Student Accountability Process
Students are expected to uphold the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Regulations Library Policy 6-400, also known as the Student Code while attending the University of Utah. We understand that the Student Code may be complicated to understand. Our intention of writing the Student Code is to be as thorough as possible by outlining all details of the behavioral misconduct process. However, we also wanted to break down the Student Code in plain language to help you better understand the process if you are considering filing a complaint or if you are accused of a violation.
This is the process that is outlined in Section III, Standards of Behavior, of the Student Code. Academic Misconduct, Academic Performance, or Professional Misconduct processes are included in different sections of the Code. Reports of Discrimination or Sexual Misconduct are handled through the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action in accordance with Policy and Procedures 5-210.
Receive and Evaluate Complaints
Once a complaint and/or information is received, the Office of the Dean of Students will assign the incident to an individual who works within Student Accountability and is trained on evaluating and investigating cases of behavioral misconduct. We call these individuals conduct hearing officers. During the initial evaluation, the Conduct Hearing Officer is looking to determine what the appropriate way to move forward is. How the Office of the Dean of Students decides to move forward on a case depends on several factors. Some of those factors include, but are not limited to- the nature of the information provided, the timeless of the complaint (is it within 45 business days of the date of discovery of the alleged violation?), what the reporting party is looking to get out of filing a complaint, sufficient information to determine an initial allegation of the Student Code, etc.
Any person may file a complaint or information to the Office of the Dean of Students regarding the behavior of a student. Many of the complaints received by the Office of the Dean of Students come from faculty and staff members. We also receive reports from individual students who are affected by another student’s behavior.
Complaints and/or information about a potential behavioral violation of the Student Code may be submitted in various ways:
- Verbally by calling or meeting the a representative of the Office of the Dean of Students at 801-581-7066.
- Written by submitting information to 270 Union, fax 801-585-5114, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Online via our Public Reporting Form.
Reports may be submitted anonymously to the Office of the Dean of Students, but understand that this may limit the action the University can take regarding the matter.
If you are a Campus Security Authority, you are required to report Clery reportable Crimes. The purpose of a Campus Security Authority is to report allegations made in good faith to the reporting structure established by the institution. These cases should be reported to the University Department of Public Safety (police) at 801-581-2677. If you are not a Campus Security Authority or not quite sure if are one, we still encourage you to report to campus police.
Informal Resolution/Case Closed
When the Student Accountability Case Manager receives a referral, it may be determined that the University does not have jurisdiction over the matter, the allegations do not rise to the level of an allegation of a violation of the student code, or that there is not enough information to move forward in the formal behavioral misconduct process. However, through our initial inquiry it is discovered that the individual(s) involved are willing to engage with the Office of the Dean of Students to arrive at an informal agreement. There are various times in which this process is utilized, but one example is:
- There is a personality conflict of two students. The conflict does not rise to the level of threatening, but it is still disruptive. Both students agree that they do not want to have contact with each other. As a result, the Office of the Dean of Students drafts No Contact Agreements and both students approve and sign the agreement. Moving forward, breaking this No Contact Agreement would be a potential violation of University expectations.
Student Accountability Case Managers often work with the folks in our office who specialize in Student Support to help resolve informal resolutions.
Insufficient Information/Case Closed
When weighing the information provided, it may be determined there is not enough information to move forward on a formal conduct matter. Examples of times we would not move forward on a conduct matter include, but are not limited to:
- The Office of the Dean of Students receives an anonymous report about an incident that does not disclose any identifying information about the responding student. In this case, we do our best to reach out to the anonymous reporter, if possible, to explain the complaint process and see if they would like to provide more information, as well as connect them to other campus resources to help them resolve the issue.
- The Office of the Dean of Students receives a report from a community member about someone they believe is a student at the University of Utah. Upon initial inquiry it is discovered that the responding person is actually not a student at the U. As they are not a student, we would have no jurisdiction over that individual and we would encourage the reporting party to report the University Police Department or an entity that would have oversight of that individual.
Even if we are not able to investigate a complaint, in many of these cases our office still looks for ways to educate our campus community based off of what information was reported.
