Office of the Dean of Students
Vandenberg Hall, Room 120
502 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4452
(map)
(248) 370-3352

SCC Hearing Process

STUDENT CONDUCT HEARING PROCESS

The Dean of Students office oversees OU’s student conduct hearing process and maintains all hearing records in accordance with OU Policies and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and its implementing regulations (“FERPA”).

Throughout the hearing process, efficient and effective written communication is important. Whenever possible, the Dean of Students’ office will use the OU e-mail system for communications regarding the hearing process. Students are responsible for all communication delivered to their OU e-mail address.

When an incident of alleged misconduct occurs over which OU has jurisdiction, the OU conduct process will go forward notwithstanding any criminal complaint or proceeding arising from or relating in any way to the same incident or misconduct. See the Non-Appearance section below.

Hearing Process

The hearing process for Non-Academic, Academic or Student Organization matters vary slightly, but the following sections describe those processes. The focus of the conduct process shall be to determine whether a student has violated the SCC, OU Policies and/or Applicable Law. Deviations from prescribed hearing procedures shall not invalidate a decision or proceeding unless, in the opinion of the Dean of Students, significant prejudice to a responding party resulted from the deviation.

The Dean of Students will make all decisions regarding postponement of a hearing prior to the hearing date. The committee chair will make all decisions regarding postponement or continuation of a hearing once in progress.

The Dean of Students has the authority to maintain the proper atmosphere throughout the hearing. Any person, including without limitation the reporting party, responding party and/or adviser, who disrupts a hearing or who fails to adhere to the rulings of the committee chair, may be removed or excluded from the hearing.

The committee chair has the final decision as to the admissibility of any evidence, written statements, documentation or testimony. Irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded.

All decisions are based on a “Preponderance of Evidence” standard, meaning that it is “more likely than not” that a violation of the SCC, OU Policies and/or Applicable Law occurred.

Students may have an adviser who must be an OU faculty, staff, or student to offer support and help prepare/present their case. In cases involving sexual misconduct, students may choose an adviser from outside the OU community, including an attorney.   The advisers’ only role is to observe and provide support – the adviser will not be allowed to actively participate in the hearing in any other form or manner other than to advise the student. The adviser may be required to meet with a University administrator to discuss the University’s policies and procedures, privacy protections and expected participation and decorum. The adviser may not be a witness or otherwise have any other role in the process.

Interim Measures

Interim measures are actions taken to ensure equal access to educational programs and activities and to protect the reporting party or others, including providing interim measures before the final outcome. The specific interim measure implemented and the process for implementing those measures will vary depending on the facts of each case. The University will consider a number of factors in determining what interim measures to take, including for example, the specific need expressed by the reporting party or others; the age of the students involved; the severity or pervasiveness of the allegations; any continuing effects on the reporting party or others; whether the students share the same residence hall, dining hall, class, transportation, or job location; and whether other measures have been taken to protect the reporting party or others. An interim measure may include, among other things, the temporary suspension of a student prior to completion of the hearing process in order to protect the safety and well-being of OU’s students, faculty, staff or property.

Complaint

A complaint of misconduct may be verbal or written; however, the responding party will be advised of the specific allegations or charges in writing and prior to any hearing. Any faculty, staff or student who is aware of possible student misconduct is requested to report the alleged misconduct as provided in this SCC. OU mandates certain employees, termed Responsible Employees, immediately share all known details related to a report of sexual misconduct. Please see the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy for more information.

Fact-finding

Upon receipt of a complaint of alleged misconduct, students involved in the matter must meet with the Dean of Students at their request, for fact-finding to determine if charges and a hearing are warranted. Students may have an adviser at the meeting subject to the restrictions set forth in this SCC.

Requests for Confidentiality or No Investigation in Sexual Misconduct Complaints

If the alleged victim requests confidentiality or asks that the report of sexual misconduct not be pursued, the University will, generally before taking any further investigative steps, forward that information, along with all available information to a review panel. The review panel will consist of the Title IX Coordinators, representatives from the Graham Counseling Center and the Gender and Sexuality Center, a faculty member with knowledge of sexual misconduct issues and other individuals that OU deems appropriate under the circumstances.

Specifically, the review panel will evaluate 1) whether, how and to what extent, OU should further investigate the report of sexual misconduct and 2) what other interim measures or remedies might be considered to address any effects of the alleged sexual misconduct on the campus community. In all cases, the final decision on whether, how and to what extent an investigation will be conducted will be determined by a majority vote of the review panel.

If such requests are honored, OU will nonetheless take all reasonable steps to respond to the complaint, consistent with that request (e.g., providing interim measures). However, OU’s ability to respond fully to the incident, including imposing disciplinary action, may be limited. A student who initially requests confidentiality, or asks that the report of sexual misconduct not be pursued, may later request that a full investigation be conducted but a time delay may impede the investigation and adjudication of the complaint.

