive fair treatment. Most disciplinary matters are resolved informally, with the agreement of the student. When the people involved are unable to reach agreement, however, Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code requires that students have the opportunity to receive a fundamentally fair hearing and a campus-wide appeal.
Different disciplinary processes: Twin Cities campus
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has a campus-wide disciplinary process, managed by the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (OSCAI) and the Campus Committee on Student Behavior (CCSB) - that handles most complaints under Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code. In certain circumstances, discipline follows another process:
- A college may maintain its own hearing process for complaints within the college of scholastic dishonesty (which is a violation of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code).
- Professional or graduate programs may maintain their own codes of conduct for their students.
- Certain administrative units, specifically Housing and Residential Life, the Student Activities Office, and the Learning Abroad Center, also may maintain disciplinary processes for violations of their rules of conduct.
Regardless of the process, OSCAI is a resource for colleges and units in handling disciplinary matters.
Complaints of violations of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code
Complaints of violation of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code may issue from OSCAI, a responsible administrator under the code of conduct of a professional or graduate program, a responsible administrator under the disciplinary processes of an appropriate administrative unit (i.e., Housing and Residential Life, the Student Activities Office, or the Learning Abroad Center), or an instructor in the case of a grade sanction for scholastic dishonesty. In any case, students are entitled to notice identifying the alleged violations and explaining the basis for the allegations. Complaints should be made as soon as possible after the event takes place.
The offices and administrators that informally resolve complaints under Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code are:
- Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity
The Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (OSCAI) seeks to informally resolve complaints of violations of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code. OSCAI administrators meet with the student and consult with affected instructors or administrators to develop a proposed written resolution, including sanctions where appropriate. Students may accept OSCAI's proposed informal resolution, or may choose to go to a hearing. OSCAI also may choose to send a complaint to a hearing, rather than informally resolve it.
OSCAI handles complaints of violations of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code other than scholastic dishonesty, and may be involved in resolving complaints of scholastic dishonesty, especially when those complaints cross college lines or involve repeat violations or other misconduct under Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code. OSCAI also handles complaints that fall within an administrative unit's rules but are so serious as to warrant a University, rather than unit, response.
Record Hold. Students who refuse to respond to OSCAI upon receiving a complaint of violation of the Student Conduct will have a hold placed on their record, preventing them from registering or obtaining a transcript until they respond to the complaint.
- Instructors and colleges for scholastic dishonesty complaints
Allegations of scholastic dishonesty frequently are first raised by the affected instructor and are resolved simply by the assignment of a grade or other academic consequence in the class and the acceptance of that grade or consequence by the student. Instructors or their college should report all cases of scholastic dishonesty to OSCAI, even if the matter is resolved. The OSCAI is the central repository for all reports of scholastic dishonesty violations.
- Responsible administrator under a professional or graduate program code of conduct
Some professional or graduate programs maintain their own codes of conduct which may overlap with Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code. The programs may apply their own disciplinary procedures for violation of their codes by their students. Some of these codes may provide for informal resolution of complaints. Students should consult the code that applies to them for information about informally resolving complaints. A list of these codes of conduct can be found in Appendix B: Disciplinary Processes of Professional or Graduate Programs and Administrative Units: Twin Cities.
- Administrative unit
Some administrative units (Housing and Residential Life, the Student Activities Office, and the Learning Abroad Center) have their own disciplinary processes, which overlap with Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code, and may issue and resolve complaints of their rule violations through their own process. See Appendix B: Disciplinary Processes of Professional or Graduate Programs and Administrative Units. Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code complaints that are so serious as to warrant sanctions beyond the authority of the particular administrative unit, however, should be forwarded by the unit to OSCAI for handling, which may include a hearing before the CCSB.
