Student Conduct

Overview

The Student Conduct system is an administrative process for reviewing alleged violations of the University’s Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures; it is not a civil or criminal court process. The process utilizes formal investigation and hearing procedures to adjudicate alleged violations of University policy and procedures, as determined by the preponderance of the evidence standard. The Office of Student Conduct (OSC) is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the process.

Process

The Student Conduct system uses the following process for resolving alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures:

  1. Report

    A verbal or written report is submitted by the Complainant or other reporting party (i.e. Resident Advisor, staff member, faculty member).

  2. Review
    Reports are forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct for initial review. Incident Reports found to contain alleged violations of the Student Code, Residence Life Handbook, Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence and Stalking (SMRVS), or other University policies are assigned to the appropriate Hearing Officer/Investigator. The Hearing Officer/Investigator will set up an initial meeting with the Complainant (accuser), as needed.

  3. Investigation
    The assigned Hearing Officer/Investigator conducts an investigation (if needed) and has an initial meeting with the Respondent. If the Hearing Officer/Investigator believes that charge(s) are warranted, the Respondent will be presented with their options for a hearing. The Respondent then decides whether to go before a Hearing Officer, the Student Conduct Board (SCB), or an Administrative Law Judge (TUAPA hearings only).

  4. Hearing
    Cases are heard before an individual Hearing Officer, the Student Conduct Board (SCB), or an Administrative Law Judge (TUAPA hearings only). During a hearing, all available information is reviewed and witnesses are interviewed. Case resolutions are determined by the Hearing Officer, SCB, or an Administrative Law Judge. If a Respondent is found responsible, the Hearing Officer, SCB, or Administrative Law Judge will determine the appropriate sanctions.

  5. Decision
    In cases heard before a Hearing Officer or Student Conduct Board (SCB), the Hearing Officer or SCB will generate a determination letter outlining the decision and any sanctions assigned. The letter is then provided to the Respondent and placed in their conduct file. In cases involving an alleged violation of UTC’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking (SMRVS), the determination letter is provided to both the Complainant and Respondent.

    In cases heard before an Administrative Law Judge, the Administrative Law Judge generates an initial order outlining their decision and sanctions, if any. The order is then given to both the University’s and the Respondent’s attorneys. In cases involving an alleged violation of UTC’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking (SMRVS), the letter is provided to the University, the Complainant (via the University), and the Respondent.

    The assigned Hearing Officer and/or the Office of Student Conduct will follow up with the Respondent regarding assigned sanctions.

  6. Appeal
    In cases heard before a Hearing Officer or Student Conduct Board (SCB), there are two successive levels of appeal: 1) Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; and 2) Chancellor of the University.  Only the Respondent may appeal in these hearing types, with the exception of cases involving UTC’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking (SMRVS), in which either the Complainant or the Respondent may appeal.               

    In cases heard by an Administrative Law Judge, there are three successive levels of appeal: 1) Reconsideration by the Administrative Law Judge; 2) Chancellor of the University; and 3) Chancery Court. In this hearing type, the Complainant, the Respondent, and the University may each appeal the decision.

Hearings

The University has three different types of hearings for alleged non-academic violations.

  • University Hearing Officer: A case is heard before a University Hearing Officer, selected by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. University Hearing Officers have education and training related to the University hearing process.

  • Student Conduct Board: A case is heard before a Student Conduct Board, which is comprised of students, faculty and staff. These individuals receive basic training from the Office of the Dean of Students. A quorum of at least three students and three faculty/staff are expected for any hearing.

  • Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act: A case is heard before an Administrative Law Judge, who is appointed by the University. The Respondent may be represented by an attorney in this process; the University is represented by the Office of General Counsel.