Alleged Charges and Investigation Process
If, in the initial inquiry, there is enough information to move forward with the behavioral misconduct process, the Conduct Hearing Officer will send an allegation letter to the responding student via Umail. Possible allegations of behavioral misconduct include:
- Acts of dishonesty (Furnishing false or misleading information to any University official; Forgery, alteration or misuse of any University document, record, fund or identification)
- Intentional disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or other University activities.
- Physical or verbal assault, sexual harassment, hazing, threats, intimidation, coercion
or any other behavior which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any member
of the University community or any other person while on University premises, at University
activities, or on premises over which the University has supervisory responsibility
pursuant to state statute or local ordinance.
Note: Allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment generally will be handled by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action in accordance with Policy and Procedures 5-210.
- Attempted or actual theft, damage or misuse of University property or resources.
- Sale or distribution of information representing the work product of a faculty member to a commercial entity for financial gain without the express written permission of the faculty member responsible for the course
- Unauthorized or improper use of any University property, equipment, facilities, or
resources, including unauthorized entry into any University room, building or premises.
Note: This means if you that you are using University buildings or resources in way that are not intended. For example, vandalism, trespassing into an on campus construction site, not returning rental gear or books, etc.
- Possession or use on University premises or at University activities of any firearm or other dangerous weapon, incendiary device, explosive or chemical, unless such possession or use has been authorized by the University.
- Use, possession or distribution of any narcotic or other controlled substance on University
premises, at University activities, or on premises over which the University has supervisory
responsibility pursuant to state statute or local ordinance, except as permitted by
law and University regulations.
Note: Recently there has been new legislation in some states that decriminalizes (make legal) marijuana for medical or recreational use. The University of Utah adheres to federal policy and Utah state law on marijuana which declares it to be a controlled substance that must be prohibited. Regardless of your home state's law or the possession of a medical use license from another state, marijuana is not legal on campus because it is not legal in Utah.
- Use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages of any type on University premises
except as permitted by law and University regulations.
Note: The University of Utah is a dry campus, which mean alcohol is not allowed on campus. Even if you are over the legal age of 21, you are still not allowed to have alcohol on campus including, but not limited to Housing & Residential Education and Rice-Eccles Stadium.
- Violation of published University policies, rules or regulations.
Note: This includes other campus department polices. For example, outdoor recreation has polices for their rentals and trip, Housing & Residential Education’s Handbooks, etc.
- Violation of federal, state or local civil or criminal laws on University premises, while participating in University activities, or on premises over which the University has supervisory responsibility pursuant to state statute or local ordinance.
Once the Responding party receives the letter (via Umail) from the Student Accountability Case Manager, they should call the Office of the Dean of Students at 801-581-7066 to arrange an in person meeting to talk over the incident. This is what we call due process. The responding student will also have the opportunity to submit written statements, provide a list of witness and/or other supporting materials to support the investigation.
You may bring an attorney or non-attorney advocate with you to any meetings or proceedings under the student code. However, this individual is there solely to support and advise you through the process. If you intend to bring an attorney or non-attorney advocate, we will need you to fill out a consent form that will give us permission to discuss this matter with them. This form that will be provided at your first meeting.
Each individual identified as having information relevant to a conduct matter is provided an opportunity to make a statement of his or her thoughts, concerns, or questions regarding the investigation either through an interview with a conduct officer or the submission of a written statement.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Student Accountability Case Manager shall determine whether there is a reasonable basis for believing that the student is responsible for a violation of the Student Code while weighing all of this information under the Preponderance of the Evidence standard.
The Student Accountability Case Manager shall determine whether there is a reasonable basis for believing that a student is responsible for violations of the Student Code while weighing all of this information under the Preponderance of the Evidence standard.
There are two possible outcomes, responsible or not responsible.
Not Responsible/Case Closed
After meeting with the student and the conclusion of investigation, it may be determined that the student is found not responsible. Several factors may lead the Student Accountability Case Manager to this decision. If there is a not responsible finding, the Student Accountability Case Manager will document this outcome and no disciplinary record is maintained on the student’s academic record.
