Policy Number: 186
Student Conduct and Discipline
I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT
All students are expected and required to obey federal, state, and local laws, to comply with the Regents' Rules and Regulations, the rules and regulations of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") and The University of Texas System ("UT System"), and directives issued by administrative officials of the university or UT System in the course of their authorized duties, and to obey standards of conduct appropriate for an academic institution.
Any student who engages in conduct that violates the Regents' Rules and Regulations, university or UT System rules, or federal, state, or local laws is subject to discipline whether the conduct takes place on or off campus and whether civil or criminal penalties may be imposed for such conduct. A student is also subject to discipline for prohibited conduct that occurs while participating in off-campus activities sponsored by the university or UT System, including field trips, rotations or clinical assignments.
A student who receives a period of suspension as a disciplinary penalty is subject to further disciplinary action for prohibited conduct that occurs during the period of suspension. A former student expelled or suspended for disciplinary reasons is prohibited from being on any UT campus during the period of expulsion or suspension without prior written approval of the chief student affairs officer of the institution at which the suspended student wishes to be present.
Day: A calendar day except for days on which the university is officially closed or when regularly scheduled classes are suspended due to emergent situations.
Student: A person who is enrolled at the university, is accepted for admission or re-admission at the university, was previously enrolled at the university in a prior semester or summer session, and eligible to continue enrollment in the semester or summer session that immediately follows.
Dean: Refers to the administrative officer(s) responsible for the administration of the disciplinary process at each school. Primary responsibility and authority for student discipline lies with the Dean of each school, who is responsible for coordinating an investigation of charges of misconduct and assessing disciplinary penalties, if appropriate, within his or her own operating unit. The Dean is authorized by The University of Texas Board of Regents to proceed with an investigation and disciplinary process as outlined in this policy, notwithstanding any action taken by other authorities.
Hearing Officer: A fair and impartial individual selected by the President pursuant to the recommendation of the Chief Student Affairs Officer of the applicable school to hear disciplinary charges, make findings of fact, and, upon finding of a violation of rule or policy, may impose an appropriate sanction(s).
University Campus: Any real property, buildings or facilities owned or controlled or formally utilized by the university.
Weekday: Monday through Friday, excluding any day that is an official university holiday or when regularly scheduled classes are suspended due to emergent situations.
Unacceptable conduct that would subject a student to disciplinary action includes, but is not limited to the conduct described in Appendix A.
The following penalties may be assessed by the Dean or the hearing officer:
- disciplinary probation;
- withholding of grades, official transcript, and/or degree;
- bar against re-admission;
- restitution or reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of university or UT System property;
- suspension of rights and privileges, including participation in scholastic and/or extracurricular activities;
- assignment of a grade of zero for an examination or assignment or for a course, and/or cancellation of all or any portion of a prior course credit;
- denial of degree;
- suspension from the university for a specified period of time;
- expulsion (permanent separation) from the university;
- revocation of degree and withdrawal of diploma;
- other penalties deemed reasonably appropriate under the circumstances.
- If a student is found responsible for the illegal use, possession, and/or sale of a drug or narcotic on campus, the minimum sanction assessed shall be suspension from the university for a specified period of time and/or suspension of rights and privileges.
1. Disciplinary Process
The Dean, or his or her designee is responsible for coordinating an investigation into allegations of misconduct.
Pending a hearing or other disposition of the allegations, the Dean may take such immediate action as is reasonably appropriate under the circumstances when such action is in the best interest of the university. This includes but is not limited to, suspension and bar from the campus when it reasonably appears to the Dean from the circumstances that the continuing presence of the student poses a potential danger to persons or property or a potential threat for disrupting any activity authorized by the operating unit and/or university. When an interim disciplinary action has been taken by the Dean, a hearing of the charges against the student will generally be held within 10 days after the interim disciplinary action was taken in accordance with the procedures in Appendix B. However, at the discretion of the Dean the 10 day period may be extended for a period not to exceed an additional 10 days. Notwithstanding the above, the Dean may withhold the issuance of an official transcript, grade, diploma, or degree to a student alleged to have violated a rule or regulation of the university or of The University of Texas System which would reasonably allow the imposition of such penalty. The Dean may take such action pending a hearing, resolution by administrative disposition, and/or exhaustion of appellate rights if the Dean has provided the student an opportunity to provide a preliminary response to the allegations and in the opinion of the Dean, the best interests of the university or The University of Texas System would be served by this action.
