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Student Code of Conduct Procedures for Alleged Violations of Academic Misconduct and Professional Standards

Section

Student Affairs

Effective Date

8/1/17

Date Last Reviewed

8/1/17

I. Definitions

A. Academic Misconduct Resolution Process

A.   Academic Misconduct Resolution Process refers to the resolution of any alleged academic misconduct. This process may include both formal and informal resolution processes, and may differ from processes used to resolve alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct. This process will also handle cases involving professional standards violations.

B. Academic Conduct Conference

B.   Academic Conduct Conference means a meeting in the Informal Academic Misconduct Resolution Process where the Respondent will have the opportunity to learn about the University’s Academic Misconduct Resolution Process and to respond to the charges, including whether they accept responsibility and the academic sanctions already issued by the faculty member. Concerned Students are also encouraged to schedule such a meeting if they have questions or concerns.

C. Advisor

C.   Advisor is a person who may attend any portion of the conduct process at the request of a Reporting Party or the Responding Party, for the purpose of advising the Reporting Party or the Responding Party. The Advisor must be a Member of the University Community unless the Student is facing charges for professional standards violations that may result in removal from a professional program.  In those situations, the Student may have anyone serve as their Advisor, including their parents or attorneys. The University will not prohibit family members from attending but may limit each participant to two family members.  Please see the Hearing Rights section for more information on the role of Advisors during Hearings.

D. Formal Academic Misconduct Resolution Process

D.   Formal Academic Misconduct Resolution Process involves the resolution of any alleged academic misconduct that may result in suspension or expulsion from the University or an alleged violation of professional standards that may result in dismissal from an academic program. This process shall also be used when a Respondent wishes to challenge a first allegation and/or the sanctions imposed by the professor or proposed by the University.

E. Informal Academic Misconduct Resolution Process

E. Informal Academic Misconduct Resolution Process involves the resolution of any alleged academic misconduct that will not result in suspension or expulsion from the University or removal from an academic program.

F. Preponderance of the Evidence

F.   Preponderance of the Evidence is the standard of review for all allegations of violations of the Student Code of Conduct. This standard requires that the evidence shows that it is more likely than not that the incident, act, or behavior alleged did occur.

G. Student

G.   Student includes all persons taking academic courses at the University of North Georgia. This includes, but is not limited to:  part-time, full-time, undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies, distance education and dual-enrolled students.

H. Student Conduct Administrator

H. Student Conduct Administrator means the employee authorized to oversee the Student Code of Conduct process, including receiving reports, conducting the initial case assessment, sending notices and information to the parties and holding meetings with Respondent’s to address questions, concerns and prepare him/her for their Panel hearing.

I. Student Conduct Hearing Panel

I. Student Conduct Hearing Panel means faculty and students authorized by the Vice President of Student Affairs to determine whether a Student has violated the Student Code of Conduct and to determine sanctions that will be imposed when a violation has occurred. Based on the needs and resources of each campus, a Student Conduct Hearing Panel will consist of at least three members, but no more than seven total members. In cases involving Professional Standards Violations will include at least one faculty member from a department that includes professional standards or a faculty member that otherwise has professional experience with compliance with professional standards.

J. Respondent

J. Respondent means any Student or Organization accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct.

K. Reporting Party

K. Reporting Party means the person who files a Report or submits information alleging that a Student violated the Student Code of Conduct

L. Report

L. Report means a report of an alleged violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

M. Summary Report

M. Summary Report means a document created by the Student Conduct Administrator that outlines all of the allegations including the response to the allegations from the Respondent.

N. University

N. University means University of North Georgia.

O. University Community Member

O. University Community Member includes any persons enrolled or employed by the University, including faculty, staff, administrators and employees, and recognized University affiliated entities including University Foundations, Student Organizations, University Departments, and Structured Volunteers.

II. Procedures

This process is intended to offer Students guidance and transparency while maintaining efficiency and consistency aimed at providing a timely resolution.  The procedures for receiving, evaluating, and resolving alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct, including academic misconduct and professional standards issues are as follows:

A. Filing a Report and Confidentiality

When a faculty member believes that a Student has engaged in academic misconduct as set forth in Article 1.0 of the Student Code of Conduct, the faculty member should meet with the Student to discuss the allegations. At this meeting, the Student should be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations, and should be made aware of the academic penalties the instructor intends to impose.

Following this conversation, the faculty member must submit an Academic Misconduct Report, which can be found on the Dean of Students webpage. The Report will serve as documentation for the Student’s file and will be presented to the  Student Conduct Hearing Panel if the Student should choose to appeal the faculty member’s decision.

Upon receipt of a Report, the Student Conduct Administrator will evaluate the Report and determine the appropriate course of action, considering the following factors:

  • Which section of Standard 1, Academic Misconduct, has been violated;
  • Severity of the alleged incident;
  • Whether any further documentation must be obtained or if an investigation is warranted;
  • Review of previous Reports to determine whether the Respondent has been involved in similar prior incidents.

After receiving and reviewing the Report, the Student Conduct Administrator will make a determination of the process will be used to resolve the case. Most first-time academic misconduct cases may be addressed through an informal Academic Misconduct Resolution process, if the Student accepts responsibility for the violation.

