Grievances

Student Complaint Guidelines and Contact Information

The University of South Alabama has written policies and procedures governing student complaints. The following information details internal procedures for filing different types of complaints. Students are encouraged to follow these procedures. In the event that a student complaint cannot be resolved internally, contact information is provided for the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

General Complaints
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Complaints
Final Grade Grievances
Student Academic Conduct Policy


General Complaints

If a student has a complaint, they must provide a written description of the complaint, including the date and time of the event, the person or group with whom the student has the complaint, and the names of any witnesses. The written complaint must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students within 30 days of the event. Complaints about academic matters also may be submitted to the deans and department chairs.

The Dean of Students or his designee will then meet with the grievant to review the complaint, after which the Dean of Students will determine if the complaint can be handled by that office or needs to be referred to other university officials. Examples of grievances that will be referred to other University officials include discrimination or sexual harassment complaints against faculty, which are referred to the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs or Vice President of Health Sciences, as appropriate, and complaints against University staff, including but not limited to discrimination or sexual harassment, which are referred to Human Resources.

Once it is determined that the Office of the Dean of Students is the appropriate forum for the resolution of the grievance, the Dean of Students will contact the accused. At this point, every effort will be made to resolve the complaint through informal discussion with the parties.

Should informal discussion with the parties fail, and the grievant desires a hearing, the Dean of Students will appoint and ad hoc group with two administrators, two faculty, and one student to hear the case and render a decision and recommend a remedy to the complaint. Members of the University Disciplinary Committee may be used on the committee. The ad hoc committee will meet within five (5) working days of the request for a hearing.

Should the grievance be determined by the committee to have merit, an appropriate remedy will be decided upon by the Dean of Students and the accused’s supervisor. The accused shall have the right to appeal the decision to the Vice President for Student Affairs within seven (7) working days of the decision. The Vice President for Student Affairs will render a decision on the appeal within seven (7) working days from receipt of the appeal. The decision is final.

For those complaints related to violations of the Code of Student Conduct, which are taken to the Dean of Students, please refer to the policy in The Lowdown Code of Student Conduct for procedural steps that will be followed. If such a violation is not the basis of the complaint, the Dean of Students will work with the complainant toward a resolution of the complainant’s issue, which may include Aid, referral to the Office of Special Student Services, etc.

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Complaints

Students are protected by the University of South Alabama’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy. Students may submit a written complaint to the compliance officer as described above or to the Dean of Students. Again, please refer to the specific procedures outlined in The Lowdown, The Faculty Handbook, or Staff Employee Handbook for complaints regarding sexual harassment or sexual violence.

Final Grade Grievances

A final grade grievance is defined as a student complaint regarding an academic action taken by instructional personnel is assigning a final grade for a course, qualifying exam or comprehensive exam. Complaints may be filed against an individual instructor or a committee. The complaint must be based on arithmetical or clerical error, arbitrary or capricious evaluation on the part of the instructor, substantial failure on the part of the mitigation circumstances beyond the student’s control. The complaint may not be filed until the final course grade is received and cannot relate to an academic misconduct procedure. The Final Course Grade Grievance must be filed within 20 class days into the succeeding semester.

Meet with Instructor

As a prerequisite to filing a grievance and within the time frame allowed for filing a formal grade grievance, the student must first attempt to resolve the complaint with the instructor. In some cases, the student may make reasonable attempts to contact the instructor and be unsuccessful. If the student is unable to contact the instructor, this should be documented in writing by the student, and the student must submit the written documentation to the instructor’s department chair (or dean if the department chair is either the party to the grievance or unavailable). In the absence of the instructor, the department chair/dean will act in the instructor’s stead.

Filing the Grievance Form

A Final Grade Grievance Form must be filed by the student no later than 20 days into the succeeding semester (including summer if enrolled). A blank Final Grade Grievance Form may be obtained on the University’s website at www.southalabama.edu/academicaffairs/forms or from any departmental office, any college dean’s office, or the Office of Student Affairs. Page one of the Final Grade Grievance Form must be completely filled out and turned in to the chair of the department in which the course is taught or the academic evaluation took place. The form will be dated and signed by both the department chair and the student and a copy given to the student.

If the department chair is the party against whom the grievance is being brought, the student should submit the Final Grade Grievance Form to the dean of the college in which the course taught or the academic evaluation took place. In the event that the grievance is against the dean who is the instructor, the student should submit the Final Grade Grievance Form to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Health Sciences as appropriate.

