Disciplinary Review Process
Most cases of cheating are resolved at the instructor, college, or school level in an agreed resolution between the instructor and student or through an informal hearing with a Dean's Representative within a couple of weeks. Occasionally, however, cases are appealed and require additional disciplinary review. These cases may take several months to resolve. When a case of academic misconduct is reported, both the student and reporting faculty member receive formal notification:
- Information for Students Charged with Academic Misconduct
- Information for Faculty Reporting a Case of Student Academic Misconduct
Step 1: Informal Hearing
In charge: Dean of school or college or the Vice Provost for Student Life
Timeline: Usually less than two weeks
The student is allowed to defend himself/herself against allegations. The faculty member and student need not meet with the person in charge of the informal hearing at the same time. The student is advised of a final decision and may accept that decision or appeal the case to the next level. Cases involving suspension, expulsion, hazing, or restitution of over $300 are automatically forwarded to the Faculty Appeal Board for administrative review.
- Most complaints are resolved at this level.
- This administrator (the dean's representative) schedules an informal hearing which provides an opportunity for the student to respond to the allegations made against him or her.
- The person initiating the complaint against the student (e.g., the instructor) provides a written account of the incident, and may meet with the dean's representative to provide additional information.
- The student meets face-to-face with the dean's representative to respond to the charges.
- The instructor and the student need not meet with the dean at the same time.
- Everyone involved at this point must represent themselves.
- A student who fails to attend the informal hearing waives his or her right to an informal hearing.
- The student may at any point request a hearing by the University Disciplinary Committee.
- The student has 21 days to appeal any decision reached within the informal hearing.
Step 2: Formal Hearing
In charge: University Disciplinary Committee
Timeline: Usually not less than three weeks
Most of the cases heard by the University Disciplinary Committee are appeals of informal hearings. All parties are allowed to present evidence and argument before the committee. The student is entitled to hear all testimony and examine all evidence that is presented. The student is advised of a final decision and may accept that decision or take the case to the next level. Cases involving suspension, expulsion, hazing, or restitution of over $300 are automatically referred to the Faculty Appeal Board for additional administrative review or a formal hearing. The hearing should be carried out as quickly as possible but because of procedural rules and scheduling conflicts, the process may take several weeks to conclude.
Few complaints reach this level. Usually when they do it is because:
- a student requests a formal hearing.
- the student has appealed the dean representative's decision and/or sanctions.
The University Disciplinary Committee:
- is made up of three faculty members, three students, and a chair appointed by the President of the University; and
- is responsible for carrying out a formal hearing according to WAC 478-120-095 of Washington State Law and the Student Code.
Step 3: Formal Hearing and/or Administrative Review
In charge: Faculty Appeal Board
The Faculty Appeal Board conducts administrative reviews of the procedures and content of cases referred directly by the dean's representative or cases that come forward on appeal from the University Disciplinary Committee. The Faculty Appeal Board also conducts formal hearings in response to student appeals in cases where exceptional circumstances are involved, such as suspension, expulsion, hazing, or restitution of over $300. After receiving the final order of the Faculty Appeal Board a student has 21 days to appeal.
Very few complaints reach this level. Complaints reach this level because:
- the student requests a formal re-hearing and sets forth the exceptional circumstances that exist (e.g., suspension, expulsion, hazing, or restitution of over $300); in addition, the Faculty Appeal Board must agree and grant the request.
- based on exceptional circumstances, the Faculty Appeal Board chooses to conduct an administrative review of an earlier decision; this action need not be initiated by the student and involves a review of the written record.
- the chair of the University Disciplinary Committee requests the case go before the Faculty Appeal Board.
The Faculty Appeal Board:
- is made up of seven members of the faculty appointed by the chair of the Faculty Senate in consultation with the Faculty Council on Student Affairs;
- completes an administrative review of the cases referred to them, looking both at procedure and content; and
- may conduct a formal hearing with legal counsel and testimony made under oath.
Step 4: Presidential Review
In charge: President of the University
The President of the University reviews all decisions for dismissal from the university, and cases from the Faculty Appeal Board that have been appealed to this level.
After receiving the final order from the President, the student has ten days to file a request for reconsideration.