Minutes of the Committee on Student Discipline December 3, 1992
Members present: Fred Otte, chair; Ross Gagliano; Myron Greene; Valerie Miller; and
Katherine Stone. Also present were Bill Baggett, dean of students, and
Bill Boozer, committee secretary.
Dr. Otte called the meeting to order and asked Dr. Baggett to discuss the procedures currently in place.
Dr. Baggett reviewed the charges of Dr. Patton’s memorandum of November 17, 1992, and elaborated on the activities of the Interfraternity Council (I. F. C.) to meet its charge. Earlier this year there was a case involving Pi Kappa Alpha which was sent to the I. F. C. judiciary (instead of to the Committee on Student Discipline or the Student Court) for sensitivity reasons. There is some concern, Dr. Baggett said, that that decision may not have been the best one to make. The I. F. C. judiciary will be addressing the appropriateness of its dealing with these types of cases in the report it makes to Dr. Patton. The Intersorority Council has no such body, so cases involving the council would follow the normal procedures for hearing and appeal.
For cases against an individual, Dr. Baggett said, the due process procedures on pages 105-106 of On Campus 1992-93: The Undergraduate Co-curricular Affairs Handbook are followed. If the student is not satisfied of the decision of the Student Court or the Committee on Student Discipline, he or she may appeal that decision to the Dean of Students.
Dr. Stone suggested that it might be better to ask someone else to provide “guidance” (cf. 11.11 of the Student Code of Conduct and Policies) to students who are accused of a code violation. She said that it didn’t seem appropriate for the dean to be providing that information when it was possible that the dean would later be adjudicating the case. She also suggested changing the word “guidance” to some other word closer in meaning to “providing information” rather than “recommending a course of action.”
Dr. Miller suggested that the committee should consider the process established for grade appeals.
Dr. Otte summarized the discussion by saying the committee seemed concerned, so far, not with the process within the committee itself, but rather the process by which cases come to the committee. He suggested that the committee clarify the changes it feels need to be made and recommend to the Committee on Statutes and Bylaws that they be changed accordingly.
Dr. Stone said that, recently, in the case of a student in the College of Education who was suspended, the committee was given limited information with which to decide the case. Later, after the decision had been rendered, more information was provided to the committee, information which could have affected the decision. It appears to be unclear as to what information the committee should have to make its decisions, Dr. Stone said.
Dr. Baggett said that the key issue is to make sure the student receives his or her due-process rights. There has to be an office that students can come to to find out what these procedures are. As the office of the Dean of Students oversees student affairs, it is natural that students come to that office for this information.
Dr. Miller suggested that it would be better for the Office of Legal Affairs to provide the information to students, because that office is not involved directly with the appeals process. Dr. Baggett said that, in most cases, he recommended that accused persons speak with someone from the Office of Legal Affairs to make sure they understand their rights. Dr. Miller mentioned that at the undergraduate institution where she studied, student councils decided cases of student discipline and there was no involvement of the deans in the decision making process.
Dr. Greene suggested that, as the Committee on Student Life and Development was responsible for writing the Student Code of Conduct and Policies, recommendations on changes of the procedures that have been discussed should be sent to that committee so its members can revise the code. Dr. Otte suggested that recommendations could also be sent to the Executive Committee so that its members could decide where they should be sent for review.
The committee agreed that Dr. Otte would contact Tim Crimmins to find out which committee should receive recommendations on the process. Dr. Otte said he would distribute the minutes from the current meeting and ask the committee members to respond, in writing, with revisions of the code. He will combine these recommendations to prepare a draft report for Dr. Patton.
Dr. Miller said that the sanctions should be more explicit in stating what recommendations the committee may make concerning grades. Specifically, does expulsion imply an automatic "”W"F” grade if the expulsion takes place after the midpoint of the quarter? What if the expulsion takes place before midpoint? Dr. Stone agreed that an additional item needed to be added to the sanctions to clarify the committee’s authority over grades in these circumstances, particularly as the committee has had to make such decisions in the past.
Dr. Baggett said there are currently no written processes for the operation of the committee. Dr. Miller volunteered to head a subcommittee to draft a process for the committee. One of the biggest problems in adopting a process, she said, is determining when it is appropriate to have closed or open hearings and whether to have only one of those exclusively.
Mr. Boozer said that there seemed to be a discrepancy between the Student Code of Conduct and Policies and the Bylaws of the University Senate in that the student code placed the Committee on the Student Life and Development in the appeals process for academic grievances (cf. 8.11); however, the bylaws’ charge for that committee does not include this authority, nor is this authority included in the charge for any other committee.
The committee adjourned until mid-January, when it will meet again to discuss the initial draft of its recommendations for Dr. Patton
Submitted for approval by Bill Boozer, Secretary