Grievance Facilitator

The department chair will facilitate the grievance process unless replaced as follows:
If the department chair is the party against whom the grievance is being brought, the dean will then appoint another department chair to facilitate the grievance process.

If the dean is the party against whom the grievance is being brought, the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Health Sciences will appoint an individual to facilitate the grievance process.

Initial Grievance Review

The department chair will arrange a conference with the student and the instructor to attempt resolution within ten (10) University class days of receipt of the Final Grade Grievance Form. For grievances filed during the summer term, instructors on nine-month contracts may not be available for a conference. In these circumstances, the department chair may schedule the conference during the following fall semester, unless the delay would unfairly penalize the student’s progress in the program.

Prior to the conference, the facilitator will ensure that both the student and instructor involved have copies of the grievance procedure. The instructor will be given a copy of the Final Grade Grievance Form filed by the student and will be allowed to examine any supporting documentation. Both parties will be informed that the purpose of the meeting is to attempt to resolve the grievance.

If a mutually satisfactory resolution is achieved during the conference, the process will end and no further action will be taken. A record of the outcome of the conference will be filed along with the Final Grade Grievance Form in the department chair’s office and the dean’s office.

If a successful resolution is not achieved at the conference, the department chair will conclude at the conference. The department chair will advise the student that he or she has the right to accept the original grade given or to request a hearing before the College Grade Grievance Committee. The student must request a hearing at the conclusion of the conference, otherwise the final course grade will stand and the student will forfeit the opportunity to appeal the grade to the Final Grade Grievance Committee. The student’s decision should be noted on the Final Grade Grievance Form. If the student accepts the grade at that point, the process ends and the form will serve as a record of that acceptance. If the student requests a hearing, the department chair will notify the dean’s office who will convene the appropriate College Grade Grievance Committee within three (3) class days of the conclusion of the conference.

College Grade Grievance Committees

Each dean annually appoints an Undergraduate and a Graduate Grade Grievance Committee. The Undergraduate Grade Grievance Committee will hear grade grievances for undergraduate students and the Graduate Grade Grievance Committee will hear grade grievances from graduate students. A minimum of five faculty members and one alternate member shall be appointed from the full-time faculty to each College Grade Grievance Committee. Faculty members must serve if appointed. Faculty appointed to the Graduate Grade Grievance Committee must hold graduate faculty status. A minimum of two students from the College will also be appointed by the Dean of the College to each committee. Student appointed to the Undergraduate Grade Grievance Committee will be Undergraduate Students. Student appointed to the Graduate Grade Grievance Committee will be Graduate Students.

The Dean will review the Grade Grievance Committee membership prior to a hearing to determine members who may have a conflict of interest. No member of the instructor’s department shall serve on the committee. Likewise, should a member of the Committee be a party to the grievance to be heard, an alternate should serve in their stead and they should be absent themselves from any discussion of the grievance in which they are involved.

The Dean will appoint the chair and vice chair of the Grade Grievance Committees and will convene the appropriate Committee prior to a hearing to review the grade grievance process and answer any questions regarding the policy. Four faculty members and one student will constitute a quorum. The vice chair will preside in the absence of the chair. Majority rule will apply to decisions, with the student members having full voice and vote.

Grade Grievance Committee Hearing

Upon receipt of the materials and request for a hearing, the Chair of the Grade Grievance Committee will conduct a hearing within ten (10) class days of receipt of the request. The College Grade Grievance Committee hearing process will afford both parties the right to submit any documentation, supporting witnesses, or relevant information at the hearing. Legal representation at the hearing is prohibited. The Committee will review the evidence presented by both parties, interview both parties, and make a decision in the grade grievance.

Decisions may: uphold the grade given or academic action taken, or find the grievance is valid and assign a new final course grade or impose another appropriate action. The student, instructor, department chair, and dean will be notified in writing of the Committee’s decision within three (3) class days of the conclusion of the hearing.

