- Overview and basic requirements of disciplinary process
- What are the different disciplinary processes?
- Who issues complaints of violations of the Student Conduct Code?
- How are complaints informally resolved?
- How are complaints formally resolved?
- What is required of a hearing process?
- What sanctions may be imposed on a student?
- May a student be suspended before a full hearing?
This procedure implements the Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code (pdf, effective January 1, 2013) and outlines the student disciplinary process at the Twin Cities campus. This procedure explains the process for actions initiated against students or student organizations by the University under the Student Conduct Code (the Code). (Procedures governing resolution of student-initiated complaints against the University are provided pursuant to the Board of Regents Policy: Student Conflict Resolution Process.)
The Code applies to students and student organizations. Although this procedure frequently refers to “students,” its provisions also apply to “student organizations” that have been alleged to have violated the Student Conduct Code.
The purpose of the student disciplinary process is to provide a framework for resolving complaints about violations of the Student Conduct Code, so that:
- Student development is emphasized. This 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 and involved faculty or administrators. When the people involved are unable to reach agreement, however, the Code requires that students have the opportunity to receive a fundamentally fair hearing and a campus-wide appeal.
3. Overview and basic requirements of disciplinary process
Because the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a large institution consisting of multiple colleges and administrative offices, there is not a single process for addressing all student disciplinary issues. In all cases, however, the following basic requirements apply:
- The disciplinary process will encourage informal resolution of complaints where appropriate, with an emphasis on student development.
- Students who choose not to resolve the complaint informally will have the option of a formal hearing.
- Students will be given advance notice of the complaint against them and must be afforded the opportunity to be heard and to present information in response to the complaint.
- Imposition of discipline must be based upon the conclusion that, based on all of the information, it is more likely than not that the student’s conduct violated the Student Conduct Code.
- Students found responsible for Codeviolations are entitled to one campus-wide appeal.
4. What are the different disciplinary processes?
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 the Student Conduct Code. However, in certain circumstances, discipline follows another process. Colleges have the authority to maintain their own hearing processes for complaints within the college of scholastic dishonesty (which is a violation of the Student Conduct Code). Professional or graduate programs may establish and manage their own codes of conduct for their own students. Certain administrative units—specifically, Housing and Residential Life, the Student Unions & Activities, and the Learning Abroad Center—also may maintain disciplinary processes for violation of their rules of conduct. These processes are outlined in more detail in Section VII below. Regardless of the process, OSCAI is a resource for colleges and units in handling disciplinary matters.
5. Who issues complaints of violations of the Student Conduct Code?
Complaints of violation of the Codemay 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 Unions & Activities, or the Learning Abroad Center), or a faculty member in the case of scholastic dishonesty in a course. 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.
6. How are complaints informally resolved?
The offices and administrators that informally resolve complaints under the Code are:
- Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity
OSCAI issues and seeks to informally resolve complaints of violations of the Student Conduct Code. OSCAI administrators meet with the student and consult with affected faculty 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.
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.
OSCAI handles complaints of violations of the 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 the Student Conduct Code. OSCAI also handles complaints that fall within an administrative unit’s rules but are so serious as to warrant a more significant University response.
- Faculty and colleges
Allegations of scholastic dishonesty frequently are first raised by the affected faculty member 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. Faculty members or their college should report all cases of scholastic dishonesty to OSCAI, even if the matter is resolved. OSCAI is the central repository for all reports of scholastic dishonesty violations. When a student challenges a complaint of scholastic dishonesty, other college administrators may also be involved in informally resolving complaints.
- Responsible administrator under professional or graduate program code of conduct
Some professional or graduate programs maintain their own codes of conduct —which may overlap with the Student Conduct Code—and 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.
- Administrative unit
Some administrative units (Housing and Residential Life, the Student Unions & Activities, and the Learning Abroad Center) have their own disciplinary processes, which overlap with the Student Conduct Code, and may issue and resolve complaints of their rules violations through their own process. See Appendix B: Disciplinary Processes of Professional or Graduate Programs and Administrative Units. Code complaints that are so serious as to warrant sanctions beyond the realm of the particular administrative unit, however, should be forwarded by the unit to OSCAI for handling, which may include a hearing before the CCSB.
7. How are complaints formally resolved?
If a complaint under the 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
For formal resolution of Code complaints, the University maintains the Campus Committee on Student Behavior (CCSB), which 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. The CCSB has authority to hear all types of complaints under the Student Conduct Code, including:
- misconduct other than scholastic dishonesty.
- scholastic dishonesty that cross college lines.
- “intracollege” complaints of scholastic dishonesty (i.e., complaints involving a student admitted by that college, in a course offered by that college; see section VII.C below) that are referred to it by a college, or that are accompanied by non-scholastic complaints under the Code.
- any other complaints that are referred to it 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 the Code. A complaint of scholastic dishonesty is “intracollege” when it involves a student admitted by that college, in a course offered by that college. Complaints of scholastic dishonesty that cross college lines are heard by the CCSB, as are complaints of violations other than scholastic dishonesty. 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.
- 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
Certain administrative units (Housing and Residential Life, the Student Unions & Activities, the Learning Abroad Center) that have their disciplinary processes may formally resolve complaints of their rules violations through their own disciplinary process. 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.
8. What is required of a hearing process?
In all cases, hearings on violations of the 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:
- 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.
- receive a written decision following the hearing, and
- receive notification of the procedure for an appeal of the decision.
A formal record, a tape recording, or a transcript of the hearing procedure must be kept for appellate purposes. Code hearings are not court cases, and court rules of process, procedure, or evidence do not apply.
9. What sanctions may be imposed for violation of the Student Conduct Code?
The Code outlines the range of sanctions for violation of the Student Conduct Code. Colleges, programs, and administrative units may further define the applicable sanctions under their processes. When hearing cases of violations of the 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 are limited to sanctions 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 OSCAI.
10. May a student be suspended before a full hearing?
The president or delegate may impose an immediate 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 delegate 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 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. (Colleges, professional or graduate programs, and administrative units following their own disciplinary process may provide additional appellate procedures.) The Provost makes the final decision regarding student discipline. The Provost, however, uses the Provost’s Appeal Committee to hear appeals and make recommendations. The procedures governing the Provost’s Appeal Committee outline the grounds for an appeal, the procedures for filing and hearing an appeal, and the nature of appellate review.
Appendix A: Campus Committee on Student Behavior Hearing Procedures
Appendix B: Disciplinary Processes of Professional or Graduate Programs and Administrative Units
Appendix C: Guidelines for Colleges: Student Conduct Code Conflict Resolution Procedures