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When a student denies responsibility for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, he or she may request a University Hearing. The hearing is a meeting of the complaint party and the accused student before the University Hearing Board and a Hearing Officer. The Hearing Board considers information from both parties and determines whether the student is responsible for the violation. The Hearing Officer ensures that the correct procedures are followed and that both parties receive a fair hearing.

A University Hearing follows this format:

1. Thirty minutes prior to the hearing, the Hearing Officer briefs the Hearing Board on the case.

2. After the briefing, all the participants assemble and the Hearing Officer explains the procedures to be followed.

3. The Hearing Officer reads the charges and asks the accused student to answer each charge with “responsible” or “not responsible.”

4. The Conduct Officer who conducted the Preliminary Review presents his or her report summarizing the review.

5. The complaint party gives an opening statement, which is a brief summary of the facts he or she plans to present to the board.

6. The accused student gives an opening statement.

7. The complaint party gives his or her narrative, describing in detail the incident in question. At this point the complaint party can introduce any physical evidence.

8. The Hearing Board, Hearing Officer, and the accused student question the complaint party.

9. The accused student gives his or her narrative and presents physical evidence.

10. The Hearing Board, Hearing Officer, and the complaint party question the accused student.

11. The complaint party calls his or her factual witnesses, if any. Each witness gives a narrative, describing his or her knowledge of the event in question. If a witness cannot appear at the hearing, he or she may submit a written statement. However, this statement can be used only to supplement or explain other information; it cannot support a finding by itself. See these instructions for preparing witness statements (pdf).

12. The complaint party questions his or her witnesses, followed by the Hearing Board, Hearing Officer, and the accused student.

13. The accused student calls his or her factual witnesses. After each witness’s narrative, the accused student questions him or her, followed by the Hearing Board, Hearing Officer, and the complaint party.

14. The accused student makes a closing statement, summarizing his or her position.

15. The complaint party makes a closing statement.

16. The Hearing Officer explains the burden of proof. For academic integrity cases, the standard is “by clear and convincing evidence.” In non-academic conduct cases, the standard is “by a preponderance of evidence.”

17. The Hearing Officer explains the procedures to be followed in deliberations.The Hearing Board deliberates privately.

18. When the board has come to a decision, the Hearing Officer reviews the finding.

19. All the participants reconvene and the Hearing Board announces its decision.

20. If the student is found not responsible, the hearing ends.

21. If the student is found responsible, the sanction is considered. Both parties, the Preliminary Review Officer, and a representative from the Office of Student Conduct may recommend a sanction. If the student has a prior disciplinary record, the Preliminary Review Officer provides this information to the board. Any character witnesses are introduced at this point.

22. The Hearing Board deliberates privately.

23. When the board has come to a decision regarding the sanction, all the participants reconvene and the Hearing Board announces its decision.

24. The hearing is concluded.

25. The accused student (and the complainant, in some cases) has the right to appeal the outcome of the hearing. See the Conduct Appeal Process for more information.