Appeal

The only grounds for an appeal of the Dean are violation of due process or rendering a decision in conflict with University policy. Either the student or the instructor may appeal the Committee’s decision to the dean of the college in which the course is taught or the academic evaluation took place. The appeal must be in writing and must be made within ten (10) University class days of notification of the grade Grievance Committee’s decision. The dean will review the evidence presented to ensure that the Grade Grievance Policy was followed, that due process was provided, and that the decision of the committee is consistent with University policies. If the dean determines errors were made in the process or the decision rendered is inconsistent with University policies, the decision will be rescinded and the grievance will be sent back to the committee for corrective action.

The student, instructor, and department chair will be notified in writing of the dean’s decision regarding the appeal within ten (10) class days following receipt of the appeal. The dean’s decision is final and no further appeal is allowed.

Implementation of Grievance Outcome

The department chair will implement the outcome(s) of the grievance conference or appeal, as required, at the conclusion of the grievance procedure.

Confidentiality

Throughout the entire procedure, from filing of a formal complaint to final resolution, all information related to the grievance must be kept confidential. Once a final decision has been made and implemented, the original copy of the completed Final Grade Grievance Form and related Grievance documentation will be placed in the official confidential Grievance File of the department or other academic unit in which the grievance was recorded, for a minimum of five (5) years.

Summary

The following summarizes the timeline and procedures for a Final Grade Grievance.

  1. A final course grade grievance cannot be filed until a grade has been received in a course. A Final Grade Grievance Form must be filed by the student no later than 20 class days into the succeeding semester to include summer term if the student is enrolled.
  2. Prior to filing a grade grievance, the student must meet with the instructor to attempt resolution. If the instructor is unavailable, the student documents the attempts to contact the instructor in writing. The student contacts the instructor’s department chair in the event a meeting with the instructor cannot be arranged. If there is no resolution, proceed to step four.
  3. The student completes a Final Grade Grievance Form, files the form with the department chair within the required time frame.
  4. A facilitated grievance conference with both the student and instructor present is conducted by the department chair within 10 class days of receipt of the Final Grade Grievance Form.
  5. If a resolution is reached in the grievance conference, resolution will be noted and the process ends.
  6. If the student requests review by the College Grade Grievance Committee, the department chair will forward all materials within three (3) days of the request to the dean’s office. The dean will convene the appropriate College Grade Grievance Committee (i.e. the Undergraduate Grade Grievance Committee if the student is an undergraduate student or the Graduate Grade Grievance Committee if the student is a graduate student).
  7. The Grade Grievance Committee holds a hearing within ten (10) days of receiving the request from the dean. The student and the instructor will be provided opportunity to present evidence and supporting materials.
  8. The Committee’s written notification of their decision is made within three (3) class days to the student, instructor, department chair, and dean. The department chair will implement the decision if there is no appeal.
  9. The student or instructor may appeal the Committee’s decision to the Dean within ten (10) class days. The only ground for an appeal are violation of due process or the rendering of a decision that conflicts with University policy. The decision of the Dean regarding the appeal is final and the process will end.

 

Student Academic Conduct Policy
(Policy effective for alleged misconduct occurring after October, 2014)

As a community of students and scholars, the University strives to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. All members of the community are expected to exhibit honesty and competence in academic work. This responsibility can be met only through earnest and continuing effort on the part of all students and faculty.

Any dishonesty related to academic work or records constitutes academic misconduct including, but not limited to, activities such as giving or receiving unauthorized aid in tests and examinations, improperly obtaining a copy of an examination, plagiarism, misrepresentation of information, altering transcripts or university records. Academic misconduct is incompatible with the standards of the academic community. Such acts are viewed as moral and intellectual offenses and are subject to investigation and disciplinary action through appropriate University procedures. Penalties may range from the loss of credit for a particular assignment to dismissal from the University. Degree revocation may be warranted in cases involving academic misconduct by former students while they were students at USA. Note that dismissal from any University of South Alabama college or school for reasons of academic misconduct will also result in permanent dismissal from the University. Faculty, students, and staff are responsible for acquainting themselves with, adhering to, and promoting policies governing academic conduct.

The Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (SVPAA) will maintain a permanent record of all Academic Misconduct penalties involving Level I, Level II, and Level III cases that is known as the Academic Misconduct Penalty Record. The record will include the student’s name and student number; course title, section and instructor (as appropriate); semester in which the misconduct occurred; type of misconduct; penalty imposed; and student’s major(s) at the time the penalty was imposed.

