How Student Conduct issues are resolved
An Administrative Conference is a meeting with a university administrator to discuss the behavior that is of concern. Students will be informed about particular provisions in the The Duke Community Standard in Practice: A Guide for Students that may be violated should the behavior of concern repeat. The university administrator may suggest helpful resources for students and address any further concerns.
OSCCS in conjunction with involved students may choose to utilize an adaptable and/or restorative process to resolve and respond to issues of student behavior that may or may not involve an alleged policy violation. If the adaptable conflict resolution is not successful, the matter may be referred back to the formal conduct process. Records of adaptable resolution will be kept internally and will not be considered part of a student’s externally reportable disciplinary record, unless otherwise specifically stated.
Adaptable Resolution May Include:
Resolution through Agreement. If a student/student group accepts responsibility for (an) alleged violation(s), the conduct officer, or designee, may propose (an) appropriate sanction(s) based on the specifics of the case, precedent and university interests. If the student/student group accepts responsibility and agrees to the proposed sanction(s), the student/student group waives their right to a hearing and/or appeal, the resolution becomes final, and the outcome is recorded on the student’s/student group’s disciplinary record. If the student/student group accepts responsibility, but is unable to agree to the proposed sanction(s), the case will be forwarded to a hearing to determine (an) appropriate sanction(s). If the student/student group denies responsibility, the case will be forwarded to a hearing to determine responsibility and (a) sanction(s) as appropriate.
Restorative Practices. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards utilizes practices derived from Restorative Justice principles, which may not align with typical Restorative Justice procedures, to address instances of conflict that arise in the community. The purpose of a restorative process is to bring together all parties involved in an incident for the purpose of addressing the harms associated with the conflict. This affords the opportunity for discussion of varying points of view and an opportunity to gain a better understanding of those involved. This may include restorative conversations, circles, and/or other processes to address harm that has been caused. [Wording adopted from James Madison University Student Handbook.]
Mediation. Mediation is a process that empowers students to resolve their own disputes. Through mediation, a neutral third party assists students in coming to a peaceful and agreeable solution. The university encourages informal mediation whenever practical or appropriate. Students interested in mediation to resolve a conflict should contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Staff within the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards may also refer cases to mediation as appropriate. Ultimately, all parties involved must agree to mediation. If one party does not agree to mediation, or if the mediation fails, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards may refer a case for disciplinary resolution if it involves allegations of a university policy violation(s). Failure to comply with the results of mediation may be cause to commence the disciplinary process.
A Faculty-Student resolution is a one-time optional resolution process for cases of academic dishonesty involving undergraduates. The faculty member must first contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards to discuss the appropriateness of this option with respect to the nature of the offense, as well as to learn of any prior violations by the student. If there is no record of prior offenses and the case appears to be one that, if adjudicated by a hearing panel, would result in probation or a sanction less severe than probation, it may be resolved between the faculty member and the student. Otherwise, the case must be forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
A faculty-student resolution may result in a reduced grade on the assignment, a reduced grade in the course, additional assignments, and/or other educational initiatives. (The outcome must be agreed upon by both parties.)
The faculty member must report the outcome(s) of a faculty-student resolution to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for record keeping. This resolution will not become part of the student’s external disciplinary record unless there is a second violation, at which time both cases will be noted on the student’s disciplinary record.
If a case is referred for disciplinary action, the student/student group will be notified of the incident in question and the policy violation(s) under consideration, and will be given an opportunity to respond. Most cases are decided upon through an administrative hearing, which is a discussion between the student/student group and a hearing officer. Cases that are serious in nature, involve complicated facts, and/or involve students/student groups with previous disciplinary violations may be forwarded to the Student Conduct Board for resolution. OSCCS will determine which avenue is most appropriate to pursue.
Disciplinary hearings are not trials and are not constrained by the same rules of procedure and evidence typically used in a court of law.
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).