Conduct Resolution Meeting & University Hearing Procedure

Conduct Resolution Meeting

The Conduct Resolution Meeting is designed to reduce unnecessary proceduralism and potential contentiousness in disciplinary proceedings. A Conduct Resolution Meeting will normally begin with an informal, non-adversarial meeting between the responding party and a University administrator, as designated by the director of the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education. The University shall consider all matters that reasonable persons would accept as having probative value, including documentary evidence, written statements and hearsay. The responding party will be given access to documentary evidence and written statements in advance or during the initial meeting and allowed to respond to them. Responding parties are also allowed to submit the names of appropriate and relevant witnesses.  The responding party will be found responsible if the University administrator decides that a preponderance of evidence supports the charges.

The following procedural protections are provided to respondents in the Conduct Resolution Meeting:

  1. Written notice of the specific charges prior to or at the initial meeting
  2. Reasonable access to the case file during the Conduct Resolution Meeting or at the student's request
  3. An opportunity to respond to the evidence and call appropriate and relevant witnesses.

 

University Hearing

Students subject to suspension or expulsion from the University, or removal from on-campus housing, will be entitled to a University Hearing. However, when a student agrees to all charges of the Code listed in their charge notice, they waive their right to a University Hearing, but may request a meeting with their hearing officer to discuss sanctions.

The following procedural guidelines shall be observed for all hearings held by the University Hearing Board, except in cases of alleged violations of the Towson University Policy on Sexual Misconduct. The University Hearing Board will be composed of the hearing officer, who shall preside and make the final decision, and student conduct aides. In the absence of the student conduct aides, the hearing officer may hear and decide the case alone. A case may not be heard if the hearing officer is not in attendance. The hearing officer shall be responsible for submitting the hearing panel's report to the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education.

  1. The responding party shall be given notice of the hearing date and the specific charges against them at least three business days in advance and shall be accorded reasonable access to the case file, which will be retained in the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education. (In some cases, the responding party may choose not to wait three days for a hearing to take place.)
  2. The hearing will be audio recorded.
  3. The responding party may be present for the hearing. If more than one student is charged with the same incident, the University may hold a combined hearing. If the responding party fails to appear, this will be stated for the record and the hearing will continue.
  4. The responding party may be accompanied by a support person.
  5. The hearing officer shall exercise control over the proceedings to avoid needless consumption of time and to achieve orderly completion of the hearing. Any person, including the responding party, who disrupts a hearing may be excluded by the hearing officer.
  6. The responding party will be found responsible if the hearing officer decides that a preponderance of evidence supports the charges.
  7. Formal rules of evidence shall not be applicable in disciplinary proceedings conducted pursuant to this Code. The hearing officer shall admit all matters into evidence that reasonable persons would accept as having probative value, including documentary evidence, written statements, and hearsay. Repetitious or irrelevant evidence may, however, be excluded. Documentary evidence and written statements shall only be admitted into evidence if available to the responding party before or during the hearing.
  8. The director of the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education may appoint a special hearing panel member in complex cases. Special panel members may question all parties, participate in hearing panel deliberations, and offer advice to the hearing officer.
  9. The hearing officer's report will be presented to the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education. The responding party may view the hearing officer's written report by appointment.
  10. The responding party will receive the decision in writing from the vice president for Student Affairs or designee.

This information about university hearing procedures is published in the Code of Student Conduct.

Preparing for Your University Hearing

A University Hearing is a meeting with the “Hearing Board.” The Hearing Board is made up of a hearing officer and any student conduct aides authorized by the Director of the Office of Student Conduct & Civility Education who meet with you to discuss alleged policy violation(s) and what happened from your perspective. This is your opportunity to have your side of the story heard and to add information to the investigation of the incident.

  1. Read your charge letter carefully and take note of the charges you have been presented with prior to the hearing.
  2. Read through the Code of Student Conduct. This will provide a greater understanding of the University’s process.
  3. Write down any questions you may have regarding information you have read.
  4. As the incident will be discussed at this hearing, you may want to think back over the details of the event and make note of information you feel is important.
  5. You may be accompanied by a support person. Discuss his/her role with your observer prior to the hearing.
  6. You will be asked if you would like to present a final statement during the hearing, which is in addition to your version of the events during the incident. You may wish to write your thoughts down to refer to them during your statement.
  7. The standard of evidence in a University Hearing is different than in a court of law. Here, the standard is preponderance of evidence, and the question becomes, “is it more likely than not that policy was violated?”
  8. The entire proceedings of the hearing will be explained to you before the hearing begins, allowing you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
  9. You are encouraged and expected to be honest about what happened and to take responsibility for your actions.
  10. Remember, the University cares about its students and wants them to make healthy and safe choices. Being a part of the university community carries with it responsibilities. It is important for each member of the community to think about how their actions not only impact themselves but others as well.

If you have additional questions regarding how to prepare for your University Hearing please contact the Office of Student Conduct & Civility Education.

Prepare for Your Hearing (PDF)