The Office of Academic and Community Conduct would like to emphasize that our hearing
is not a criminal trial. Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable in conduct
hearings but principles of relevance, credibility and acceptance of information which
reasonable persons would accept as having probative value in the conduct of their
affairs can be considered in any hearing on responsibility, sanctions, and/or interventions.
The standard used to determine if a student is responsible is called preponderance
of evidence; this 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 simply need to discuss the incident report. Sometimes the reporting party, the
individual who makes the incident report, will attend. Additional witnesses or documents
are sometimes helpful; however, character witnesses are not allowed.
Hearings are closed to the public. Privacy will be preserved to the fullest extent
possible, as allowed by law. At the discretion of the official, an additional official
(procedural officer) may be present for the purpose of assisting in managing the hearing,
but the assistant shall not otherwise participate in the decision-making process.
Hearings will be recorded. Deliberations will not be recorded. The recording will
be the property of the University and maintained according to University records policy.
No unauthorized audio or video recording of any kind is permitted during the hearing.
The procedural officer shall exercise control over the proceedings to avoid needless
consumption of time and to achieve orderly completion of the hearing. Any person,
including the student charged with the conduct violation, who disrupts a hearing,
may be excluded by the official or chair.
During the hearing, the parties may present an explanation of the facts and circumstances
relating to the incident, present relevant witness who can speak to the same, and
reserve the right to not respond to questions. Both parties may cross-examine each
other directly, or may choose to do so indirectly through the procedural officer.
The parties may cross-examine witnesses directly, or indirectly through the procedural
officer. The procedural officer may determine that witnesses, information and/or questions
are not relevant to the charge(s) and/or case. The official and/or chair may also
call on the reporting party to give an explanation of events.
The official and/or chair are authorized to take reasonable measures to maintain control
over the proceedings in order to elicit relevant facts; to prevent the harassment
of participants; to insure that proceedings are not disrupted; and to see that the
interests of fairness are served. These measures may include regulating the timing,
length, and manner of presentations, objections, declaring recesses in the proceedings,
and other appropriate actions. Officials and/or chairs should have training and experiences
appropriate to the demands of the office.
The parties may each invite one “support person” to accompany them during the conduct
hearing process. A support person is any member of the University community (faculty/staff/student)
chosen by the party to provide moral support to that party during a conduct hearing
process. The support person may not be an immediate family member. When criminal charges
have been filed against the accused student, their attorney may be present during
the hearing as their support person. The reporting party may also invite an attorney
present as their support person. Support persons, including attorneys, if allowed
to be present throughout the proceedings, may not participate directly in the conduct
process, but may offer advice, guidance, and/or support to the student (reporting
No conduct action shall be taken unless it is established by a preponderance of the
information before the Conduct Board or hearing officer that the student is responsible
for the violation(s). Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable in conduct
hearings. Information which reasonable persons would accept as having probative value
in the conduct of their affairs can be considered.
Written notice of the conduct decision will be sent to the student within five (5)
business days of the hearing. This time may be extended if necessary in the reasonable
judgment of the official and/or chair. Any conduct decision may be appealed and must
follow the established procedures as outlined in the Appeal Procedures.