What is a formal hearing?
Every student has the right to a formal hearing before the University Hearing Board (UHB). The UHB is composed of a mix of three faculty members or contract professionals and two students who are trained and preselected at the beginning of each semester. A formal hearing before a board typically happens if the information concerning the violation is sufficient to meet the standard of proof but the student denies responsibility.
What happens at a formal hearing?
In general, the UHB will determine if you are responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct and if you are found in violation of the Code the appropriate sanction(s) will be issued.
Here is what the process looks like:
- Basic hearing procedures and the alleged violations will be reviewed.
- Student will admit or deny responsibility for the alleged violations.
- Student is given the opportunity to make an opening statement and general overview of the incident from their perspective.
- The UHB will ask questions that will help determine responsibility and/or sanctions.
- Witnesses will be introduced to provide additional information when applicable.
- The UHB will ask questions of the witness, and the student will have the same opportunity.
- Student will make a closing statement and summarize relevant information presented as a conclusion of the formal hearing.
What happens after the hearing concludes?
After the closing statements are made, the UHB will go into closed deliberations to review the information and determine if the student is responsible or not responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct.
If the student is found responsible, the UHB will assign the appropriate sanction(s) using similar sanctioning considerations as in the fact finding process.
The UHB will reconvene the hearing to inform the student of the outcome. Immediately following the hearing, the student will meet with a member of the Student Conduct staff to receive a written copy of the hearing outcome and to review the process for appealing the UHB decision, if applicable.
How can I prepare for a formal hearing?
To prepare for a hearing, a student could take the following steps:
- Write down the recollection of events as completely as possible.
- Gather any information to be presented during the formal hearing.
- Inform Student Conduct staff of any witnesses who need to be present at the hearing.
- Make an outline of information to present and questions to ask during the hearing.
While there is not a specific dress code, business casual attire is suggested.
Can I appeal a University Hearing Board decision?
Every student has the right to appeal the UHB decision. Immediately following the hearing, the student will meet with a member of the student conduct staff to discuss this option and the procedures for submitting the appeal in writing.
Your Right to an Adviser
Please be aware it is your right to have an adviser present at all conduct proceedings. An adviser may be a:
- Family Member
- Faculty or Staff Member
If you choose to have an adviser present, they are not permitted to speak on your behalf during the hearing process. They are only to serve as support and give you advice as you respond to the allegations.