CON Undergraduate Disciplinary Action Committee Procedural Flow Sheet version October 2003

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UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER
COLLEGE OF NURSING
Undergraduate Disciplinary Action Committee* Procedural Flow Sheet
(NOT intended as a substitute for policy in Student Handbook)
Subsection: Appendix K
Section - Appendices Originating Date: October 2003
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
Undergraduate Admission, Progression, Graduation and Scholarship/Grant Committee
 


Actions

  1. Faculty member identifies a breach of professional behavior by a student requiring disciplinary action. Student is informed by faculty and has an opportunity to explain the incident.
  2. Faculty member decides to proceed with disciplinary action (choices include 1: Written Reprimand; 2: Grade Adjustment; 3: Disciplinary Probation (for a specified period of time); 4: Suspension (for a prescribed period of time); and 5: Expulsion. Faculty member must inform the Undergraduate Associate Dean of the CON, and inform the Dean of the CON in writing of the charge against the student, supporting evidence, and action proposed.
  3. Undergraduate Associate Dean of the CON informs chair of the Academic Review Committee of the possibility of a hearing and the campus involved. Chair of the Academic Review committee identifies potential members and chair of the Hearing Board.
  4. Deans office sends a copy of the faculty member’s written complaint and proposed disciplinary action to the student by certified mail (requiring addressee’s signature), hand delivery to student (if feasible), and regular mail. This letter also advises the student of the right of appeal, right to continue to attend classes during the appeal process (if applicable), and when the student could apply for readmission (if expulsion). Included in this mailing is a list of all documents included in the mailing. This list MUST be signed by the student, confirming that all listed documents were received, and returned to the Chair of the Academic Review Committee within two weeks, indicating receipt of the materials and whether or not the student wishes to appeal the disciplinary action. The appeals process cannot proceed until this signed form is received by the Chair of the Academic Review Committee.
  5. If the student does not agree with the disciplinary action proposed in the Dean’s letter, he or she must first discuss the matter with the faculty member involved.
  6. If the student and faculty member do not reach agreement on the issues, the student may, within two weeks of the receipt of the written notice from the Dean’s office, submit an appeal in writing to the Chair of the Academic Review Committee. If another member of this Committee will chair the hearing board, the Chair will forward the materials immediately to the chair of the hearing board. The student must also submit a copy of the appeal to the Dean of the CON. Upon receipt of the student’s appeal document, the Dean will send to the chair of the hearing board a copy of all materials sent to the student, including the faculty’s charges, supporting evidence, and student’s right of appeal.
  7. Hearing board chair will forward copies of the student’s appeal materials to the members of the hearing board and to the faculty involved. At this time, the chair of the hearing board must request from the faculty member(s) a written statement setting forth his or her response to the student’s appeal document, including his or her version of the facts relating to the alleged disciplinary breach.
  8. When the Hearing Board Chair receives the faculty’s version of events, the full statement and any related documents must be promptly furnished to the student using all forms of mail delivery outlined in above #4.
  9. The hearing board may also request clarification in writing from either the student or faculty member, and any such statements of clarification received by the board must be promptly shared with the faculty and the student. If the faculty and/or student have retained legal counsel, the Hearing Board Chair should consult with the attorney for the Hearing Board before sharing copies of materials with student’s counsel.
  10. The chair of the hearing board will give reasonable notice to the student and faculty of the date, time, and place of the scheduled hearing. The chair will also ask the student and faculty if witnesses are desired, and obtain from student/faculty the witnesses’ telephone numbers and addresses. Witnesses are then invited to attend and provided with the date, time, and place of the hearing. The hearing board has no subpoena powers and cannot compel the attendance or testimony of witnesses, but will invite any witnesses requested by the faculty and/or student.
  11. The hearing board may rule on the case on the basis of the written evidence submitted (in cases of written reprimand, grade adjustment, or probation) unless the student or faculty member has asked to appear personally before the hearing board. However, until further clarification of the policy from the NU Board of Regents and UNMC, faculty bringing charges MUST appear at a hearing scheduled to review the charges. The student may appear, if desired, to testify, present evidence, and hear and question witnesses. Witnesses and advisors (if the hearing board has received notification of the advisor’s name 24 hours before the hearing is scheduled) may be present but unless the chair of the hearing board permits may not directly question witnesses or otherwise participate in the proceedings. The hearing board should request University counsel for advisement during the process of planning for the hearing and may request that counsel be present during the hearing.
  12. In the event the disciplinary action proposed is suspension or expulsion of the student, the hearing board shall conduct a hearing to hear all evidence, hear and question witnesses, and both the student and faculty shall testify and present evidence. Therefore, the student and faculty shall be present before the hearing board. Legal counsel shall be present to advise the board. The student may have an advisor/counselor present at his or her own expense. Any witnesses may also be assisted by an advisor at their own expense. The chair of the hearing board must be notified of advisors names 24 hours before the hearing is scheduled in order for the advisor to be present. The board, faculty, student, and their advisors may hear testimony and question witnesses. No evidence shall be admitted which would not be admitted in a state court criminal proceeding by reason of the method or manner in which it was acquired; therefore, legal counsel shall be present. The burden of proof rests with the faculty member bringing the charge. Findings or recommendations of the board shall be based solely on the evidence introduced at the hearing. The chair shall ensure that all present are treated fairly and no witness is intimidated or harassed.

