Student Conduct Review Process
(1) Violation Reports
Alleged violations of the UCF Rules of Conduct shall be reported in writing to the Director of the OSC or designee. Upon receiving an alleged violation of misconduct, the Director of the OSC or designee may review relevant information and consult with relevant parties regarding the incident in question. In unusual cases, which dictate a decision for the welfare of any individual, the student body, or any part of the University or its community, the Director of the OSC or designee, upon notifying the VP of SDES, may take immediate action to resolve the situation by placing the student on interim suspension. Such action is subject to review at a hearing within three (3) business days by the VP of SDES or designee to determine the status of the interim suspension. The outcome of an interim suspension hearing shall remain in effect until the final disposition of formal charges resulting from the circumstances of the case, unless the VP of SDES or designee shall decide otherwise.
The Director of the OSC will refer all information warranting disciplinary action and assign case to the appropriate staff member. The Office of Student Conduct will send written notification to the charged student indicating the nature of the activity in question and what university rules were allegedly violated.
Upon receipt of an incident report the Office of Student Conduct has six months to charge a student with a violation of the Rules of Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct may exercise discretion when applying the time provision to account for circumstances that warrant a waiver of the six month time limit from the date of discovery.
Students charged with alleged violations of the Rules of Conduct will receive notice to attend a required preliminary conference with the Office of Student Conduct to discuss the charges. If the student fails to attend that conference, a hold may be placed on the student’s record, preventing them from registering for future classes until the matter is resolved. Students who leave the university or withdraw from a class before a disciplinary matter is resolved may be prohibited from future enrollment until such time as the matter is resolved. The student will receive information regarding the Student Conduct Review Process, including the student’s rights during the process, an opportunity to inspect and/or review the information known at the time charges are prepared, and notice on how to contact the Student Government Association Judicial Advisor. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Office of Student Conduct recommends an option for resolution of the disciplinary charges. These options are dismissal, mediation, informal hearing, or formal hearing.
(2) Options for Resolution of Disciplinary Charges
The Director of the OSC or designee may dismiss a case if it is found to not have sufficient facts or information to substantiate the claim of misconduct, the accused person is not a student, or the action claimed as misconduct is not a violation of the Rules of Conduct.
Documentation Only with an Educational Requirement
This resolution option is only available for cases where the accused student accepts responsibility with an Office of Student Conduct staff member or designee and the reported violation is not seen as especially egregious by the Office of Student Conduct. The reported student will be required to complete an education sanction. An Office of Student Conduct hold will be placed on the student’s record until the educational sanction is completed in full and seen by the Office of Student Conduct as complete.
Depending on the nature and severity of the alleged violation, the Office of Student Conduct may recommend formal mediation through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities as an alternative to disciplinary action. The involved parties must each agree to mediation. Mediation is confidential. In mediation, the parties voluntarily meet with an impartial mediator to communicate their concerns and needs to each other and to reach their own agreement on the resolution of the case. The participants in mediation are responsible for keeping their agreement or renegotiating it, if necessary. In the event that the participants do not agree to mediate or mediate but do not reach a full and final resolution, the case will be referred back for disciplinary action through an informal or a formal hearing. Breach of a mediated agreement may result in a follow up mediation session or the matter may be referred back through the conduct process at the discretion of the Office of Student Conduct. Mediation will not be a resolution option for cases involving allegations of incidents of Sexual Misconduct and/or Interpersonal Violence.
At the discretion of the Office of Student Conduct, violations found not to warrant a formal hearing may be referred to an informal hearing. At the informal hearing the charged student has the opportunity to meet with an Office of Student Conduct staff member or designee and accept responsibility for the charges of violation of the Rules of Conduct. At the informal level the matter will be settled by the following outcomes: punitive sanction (disciplinary warning or disciplinary probation) as well as educational sanctions (papers, seminars, community service, etc.). If the matter is not resolved informally, the case will be resolved through a formal hearing. The outcomes from an informal hearing process (decision of responsibility and recommended sanctions) are finale and are not eligible to be appealed (UCF-5.010).
