Academic Misconduct Hearing Overview
Format/headings for this document were adopted from Student Conduct Code — Student Conduct Procedures:
Upon referral of a case from the Investigating Officer (IO), the Academic Integrity Director will organize a Hearing Board to determine if a student is in violation of the Honor Code. The task of the Hearing Board is to listen to the case as presented by the Investigating Officer and the student, to ask necessary questions to gain clarification and full understanding of the presented facts, and then to determine whether there has been or has not been a violation of the Marquette University Honor Code.
The standard used by the Hearing Board is a preponderance of the evidence, whether it is “more likely than not” that the student has violated the policy. If the board’s decision is that there was no violation, then the case will be dismissed. If the board’s decision is that there was a violation, then an appropriate sanction will be established, as set forth in the Sanctioning Guidelines.
The Academic Integrity Director will provide notification of hearing details to the student via email at least five working days prior to the hearing date. It is the student’s responsibility to check his/her email on a frequent and consistent basis and to respond in a timely manner as outlined in the “Official Use of Email to Communicate with Students” policy on the IT Services website. The email notification may include the following:
- Official notification of hearing date, time, location.
- Incident report submitted by the Investigating Officer (IO).
- Hearing Board members’ names and their college/school affiliations. If the student has any objections to a Hearing Board member, an email specifying the individual and the reason for the objection must be submitted to the Academic Integrity Director at least two working days prior to the hearing date.
- A copy of The Honor Code and The Academic Misconduct Hearing Overview (including the student’s rights).
- Waiver forms, if needed:
-Allowing Hearing Board to convene less than one week from notice to student by Academic Integrity Director: The student may sign a waiver of his or her right to the usual five-working-days notice prior to a hearing. Normally the signed waiver will be given to the student with his/her packet to be delivered to the Hearing Board Chair. However, for certain circumstances, the Hearing Board Chair may present the student with the waiver form for signing at the hearing.
-Allowing students involved in the same case to have one joint hearing: If all of the students involved in a case desire to have one joint hearing, they may each sign a waiver of their right to individual hearings. If the students fail to sign such waivers, each student will have a separate hearing. Normally cases involving more than one student will be held on the same day by the same board, but not as a joint hearing unless requested by the Office of Academic Integrity. In that case, students will be required to sign a waiver allowing a joint hearing.
The Hearing Board normally will consist of five members: a dean’s representative from the student’s college/school serving as the Hearing Board Chair, two faculty members, and two students. The Academic Integrity Director will make reasonable efforts to ensure that at least one faculty member and one student are from the student’s home college or school.
- An electronic or other verbatim record will be made of all hearings. The record will be retained for one month following the hearing or until the conclusion of any appeal process, whichever is longer. The record will then be destroyed.
- The Hearing Board Chair facilitates introductions of all participants.
- The Hearing Board Chair will give the student a copy of their rights to sign and date.
- The Hearing Board Chair may reasonably limit the scope and time devoted to each matter or item of discussion during hearings, as well as the number of persons testifying.
- The Hearing Board Chair will determine the order of presentation during the hearing and will also moderate follow-up questions after each presentation, including questions by the student. The typical order of presentation is as follows:
a. The Investigating Officer (IO), if present, is called upon first to present the facts of the case, based on all evidence and testimony collected from the investigation. If the IO is not present, the Hearing Board Chair will review the incident report submitted by the Investigating Officer.
b. The professor/complainant, if present, is offered the opportunity to present any other information regarding the case, or to clarify anything that the IO has said.
c. Witnesses will be called into the hearing individually and only remain in the hearing to provide their testimony and to answer questions. Witnesses will be asked to comment only on the event(s) pertinent to the alleged Honor Code violation, not the character of the student.
d. The student(s) is offered the opportunity to speak about the incident, present any additional information regarding the case, or to clarify anything that the IO and the professor/complainant have said. In the case of more than one student involved in the allegations, the Hearing Board Chair will establish the order for the student presentations, in consultation with the students. The student(s) will be present throughout the hearing, except for the deliberation.
e. After all case presentations and questions, the student(s) will be given a final opportunity to make brief closing statements. The chair will not allow any questioning during or following the closing statements. The chair will inform the student that notification of the final decision will be sent within five business days.
f. At the conclusion of the hearing, all non-Hearing Board members will be asked to leave the room. These individuals will not be present during the deliberations of the board.