If a complaint under Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code is not resolved informally, the student is entitled to a hearing. The hearing procedure varies depending on the circumstances of the student and the nature of the complaint. The hearing bodies are:
- Campus Committee on Student Behavior (CCSB)
The Campus Committee on Student Behavior (CCSB) is a campus-wide hearing body comprised of faculty, staff, and students that hears and decides complaints under the Student Conduct Code. See Appendix A: CCSB Hearing Procedures: Twin Cities. The CCSB has authority to hear all types of complaints under Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code, including:
- complaints under Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code of misconduct other than scholastic dishonesty;
- complaints of scholastic dishonesty that cross college lines;
- "intracollege" complaints of scholastic dishonesty (i.e., complaints involving a student within the college, in a course offered by that college; see section VII. C below) that are referred to CCSB by a college, or that are accompanied by non-scholastic complaints under Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code; and
- any other complaints under Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code that are referred to CCSB by a professional or graduate program, college, or administrative unit.
- College disciplinary process for scholastic dishonesty
Each college has the authority to manage its own hearing process for formal resolution of intracollege complaints of scholastic dishonesty, which is a violation of Section III(1) of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code. A complaint of scholastic dishonesty is "intracollege" when it involves a student admitted by that college, in a course offered by that college. Colleges may have their own established hearing procedures, or may follow the template procedures outlined in Appendix C: Guidelines for Colleges: Student Conduct Code Conflict Resolution Procedures: Twin Cities.
- Professional or graduate program disciplinary process
Professional or graduate programs that maintain their own codes of conduct may formally resolve complaints according to their own established hearing process. Students should consult the code that applies to them for information about formally resolving complaints. See Appendix B: Disciplinary Processes of Professional or Graduate Programs and Administrative Units.
- Administrative unit disciplinary process
Some administrative units (Housing and Residential Life, the Student Activities Office, the Learning Abroad Center) have their own disciplinary processes to formally resolve complaints involving violation of their rules and Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code violations. Students should consult the process that applies to them for information about formally resolving complaints. See Appendix B: Disciplinary Processes of Professional or Graduate Programs and Administrative Units.
- be notified in writing of the alleged violation and the underlying factual allegations; the time, date, and place of the hearing; and the range of possible sanctions;
- receive a prompt hearing;
- present their case, including witnesses;
- hear all evidence against them;
- question adverse testimony;
- be confronted by their accusers (subject to reasonable procedures to address concerns for safety or well-being);
- be accompanied or represented by an advocate of their choice;
- be found responsible only if the information as a whole shows that it is more likely than not that the student's conduct violated Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code;
- receive a written decision following the hearing; and
- receive notification of the procedure for a campus-wide appeal of the decision.
In all cases, hearings on violations of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code must be fundamentally fair. What constitutes fundamental fairness in a University hearing depends on a number of factors, including the seriousness of the potential penalty. However, a fundamentally fair hearing process usually allows for students or student organizations to:
A formal record, a tape recording, or a transcript of the hearing procedure must be kept for appellate purposes. Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code hearings are not court cases, and court rules of process, procedure, or evidence do not apply.
Possible sanctions for violation of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code
The Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code outlines the range of sanctions for violation of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code. Colleges, programs, and administrative units may further define the applicable sanctions under their processes. When hearing cases of violations of Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code, the CCSB and the colleges are authorized to apply the full scope of sanctions available to the University, including expulsion from the University. Professional or graduate programs or administrative units enforcing their own codes or disciplinary rules generally limit their sanctions to those that fall within the reach of the program or administrative unit. Cases that may warrant a broader sanction should be referred to or coordinated with the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity.
Interim student suspension
The president or provost may impose an immediate interim suspension on a student or student organization pending a hearing before the appropriate disciplinary committee (1) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community or to preserve University property, (2) to ensure the student's own physical or emotional safety and well-being, or (3) if the student or student organization poses an ongoing threat of disrupting or interfering with the operations of the University. During the interim suspension, the student or student organization may be denied access to all University activities or privileges for which the student or student organization might otherwise be eligible, including access to University housing or property. The student or student organization has a right to a prompt hearing before the president or provost on the questions of identification and whether the interim suspension should remain in effect until the full hearing is completed. The student must be informed in writing of the terms of the suspension, the reasons for it, and the opportunity to be heard on the limited questions described above. The underlying Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code case will be heard and decided by the appropriate hearing body, and the case generally will take precedence over other cases pending before that body.
