721.5 Student Discipline
A charge of misconduct may be made against a student for violating provisions of published college regulations, policies and procedures. Where a student is subject to a charge of misconduct, the student is entitled to due process and no disciplinary sanction will be imposed until the charge is processed in accordance with the procedures set forth in this section.
It is the policy of Umpqua Community College that any time allegations of misconduct are brought against a student, the college will normally pursue to conclusion any necessary investigation and hearing process, notwithstanding the decision by the student to withdraw temporarily or permanently, from the college.
Parties are strongly encouraged to resolve any concern informally and use the formal procedure only as a last resort. However, it is not necessary to follow the informal procedure prior to filing a formal charge of misconduct, and the formal written report may be submitted at any time after the informal process has begun.
A. Informal Process
The informal procedure attempts to resolve the matter through cooperative meetings with the parties involved short of a written charge of misconduct, investigation and disciplinary action. The Vice President for Student Development will work with the parties involved to facilitate meetings.
If the parties are not satisfied with the informal discussion and any suggested resolution, a formal written charge of misconduct may be filed.
B. Formal Process
Step 1: Filing of Charges
Any member of the College community may file charges against any student for misconduct. Charges shall be prepared in writing and signed and shall contain the student’s name and contact information (if readily available) and a statement of concern with full and relevant detail and documentation. The written documentation shall be submitted to the Vice President for Student Development within 21 college business days after the event or behavior is discovered.
Step 2: Immediate Sanctions
If a faculty member, college official, or the Vice President for Student Development deems it necessary, immediate sanctions may be applied prior to any formal review of the charges. Immediate sanctions include: Disciplinary Admonition and Warning, Temporary Exclusion and Summary Exclusion. These sanctions are described in further detail in 721.6 under Immediate Sanctions.
Step 3: Notice
A student charged with a Student Code of Conduct violation shall be given notice in person or by regular US Mail return receipt requested by the Vice President for Student Development (VPSD) or designee. The notice shall be given or sent within three (3) college business days of receipt of the charge. The notice shall inform the student of the charge of misconduct and shall set a specific time, date and place for a conference with the VPSD. This conference will be part of the preliminary review process conducted by the VPSD.
Step 4: Conference
The Vice President for Student Development (VPSD) shall conduct a conference with the student within five (5) college business days of mailing of the notice, at which time the VPSD shall:
- Review the charges with the student;
- Review the possible disciplinary action that could be taken if the student is found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct;
- Provide the student an opportunity to respond to the charges; and
- Discuss the charges and the student’s response. The student shall be given an opportunity to take responsibility for the charges or state his/her innocence.
Step 5: Initial Findings
The Vice President for Student Development (VPSD) has the option to dismiss the charges as having no grounds for further review if the VPSD concludes that the charges are: untimely; being concurrently reviewed in another forum; previously decided pursuant to this review procedure; or frivolous or filed in bad faith.
The VPSD may also endeavor to determine if the charges can be disposed of by mutual consent of the parties involved on a basis acceptable to the VPSD.
If the VPSD determines that the charges have merit and/or cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, formal disciplinary proceedings shall continue.
Step 6: Notice of Hearing
In the case that the Vice President for Student Development (VPSD) determines that disciplinary proceedings should be conducted, the student shall receive notice of a hearing in person or by regular US mail return receipt requested by the VPSD. Written notice will be provided within five (5) college business days after the conference and at least three (3) college business days prior to the scheduled hearing.
A student charged with a conduct violation may waive the right to the hearing provided the conditions described below are met:
- The student accepts responsibility for the charge(s); and
- The student is willing to accept the sanction as final and waives the right to appeal.
Step 7: Hearings Panel
A hearings panel shall be convened when deemed necessary per the disciplinary process. The hearings panel will determine whether or not the charges are valid and to determine sanctions if deemed appropriate. The hearings panel will consist of the Vice President for Student Development (VPSD), a college employee appointed by the VPSD, a member of the Associated Students of UCC (ASUCC) Executive Council and one of the following:
- the Human Resources Director;
- the Vice President for Administrative Services; or
- the Vice President for Instruction.
Step 8: Conduct of the Hearing
During the hearing, the Vice President for Student Development shall chair the process and summarize the findings of the preliminary review. The student shall have the opportunity to respond to the findings, examine witnesses and present witnesses or other evidence to rebut the initial charges or findings. At the conclusion of the hearing, the panel will meet in executive session to render its decision.
Step 9: Findings
The Vice President for Student Development shall inform the involved parties of the hearings panel findings and sanctions in writing within 48 hours of the hearing.
Step 10: Appeal
See section 721.7.