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Hearings (2023 Charter)

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This page is a general summary of the Conduct Panel hearing process.  Please be sure to review the Student Conduct Charter of 2023 and the Bylaws to the Charter when preparing for your hearing.  The Responding Student (RS) may receive a Hearing Script from their Conduct Advisor (CA).Remember, while the Conduct Charter is always followed during the hearing process, there may be aspects of the hearing that are unique to the circumstances of each matter.  

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Beginning the Hearing

A hearing in a contested case can last from 15–45 minutes to several hours. Mid-Level Review Panels have two students and one faculty/staff; High-level Review Panels have three students and two faculty/staff. Note: Honor Code cases require at least one faculty member as a panelist.

Hearings are audio recorded to preserve a record of the proceedings, and the RS is entitled to receive a copy of the audio file (hearings are not transcribed).

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Bias Checks

A bias check will be conducted prior to the hearing.  The parties will also have an opportunity to see all of the Panelists at the hearing and inform the CA if they recognize anyone and have a concern that there is a possible bias (grounds for excusing that Panelist, pursuant to applicable bias check practices and procedures).  In such an event, the objecting party and the CA will step out of the hearing room briefly to discuss the concern; it is the CA's responsibility to then decide, in their sole discretion, if there are persuasive grounds for excusing that individual for possible bias.  Once the parties have acknowledged the Panel is acceptable, the Panel Chair (always one of the  students) will begin the hearing with a reminder about the nature of the proceedings, including their confidentiality.

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Presenting the Evidence

The Panel Chair will go through the following steps:

  • The process for raising an evidentiary concern will explained.
  • The RS will be asked to confirm their position.
  • The RP will be asked to explain the nature of the concern, and the Panel will have the opportunity to ask questions of the RP.  
  • The RS will have the opportunity to ask the RP questions.
  • The RS will have the opportunity to present their position (they may also rely on their written statement), and the Panel will have the opportunity to ask questions of the RS.
  • Witnesses will be called, as appropriate.  The RS will have the opportunity to ask questions of the witness(es), as will the Panel.
  • The Panel will ask the RP if they have any further comment.
  • The Panel will ask the RS if they have any further comment.


Note: Per Section IV(C)(6) of the the Charter: 

  • “Presentation of evidence, including testimony and questioning of Parties and witnesses, will be conducted in a courteous manner without intimidation or harassment.”
  • “Only relevant evidence will be permitted.”
  • “Evidence provided by a witness unwilling or unable to be cross-examined will be disregarded unless otherwise provided by the Bylaws.”
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Deliberations about Responsibility

Once the evidentiary portion of the hearing is concluded, the Panel chairperson will adjourn for deliberations.  This may take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours.  The RS, the RP, any advisers and witnesses, and the Conduct Investigator (CI) will leave the hearing room.

The CA will notify everyone when the Panel has made its decision and all participants will return to the hearing room. The chairperson will read the Panel’s findings.  If the RS is found not responsible, the Panel will adjourn and the process is concluded. If the RS is found responsible, the Panel will move forward to determining sanction(s).

  • Note: The deliberations are not recorded.
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Discussion of Sanctions

If the RS is found responsible (by a minimum vote of 2 of 3 panelists for Mid-Level Review and 4 of 5 panelists for High-Level Review), the CA will outline sanction precedent. The determination for sanctions is the same vote (2 of 3 panelists for Mid-Level Review and 4 of 5 panelists for High-Level Review). The RP will be asked if they would like to offer any comments for consideration in the imposition of sanctions, and then will be excused from the hearing.  The RSt will then have an opportunity to speak to the Panel about the impact that sanctions would have on them. 

If a RS intends to ask for sanction(s) that deviate from precedent, they are strongly encouraged to tell or submit a statement to that effect to the CA at least ten business days before the hearing.  The CA will verify the information they are providing about why a different or more lenient sanction would be appropriate.

The Hearing Panel may ask questions about the impact of potential sanctions.  It will also ask the CI if there are mitigating and/or aggravating factors in the case.  The Panel will then ask for any final comments. 

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Sanction Deliberations

The Panel will then adjourn to deliberate in a closed-door session.   

Sanction deliberations usually last between 15–45 minutes, but may last for several hours. The RS, CI, and RP will be invited to return to hear the decision. The RS nor the RP are required to attend.  If either party chooses to leave once deliberations have begun, the CA will notify them of the outcome via email immediately after the hearing is concluded.

Please note that Panel deliberations are confidential; thus, the CA (who sits in and is available to answer process or procedure-related questions the Panelists might have) will not be able to provide information other than what is contained in the Hearing Report.