Aug 23, 2019  
2017-2018 Student Handbook & University Policies 
    
2017-2018 Student Handbook & University Policies [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Disciplinary Procedures


Student Disciplinary Procedures

Introduction

Life University recognizes the importance of protecting the rights of students who have been charged with, but not yet found responsible for, violation(s) of the Life University Standards of Conduct. Balanced against this responsibility is the right of students, faculty and employees of Life University to continue their educational, academic and professional endeavors free from the threat of harassment, abuse, retaliation and/or violence.

Student Disciplinary Policies & Procedures

All members of the Life University Community are entrusted with the responsibility of upholding ethical goals and values. Essential to the fundamental purpose of Life University is a personal commitment to the principles of citizenship and integrity. Life University maintains an Honor Code and Standards of Conduct as well as a set of Disciplinary Procedures that are designed to hold students responsible for their actions as well as protect their rights.

Interim Suspension

In certain circumstances, a Life University official may impose an interim suspension prior to the adjudication of a hearing. During an interim suspension, a student or student organization is denied access to Life University property, activities and/or privileges in order to prevent the disruption of, or interference with, the normal operations of Life University, and to comply with legal requirements.

Life University may take whatever measures it deems necessary in order to protect the safety, security and/or integrity of a complainant, a respondent, Life University and/or any member(s) of its community. Such measures include, but are not limited to: involuntary removal from a course, clinic, program, activity, University housing, and/or the campus pending a hearing. Additional measures may include modifications to living arrangements in Life University properties; and/or reporting incidents to law enforcement or other non-Life University agencies. The Director of Student Conduct, in consultation with the appropriate faculty and/or other administrators, shall be empowered to impose any appropriate interim measures.

Informal Resolution:

The Director of Student Conduct may hold informal discussions, resolve all types of complaints and impose sanctions. This process may involve the Division Chairs, Department Heads, Deans or other Life University officials to facilitate an Informal Resolution.

  1. An informal hearing is only available when the Respondent, and the Director of Student Conduct mutually agree to resolve the charges in an informal setting, and waive his/her right to a formal hearing and right to appeal. The Director of Student Conduct reserves the right to conduct fact-finding to make an informed decision. When there are charges of sexual assault or violence, the policies and procedures in the Life University Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures shall apply.
  2. If a Respondent chooses to resolve a case through Informal Resolution, he/she must indicate this in writing on a form provided by the Director of Student Conduct during an informational meeting.
  3. The following apply to an informal hearing:
    1. The meeting(s) will not be recorded.
    2. The written decision will serve as the official record of informal hearings.
    3. The written decision will be sent to the Respondent within two business days after the conclusion of the Informal Resolution.
    4. Once an Informal Resolution has been agreed upon, the Respondent forfeits his/her right to appeal. 

Formal Resolution

The Director of Student Conduct is further empowered to initiate formal hearings as necessary for all types of complaints, except for complaints of sexual misconduct. Formal hearings will be held by either an Administrative Hearing Officer or the Conduct Review Board (CRB). In the case of allegations of sexual misconduct, the Life University Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures shall apply and supersides the procedures and policies set forth in the Honor Code.

THE ADMISNITRATIVE HEARING OFFICER AND CONDUCT REVIEW BOARD
Authority | Composition | Eligibility | Hearing Procedures | Sanctions
A. Authority

The Administrative Hearing Officer and Conduct Review Board (CRB) have the authority to conduct hearings to determine if an accused member of the Life University student community is in violation of the Standards of Conduct, and to impose sanctions, as appropriate, up to and including expulsion from Life University.

B. Composition

The Administrative Hearing Officer is a faculty or staff member designated by the Director of Student Conduct and must meet the same eligibility requirements as CRB members stated in section “C” below.

The CRB shall be composed of three (3) voting members, selected by the Director of Student Conduct from a pool of qualified individuals, and one non-voting Chairperson. The Director of Student Conduct shall designate the Chairperson.