Upon receipt and recording of information regarding penalties imposed as above, the SVPAA will determine if the student has been found responsible for any previous incident(s) of academic misconduct. If a previous instance of academic misconduct has occurred in Level I or Level II cases, the SVPAA will notify the Dean of the college of the student’s major. The Dean will then determine whether an additional and higher level charge of Academic Misconduct is warranted and should be brought against the student. In Level III cases, the SVPAA will notify the chair of the University Academic Standards Committee to convene the committee to determine if a more severe penalty is warranted.

The Academic Misconduct Penalty Record will be used for the purpose of determination and evaluation of repetition of academic misconduct and if appropriate, for charging the student with an additional charge of Academic Misconduct. The information contained in the Academic Misconduct Penalty Record will not be available to the course instructor. College level and University level Academic Standards Committees and/or their members will not have access to information contained in the Academic Misconduct Penalty Record prior to the conclusion of the case, including completion of appeals, if any. The only circumstance in which an Academic Standards Committee and/or its members will have access to information in the Academic Misconduct Penalty Record is if the Committee(s) is/are charged by the Dean or SVPAA to consider whether a
more severe penalty is warranted in cases where it has been determined that another act of academic misconduct has occurred.

All matters related to academic misconduct are the responsibility of the academic units involved and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. These matters will be resolved through procedures defined herein for both graduate (except the College of Medicine) and undergraduate students.

DEFINITIONS

The term “student” is used in this Policy to refer to one or more student(s) as appropriate to the case. The term “class day” refers to a weekday (Monday through Friday) excluding holidays, during which the offices of the University are open and the classes of the full term are in session, excluding final examination periods. The term “college” refers to colleges, schools, and academic divisions of the University.

COMMITTEES

1. College Academic Standards Committee
Each college shall have a Collegiate Undergraduate Academic Standards Committee (“CUASC”). Those colleges offering graduate programs, or graduate course work, shall also have a Collegiate Graduate Academic Standards Committee (“CGASC”).

For the CUASC, each college shall appoint four (4) full-time faculty members, plus one (1) full-time faculty member designated as an alternate, and two (2) upper-division student members. The CUASC shall be constituted early in the Fall Semester of each year.

For the CGASC, each college shall appoint four (4) graduate faculty members, plus one (1) graduate faculty member designated as an alternate, and two (2) graduate student members. The CGASC shall be constituted early in the Fall Semester of each year. Should a college have fewer than five (5) graduate faculty members, each eligible faculty member will serve on the CGASC, and the SVPAA shall appoint additional qualified members from other colleges to complete the CGASC.
2. University Academic Standards Committee
The University Academic Standards Committee (“UASC”) shall be composed of five (5) faculty members and one (1) alternate, at least four of whom are graduate faculty, and two (2) students, one graduate and one upper-division undergraduate. The UASC shall be appointed each Fall Semester by the SVPAA.

3. Committee Authority
Committees may prescribe penalties, sustain penalties, reduce penalties including reduction to no penalty, or dismiss charges, as appropriate to the case. However, when acting on an appeal request, a committee may not increase the severity of the previously prescribed penalty.

PROCEDURES
In cases of alleged academic misconduct, the hearing committee will make every effort to maintain confidentiality of all parties during the process. Information regarding the case is generally considered an educational record and is therefore only released to other institutional officials who have a legitimate educational interest or as otherwise required by law.

This policy recognizes three levels of academic misconduct (see the following identification of levels I, II, III). The college in which a Level I case is heard shall normally be the college in which the misconduct occurred, not necessarily the college of the student’s major program. A Level II case will normally be heard in the college of the student’s major program. A Level III case will normally be heard by the University Academic Standards Committee.

The committee chair will be elected by the committee. The chair shall maintain complete, confidential records of all proceedings, including minutes of all hearings held regarding the case. Neither minutes nor recordings will be made of committee meetings when deliberations occur.

Neither the student nor the faculty member involved shall have representation, including legal representation, during meetings with the student, the presentation of the case, or during the appeal process. However, legal assistance in preparing a defense or statement for presentation to the committee is permissible.

The committee will confirm its decision by vote. The chair of the committee will not vote except in case of a tie. After a decision is rendered, an appeal may be requested (see section under Appeal). The only grounds for appeal are the alleged lack of due process in the case or alleged unlawful/prohibited discrimination against the student in the hearing/consideration of the case (“Hearing Process”).

