The Hearing Board process

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 case is generally referred to the University Hearing Board when the investigation reveals that there is sufficient information to support an allegation that a university rule has been violated but the student alleged to have violated the Code disagrees with the charges.

What happens at a formal hearing?

In general, the UHB will determine if a student is responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct and if the student is 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 of the Code of Student Conduct will be reviewed.
  • The respondent will be given the opportunity to admit or deny responsibility for the alleged violations.
  • The complainant and the respondent are given the opportunity to make an opening statement and general overview of the incident from their perspective, as well as, present supporting information.
  • The UHB will ask questions that will help determine responsibility and/or sanctions, in addition, the complainant and respondent will also be given the opportunity to ask questions. 
  • Witnesses will be introduced to provide additional information when applicable.
  • The UHB will ask questions of the witness, and the complainant and respondent will have the same opportunity.
  • The complainant and respondent 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 respondent is responsible or not responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct.

If the respondent is found responsible, the UHB will assign the appropriate sanction(s) using similar sanctioning considerations as in the fact finding process.

Both the complainant and respondent will be notified in writing of the hearing outcome.

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?

Both the complainant and respondent have the right to appeal the UHB decision. Immediately following the hearing, the complainant and respondent 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:

  • Friend
  • Family Member
  • Faculty or Staff Member
  • Attorney

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.