The Constitution of the Judicial Council

Membership

The voting membership consists of ten persons: six (6) faculty members, two (2) administrators, and two (2) students. The quorum for a hearing is six persons. Each faculty and administrative member of the Council will be appointed by the President of the University upon the recommendation of the Dean of the College. These members will serve for an initial five-year term with the option of reappointment for one (1) additional five-year term. While ten years will be the ordinary limit of service, further terms may be allowed at the discretion of the Dean and the President. Undergraduate sophomore, junior, and senior students will be eligible for membership on the Council. The terms of service for student members will range, therefore, from a maximum of three (3) years to a minimum of one (1) year in length. These student members will also be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Dean of the College. At the end of their terms, faculty members may agree to serve as reserve members. Reserve members may be called on when regular members are unavailable for a hearing; no more than two reserve members should be used for any hearing.

The Council will elect a Chair from among its faculty and administrative members. The term of service for the Chair will be for an initial period of three (3) years with the possibility of reappointment for no longer than two (2) years. When vacancies occur on the Council, the procedures for filling the vacant positions will be the same as those used for regular appointments. The Council may be assisted in its work at its discretion by a non- voting Secretary.

Powers

  1. To establish and direct the undergraduate conduct system so as to insure justice and due process to all members of the undergraduate academic community.
  2. To hear appeals on cases involving undergraduate students from the following hearing bodies: the Honor and Ethics Council, interim hearing panels, and administrative hearings.
  3. To organize and present, at the beginning of each academic year, an orientation program for all persons serving in the undergraduate conduct system. This orientation will be concerned with apprising all members of their full responsibilities and obligations as members of an undergraduate conduct body.
  4. The Judicial Council may adopt further procedures consistent with the provisions of this document.

Review Procedures

Notice of Appeal

Within fourteen (14) calendar days after the accused student is notified of a decision of a hearing body, the accused student may file an appeal with the Judicial Council. The appellant in this request for appeal must set forth the reasons why the decision of the hearing body should be reversed or modified.

Basis of the Appeal

An appeal to the Judicial Council regarding a decision of a hearing body must be based on one or more of the following reasons: the sufficiency of the evidence to support the hearing body’s decision; the appropriateness of the sanction; the introduction of germane new evidence; and/or the presence of procedural error that likely significantly impacted the outcome. The Council will hear as a matter of course any appeal of a decision of a hearing body involving the sanction of suspension or expulsion. In other cases, the Council will decide by a simple majority vote (there being no fewer than six members voting whether to hear the appeal. In the event that the appeal is denied, the appellant will be notified in writing of the reasons for the Council’s decision.

Possible Judicial Council Actions

The Judicial Council appeal hearing is not a retrying of the original case. In its hearings, the Judicial Council considers whether the appellant’s reasons for appeal are substantiated, which is to say that the Council determines if the grounds for appeal have been established convincingly enough to justify action by the Judicial Council.

In cases where an appeal hearing has been granted, the Judicial Council has the following options: it may uphold both the findings and the sanction(s); uphold the findings but reduce the sanction(s); reverse all of the findings and thus vacate the sanction(s); or send the case back to the hearing body for rehearing on the basis of new evidence or for reconsideration of the sanction(s). In cases involving more than one charge, the Judicial Council may consider each charge separately as to the findings, such that the findings for one or more of the charges may be reversed while the findings for a different one or more of the charges may be upheld. Sanctions in such cases are apportioned to the entirety of the charges for which the findings of responsibility have been upheld, rather than to individual charges; therefore, the Judicial Council will consider and evaluate the appropriateness of the sanction(s) based on the totality of the findings of responsibility that it has upheld in the case.

Decisions of the Judicial Council are final and may not be appealed within the undergraduate judicial system.

Procedures Prior to the Hearing

The Chair of the Judicial Council will set a time for a hearing on the appeal and will notify the appellant, the appellant’s undergraduate advisor, the appropriate hearing body principal or officer, and members of the Judicial Council of the time and place. The appellant will be notified in writing (email) at least seven (7) days before the hearing.

The hearing body principal or officer will make available to the Judicial Council through its Chair or Secretary a copy of the records of the hearing, the evidence introduced at the hearing, and the recording of the hearing. These materials will be available for review by the members of the Judicial Council and by the appellant and the appellant’s undergraduate advisor prior to the hearing.

Hearing:

  1. The following persons will be present at the hearing: the appellant; the appellant’s undergraduate advisor; the original hearing body principal or officer, and/or a representative of the original hearing body.
  2. Both the appellant (with the appellant’s undergraduate advisor) and the representative(s) from the original hearing body may make statements about the procedures at the original hearing and about the evidence.
  3. Members of the Judicial Council may ask questions during the proceedings.
  4. An audio recording of the hearing will be made.
  5. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Judicial Council will deliberate in private and a decision will be reached by a majority vote of the Council. The appellant will be notified in writing of the results of the hearing.

Updated 03-29-2021