All penalties must be within the authority or purview of the involved unit. For example, an instructor may impose a penalty of failure in a course where cheating is involved, but the instructor may not dismiss the student from the program.

A student accused of academic misconduct, or involved in the appeals process for alleged academic misconduct, will not be allowed to withdraw from a class(es) related to the charge of academic misconduct until the charges, penalties and/or appeals have been resolved through the process described below. The student must be allowed to remain in or complete the class(es) until the case is resolved. The student may not withdraw from a class(es) in which a penalty is pending for academic misconduct.

The three levels of misconduct consideration in this Policy are as follows:

Level I - Cases Limited to a Specific Class and/or Instructor
  • When an instructor discovers an act of academic misconduct, the student involved shall be informed verbally or in writing of the alleged violation.
  • If the instructor decides to impose a penalty, the instructor shall prepare a dated, written statement describing the alleged violation and the recommended penalty, along with a copy of the Student Academic Conduct Policy. The instructor shall either mail the statement, with attachment, by U.S. mail with Return Receipt Requested, or hand deliver the statement, with attachment, to the student and ask the student to sign for receipt of the statement. A copy of the written statement will be submitted to the department chair. The instructor will also request that the department chairperson immediately notify the registrar to block the student from withdrawing from the course. At any point in the process in which it is determined that the student has not committed the alleged academic misconduct, the block will be removed. 
  • The student has ten (10) class days from receipt of the written notification from the instructor to submit a written response to the instructor. Failure of the student to respond in a timely manner (not to exceed ten (10) class days from receipt of the notification) will be considered as agreement by the student with the misconduct charge and acceptance of the imposed penalty. The instructor will inform the student in writing of the penalty, to be delivered to the student via U.S. mail (Return Receipt Requested), or hand delivery with student requested to sign for its receipt. If the student responds to the notice with a written denial of the charge, the department chair will be notified and a review conference will be arranged. If the student does not respond in writing with denial of the charge, the instructor will submit a report of the penalty, using the Standard Form: Academic Misconduct Penalty Record (AMPR), to the departmental chair who will in turn forward it through the dean of the college to the SVPAA.
  • At any stage in the Level I process, the department chair may decide that the alleged misconduct is of such a serious nature as to warrant inquiry beyond the Level I proceeding and to refer the case to the College Academic Standards Committee (Level II) for disposition.

  • Academic Standards Case Review Conference- Upon receipt of the written denial of the instructor’s charges, the following procedure applies (in the event the department chair is the accuser, the college dean shall perform the functions ascribed below to the chair):
Within ten (10) days of receipt of the student’s written denial, the department chair shall arrange a conference to be held as soon as practicable.

The conference shall be conducted by the chair with the student and the involved instructor to examine the details of the academic standards case. Prior to the conference, the department chair will ensure that both the student and instructor have copies of the Academic Standards Policy.

If a mutually satisfactory resolution is achieved during the conference, the process will end and no further action will be taken. A record of the outcome of the conference will be filed in the department chair’s office and the dean’s office. If the outcome of the conference results in the dismissal of the charge, the chair is responsible for taking necessary steps for removing blocks on registration.

If a resolution is not achieved at the conference, the department chair will conclude the conference. The department chair will advise the student that he or she has the right to accept the original penalty given or to request a hearing before the College Academic Standards Committee. The student has two class days after the conclusion of the conference to request a hearing, otherwise
the original penalty will stand and the student will forfeit the opportunity to have a hearing of the case before the applicable College Academic Standards Committee. The student’s decision should be noted in writing on the AMPR and signed by the student and department chair.

If the student does not request a hearing, the department chairperson will submit a report of the penalty (if any), using the AMPR, through the Dean to the SVPAA.

If the student requests a hearing before the College Academic Standards Committee, the department chair will notify the dean’s office of the need for a hearing. This notification should take place within three class days of the conclusion of the conference. The AMPR will also be forwarded to the Dean.