Students are entitled to a campus-wide appeal of disciplinary decisions made in the hearing process.
Grounds for Appeal
The following are the grounds for appealing a disciplinary decision.
- There was significant procedural error sufficient to affect the outcome (e.g., lack of notice, opportunity to be heard, or opportunity to challenge information). A procedural error is not a basis for sustaining an appeal unless it was significant enough to affect the outcome.
- The rule found to have been violated was misapplied, misinterpreted, or contrary to law.
- New evidence exists that was not previously available to the appealing party and that is sufficient to affect the outcome.
- The sanction was grossly disproportionate to the offense.
- The decision was not based on substantial information. Substantial information means relevant information that a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. In making this determination, the appellate officer must respect the credibility determinations of the hearing body and must not substitute his or her judgment for the hearing body. Rather, the appellate officer must determine whether the hearing body’s decision was unreasonable (i.e., arbitrary) in light of the information presented.
Nature of Appellate Review
A student found to have violated Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code has the right to appeal the decision. Appellate review generally is a review of the record to determine whether a serious error occurred in the original proceeding that resulted in unfairness. Appellate review respects the credibility judgments of the hearing body, and respects the hearing body’s determinations as long as there is any evidence to reasonably support them.
The appellate officer makes the final University decision regarding student discipline. The Provost serves as the appellate officer, unless the Provost authorizes another administrator who holds a position of campus-wide scope to serve as the appellate officer in the Provost's place.
Parties and Advocates
The parties to an appeal are (1) the appellant, who is the student found to have violated the Student Conduct Code, and (2) the respondent, who is either the chair or a representative member of the original hearing panel. The appellant may be represented by an advocate (e.g., Student Conflict Resolution Center). If the appellant is represented by an attorney, the respondent will be represented by an attorney from the Office of General Counsel. Unless the appellate officer decides otherwise, the appeal is a written appeal and representation by an advocate or attorney is limited to providing written information.
Procedure for Filing an Appeal
To appeal a disciplinary decision, a student must submit a written appeal to the Provost’s Appeal Secretary within five (5) weekdays of the student’s receipt of the original disciplinary decision. [Address: Provost’s Appeal Secretary, 234 Morrill Hall, 100 Church Street, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.] The appeal must include a written statement setting for the ground(s) for the appeal, specifically identifying the ground(s) and explaining why the ground(s) for appeal are met.
Review of Information
To decide an appeal, the appellate officer reviews the written appeal submitted by the appellant and may review any or all portions of the record as appropriate to decide the appeal. The appellate officer also has discretion to seek further information to assist in deciding the appeal, including one or more of the following:
- additional written information from the student appellant, including citations to key portions of the record;
- a written response from the respondent;
- written responses to questions, from either the appellant or the respondent; and
- oral presentations from the appellant and the respondent (or their advocate/attorney), which will be recorded.
In cases of physical aggression or harassment or sexual assault or harassment, if the student appealing the decision is asked to submit written information or to appear for an oral presentation, the complaining witness will be offered the same opportunity.
The appellate officer makes the final University decision. The appellate officer may accept, modify, or reject the decision of the hearing body, or return the matter for further proceedings. The appellate officer will provide a written decision to the student and the chair of the hearing body. The appellate officer will strive to issue a final decision within thirty (30) calendar days of the notice of appeal.
Sanctions Pending Appeal
Academic (grade) sanctions by the hearing body are implemented immediately, even pending appeal. Disciplinary sanctions affecting the student's status/attendance at the University generally are stayed pending appeal, unless the Provost or delegate determines that sanctions should be immediately implemented because the underlying offense involved serious harm to another person or the student otherwise presents a continuing risk of harm or disruption to the community. All other disciplinary sanctions are generally stayed pending appeal.