1. Informal Academic Misconduct Resolution Process

This process will be used when the Student does not have any prior academic misconduct offenses.

  1. The Respondent will be notified in writing of the alleged academic misconduct and the University’s process for resolving charges of academic misconduct, including sanctions should the Student plead or be found responsible.
  2. If appropriate, the Respondent will also be scheduled to meet with a Student Conduct Administrator. At this Academic Conduct Conference, the Respondent will have the opportunity to learn about the University’s Academic Misconduct Resolution Process and to respond to the charges, including whether they accept responsibility and the academic sanctions already issued by the faculty member. Concerned Students are also encouraged to schedule such a meeting if they have questions or concerns.
  3. The Respondent has the right to either accept or appeal the faculty member’s decision and sanctions as well as additional educational sanctions typically imposed by the University for first-time academic misconduct offenses.
  4. If the Respondent chooses to accept responsibility, the Student Conduct Administrator will impose sanctions, which may include educational sanctions about academic integrity and/or conduct probation, or other appropriate sanctions, in addition to the academic sanctions already imposed by the faculty member.
  5. If the Respondent does not accept responsibility or believes a lesser sanction should be imposed (either by the faculty member or by the University), he or she will notify the Student Conduct Administrator within five (5) days of receiving the notice. At this point, the case will move to the Formal Academic Misconduct Resolution Process described below.

2. Formal Academic Misconduct Resolution Process

This process shall be used when a subsequent academic misconduct offense is alleged, when a Respondent wishes to challenge a first allegation and/or the sanctions imposed by the faculty member or proposed by the University or when a Respondent is facing removal from his/her professional program.

  1. The Student Conduct Administrator will communicate with the Respondent and provide written notice of the allegations, possible charges, possible sanctions, and available support services. A copy will also be provided to the person who filed the ReportReporting Party. If the Reporting Party is a Student, a copy will not be provided as to not violate FERPA policy. 
  2. Upon receipt of the written notice, the Respondent will have three (3) business days to respond in writing. The Respondent may admit or to deny the allegations, put forth a defense of facts, witnesses, and documents – whether written or electronic – in support of their defense. A non-response will be considered a general denial of the alleged misconduct.
  3. Based on this response, the Student Conduct Administrator may follow-up with the reporting faculty member and any witnesses (where applicable), and will review all the submitted physical and electronic documentation as well as other steps as appropriate to ensure accuracy of the allegations.
  4. The Student Conduct Administrator will create a Summary Report outlining all of the allegations including the response to the allegations from the Respondent.
  5. The Summary Report will then be shared with the Respondent and the Reporting Party. They will have the right to respond to inaccuracies and discrepancies within the report.
  6. The Student Conduct Administrator will communicate with the Respondent to discuss the Formal Academic Misconduct Resolution Process. During this conference, the Student Conduct Administrator will provide the hearing guidelines and process, as well as the Respondent’s rights in the hearing, including the right to an Advisor and the appeals process.
  7. The Student Conduct Administrator (or their designee) will schedule the hearing. Due to the academic nature of these infractions, all Academic Misconduct hearings shall be conducted by the conduct panel made up of faculty members and students. Notice of the date, time and location of the hearing and the members of the hearing panel, shall be provided to the Respondent at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing. With this notice, a final copy of the Summary Report, that includes any response submitted by the Respondent, will be provided to the Respondent, Reporting Party and the hearing panel.
  8. The Student Conduct Panel hearing will be held. Please refer to the Hearing Rights and Hearing Guidelines later in this document.
  9. After the Student Conduct Panel hearing is held, the Respondent­ will be notified of the findings of the hearing body, and if necessary, the sanctions that have been issued. This notification will happen within three (3) business days via University email.
  10. Students may appeal decisions of suspension and expulsion within five (5) business days of notification of decision, via the appropriate form, which will be provided to them along with the notification of findings and sanctions. All appeals of formal hearing decisions in Academic Misconduct cases will be reviewed by the Provost.

B. Appeals

The Respondent has the right to appeal decisions which result in suspension or expulsion or removal from a professional program in writing via the online appeals link within the student’s decision letter within five (5) business days following notification via University email.

The Office of Student Integrity will forward written appeals to the Provost or his/her designee. The appeal shall be a review of the record only, and no new meeting with the Reporting Party, the Respondent or any alleged victim (where applicable) will be held. 

The Provost, or his designee, may affirm the original finding and sanction; affirm the original finding but issue a new sanction of lesser severity; remand the case back to the decision-maker to correct a procedural or factual defect; or reverse or dismiss the case if there was a procedural or factual defect that cannot be remedied by remand. 

The Provost or his/her designee shall then issue a decision in writing to both parties. 

The decision of the Provost or his/her designee may be appealed in writing within five (5) business days (as determined by the date of the decision letter) to the President of the University solely on the basis (i) procedural errors, (ii) substantive errors, or (iii) new evidence. 

An appeal of the President's decision may be made to the Board of Regents in accordance with the BOR Policy 8.6.

III. Policy Reference

The procedures above are part of the operational implementation of the University of North Georgia’s Student Code of Conduct Policy, and are in compliance with that policy.

IV. Review and Responsibility

Responsible Party

Vice President for Student Affairs

Review

Every three years (or more frequently if needed)

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