Students are guaranteed procedural due process in all cases involving formal discipline charges. College disciplinary procedures are designed to assure a student's right to procedural and substantive due process and to the fullest extent feasible, safeguard personal and confidential information concerning the student.
Disciplinary Action by Instructor. With regard to a matter of academic dishonesty in taking a college course, the College's respective faculty members are authorized to administer certain appropriate disciplinary action. If a given faculty member has substantive evidence of a student's having committed, attempted to commit, or solicited an act of cheating, plagiarism, or any other form of academic dishonesty, the faculty member shall have the authority to (1) impose a grade of "F" for the respective assignment or test; (2) impose an "F"for the respective course; (3) require that an assignment be redone or a test be retaken; (4) impose other similar sanctions designed to preserve academic integrity. The faculty member shall not have the right to suspend or expel a student. That authority is reserved for the Vice President of Student Services and the College Disciplinary Committee. If the faculty member believes that the improper conduct should be subject to greater punishment, or additional punishment, then the case should be referred to the Vice President of Student Services for disciplinary review.
In any situation where a student is alleged to have committed academic dishonesty of any nature, the faculty member making the allegation shall, within three (3) business days after the alleged wrongful act or the faculty member's first knowledge of the act, give the student written notice of the allegation and give the student the opportunity to respond to each allegation made. The student shall have a maximum of three (3) business days to respond to any allegation made. No disciplinary grade imposed by a faculty member shall be considered final unless and until the student has been given written notice of the alleged wrongdoing and the opportunity to respond. It is not necessary that the student give a response for a grade to be finalized, only that the student has been given an opportunity to respond and that the instructor give due consideration to any response which is made. Each instructor shall keep a confidential file of any and all written allegations of academic dishonesty and all actions taken with regard to such allegations.
Any student against whom a sanction is imposed by a faculty member as a result of an allegation of academic dishonesty shall have the right to appeal the sanction to the Vice President of Student Services. The appeal must be filed with the Vice President within five (5) business days after the student is first made aware of the date that the decision has been made to impose a sanction and must include: (1) a copy of the faculty member's written allegation of academic dishonesty; (2) a statement of the sanction imposed; (3) the dates on which the student received the written allegation and on which the student responded to the allegation; (4) the nature of the student's response to the faculty member concerning the allegation; and (5) the rationale for the appeal of the sanction. The student shall have the option of admitting to the Vice President the act of academic dishonesty and proposing an alternative sanction.
The Vice President of Student Services shall, within fifteen (15) business days after receipt of the appeal, issue a report by which the Vice President will (1) affirm the sanction; (2) overrule the sanction; or (3) modify the sanction. The Vice President of Student Services shall not overrule or modify any sanction imposed by a faculty member except where there is a compelling and substantial academic or legal reason for doing so.
The decision of the Vice President shall be final and binding as to each party, and any grade affected by the Vice President's decision shall be recorded so as to reflect the Vice President's decision.
Disciplinary Action by Vice President or Disciplinary Committee. With regard to all alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct other than those handled at the faculty level, the Vice President of Student Services shall have the authority to make disciplinary decisions at the administrative level and shall refer appropriate appeals to the College Disciplinary Committee who shall ensure that the fundamental elements of due process are followed through a fair and reasonable hearing. The Vice President shall also have the discretion of referring a case to the Disciplinary Committee for the initial hearing. The Vice President shall maintain appropriate records of all reports of student misconduct and all disciplinary proceedings.
Alleged violations of College regulations must be filed, within sixty (60) calendar days of their respective occurrence or the first discovery of their occurrence, in writing with the Vice President in order to initiate a disciplinary review. Any student, faculty member, or staff member may register a complaint with the Vice President. The Vice President will then inform the accused in writing, will request a conference, and will render a decision to the student regarding the case in question. The decision will be one or more of the following:
- Find the accused not guilty and dismiss the case.
- Refer the student to a counselor for personalized assistance.
- Find the student guilty as charged and apply the appropriate penalty stated under "Disciplinary Actions."
- Refer the case directly to the College Disciplinary Committee for a hearing and determination as to disciplinary action.
Upon communicating his/her decision to the student, the Vice President will also explain the student's right to appeal to the Disciplinary Committee any disciplinary action imposed by the Vice President. If the student wishes to appeal a decision by the Vice President, he/she must file a written request, stating the reason(s) for the appeal, with the Vice President within 48 hours after the student is made aware of the decision. The Vice President will then have 48 hours to refer the case to the Disciplinary Committee along with his/ her recommendation for disciplinary action. The Committee will schedule and conduct a hearing under the guidelines specified in"Hearing Procedures," and will submit its decision in writing to the Vice President of Student Services within five (5) business days after the hearing. The Vice President of Student Services will in turn inform the accused student and the complainant as to the Disciplinary Committee's decision. The Committee will schedule and conduct a hearing under the guidelines specified in "Hearing Procedures," and will submit its decision in writing to the Vice President and the accused student.
College Disciplinary Committee. Recognizing the right of students to be granted due process in all matters of a disciplinary nature, the College assures due process through the authority and activities of the College Disciplinary Committee.
The College Disciplinary Committee shall consist of three (3) members of the administration, faculty, library or counseling staff, appointed by the Vice President of Student Services (at least two of the three should be teaching faculty) and two (2) students appointed by the President of the Student Government Association in consultation with the Student Engagement Coordinator. If the Committee is selected at a time when there is no sitting SGA President, or when the SGA President is unavailable, then the two students shall be selected by the Vice President of Student Services. A faculty representative serving on the Disciplinary Committee shall be appointed to serve as Chair of the Committee.
The purposes of the Disciplinary Committee are as follows:
- Hear charges and evidence concerning alleged student misconduct and direct action to be taken in cases appealed by students referred to the Committee by the Vice President of Student Services.
- Impose appropriate disciplinary action when such action is warranted by evidence presented in a disciplinary hearing.
- Review and make recommendations to the Vice President of Student Services on student disciplinary policies and procedures.