 

  • Hearing –The dean shall notify the appropriate College Academic Standards Committee in writing to begin a hearing within ten (10) class days of receipt of notification. The CASC Hearing Process will afford both parties the right to submit any documentation, statements of supporting witnesses, or relevant information at the hearing. Legal or other representation at the hearing is prohibited. The CASC will review the information presented by both parties and, at the hearing interview both parties and any witnesses it chooses. At the conclusion of the hearing the CASC will retire to further review the information presented as necessary and determine whether or not the charge of academic misconduct is upheld or dismissed. In cases where the CASC upholds the charges, the CASC may affirm or reduce the previously recommended penalty. The CASC shall submit its decision to the dean in writing within five (5) class days of the conclusion of the hearing. The dean shall provide written notification of the CASC’s decision to the student within five (5) class days of the dean’s receipt of notification from the CASC.
  • If the case is not appealed:
      1. The chair of the CASC will submit a report to the SVPAA through the College Dean of the penalty imposed, if any, using the AMPR, and
      2. The Dean is responsible for notifying the Registrar to remove or continue registration blocks and/or to take necessary actions to enforce any penalty assigned.
  • Appeal – Grounds for appeal are the alleged lack of due process in the case or alleged unlawful/prohibited discrimination against the student in the hearing process. If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the CASC, a written request for appeal, including the basis for same, must be filed with the dean within five (5) class days of the student’s receipt of the written notification of the CASC’s decision from the dean. The dean will forward the appeal to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (SVPAA). The SVPAA shall notify the University Academic Standards Committee (“UASC”) in writing to begin a review within ten (10) class days of receipt of the notification. The UASC will first determine if grounds exist for an appeal based upon its review of the record developed in the hearing process. If there is a decision that grounds for an appeal exist, the appeal shall be based upon the record developed in the hearing process, and the UASC may interview case principals as it deems appropriate. At the conclusion of the interviews (if any) and review of the information provided, the UASC shall determine whether or not the charge of academic misconduct is upheld or dismissed. In cases where the UASC upholds the charges, the UASC may sustain or reduce the previously imposed penalty. The UASC shall submit its decision to the SVPAA in writing within five (5) class days after the conclusion of its deliberations. The decision of the University Academic Standards Committee related to the appeal of the Level I case shall be final. Also, at the conclusion of the appeal process, the Chair of the UASC will submit a report of the penalty imposed, if any, to the SVPAA using the AMPR. The SVPAA shall provide written notification of the UASC’s decision to the student within five (5) class days of receipt of notification from the Committee, and as appropriate, the written notification to the student will include notification of additional charges if previous incident(s) of academic misconduct have occurred as indicated in the SVPAA review of the Academic Misconduct Penalty Record. The SVPAA will be responsible for informing the Registrar to remove or continue registration blocks on the student, and for taking necessary action(s) such as suspension or dismissal, as appropriate. 

