Overview and Scope

The Student Conduct System

The purpose of the student conduct system is to promote honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability within the university community and to provide a fair and effective mechanism for resolving situations in which a student (or group) is alleged to have violated the standards or policies of the university.

All reports of student behavior may be filed with or forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Staff within the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards will determine the most appropriate means by which to handle a report. Resolution may include a conference, alternative/informal resolution, or disciplinary action.

Any alleged violation of university policy is within the scope of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. If the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards determines that another office is more appropriate to handle the situation, the case may be referred to that office. 

  • The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is designated to oversee the conduct system for students. It also oversees and implements the procedures of the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct (PPDHRM)related to undergraduate and graduate and professional students.
  • Hearing officers are designated by the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards to resolve disciplinary matters through informal or formal disciplinary resolution.
  • The Conduct Board (CB) is designated to resolve formal disciplinary matters that involve complicated circumstances, serious infractions of university policy, and/or repeated misconduct. The CB is comprised of students, faculty, and staff. Consideration shall be given to the appointment of a board reflective of the population of the university community. 
  • The Appellate Board considers appeals of students/groups found responsible and sanctioned through a panel hearing of the Conduct Board, and/or complainants in harassment-related cases. The Vice President/Vice Provost for Student Affairs appoints the chair and other members of the Appellate Board, consisting of faculty, staff, and students.
  • Peer Advisors are available to assist students/groups through the conduct process. Advisors include students and staff who have been trained and are familiar with the confuct system. A list of advisors is available from the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
  • The university may respond to any complaint of behavior that occurred within a student’s career, from application to graduation.
  • Any student is subject to disciplinary action. This includes students who have matriculated to, are currently enrolled in, are on leave from, or have been readmitted (following a dismissal) to programs of the university.
  • The accused (also referred to as the respondent) may also be a cohesive unit of the university, such as a living group, athletic team, or other recognized organization.
  • The university reserves the right to respond to any report of alleged misconduct on or off campus.
  • Student group leaders most directly responsible may be held accountable for acting as an accomplice through action or negligence to the commission of prohibited acts at a group-identified event.
  • In cases of alleged policy violations by a student enrolled in a joint degree program or interdisciplinary coursework within Duke, each school or unit (the home unit and the host unit) may have a stake in the adjudication. Thus, an ad hoc process shall be developed and an ad hoc panel may be formed with representatives from both institutions/units to handle the case. The sanctions may be different for each school or unit.
  • For students doing inter-institutional coursework at other institutions, whether domestic or international, or for visiting students enrolled in classes at Duke, the home and the host institutions should confer and decide the process to be followed, which may include combined or separate elements. The sanctions may be different for each institution.
  • The Office for Institutional Equity (Smith Warehouse, Bay 8, 919-684-8222) receives reports and handles complaints alleging Title IX sexual misconduct for students, staff, faculty, and all other non-Duke students, as well as complaints alleging discrimination and harassment by any member of the Duke community (including students), under the Duke Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct (PPDHRM), available at duke.edu/knowledge-base/policies-statements-and-procedures. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards facilitates the adjudication of discrimination and harassment complaints under the PPDHRM.