If an alleged violation of the Rules of Conduct is not dismissed or otherwise resolved, then the Office of Student Conduct shall present in writing formal charges to the student. The charged student may request either a panel or administrative hearing. The charged student’s hearing shall be open only to the charged student, his/her advisor, the hearing body, witnesses (when called upon), and a representative from the Office of Student Conduct. In cases of alleged Academic Misconduct, the student is required to have an academic integrity panel hearing as stated in UCF-5.015. Formal notification shall include:
- The student’s name and address.
- Date, time and location of the formal hearing.
- The rule(s) of conduct allegedly violated as known at the time formal charges are prepared.
- Names of potential witnesses known at the time formal charges are prepared.
- A description of any physical or written documentation known at the time charges are prepared.
(3) Formal Hearings
There are two types of formal hearings – panel hearings and administrative hearings.
A panel to consider an individual case shall be randomly selected by the Office of Student Conduct from the Student Conduct Board and shall consist of two (2) faculty and administrative staff members combined, and two (2) student members. One panel member shall be selected by the Office of Student Conduct to chair the hearing and report the finding(s) and recommended sanctions, if any, to the Director of the OSC or designee.
At hearings conducted by a panel, an Office of Student Conduct staff member shall act as an advisor to the panel. The Director of the OSC or designee shall receive the panel’s finding(s) as to "in violation" or "not in violation" of the Rules of Conduct, and consider any sanctions proposed by the panel.
The Director of the OSC or designee may accept the finding(s) of “in violation” or “not in violation” or remand the case for rehearing. If the Director of the OSRR or designee accepts the finding(s) of “in violation,” they may approve, mitigate or increase the sanctions proposed by the panel.
Any decision by the Director of the OSC or designee to alter proposed sanctions or return a case shall be accompanied by a concise and explicit written statement that explains the basis for that decision.
Administrative hearings shall be conducted by one faculty or staff member randomly selected by the Office of Student Conduct from the Student Conduct Board. The charged student shall be informed of the hearing officer assigned to the case and shall have the opportunity to challenge the impartiality of the individual within three (3) business days of notification. The student shall state in writing the basis for such challenge. A hearing officer so challenged will be excused; however, indiscriminate challenges shall not be permitted. In the event that a student has opted not to challenge the impartiality of a hearing office prior to the allotted three (3) business days, the assigned hearing officer shall remain as scheduled.
At hearings conducted by an administrative hearing officer, an Office of Student Conduct staff member shall act as an advisor to the administrative hearing officer. The Director of the OSC or designee shall receive the administrative hearing officer’s finding(s) as to "in violation" or "not in violation" of the Rules of Conduct, and consider any sanctions proposed by the administrative hearing officer.
The Director of the OSC or designee may accept the proposed finding(s) of “in violation” or “not in violation” or remand the case for rehearing. If the Director of the OSC or designee accepts the proposed finding(s) of “in violation,” they may approve, mitigate or increase the sanctions proposed by the administrative hearing officer.
Any decision by the Director of the OSC or designee to alter sanctions or return a case shall be accompanied by a concise and explicit written statement that explains the basis for that decision.
Conduct of Formal Hearings
The following is furnished as a guide to the sequence of events in a formal hearing. Please note that all formal hearing proceedings are recorded. The recording is part of the official record of the formal hearing and no other recordings are permitted.
- Reading of charges.
- Student response of “in violation” or “not in violation.”
- Presentation of information in support of the charges.
- Opening statement by the charged student.
- Questioning of the charged student.
- Presentation and questioning of all other parties.
- Final questions of the charged student by the hearing body.
- Closing remarks by the charged student.
- Hearing is brought to a close; student is invited to await announcement of the proposed findings(s) and recommend sanction(s), if any.
Deliberations by the panel or administrative hearing officer are not part of the hearing and are confidential. Deliberations occur after the closure of the hearing and are not recorded. Following deliberations, the panel or the administrative hearing officer will announce to the student the proposed finding(s) and proposed sanction(s), if any, will be recorded as part of the official case record.
Case Record for Formal Hearing
The case record shall consist of the following items:
- A copy of the formal charges in writing.
- A recording of the formal hearing.
- A recording of the announcement of the proposed finding(s) and proposed sanctions, if any.
- All staff memoranda submitted.
- All items of physical or written documentation submitted, provided such items are not returned to a rightful owner. In that case, photographs or other facsimiles shall be made before return.
- The proposed finding(s) and recommended sanction(s) by the hearing panel or administrator, if any.
- The Director of the OSC’s or designee's decision.