OU will strive to complete the hearing process in a timely manner and in cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct within sixty (60) calendar days of the reported sexual misconduct, but extensions may be warranted in some cases. Written notice will be provided to the students in such instances. Students will be provided periodic status updates throughout the process.

Hearing Types

The University offers the following six types of hearings to address conduct cases depending on the nature of the alleged misconduct: 

  • University Conduct Committee Hearing
  • University Conduct Administrative Hearing
  • Academic Conduct Committee Hearing
  • Academic Conduct Administrative Hearing
  • Student Organization University Conduct Committee Hearing
  • Student Organization University Conduct Administrative Hearing

The University Conduct Committee (UCC) and Academic Conduct Committee (ACC) are both comprised of OU community members, representing faculty, staff, and students. Hearings of the UCC and ACC are recorded to provide a record in the event of an appeal. Students do not serve on the UCC for cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct.

University Conduct Committee

If the alleged misconduct is of a Non-Academic nature and the responding party does not accept responsibility for the misconduct, the case will be heard by the UCC. If the committee finds the responding party responsible, the committee will recommend one or more sanctions and/or remedies to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will determine the final sanctions and/or remedies.

University Conduct Administrative Hearing

If the alleged misconduct is of a Non-Academic nature and the responding party accepts responsibility for the misconduct, the Dean of Students may allow an administrative hearing. All serious matters of alleged misconduct can be referred to the UCC by the Dean of Students. An administrative hearing is conducted solely by the Dean of Students. Choosing an administrative hearing also means that the responding party is waiving his/her right to appeal. In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the reporting party retains his/her right to appeal even when the matter is resolved in an administrative hearing. The sole purpose of the administrative hearing is for the Dean of Students to determine the appropriate sanction(s) and/or remedies. Once the Dean of Students determines the appropriate sanction(s) and/or remedies the hearing is concluded. Neither the reporting nor the responding party may appeal the results of an administrative hearing.

Academic Conduct Committee

If the alleged misconduct is of an Academic nature and the responding party does not accept responsibility for the misconduct, the case will be heard by the ACC of the University Senate. If the committee finds the responding party responsible, the committee will determine the appropriate sanctions and/or remedies.

Academic Conduct Administrative Hearing

If the alleged misconduct is of an Academic nature and the responding party accepts responsibility for the misconduct, the Dean of Students may allow an administrative hearing. All serious matters of alleged misconduct can be referred to the ACC of the University Senate. An administrative hearing is conducted solely by the chair of the Academic Conduct Committee. The Dean of Students, faculty member bringing the case, the responding party and his/her adviser (if any) may be present. The sole purpose of the administrative hearing is for the chair to determine the appropriate sanction(s) and/or remedies. Once the chair determines the appropriate sanction(s) the hearing is concluded. Neither the reporting nor the responding party may appeal the results of an administrative hearing.

Student Organization University Conduct Committee

If the alleged misconduct is of a Non-Academic nature, the student organization may choose a UCC hearing. All serious matters of misconduct can be referred to the UCC by the Dean of Students. If the committee finds the student organization responsible, the committee will recommend one or more sanctions and/or remedies to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will determine the final sanction(s) and/or remedies.

Student Organization University Conduct Administrative Hearing

If the alleged misconduct is of a Non-Academic nature and the responding student organization accepts responsibility for the misconduct, the Dean of Students may allow an administrative hearing. All serious matters of alleged misconduct can be referred to the UCC by the Dean of Students. An administrative hearing is conducted solely by the Dean of Students, or designee. Choosing an administrative hearing also means that the responding student organization is waiving their right to appeal. In cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct, the reporting party retains his/her right to appeal even when the matter is resolved in an administrative hearing. The sole purpose of the administrative hearing is for the Dean of Students to determine the appropriate sanction(s) and/or remedies. Once the Dean of Students determines the appropriate sanction(s) and/or remedies the hearing is concluded. Neither the reporting nor the responding party may appeal the results of an administrative hearing.

Non-Appearance

If a student, or at least one current officer of a student organization, charged with a violation of the SCC fails to appear for a fact-finding meeting or an administrative or committee hearing, then the allegations in the charge will be deemed admitted and the Dean of Students will adjudicate the case and determine sanctions and/or remedies based upon the available information. Students or student organizations will not be allowed to appeal the Dean of Student’s decision unless they can demonstrate that they were prevented from appearing by unforeseen circumstances beyond their control such as, for example, a personal or family medical emergency.

If the reporting party fails to appear for a fact-finding meeting, the Dean of Students will decide whether to proceed with a charge based upon the available information. If the reporting party fails to appear for an administrative or committee hearing, the Dean of Students (in the case of an administrative hearing) or the committee (in the case of a committee hearing) will adjudicate the case and determine or recommend sanctions and/or remedies based upon the available information. The Dean of Students will determine the final sanction(s) and/or remedies.