It is the University’s intention that students who violate the Student Code learn from their actions. The student behavior process is designed to be part of a student’s educational experience. Each conduct case is to be viewed separately and there is no set disciplinary response for each incident. The information provided during the investigation of each case will dictate unique outcomes
At the conclusion of the investigation, it may be determined that the student is found responsible for a violation of the Student Code. Several factors may lead the Student Accountability Case Manager to this decision. If there is a responsible finding (the student is found responsible for violating University policy), the Student Accountability Case Manager will communicate this outcome and subsequent sanctions to the responding student as a proposed resolution . Responsible findings are a part of a student’s academic record.
Disciplinary records are part of a student's academic record and are therefore governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). To learn more about FERPA, visit the Office of the Registrar website. Please note that the University may disclose information from a student's record to officials within the University or those of another school in which a student seeks enrollment without the student's written consent.
During the investigation process, if a student is found responsible, sanctions are proposed to the student as a means to an appropriate resolution to the matter. Sanctions are intended to provide a learning opportunity for the responding student as well as to ensure an overall safe and healthy campus community. Students may be expected to fulfill multiple sanctions as a resolution to one behavioral matter.
Sanctions include, but are not limited to the following:
- Warning: University Warning indicates to the student and the University that an incident has happened, that there have been conversations around the incident, and that there may be more severe consequences if the conduct is to reoccur or escalate.
- Probation: University Probation indicates to the student and the University that the student is allowed to remain at the University and engage on campus. However, the condition of this agreement is that if there is one more incident of misconduct, the student may be suspended or dismissed from the University.
- Educational Classes/Projects: The University of Utah offers a Prime for Life class through the Center for Student Wellness. This class opens discussion on risk reduction strategies for alcohol and drug usage. We also engage in students in other creative educational sanctions through our various campus partners.
- Research/Reflection papers: Engaging in education about a specific matter and reflecting on that topic through written and/or oral reflection with the Student Accountability Case Manager.
- Volunteer opportunities: Community engagement as a learning opportunity.
- Referrals: To appropriate campus and off-campus community resources such as individual alcohol/substance assessment, consultations, educational conversations with subject matter experts.
- Fines: Payment for a specific incident.
- Restitution: Repayment to the University or to any affected party for damages and/or injury.
- Behavioral Suspension: Separation from all University rights afforded to active students. The duration of the suspension shall be for a specific period of time, between one semester and up to five years. To return to the University after the term of a suspension is over, a petition for reinstatement must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students prior to the readmission deadline that addresses how you have complied with the terms of your suspension, what you have learned from this situation, and how you intend to prevent it from reoccurring should you be reinstated.
- Behavioral Dismissal: Permanent separation of the individuals relationship with the University. This includes all activities, services, facilities, and grounds, undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. Dismissal is final and is noted on the academic transcript.
- Other Sanctions: as appropriate to the circumstances of a given case.
Based on the outcome and the sanctions proposed to the responding student, if the responding student agrees with what the Student Accountability Case Manager proposes, an agreement form will be signed. Once this form is signed, the outcomes are final and the responding student has waived their right to be heard in front of the Student Behavior Committee.
Based on the outcome and the sanctions provided to the responding student, if the student does not agree with what the Student Accountability Case Manager proposes, the student has the opportunity to engage in conversation with the Student Accountability Case Manager to negotiate the sanctions. If the Student Accountability Case Manager and student are unable to reach an agreement, the matter will be referred to the Student Behavior Committee for a behavioral misconduct hearing.
Once the Office of the Dean of Students has confirmed all sanctions have been completed and no other outstanding information is needed, the case will be closed. As a reminder, responsible findings of behavioral misconduct are part of the student’s record.
Student Behavior Committee Hearing
The Student Behavior Committee is made up of faculty, staff, and students from around campus who are appointed to the committee and trained to hear cases of behavioral misconduct. The University hearing process is not a court of law and is run quite differently than a courtroom. The purpose of the Student Behavior Committee hearing is to allow the complaining and responding parties an opportunity to have the information in their case reviewed by an impartial group of University community members.
