Filing a Report
Notice of the Conduct Process
Board of Investigators and Advisors
Decisions for Summary Actions
Formal Resolution (Administrative Hearing)
Decisions for Administrative Hearings
Incidents of alleged violations of the Code of Conduct should be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students or a designee. Incidents of alleged violations of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy should be reported in accordance with the requirements of that policy. Incidents of alleged violations of other University policies that may result in a proceeding under the Honor Code or Code of Conduct should be reported in accordance with the requirements of those policies or to the Office of the Dean of Students.
Any member of the University community may file a written report concerning alleged violations of the Code of Conduct. A written report should be prepared and directed to the Associate Dean of Students, Student Conduct. Any report should be submitted, either in paper or electronically, as soon as possible after the alleged event takes place. Reports should contain as much information as possible about the incident, including date, time, location, description of events and a list of individuals involved. Reports may also be made in person at the Office of the Dean of Students. Any delay in reporting may result in lost evidence or an inability to investigate the report.
The University considers the reporting and adjudication of Code of Conduct violations to be extremely important. While the University considers the expectations outlined in the Code of Conduct as a minimum standard of behavior, the University may extend limited immunity to students reporting incidents and/or assisting the parties from sanctioning for some University policy violations.
After receiving a report, a preliminary review will be conducted by the Associate Dean of Students, Student Conduct, or designee, to understand the circumstances of the incident and to determine if the alleged behavior violates any policies detailed in the Code of Conduct. Reports that describe alleged behavior that does not violate any policy(s) may result in no action being taken. Likewise, lack of sufficient information in a report may result in no action being taken.
Before an investigation or hearing proceedings are initiated, the Associate Dean of Students, Student Conduct, or designee, may take preliminary action. These actions may include, but are not limited to:
If the Associate Dean of Students, Student Conduct or designee is unable to determine whether the report should be further pursued following the completion of the initial review an investigator, assigned by the Associate Dean of Students, Student Conduct, may conduct an investigation.
An investigation may be conducted to determine if the facts alleged would constitute a violation and to determine what specific policy violations should serve as the basis for the complaint.
The assigned investigator(s) will take steps to ensure that a thorough, reliable and impartial investigation is completed by developing a strategic investigation plan, which may include a witness list and evidence list. A notice of investigation will be provided to the student(s) under investigation. The investigation will include an interview of the student(s) accused of committing a violation and any relevant witnesses. The investigator will complete a report that summarizes the investigation. The report may identify what happened, what policies are at issue, other individuals involved, documents or other information that would be relevant to determining at the hearing whether a violation of the policy occurred. Based on the investigative report, the Associate Dean of Students, Student Conduct will determine if charges are issued against a student.
When a report has been filed and has not been dismissed following the initial review or investigation, the student will receive written notification (sent via electronic mail to WFU student address) of the allegations from the Office of the Dean of Students. That notification will include the date of the report, the alleged conduct regulation violation(s), the assigned hearing officer, and an electronic link to the Code of Conduct.
Upon either the conclusion of the investigation or upon the conclusion of the initial review, the process moves along a pathway to resolution. The process may be resolved either through a Summary Action meeting or Administrative Hearing. The Associate Dean of Students, Student Conduct, or designee, will determine which method for resolution is appropriate and assign a hearing officer to the case. When possible, cases are resolved through a Summary Action meeting. Factors that may considered in determining whether an Administrative Hearing is appropriate include the severity and/or complexity of the incident and the student’s prior conduct record.
For a Summary Action meeting, the student will be required to make an appointment with the assigned hearing officer. The student is responsible for arranging this requested meeting within the parameters stated in the notification. The student will also receive a brief summary of the alleged behavior. If the student fails to arrange the required meeting, a hold may be placed on the student’s record.
For an Administrative Hearing, the student(s) will be notified of the designated hearing date, time, and location.
The Board of Investigators and Advisors (BIA) provides students charged with a violation with a BIA member to guide the student through their assigned process. BIA members do not represent students in either an Administrative Hearing or Summary Action. Instead, they meet with students to explain the process, the charges assigned to the student, possible outcomes, and they answer any additional questions the student may have. For both Summary Action meetings and Administrative Hearings, the BIA member will attend the meeting or the hearing at the discretion of the student. At times when BIA members are not available, the Associate Dean for Student Conduct may work with students to secure appropriate representation. The BIA member is the only advisor a student may have present in the hearing.