A student may be summoned by written request of the Dean for purposes of the investigation and/or to discuss allegations of misconduct. The written request shall specify a place for the meeting and a time at least 3 weekdays after the date of the written request if the request is sent regular mail, or at least 2 weekdays after the date of the request if the request is sent by e-mail or hand delivered. The written request may be mailed to the address appearing in the records of the Registrar, may be hand delivered to the student, or may be emailed to the e-mail address on record with the university. If the student fails to appear for such a meeting without good cause, as determined by the Dean, the Dean may bar or cancel the student's enrollment or otherwise alter the status of the student until the student attends the meeting, or the Dean may proceed to implement disciplinary hearing procedures as described in Appendix B. The student's refusal to accept delivery of the notice; the failure to maintain a current address with the Registrar; or failure to read mail or email are not considered good cause for failing to respond to the Dean's request for a meeting.
In any case where the accused student elects not to dispute the facts upon which the charges are based and agrees to the sanctions the Dean assesses, the student may execute a written waiver of the hearing procedures detailed in Appendix B. This administrative disposition shall be final and there shall be no subsequent proceedings regarding the charges. In any case where the accused student elects not to dispute the facts upon which the charges are based, but does not agree with the sanctions assessed by the Dean, the student may execute a written waiver of the hearing procedures specified in Appendix B yet retain the right to appeal the decision of the Dean only on the issue of penalty. The appeal regarding penalty will be appealed to the university's President.
Alternately, if the student disputes the facts on which the charges are based, the Dean will arrange for the facts to be heard and determined by a hearing officer.
2. Disciplinary Hearing Procedures
Disciplinary hearings will be conducted in accordance with the procedures in Appendix B.
Either the Dean or the student may appeal the decision of the hearing officer, as follows:
The appealing party must submit a written appeal stating the specific reasons for the appeal and any argument, to the President, with a copy to the other party. The appeal must be stamped as received by the President's Office no later than 14 days after the appealing party has been notified of the sanction assessed by the Dean or of the decision of the hearing officer. If the notice of penalty assessed by the Dean or decision of the hearing officer is sent by mail, the date the notice or decision is mailed initiates the 14-day period for the appeal. The non-appealing party may submit a response to the appeal which must be received by the President's Office no later than 5 days after receipt of the appeal with a copy to the other party. An appeal of the sanction assessed by the Dean following the student's waiver of the disciplinary hearing procedures will be reviewed solely on the basis of the written arguments of the student and Dean provided to the President. An appeal of the hearing officer's decision will be reviewed solely on the basis of the record from the hearing. The Dean will submit the record from the hearing to the President as soon as it is available to the Dean. In the latter case, at the discretion of the President, both parties may present oral argument.
All documentation filed by the appealing party, including written arguments, must be filed with the President within 14 days after notice of appeal is given. The President may approve, reject, or modify the decision in question, or may require a reopening of the original hearing for presentation of additional evidence and reconsideration of the decision.
The action of the President will be communicated in writing to the student and the Dean within 30 days after the President receives the appeal and related documents. The decision of the President is final.
A permanent, written disciplinary record will be kept for each student assessed a sanction of suspension, expulsion, denial or revocation of degree, and/or withdrawal of diploma. A record of scholastic dishonesty will be maintained for at least five years unless the record is permanent in conjunction with the above-stated penalties. A disciplinary record will reflect the nature of the charge, the disposition of the charge, the penalty assessed, and any other pertinent information. This disciplinary record will be maintained separately from the student's academic record by the applicable Office of Student Affairs. It shall be treated as confidential, and will not be accessible to or used by anyone other than the Dean or university officials with legitimate educational interests, except on written authorization of the student or in accordance with applicable state or federal laws, court order or subpoena.
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