Goals & FAQs
The goal of the Office of Academic and Community Conduct is to resolve issues in an atmosphere of honesty and trust with integrity in the process. All participants in the conduct process will be treated fairly and with respect.
The purpose of the conduct process includes the following:
- Determining responsibility for conduct violations
- Facilitating a student's development of ethical standards of conduct and personal accountability
- Achieving an educational outcome in conduct cases
- Protecting the interest of the Michigan Tech community in an environment that promotes education, personal growth, and peaceful resolution of conflicts
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
I just received an email from you scheduling an “Initial Conference.” What does this mean?
We send an Initial Conference notice (by Huskymail, if possible) when we receive a report from staff, faculty, law enforcement, or other sources that indicates you might be responsible for a violation of a student policy. The purpose of the Initial Conference is to provide you with more information about the reported incident and explain the procedures that will be followed to determine if you are responsible or not responsible for a violation of a student policy.
Will my parents be contacted about this incident?
In most cases, no. We follow the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which keeps the student conduct process as confidential as possible. However, if you are involved in an incident involving violation of Michigan Tech’s Drug and Alcohol policy, under some circumstances we will notify your parents after a final decision is reached that you are responsible for violating the policy. This is due to our concerns about your personal safety and well-being. Please see the Dean of Students' Parental Notification Policy for more information on the levels at which your parents or guardian may be notified.
Should I call an attorney or my parents to come with me?
No. The purpose of the student conduct process is to determine responsibility, not guilt or innocence. This is not a criminal or civil trial. It is educational in nature, although sanctions can be imposed if a student is responsible for a conduct violation. Our rules specifically do not allow parents to participate in the initial conference or the hearing. Under very limited circumstances (pending criminal charges) attorneys may attend, but may not participate. If you have any questions about the procedures that we will follow, please review the Hearing Procedures and don't hesitate to contact the Office of Academic and Community Conduct.
If your parents have questions about the student conduct process, we recommend this Parents Guide
Do I need to bring witnesses with me to the Initial Conference?
No. This meeting is between only an Office of Academic and Community Conduct staff person and you. If a hearing is scheduled, you will be able to present witnesses.
If you tell me during the Initial Conference that I have a choice between having a single officer or committee hearing, which should I choose?
Depending on the type of incident, you may be entitled to a hearing before the Student Conduct Board. These committees include Office of Academic and Community Conduct staff, faculty, and at least one student. If you request a committee, more than one person will be involved in making a decision, including a student/peer. The committees keep the information confidential and the members receive training before being appointed to the committee. Whether choosing a single officer or committee, you may appeal the decision made.
What happens in a hearing?
The Office of Academic and Community Conduct would like to emphasize that our hearing is not like a criminal trial. The same strict procedures or rules of evidence as you would experience in court procedures are not used. The standard used to determine if a student is responsible is called preponderance of evidence. It differs from normal court procedures because the hearing officer or committee may simply rule that it is more probable than not that a University regulation has been violated.
The purpose of a hearing is to obtain the information necessary to make a decision in a student's case. Often, the student and the hearing officer may need to simply discuss the incident report. Sometimes the Complainant, the individual who makes the incident report, will attend. Additional witnesses or documents are sometimes helpful, however, character witnesses are not allowed.
For additional information, please refer to our policies and procedures. You may also download our Hearing Procedures to review a hearing procedures checklist. For Academic Integrity Hearings, please see the Academic Integrity Student Information Sheet.
The Code of Student Conduct handbook says I can bring an “advisor” to the hearing if I want to. What is an “advisor”?
An advisor is not a witness and is not allowed to give testimony during the hearing. However, the advisor can help prepare for the hearing, sit with the student, suggest additional questions, and provide emotional support during the hearing. The advisor must be a registered student, faculty, or staff of Michigan Tech.
What are the most important things for me to remember during a hearing?
First and most important, be truthful. If you do not tell the truth in the hearing, that is itself a serious violation of a University regulation. Second, be respectful of all participants in the hearing. Third, we realize that a hearing can be a stressful situation for a student. However, we follow procedures that give you a chance to speak and be heard. Lastly, please remember you have the right to appeal a decision in most circumstances.
How do I appeal a decision?
Appeal instructions are always included in the last paragraph of a disciplinary decision. To initiate an appeal, you must send a letter requesting an appeal to the Dean of Students within five (5) days that you receive the written decision of the hearing officer or hearing committee. Once the letter is received, your appeal will be reviewed according to procedure. You will be notified in writing, usually by email, of the appeal decision.