Level II - Cases Involving Action by a College or School
  • If the alleged academic misconduct is beyond the scope of a specific class and/or instructor, or is of such a serious nature as to warrant review of continued participation in an academic program, the procedures shall be as described below. Note that dismissal from a college or school for reasons of academic misconduct will result in permanent dismissal from the University. Because of the possible severity of the penalty, all allegations of academic misconduct at this level proceed directly to a hearing by the College Academic Standards Committee of the College of the student’s academic program or major, and the penalty will be determined by that CASC if the allegations are sustained.
  • The instructor, department chair, or other involved party shall forward a written notification of the alleged violation(s) with relevant information to the academic dean or equivalent administrator of the academic program or major of the student involved. A copy of the written notification will be given to the student either through delivery by US Postal Service, Certified-Return Receipt Requested or by hand delivery.
  • The college dean shall notify the CASC in writing of the allegations, transmit any relevant information to the CASC, and instruct the CASC to begin the hearing process within ten (10) class days of the notification (in the event that the college dean is the accuser, the college assistant/associate dean or person appointed by the SVPAA shall perform the functions ascribed below to the dean).
  • The hearing shall be conducted in the presence of only the involved student, faculty member, and/or administrator, and witnesses. The student and faculty/ administrator(s) shall have opportunities to present all relevant information and witnesses. Legal counsel or other representatives are not permitted in the hearing.
  • At the conclusion of the hearing, the CASC shall convene to review the information gathered during the hearing process and determine whether or not the charge of academic misconduct is upheld. The CASC, in its best judgment, may uphold or dismiss the charges. In cases in which the CASC upholds the charges, the CASC may impose a penalty, including suspension or permanent dismissal from the University. The CASC shall submit its decision to the dean in writing within five (5) class days of the conclusion of the hearing. The dean shall provide written notification of the CASC’s decision to the student within five (5) class days of the receipt of notification from the CASC and the following actions shall be taken:
  • If the case is not appealed:
    1. The Chair of the College Academic Standards Committee will submit a report to the SVPAA through the College Dean of the penalty imposed, if any, using the AMPR, and
    2. The Dean is responsible for notifying the Registrar to remove or continue registration blocks, and/or to take necessary actions such as suspension or dismissal as appropriate.
  • Appeal – The only grounds for appeal are the alleged lack of due process in the case or alleged unlawful/prohibited discrimination against the student in the hearing process. If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the CASC, a written request for appeal, including the basis for same, must be filed with the dean within five (5) class days of student’s receipt of the written notification of the CASC’s decision from the dean. The dean will forward the appeal to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (SVPAA). The SVPAA shall notify the University Academic Standards Committee in writing to begin a review within ten (10) class days of receipt of the notification. The UASC will first determine if grounds exist for an appeal based upon its review of the record developed in the hearing process. If there is a decision that grounds for an appeal do exist, the appeal shall be based upon the record developed in the hearing process, and the UASC may interview case principals as it deems appropriate. At the conclusion of any interviews and its review of the information provided, the UASC will determine whether or not the charge of academic misconduct is upheld or dismissed. In cases where the UASC upholds the charges, the UASC may sustain or reduce the previously imposed penalty. The UASC shall submit its decision to the SVPAA in writing within five (5) class days after the conclusion of its deliberation. The decision of the University Academic Standards Committee related to the appeal of the Level II case shall be final. Also, at the conclusion of the appeal process, the Chair of the UASC will submit a report of the penalty imposed, if any, to the SVPAA using the AMPR. The SVPAA shall provide written notification of the UASC’s decision to the student within five (5) class days of receipt of notification from the UASC, and as appropriate, the written notification to the student will include notification of additional charges if previous incident(s) of academic misconduct have occurred as indicated in the SVPAA review of the Academic Misconduct Penalty Record. The SVPAA will be responsible for informing the Registrar to remove or continue registration blocks on the student, and for taking necessary action(s) such as suspension or dismissal, as appropriate. 
Level III - Cases Involving Action Beyond a College or School

If the academic misconduct warrants inquiry beyond a college or school, the procedure shall be as follows:
  • The department, academic unit, or other party shall submit a written notification and statement of allegations to the SVPAA. A copy of the notification/statement of allegations shall be sent to the student via US Postal Service-Certified, Return Receipt Requested, or hand delivered with signature of student receipt requested.
  • The SVPAA shall notify the University Academic Standards Committee in writing of the allegations, transmit any relevant information to the UASC, and instruct the UASC to begin the hearing process within ten (10) class days of the notification.
  • The hearing shall be conducted in the presence of the only the student, witnesses, and other involved parties. All parties shall have opportunities to present all relevant information and witnesses. Legal counsel or other representatives are not permitted in the hearing.
  • At the conclusion of the hearing, the UASC shall convene to review the information presented and determine whether or not the charge of academic misconduct is upheld or dismissed. For cases in which the UASC recommends a penalty, the penalty may range up to and include dismissal from the university. The UASC shall submit its decision in writing to the SVPAA within five (5) class days of the conclusion of the hearing. The SVPAA shall provide written notification of the Committee’s decision to the student within five (5) class days after receipt of notification from the Committee.
  • Appeal – Grounds for appeal are the alleged lack of due process in the case or alleged unlawful/prohibited discrimination against the student during the hearing process. If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the UASC, a written request for appeal including the basis for same must be submitted to the SVPAA within five (5) class days of the student’s receipt of the decision notification. The SVPAA will first determine if grounds exist for an appeal. If there is a decision to consider the appeal, the SVPAA shall conduct the appeal review beginning within ten (10) class days of receipt of the request. The review shall be based upon the study of the record developed through the hearing process. The SVPAA may interview case principals and conduct other reviews as deemed appropriate. The SVPAA shall notify the student promptly in writing of his/her decision. The decision of the SVPAA in the Level III case shall be final.

At the conclusion of the Level III process, including appeal, if any, the SVPAA will report the penalty imposed, if any, using the AMPR. If previous incidents of academic misconduct have occurred, the Chair of the University Academic Standards Committee will convene the committee to determine if a more severe penalty is warranted. The SVPAA is responsible for notification of the Registrar to remove or continue registration blocks, and/or to take necessary actions such as suspension or dismissal, as appropriate.