For hearings that include academjic misconduct violations, one (1) voting member shall be a staff member, one (1) voting member shall be a faculty member, and one (1) voting member shallbe a student. for hearings that do not include academisc misconcuct violations, two (2) oting members shall be University employees and one (1) voting member shall be a student.

In the event that the Complainant and/or the Respondent fail(s) to appear as scheduled, the Chair of the CRB may choose to conduct or reschedule the hearing.

If the CRB involves more than one Respondent, the Director of Student Conduct, at his or her discretion, may permit the CRB concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.

C. Eligibility

In order to be eligible to serve as an Administrative Hearing Officer or on the CRB, individuals must meet the following requirements:

  1. Students must be registered as full-time in good acadec (cumulative GPA of 2.0) and disciplinary standing, and have completed at least one(1) quarter of full-time courseword at Life University. 
  2. Faculty must have been employed by Life University for a minimum of one (1) academic year and have taught at least one course within the most recent two (2) academic quarters.
  3. Staff must be currently employed and must have been employed by Life University for at least one (1) complete quarter.

The Director of Student Conduct shall be responsible for recruiting, selecting, and training members of the CRB. It is expected that members of the CRB shall recuse themselves from a particular hearing if there is the likelihood that their objectivity may be compromised.

Due to exams and end of quarter assignments, CRB hearings will not be available after Week 9. Respondents will only be allowed to have Administrative Hearings.  

 Because of end of quarter papers, exams, etc., students wanted to have a hearing will be limited to AHO hearings.  It is extremely difficult to convene a CRB after week 9 and CRB hearings are often pushed to Week 2 of the following quarter because class schedules are typically not finalized until then.  

D. Hearing Procedures
  1. The Administrative Hearing Officer or Chair shall have all participants execute confidentiality agreements.
  2. The Administrative Hearing Officer or Chair shall call the hearing to order and state the date and time.
  3. The Administrative Hearing Officer or Chair shall state the conditions of the hearing, including:
    • The hearing shall be recorded and/or transcribed via court reporter.
    • The hearing shall be closed, with participation limited to the Respondent(s), the Complainant(s) and any advisor(s) and/ or witness(es). Witnesses will remain outside the hearing until asked to provide information.
    • All statements, testimony and evidence shall be restricted to matters directly relevant to the case, as determined by the Administrative Hearing Officer or Chair. The Administrative Hearing Officer or Chair will not be obligated to follow the rules of evidence as applied in a court of law.
    • Any person disrupting, interfering with or failing to abide by the rulings of the Administrative Hearing Officer or Chair may be excused from the hearing.
    • Advisors, if present, shall be restricted to consulting with their advisees. Advisors may not address witnesses, the Administrative Hearing Officer or members of the CRB unless invited to do so.
    • Deliberations will not be recorded. The level of proof required to determine whether or not a Respondent is responsible for the allegations shall be “by a preponderance of the evidence.”
    • The hearing and its final outcome shall be considered part of the Respondent’s educational record, and as such shall be kept confidential, except as provided under federal and state law.
  4. The Administrative Hearing Officer or Chair shall ask the Complainant(s) and the Respondent(s) at this time if there are any objections to proceeding with the hearing. He/she shall be solely responsible for deciding if such objections are reasonable and/or what measures should be taken to address them.
  5. The Administrative Hearing Officer or Chair shall present the complaint and state the charge(s).
  6. The Administrative Hearing Officer or Chair shall read any response submitted by the Respondent(s).
  7. The Complainant(s) shall be given the opportunity to make an opening statement and present evidence supporting the charge(s).
  8. The Respondent(s) shall be given the opportunity to make an opening statement and present evidence challenging the charge(s).
  9. The Complainant(s) shall be given the opportunity to present additional evidence and/or call witnesses. The complainant(s) shall have the first option of questioning his/her witness(es), followed by the Respondent(s).
  10. The Respondent(s) shall be given the opportunity to present evidence and/or call witnesses. The Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB shall have the first option of questioning the witness(es), followed by the Complainant(s), the the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB.
  11. The Complainant(s) shall be given the opportunity to make a closing statement. Parties are not allowed to cross-examine.
  12. The Respondent(s) shall be given the opportunity to make a closing statement.
  13. The Administrative Hearing Officer or Chair shall conclude the hearing.
  14. The Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB shall enter closed deliberations. All findings of fact and any determination(s) of violation(s) shall be decided by a majority vote, based on a preponderance of the evidence.
  15. The Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB shall determine if the Respondent(s) are in violation of the Standards of Conduct. In a CRB hearing, determination of responsibility is decided by a majority vote.
  16. If the Respondent is found to be in violation, appropriate sanctions will be assigned. The Director of Student Conduct will inform the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB of the respondent’s prior conduct history and shall review the sanction recommendations made by the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB. The Director of Student Conduct has final approval of the sanction recommendations and can modify or change as appropriate.    
E. Sanctions

The Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB shall select at least one of the following sanctions to impose upon a respondent found in violation the Standards of Conduct:

  1. Disciplinary Reprimand: the Respondent receives a written statement that he/she has violated the Standards of Conduct and that further similar violations will result in stronger sanctions.
  2. Disciplinary Probation: the Respondent receives a written statement that he/she has violated the Standards of Conduct and that further similar violations may result in suspension or expulsion. The length of the probationary period is recommended by the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB for implementation by the Director of Student Conduct as appropriate.
  3. Disciplinary Suspension: the Respondent is informed that he/she is separated (for a minimum of one [1] academic quarter) from Life University property and participation in any Life University activities. This sanction is recorded on the Respondent’s academic transcript during the period of suspension. A Respondent who is suspended from the University is not eligible for tuition and/or registration fee reimbursement except as provided by University policies. The Respondent will be administratively withdrawn from courses and will lose respective credit hours.
  4. Disciplinary Expulsion: the Respondent is informed that he/she is permanently separated from Life University property and participation in any/all Life University activities with no possibility of readmission. This sanction is permanently recorded on the Respondent’s academic transcript. A Respondent who is expelled from the University is not eligible for tuition and/or registration fee reimbursement except as provided by University policies. The Respondent will be administratively withdrawn from courses and will lose respective credit hours.
  5. Additional Sanctions: During the resolution process, other educational sanctions, restitutions and/or restrictions may be imposed, including, but not limited to:
    • Discretionary Sanctions: Denial of academic credit, exclusion from privileged or extracurricular activities, essays or research papers, online education courses, work and/or community service assignments.
    • Clinic Suspension: Separation of the respondent from the clinic for a definite period of time, determined by the Admistrative Hearing Officer or the CRB.
    • Exclusion from University Housing.
    • Psychological Evaluation – referral for an evaluation and recommendation by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist.The respondent must provide evidence of compliance with any recommendations made by the psychologist or psychiatrist.  The Respondent must provide the Director of Student Conduct any and all necessary releases so that the licensed professional may provide official documentation, on letterhead, verifying attendance and 
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARTICIPANTS
A. Respondents

Throughout his/her involvement in the disciplinary process, a Respondent has the following rights and responsibilities:

