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Outcomes & Appeals

Outcomes within the Student Conduct System.

Any disciplinary hearing may result in sanctions (singly or in combination), including, but not limited to, those from the following list. In determining appropriate sanctions, consideration may be given to the nature of and circumstances surrounding the violation, the student’s/student group’s acceptance of responsibility, prior disciplinary violations, the impact of a sanction on the student/student group, precedent cases, university interests and any other information deemed relevant by a hearing panel/officer. 

For cases resolved through the Conduct Board, all sanctions are decided by majority vote with the exception of a suspension or expulsion of an individual or de-recognition of a student group. These sanctions must be supported unanimously by a three-person panel. 

Aggravating Factor(s)

Should a hearing panel/officer determine at any point during the investigation or adjudication of a violation that a violation was motivated in part or whole by race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex, genetic information, or age, the hearing panel/ officer may consider this information an aggravating factor that increases the stringency of the sanction(s). 


Students or student groups may be required to complete a project or a written assignment, attend an educational program, or seek assistance from the Academic Skills Instructional Program, the Writing Studio, DukeReach, or other university resources. 


Specified length of time during which a student or student group will perform in a service capacity at the university or in the Durham community beyond any volunteering with which the student/student group may already be involved. Before starting service, it must be pre-approved by a conduct officer. Failure to complete community service within the specified period, and present verification, may result in additional hours assigned or further disciplinary action. 


A student or student group may be prohibited from communicating with a named individual. 


A student’s/student group’s privilege to live on campus may be restricted or revoked. This may include relocation, revocation for a period of time or permanent removal from the residential community. (Refunds for revocation may be denied based on HRL policies.) 


Payment to Duke University of a reasonable sum of money by an individual or student group. 


A hearing panel/officer may recommend or require a student to seek a mental health/medical assessment from CAPS, Student Health, or other appropriate professional. The hearing panel/officer will not be privy to the contents of that assessment without the permission of the student but may require verification that the assessment was completed and that the student followed through with recommendations of the professional. 


Payment for all or a portion of injury or damages to person(s) or property caused by an individual or a student group. 


This may include, but is not limited to, withdrawal of the privilege to have a car on campus, park on campus, attend or participate in university programs or activities (such as sporting events, intramurals, performances, graduation exercises, host/sponsor events, etc.), or maintain computer account privileges.


A written notice indicating violation of the specified policy(ies). While on this status, the student remains in good disciplinary standing with the university under the condition that no future violations occur. An admonition will not become a part of a student's reportable disciplinary record. 


A formal notice that a student or student organization’s actions violated University policy, that such actions are not acceptable in our community, and that further misconduct may result in more serious disciplinary action. Reprimand is a communication to the student or student organization that improved decision making is expected in the future. A reprimand is not noted on a student’s transcript.


A status imposed on a student or student group for a specific period of time during which another violation of university policy or violation of any of the conditions of the probation will be eligible for suspension. Disciplinary probation restricts a student’s ability to study away from Duke through the Global Education Office for Undergraduates, participate in DukeEngage, and be released early from the three-year residency requirement. It also may impact other opportunities in which a student’s disciplinary record is considered as a criterion for participation. Disciplinary probation may limit a student group's ability to function as an organization for a specific period of time.

Once disciplinary probation has been issued for a student group, another violation of university policy or violation of any of the conditions of the probation shall result in an additional disciplinary action, including the possibility of restriction of activity and/or de-recognition. 


Residential or cohesive units may be suspended for a specified time period from activities sponsored, cosponsored, performed by, or attended by its members on and/or off campus. A suspension is generally followed by disciplinary probation for a specified period of time. This sanction was formerly known as “Suspension of Activity.”  


A student or student group may be excluded from access to or use of specified university-owned premises and/or facilities. 


The privilege of a student group to be recognized at Duke University may be suspended or revoked. This sanction was formerly known as “Dissolution.” A de-recognized group has lost all rights and privileges associated with being a recognized organization of Duke University. 


A suspension is an involuntary dismissal from the university for a specified period of time, which may include the current semester and such additional semesters as deemed appropriate by the hearing panel/hearing officer.  Returning to Duke as an undergraduate student in good standing is contingent upon satisfaction of any requirements stated in the original outcome letter. Upon a student’s return to and matriculation in the university, the student is placed on disciplinary probation for at least one semester or for as long as a hearing panel/hearing officer determines is appropriate.

Requests to return to Duke for graduate/professional students is coordinated through their respective dean. As suspension constitutes an involuntary withdrawal from the university, a permanent notation to that effect is made on the student’s permanent academic record.  A student who is suspended after having satisfied all degree requirements must submit a request to return in accordance with normal procedures, as determined by the Time Away Office.