Students scheduled for an Administrative Hearing will be assigned an advisor from the BIA. Students scheduled for a Summary Action meeting may request an advisor from the BIA.
If the Associate Dean of Students, Student Conduct, determines that the case may be resolved through a Summary Action, the assigned hearing officer and the student will meet to discuss the details of the incident. The student may review the case record in advance of the Summary Action, or may review the report at the beginning of the meeting. If requested by the student, a BIA member may be assigned and attend the Summary Action meeting. A Summary Action meeting is considered resolved only when the following criteria are met: (1) the assigned hearing officer and the student agree that informal resolution is a reasonable option given the circumstances; (2) the hearing officer and the student agree to the level of responsibility for the violation(s) of the specified policy(s), and; (3) if it is agreed that the student is responsible for the alleged violation, the student must agree with the sanctions resulting from the violation(s). Cases that cannot be resolved using these criteria will be referred for an Administrative Hearing.
If a resolution is reached through a Summary Action, the hearing officer will complete a written copy of the decision, which the students will receive and have opportunity to review. The student will then sign the decision, thereby indicating acceptance of the findings and sanctions. Through this signed acceptance, the student acknowledges that there will be no further review or appeal of the findings and sanctions.
The procedures of an Administrative Hearing are as follows:
The hearing panel serves in an advisory capacity to the hearing officer regarding findings and sanctions. Following the conclusion of a hearing, the panel will deliberate and recommend a finding, based on a preponderance of the evidence. When it is more likely than not that the student has committed the violation, the panel will recommend a finding of “responsible.” When the panel did not find it is more likely than not that the student has committed the violation, the panel will recommend a finding of “not responsible.” If the panel recommends a finding of “not responsible” for the policy violation(s), there will be no sanctions recorded. If the panel recommends a finding of “responsible” for the policy violation(s), the panel will recommend an appropriate sanction(s). The hearing officer and all members of the panel will be present and available as a resource during all deliberations. The hearing officer is responsible for informing the panel of applicable precedent and any previous conduct violations only after a student has been found responsible for a violation. Upon consideration of the hearing panel’s recommendations, the hearing officer will determine the findings and sanctions for the student.
The finding and sanction(s), if applicable, will be delivered to the student(s) in writing by the hearing officer. The student(s) will sign the decision indicating they have received the decision.
The Judicial Council is the appellate body for Honor Code and Code of Conduct cases and is composed of students, faculty, and administrators.
Students requesting an appeal must follow these procedures:
Based on the nature of a student’s alleged behavior, the Dean of Students or designee may impose an interim action prior to the completion of the conduct process regarding alleged violations of the Code of Conduct. Interim action may be imposed when:
Interim action may include, but is not limited to, prohibiting the student from being on University property, attending classes, attending programs and activities, or using University facilities. The student will receive notice of any interim action taken in writing to their official University email address. Interim action may be in place for no more than fifteen (15) business days pending the administrative hearing on alleged violation(s) of the Code of Conduct, unless the student requests a delay in the scheduling of the administrative hearing.
The Dean of Students or designee may also impose an interim action prior to the completion of an administrative withdrawal process, as explained in the Administrative Withdrawal Policy. Such interim action may include, but is not limited to, prohibiting the student from being on University property, attending classes, attending programs and activities, or using University facilities. An interim action imposed as a part of the administrative withdrawal process may remain in effect until the completion of that process.
A student who receives interim action, related to either the Code of Conduct or the Administrative Withdrawal process, may request an Interim Action Review by submitting the request in writing to the Dean of Students or designee. The appeal must include a statement from the student explaining why the student believes the interim action is not warranted. The Interim Action Review must take place within three business days of receipt of the appeal. If the student requests a delay in the scheduling of the hearing on alleged violation(s) of the Code of Conduct, an Interim Action Review is required. A hearing officer who did not impose the interim action will conduct the Interim Action Review. The interim action may be modified, upheld, or removed, and the student will be notified of this outcome in writing. The outcome of the Interim Action Review is final, and any interim action imposed will remain in effect until the conclusion of the Code of Conduct or Administrative Withdrawal process.
A record of the matter will be maintained. The following items may be included: