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Hearing Procedures

The following guidelines are provided to assist Hearing Officers, hearing board members, and participants in judicial processes in understanding procedure. For a complete delineation of the values, standards, rules and procedures pertaining to student conduct, see Community Standards Policy.

I. There are three Hearing Boards. These boards hear appeals of decisions by designated college officials or hearing body.

A. The Judicial Hearing Board: Hears appeals of decisions by the Dean of Students or his delegate for social violations.

B. The Sexual Misconduct Review Board (SMRB): Hears appeals of decisions made by the Dean of Students for violations of sexual misconduct policies.

C. The Academic Standing Committee: Hears appeals of decisions of the Subcommittee for Academic Standing Committee on all matters of academic dishonesty.

II. Preparation for the Hearing.

The Dean of Students Office, inclusive of the Residence Life Office, has responsibility for all administrative details for the hearing: issuing formal charges, notification of the hearing, arranging the hearing time and place, providing copies of all pertinent policies/procedures and investigative reports, written notification of decisions, and maintenance of disciplinary records. The Dean or his/her delegate will make all hearing arrangements, including provisions for audiotaping, the sequence of testimonies, which parties will remain in the hearing at all times, and other matters. Because details and circumstances surrounding individual cases vary, the Dean of Students Office, in consultation with the Hearing Officer, has the authority to make decisions pertaining to the organization of the hearing.

III. Pre-hearing

A. An appeal of a disciplinary decision and request for a hearing before the appropriate hearing board is filed with the Dean of Students Office.

B. The Dean of Students or his/her delegate meets with the appealing party to review procedure and gather pertinent information for the hearing, including whether the appealing party or others involved with the case have any substantive relational conflicts with any hearing board members. Examples of such conflicts include but are not limited to: past or present close personal relationships, advising relationships between faculty and students, demonstrable concerns about personal bias or conflicts of interest. The Dean or his/her delegate determines if such conflicts exist; if so, alternates will serve on the hearing board.

C. The Dean of Students or his/her delegate notifies hearing board members of the appeal and determines a hearing time and place. In the case of relational or scheduling conflicts, the Dean contacts alternates to serve.

D. The Dean or his/her staff assembles all pertinent materials—statements, investigative reports, original disciplinary findings, etc.—for the hearing and distributes them to the appellant and other parties, as appropriate. In order to preserve confidentiality, hearing board members will be accorded opportunities to review all such materials in a private place prior to the hearing.

E. The Dean arranges a time for the hearing board to review procedures and materials that will be introduced at the hearing, including investigative reports and other testimonies.

F. The Dean reviews with the respondent, complainant, and other parties (e.g. witnesses) procedural guidelines and answer any questions. The Dean asks the respondent and complainant if they have substantive conflicts that preclude the participation of any of hearing board member and makes the necessary adjustments in such cases.

G. The Dean requests the names of the advisor (s) chosen by the respondent and complainants, and discusses the role of advisors in the hearing with each.

H. The Dean or his/her delegate presents the charge to the hearing board on behalf of the College.

IV. The Hearing: The purpose of the hearing is as follows:

  1. To hear an appeal of the dean’s finding and/or sanctions from either or both parties.
  2. To allow the respondent and complainant to present written statements, testimonies, investigative reports, witnesses or other forms of evidence on their behalf.
  3. To allow the respondent, complainant, and hearing board members opportunities to challenge or examine further any evidence or testimonies, and to ask questions to clarify facts and understand differences of perspective.
  4. To provide the hearing board with complete information and adequate time to determine whether the Dean’s decision was appropriate, and if not to determine for itself whether the respondent is in violation of a sexual misconduct policy, and if so, to determine appropriate sanctions.

IV. Procedure: The Hearing Officer presides at the hearing to insure an orderly, fair exchange of information and perspective. S/he has the discretion to allow questions and discussion at any point s/he deems appropriate, and to determine the order and sequence of testimonies and witnesses. The following is a basic guideline for the purpose of assisting the Hearing Officer in maintaining an orderly sequence, of insuring that all parties have an opportunity to be heard, and to hear testimonies and information presented.

A. The Hearing Officer calls the meeting to order.

B. The respondent and complainant are invited into the hearing. [In most cases, the complaint may be invited into the hearing from the outset and remain for the duration of the hearing. There may be circumstances, most typically in sexual misconduct cases, where the complainant chooses not to attend the hearing. This will be determined prior to the hearing. The respondent must attend the hearing].

C. Introductions—each person invited into the hearing will be introduced to board members and other participants.

D. The Hearing Officer states the purpose of the hearing: the challenge by one or both parties to the decision of the Dean.

E. The Hearing Officer determines the sequence of testimony from the complainant and respondent. Each is accorded an opportunity to read or make a statement in regard to the finding and/or sanctions of the original decision.

F. The Hearing Officer may call for an open discussion to clarify points of dispute.

G. The Hearing Officer calls for testimonies from any witnesses. Questions and discussion of each witness follows.

H. The Hearing Officer calls for any further information, evidence, questions or discussion from the complainant, respondent, and hearing board members.

I. The Hearing Officer asks the complainant to make a closing statement.

J. The Hearing Officer asks the respondent for a closing statement.

K. The Hearing Officer closes the hearing. The Hearing Board goes into closed session to determine whether a violation of policy was committed, and if so, what sanctions are appropriate.

L. The Hearing Officer reports the outcome of the hearing verbally to the respondent and to the complainant.

M. The following day, or whenever reasonably practical, the Hearing Officer and Dean of Students Office provides a letter detailing the outcome of the hearing, signed by the Hearing Officer on behalf of the hearing board.

N. The Dean of Students Office has the responsibly for conveying to the respondent the written notification of the outcome, insuring compliance with the sanctions set forth by the hearing board, and maintaining the disciplinary record in accordance with the College Student Records policy.

Reviewed July 2008

Keywords: hearing procedures, sexual misconduct review board, hearing board, disciplinary

Not Reviewed

Maintained by Dean of Students