Once it is determined that a hearing will take place, the Student Behavior Committee Secretary will arrange a time and time for the hearing to take place. All parties involved will receive notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing. Prior to the hearing, a list of Student Behavior Committee members will be provided to the complainant and respondent. This gives students involved a chance to review the member list to ensure there are no conflicts of interest with any of the member who may hear your case. All hearing materials that will be presented by either side are to be submitted at least five business days before the hearing and the committee secretary will share all of the information provided with the other party and the committee member for review.
You may bring an attorney or non-attorney advisor with you to the hearing.
All hearings are closed to the public and are recorded for documentation purposes. Even though the proceedings are recorded, all information presented the hearing is private in nature and will only be shared with those who have a need to know.
There will be five members of the Student Behavior Committee present to hear the case. They will be advised by a member of the Office of General Counsel.
During a Student Behavior Committee hearing, the parties will have the opportunity to give statements, introduce witnesses, and present questions. Communication in the hearing flows through the designated chair of the committee.
After all the information is presented to the committee, the committee members will deliberate and determine their findings as they relate to outcomes and sanctions. These findings are a recommendation of an appropriate outcome presented to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The VP for Student Affairs reviews all the investigation and hearing materials and determines the outcome to be presented to the complainant.
Vice President for Student Affairs Determination
The findings from the Student Behavior Committee are presented to the Vice President for Student Affairs as a recommendation for an appropriate outcome. The VP for Student Affairs reviews all the investigation and hearing materials and determines the outcome. Based on the information presented, the VP for Student Affairs may accept the committee’s findings, ask for more information to determine an outcome, or reject the committee’s findings.
The VP for Student Affairs can change the findings and/or impose greater or lesser sanctions than recommended by the committee.
Appeal to the University President
The Complaining party has 10 business days from the date of the Vice President for Student Affairs outcome letter to appeal the findings to the President of the University.
The President reviews all the investigation documents, hearing materials and VP’s outcome letter to determine an outcome. Based on the information presented, the President may accept the VP for Student Affairs’ findings, ask for more information to determine an outcome, or reject the findings. The President can change the findings and impose greater or lesser sanctions than imposed by the VP for Student Affairs.
The decision of the President is binding and final.
- Allegations: A claim that there has been a possible violation(s) of the student code.
- Complaining Party: An individual who filed an allegation of a policy violation/misbehavior.
- Conduct Hearing Officer: The person(s) from Office of the Dean of Students who will investigate and determine an initial outcome for the complaint.
- Due Process: The right of students involved in the conduct process to have notice of accusations, an opportunity to respond, and an unbiased review and decision made on the issue.
- Informal Agreement: When a responding party is found responsible for violating policy, they may choose to accept the proposed sanctions without the case going before the Student Behavior Committee.
- Office of Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action: The office which will investigate and determine an initial outcome for reports of sexual misconduct and discrimination.
- Preponderance of the Evidence: The University’s standard of determining if someone is responsible which is "more likely than not."
- Responding Party: Student who is accused of a violation of the student code.
- Rules/Regulations/Polices: The policies used at the University found in the Regulations Library.
- Sanctions: Educational measures that may be taken to help a student who is found responsible for violating University policy examine and reflect on their behavior and encourage positive behavior in the future.
- Student Behavior Committee: The committee which conducts behavioral hearings and makes recommendations to the vice president for student affairs.
- Violations: The act of doing something that is not allowed by a law or policy.
- Title IX Coordinator / OEO/AA
- Student / Student Groups
- Faculty / Academic Dept.
- Police / Dept. of Public Safety
|Informal Resolution / Case Closed||Receive and Evaluate Complaints||Insufficient Information / Case Closed|
|Alleged Charges and Investigation|
|Outcomes (Preponderance of Evidence)||Not Responsible / Case Closed|
|Agree||Informal Agreement / Negotiation with Mutual Consent|
|Completion of Sanctions||No Agreement|
|Student Behavior Committee Hearing|
|Vice President for Student Affairs Determination||Not Responsible / Case Closed|
|Appeal to the University President|
|University President makes final decision to uphold or overturn decision||Not Responsible / Case Closed|