  1. Fair Treatment
    • The Respondent has the right to be treated with dignity and respect by all persons involved in the disciplinary process.
    • The Respondent has the right to be considered not responsible for all charges until he/she accepts or is determined by the Administrative Hearing Officer or Conduct Review Board (CRB) to be in violation of the Standards of Conduct. This right should not be construed to prevent Life University from taking necessary interim measures.
    • The Respondent has the right to information regarding the disciplinary process and his/her role in that process. In addition, the Respondent has the right to access all records contained in his/her conduct file upon request.
    • The Respondent has the right to object to and/or request that any one member of the CRB recuse themselves from a hearing. This request will be reviewed and a decision made by the Director of Student Conduct. The request must be submitted to the Director of Student Conduct at least 72 hours prior to the hearing.
    • The Respondent has the responsibility to notify the Director of Student Conduct, or the Vice President of Student Services, if and when he/she feels that he/she has not received fair and equitable treatment.
  2. Privacy
    • The Respondent has the right to privacy throughout the disciplinary process with respect to all uninvolved parties in accordance with all applicable privacy laws, including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
    • The Respondent has the right to be free from intimidation and/or harassment, and the right, upon request, to have reasonable measures taken by Life University to prevent unnecessary or unwanted contact with the Complainant(s).
    • The Respondent has the responsibility to notify the Director of Student Conduct, or the Vice President of Student Services, if and when he/she feels reasonable measures need to be taken in order to protect these rights.
  3. Presence of an Advisor
    • The Respondent has the right to confer with an advisor of his/her choice (excluding those persons directly involved in the dispute) throughout the disciplinary process. The advisor may be present, but may not actively participate in the hearing, and may not serve as a witness. Should the advisor be an attorney, the Respondent must notify the Director of Student Conduct in writing at least 72 hours prior to any scheduled hearing. The Director of Student Conduct will make any necessary notifications.
    • Advisors, if present, shall be restricted to consulting with their advisees. Advisors may not address witnesses, the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB unless invited to do so.
    • The Respondent has the responsibility to notify the advisor of the time, date and location of any disciplinary proceeding. Proceedings will not be rescheduled to accommodate an advisor.
  4. Notice
    • The Respondent has the right to timely and proper notification (via e-mail, telephone or personal contact) of any interview to be conducted with him/her as part of an inquiry. This notice shall include the following:
      1. The time, date and location of the interview;
      2. The consequences of failure to appear at the interview;
      3. The procedures for requesting a change in the time and/or date of the interview.
    • The Respondent has the right to proper written notification of any hearing conducted as a result of a complaint filed against him/her. This notice shall be provided no less than 72 hours prior to the scheduled hearing, and shall include the following:
      1. The time, date and location of the hearing;
      2. The consequences of failure to appear at the hearing;
      3. A written copy of the complaint, including the name(s) of the reporting party/parties, the complainant(s), and the charges being considered;
      4. The name of the Administrative Hearing Officer or a list of the members of the CRB. This information is provided to the Respondent with the clear understanding that he/she is not to contact the Administrative Hearing Officer or any members of the CRB prior to the hearing;
      5. The procedures for requesting a change in the time and/or date of the hearing.

* The respondent has the responsibility to ensure that Life University has been provided with accurate address and other contact information so that notification is not unduly delayed.

* The respondent has the responsibility to check their University provided email address for all correspondences from the Office of Student Conduct.  

   5.Hear and Provide Testimony

  • The Respondent has the right to hear, question and respond to all witnesses and/or information presented during a hearing. This does not include the right to directly question the Complainant and/or the Complainant’s witnesses, although permission to do so may be granted by the Administrative Hearing Officer or the Chair of the CRB.
  • The respondent has the right to present information and/or witnesses that he/she feels are relevant to the complaint. The number of witnesses allowed to be called is limited to three (3). Only witnesses who can testify as to material facts may be called; the respondent may not call witnesses who can only testify as to his/her character or the complainant’s character.  Character witnesses are not allowed. 

  • The respondent has the right not to present evidence against him/herself.  This includes the respondent’s right not to answer questions.  Refusal to present evidence or answer questions should not be interpreted as an admission of responsibility.  This right should not be construed to allow the respondent to consciously and/or deliberately present false or misleading testimony.

  • The respondent has the responsibility to attend any hearing conducted as the result of a complaint against him/her.  

  • The respondent has the responsibility to respond to any witnesses or information at the time such evidence is presented. The Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB is not required to consider any rebuttal made after a witness has been dismissed.
  • The respondent has the responsibility to inform any witnesses he/she wishes to call of the time, date, and location of the hearing, and to have on hand all evidence he/she wishes to present at the time of the hearing.

  6. Written Disposition and Appeal

The respondent has the right to proper written notification of the results of his/her disciplinary hearing within two business days of the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB’s decision. This notice shall include the following::

1.The finding(s) of fact on each charge;

2.The rationale supporting the finding of fact;

3.The sanction(s) imposed; and

4.The procedure for filing an appeal.

The Respondent has the right to appeal the outcome of the hearing unless this right has been waived or forfeited as allowed for elsewhere in these procedures (e.g. Informal resolution).