If the request to return is approved, the student’s degree will be awarded at the regular conferral date for the final semester of the suspension period. The student may not participate in commencement exercises until the return process is complete.  In the event that a disciplinary suspension and an academic withdrawal occur simultaneously, the two withdrawals are to be in effect consecutively.


Dismissal and permanent removal from the university without possibility of readmission or reinstatement. A permanent notation to that effect is made on the student’s permanent academic record. 


A student’s degree may be revoked. In such a case, a permanent notation to that effect is made on the student’s permanent academic record. 

How to appeal the panel's decision

A student/student group found responsible through a hearing panel (“respondent”) and/or a complainant, when applicable, in a case may appeal the hearing panel’s decision by submitting a written appeal statement within five business days of the date the hearing report is sent to the respondent (and complainant, as applicable). Appeals are limited to five pages (12-point font, 1-inch margins). The two grounds for appeal are: 

  1. New information not reasonably available at the time of the hearing that is material to the hearing panel’s decision; and/or 
  2. Procedural error(s) that materially impacted the hearing panel’s decision. 

The appeal statement must identify the ground(s) for appeal. Note that an appeal is not a re-hearing of the case. 

The composition of the Appellate Board includes members of the university community appointed by the Vice Provost/ Vice President for Student Affairs. The chair of the Appellate Board or the chair’s designee is responsible for selecting three-person panels from membership of the Appellate Board to consider appeals. 

If, by majority vote, the appellate panel determines that a ground of appeal is substantiated, the panel will return the case to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Otherwise, the decision of the hearing panel stands. 

When a case is returned to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards may decide to drop the case (e.g., based on insufficient information to believe that a policy violation may have occurred), send the case to the original hearing panel for reconsideration, send the case to a new hearing panel with the same or different charges, and/or (re)implement any aspect of the disciplinary process. A different decision (i.e., the decision of responsibility and/or sanctions) may subsequently result. 


The Appellate Board’s role is limited to reviewing the hearing panel record, the appealing party’s (“appellant”) written appeal statement, any response to that statement by the other party (“appellee”) as applicable, and information presented at a meeting of the Appellate Board, if convened. 

The appellate panel will typically notify the parties of its decision regarding an appeal in writing within 20 business days from receipt of the appeal statement. If the decision will take longer, the chair will inform the parties. 

The following procedures guide the Appellate Board process: 

Appeal Statement. The written hearing report will include instructions for submitting an appeal. The chair of the Appellate Board may summarily deny an appeal if it is not based on one or both grounds of appeal.  

Composition of Panel. If the appeal is not summarily denied by the chair, the chair will convene a three-person panel and notify the appellant and appellee of the names of the panel members. The chair will select two (2) individuals from the Appellate Board to serve on the panel. The appellant and/or appellee may challenge the participation of an appellate panelist because of perceived conflict of interest, bias, or prejudice. Such challenges, including rationale, must be made within 48 hours of notification of the names of the appellate panelists. At its discretion, the chair of the appellate panel will determine whether such a conflict of interest exists and whether a panelist should be replaced. Postponement of an appellate hearing may occur if a replacement panelist cannot be immediately identified.  

Response to Appeal By Appellee (In Cases Involving Harassment or Sexual Misconduct). The chair will provide written notice to the appellee that an appeal has been submitted and will give the appellee an opportunity to review the appeal statement. The appellee may submit a written response to the appeal (“response”). The response is due five business days from the date the chair provides written notice of the appeal to the appellee and is limited to five pages (12-point font, 1-inch margins). The chair will provide the appellant an opportunity to review the response, though no additional opportunity to respond in writing will be provided to the appellant. 

Exceptions. The appellant (and appellee as applicable) may submit to the chair requests for exceptions to page limits or deadlines. Exceptions must be requested in advance of any deadline by sending an email to appeals@, with justification for such request(s). If either party fails to meet a deadline or exceeds page limits without receiving an exception, the chair has the discretion to summarily reject an appeal or the appellate panel may disregard the response. 

Meetings. The appellate panel meeting gives the party(ies) an opportunity to amplify the reason(s) for the appeal or the response. Appellant (and appellee as applicable) may bring an advisor of their choice from the university community to the apellate meeting. In cases of sexual misconduct, the choice of advisor is not restricted to the university community. The advisor’s role is limited to quietly conferring with the appellant or appelle through written correspondence or whisper, and may not address the appellate panel. In the event an appeal alleges a procedural error, the appellate panel may request that (a) staff member(s) in the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, the Office for Institutional Equity, and/or member(s) of the hearing panel attend the meeting to gather more information about the alleged procedural error.  

Written Decision. The Appellate Board will provide written notification of the final decision to the appellant (and appellee, if applicable, at approximately the same time).