    (Note to chair of hearing board: During the hearing, testimony from both faculty and student should involve review of all relevant documents already received. In this way, these materials become “evidence introduced at the hearing”).
  13. At any time prior to the hearing, the student may examine all his/her (official) school files.
  14. The hearing board shall appoint some person (board member, staff member, court stenographer) to keep minutes of board proceedings and maintain a verbatim account of the hearing. The student may record the hearing at personal expense. The student may have access to the official record of the hearing. (At present, the NU and UNMC policies on verbatim recording of proceedings are inconsistent. Until these inconsistencies are resolved verbatim recording should occur for all hearings, not just those involving suspension or expulsion, unless the hearing board is advised otherwise by legal counsel.)
  15. The student may maintain status as a student and attend classes while the charge is pending, unless in the opinion of the Dean or hearing board the student’s continued presence constitutes immediate harm or the likelihood of immediate harm to the student or others. This could mean that the student may attend classes but not clinical, depending on the judgment of the Dean or hearing board.
  16. At the conclusion of the investigation/hearing, within ten working days, the hearing board shall determine whether the disciplinary charges against the student have been sustained by the weight of the evidence.
  17. If the hearing board finds by a majority vote taken by secret ballot that the charges have not been sustained, the board submits its report and conclusions to the Dean, the faculty member instituting the charge, and the student, and the charges are dismissed. In the event of a tie vote, the charges will be dismissed. If the charges are dismissed, the student shall be reinstated and given reasonable opportunity to make up any missed academic work. In the event that the hearing board decides conditions of subsequent conduct by the student, these shall be communicated to the student and the reinstatement shall be subject to these conditions.
  18. If the hearing board finds that some or all of the charges have been sustained by the weight of the evidence, the board shall submit its report and conclusions (with supporting rationale**) to the Dean, the faculty member initiating the charge, and the student. The report shall be accompanied by the decision of the board as to the disciplinary action to be invoked (Written Reprimand; Grade Adjustment; Disciplinary Probation; Suspension; Expulsion), and shall include notice to the student of the further right of appeal. This decision is considered final unless within 10 working days after receipt of its decision, the student submits in writing an appeal to the Dean setting forth reasons for believing that the findings are in error or that the disciplinary action prescribed is unfair or unreasonable.

    **Note to hearing board chair: sufficient detail to support decisions and recommendations should be included in the final report.
  19. After completion of the activities of a hearing board on any given appeal, all pertinent records are to be transferred to the office of the Associate Dean for Academic Programs. The records will then be kept on file for four years, after which they will be disposed of in a confidential manner.

* The policies and procedures related to Undergraduate Student Disciplinary Action also apply to non-degree seeking students at undergraduate and graduate levels.