The Respondent has the responsibility to comply with all sanctions imposed as the result of a disciplinary hearing.

1.Once an appeal is requested, the sanctions will be stayed and will not take effect until the appeal process has been completed. If no appeal is requested, the sanctions will take effect immediately.

            2. In a case in which interim sanctions have been imposed, they will continue in force until all appeals have been exhausted.

B. Complaintants

Throughout his/her involvement in the disciplinary process, a Complainant has the following rights and responsibilities:

  1. Fair Treatment
    • The Complainant has the right to be treated with dignity and respect by all persons involved in the disciplinary process.
    • The Complainant has the right to information regarding the disciplinary process and his/her role within that process.
    • The Complainant has the right to object to and/or request that any one member of the CRB recuse themselves in writing at least 72 hours prior to the hearing.
    • The Complainant has the responsibility to notify the Director of Student Conduct, or the Executive Director of Student Services, if and when he/she feels that he/she has not received fair and equitable treatment.
  2. Privacy
    • The Complainant has the right to privacy throughout the disciplinary process with respect to all uninvolved parties in accordance with all applicable privacy laws, including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
    • The Complainant has the right to be free from intimidation and/or harassment, and the right, upon request, to have reasonable measures taken by Life University to prevent unnecessary or unwanted contact with the Respondent(s).
    • The Complainant has the responsibility to notify the Director of Student Conduct, or the Executive Director of Student Services, if and when he/she feels reasonable measures need to be taken in order to protect these rights.
  3. Presence of an Advisor
    • The Complainant has the right to confer with an advisor of his/her choice (excluding those persons directly involved in the dispute) throughout the disciplinary process. The advisor may be present but may not actively participate in the Administrative or CRB hearing and may not serve as a witness. Should the advisor be an attorney, the Complainant must notify the Director of Student Conduct at least 72 hours prior to any scheduled hearing. The Director of Student Conduct will make any necessary notifications.
    • The Complainant has the responsibility to notify the advisor of the time, date and location of any disciplinary proceeding. Proceedings will not be rescheduled to accommodate an advisor.
  4. Notice
    • The Complainant has the right to proper notification (via e-mail, telephone or personal contact) of any interview to be conducted with him/her as part of an inquiry. This notice shall include the following:
      1. The time, date and location of the interview;
      2. The consequences of failure to appear at the interview;
      3. The procedures for requesting a change in the time and/or date of the interview.
    • The Complainant has the right to proper written notification of any hearing conducted as a result of a complaint filed by him/her. This notice shall be provided no less than 72 hours prior to the scheduled hearing, and include the following:
      1. The time, date and location of the hearing;
      2. The consequences of failure to appear at the hearing;
      3. A copy of any written response made by the Respondent, provided;
      4. The name of the Administrative Hearing Officer or a list of the members of the CRB;
      5. The procedures for requesting a change in the time or date of the hearing.
    • The Complainant has the responsibility to ensure that Life University has been provided with accurate address and other contact information so that notification is not unduly delayed.
    • The complainant has the responsibility to check their University provided email address for all correspondences from the Office of Student Conduct.

  5. Hear and Provide Testimony
    • The complainant has the right to hear, question, and respond to all witnesses and/or information presented during a hearing . This does not include the right to directly question the respondent and/or the respondent’s witnesses, although permission to do so may be granted by the Administrative Hearing Officer or the Chair of the CRB.

    • The complainant has the right to present information and/or witnesses that he/she feels are relevant to the complaint. The number of witnesses allowed to be called is limited to three (3). Only witnesses who can testify as to material facts may be called; the complainant may not call witnesses who can only testify as to his/her character or the respondent’s character.  Character witnesses are not allowed.  
    • The Complainant has the responsibility not to consciously and/or deliberately present false or misleading testimony.
    • The complainant has the responsibility to attend any hearing conducted as the result of a complaint filed by him/her.
    • The Complainant has the responsibility to respond to any witnesses or information at the time such evidence is presented. The Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB is not required to consider any rebuttal made after a witness has been dismissed.
    • The Complainant has the responsibility to inform any witnesses he/she wishes to call of the time, date and location of the hearing and to have on hand all evidence he/she wishes to present at the time of the hearing.
  6. Written Disposition and Appeal
    • In cases of sexual misconduct and/or violent behavior by the respondent, the complainant has the right to proper written notification (within two business days of the Hearing or CRB decision) of the outcome of any disciplinary hearing convened as a result of a complaint filed by him/her. This notice shall include the following:
      1. The finding(s) of fact on each charge;
      2. The rationale supporting the finding of fact;
      3. The sanction(s) assigned if applicable; and
      4. The procedure for filing an appeal in such cases.
    • The complainant has the responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of the respondent’s disciplinary records. Failure to do so may be considered a violation of Life University’s Standards of Conduct and/or federal law.
C. Parental Notification

Life University considers disciplinary records to be part of a student’s educational record, and as such Life University complies with all applicable privacy laws, including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Furthermore, Life University’s primary relationship is with its students, and not with their parents or guardians.

However, Life University recognizes that parents and/or guardians maintain an interest in their dependant students’ academic status.Therefore, Life University may, at the sole discretion of the Director of Student Conduct, notify the parents or guardians of any dependant student under the age of eighteen (twenty one in cases of alcohol and/or drug violations) who is found responsible for a violation of the Standards of Conduct.

D. Appeals

All respondents have the right to appeal any decision made by the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB. Complainants in cases involving sexual misconduct or acts of violence have the right to appeal any decision made by the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB. Neither respondent nor complainant can appeal an Informal Resolution.

An appeal must be submitted in writing and must be received by the Director of Student Conduct within five (5) business days of the date of notification of the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB’s decision. An extension to this deadline may be granted at the sole discretion of the Director of Student Conduct. The Director of Student Conduct shall then refer the appeal to the appellate officer.

A decision on an appeal may not be rendered until the filing deadline has passed. Appellate decisions should be rendered, and proper written notification provided to the Director of Student Conduct no later than five (5) business days after the filing deadline. The Director of Student Conduct shall notify all respondents and other parties as appropriate of the results of the appeal.

1. Appellate Officer. The appellate officer shall be the Vice President of Academic Affairs or his/her designate.

2. Appeal Criteria. Appeals shall be considered only in the following circumstances:

* The existence of procedural errors so substantial that the respondent was denied a fair hearing;

* A finding of fact by the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB clearly not supported by the evidence;

* The imposition of a sanction that is disproportionate, arbitrary and/or capricious.

3. Available Actions. The appellate officer is limited to taking one of the following actions for each respondent:

* Affirm the finding(s) of fact and sanctions imposed by the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB.

* Affirm the finding(s) of fact but modify the sanction(s) imposed.

* Remand the complaint for a new hearing before a new hearing body

Under no circumstances shall the appellate officer supplant the function of the Administrative Hearing Officer or CRB; the appellate process exists solely to review the procedures used in disciplinary proceedings, and not to re-hear a complaint in its entirety.

Appeals can be submitted online at: http://www.life.edu/campus-life-pages/studentconduct/student-conduct-appeal/.

The decision of the appellate officer is final.

E. Records

Documentation of all Student Conduct matters, including individual student cases and student organization cases, will be maintained by the Director of Student Conduct.

The release of Student Conduct records will be governed by applicable federal and state laws regarding the privacy of education records.

The Director of Student Conduct may place a hold on the account of any student who has a pending Student Conduct matter, including any outstanding sanctions Other than disciplinary expulsion, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the student’s permanent academic record, but shall become part of the student’s disciplinary record. Upon graduation, the student’s disciplinary record may be expunged of disciplinary actions upon application to the Director of Student Conduct. Cases involving the imposition of sanctions other than disciplinary suspension or expulsion shall be automatically expunged from the student’s confidential record 7 years after final disposition of the case.

All the necessary forms regarding the Honor Code may be found online at http://www.life.edu/campus-life-pages/student-conduct/ or obtained in the Office of Student  Services.