In this document and again at the beginning of the hearing, the student will be advised that he/she has the rights listed below. Students with any questions about their rights are encouraged to contact the Academic Integrity Director. The student will be asked to sign a copy of the rights at the hearing to ensure that they have read and understand their rights.
- The student is entitled to be present throughout the hearing but not during the deliberation.
- The student is entitled to remain silent (i.e., not to testify against him/herself), but if silence is maintained, the case will be decided on the evidence presented.
- The student may object to a member of the Hearing Board for reasons of official or personal conflict of interest. Any such objection must be submitted to the Academic Integrity Director at least two working days prior to the hearing date.
- The student is entitled to present pertinent evidence and the testimony of witnesses to substantiate his/her case and to comment upon and respond to the charges against him/herself.
- The student is entitled to make a written appeal of the disciplinary decision within five working days from the date notification of the Hearing Board decision.
- The student is entitled to bring a support person to the hearing.
In all cases, the hearing is closed to everyone except those persons specifically provided for in this procedure or persons whose presence at the hearing is authorized by the Hearing Board Chair.
A student who cannot attend the hearing scheduled for consideration of his/her case must submit a written statement to the Academic Integrity Director no fewer than two working days before the hearing date. The written statement should include the reasons for the conflict. At the discretion of the Academic Integrity Director, the hearing may be rescheduled. Only one change of hearing date and time may be requested.
If a student fails to attend a scheduled hearing, the hearing may proceed in the absence of the student. Such an absence will not be considered grounds for an appeal.
In the event the student has one or more witnesses with information pertinent to the alleged violation, the student must submit the names and contact information via email to the Academic Integrity Director no fewer than two working days prior to the hearing date. In the exceptional event that a witness is unable to attend the hearing, the Academic Integrity Director will determine if an alternate form of witness testimony will be allowed.
In all cases, the procedures will not be subject to limiting rules of evidence. Evidence may consist of oral and written testimony and any other material directly related to the incident. The Hearing Board Chair may reasonably limit the scope of evidence considered in the hearing.
The student may have an individual present as a support person at the hearing. If the student elects to have a support person present, the student must notify the Academic Integrity Director via email at least two business days prior to the hearing date. If the support person is an attorney, a law student, or a Law School faculty member, this information must be disclosed in the notification to the Academic Integrity Director.
The support person may not participate in the hearing in any way other than in a support role for the student. The support person must at all times conduct him/herself solely in a support role, not in a professional or advisory role. The support person may sit next to the student and converse with the student quietly, so long as this person at all times refrains from participating in the hearing in any way, including making direct comments or questions to the Hearing Board members. If the support person participates in the hearing in any way or is disruptive to the process, the Hearing Board Chair will reiterate these guidelines regarding the expectations of the support person. If the support person continues to violate these conditions, the Hearing Board Chair has the right to ask this person to leave the hearing.
Substitution of Members/Quorum
If one member of the Hearing Board, other than the chair, fails to arrive at the hearing within 15 minutes of the scheduled starting time, the Hearing Board Chair has the discretion to conduct the hearing with four members. Whenever a Hearing Board has only four members, at least three out the four members must vote “in violation” to find the student in violation. In addition, at least three of the four members of the Hearing Board must agree on the imposed sanction, if the student is found in violation.
Under no conditions will a hearing be conducted with fewer than four Hearing Board members.
Decisions and Communications
The first deliberation of the Hearing Board is whether or not the student is in violation of the Honor Code. The discussion will have no mention of sanctions, only whether or not a violation occurred, and what that violation was. A violation can occur even if the student did not intend to violate the Honor Code. To find the student to be “In Violation,” at least three Hearing Board members must vote “In Violation.”
The Honor Code policy’s standard for finding a student in violation is based on the preponderance of evidence. This means that for a Hearing Board member to find the student to be in violation, he/she must believe that the evidence implies it is “more likely than not” that the student committed a violation. Please note that this standard differs from other legal standards used in other cases such as the “clear and convincing” or “reasonable doubt.”
1. If the student is found to be "not in violation," the violation deliberations are concluded. The envelope that states whether the student has been previously found in violation of the Honor Code remains unopened. However, at this point the Hearing Board may discuss if they would like to recommend any personal growth sanctions despite a negative finding. These would only be recommendations, not requirements. After discussion of possible growth sanctions, the Hearing Board is free to go and the Hearing Board Chair will write a summary of the hearing and inform the Academic Integrity Director of the outcome. The Academic Integrity Director will inform the student of findings within three business days via email.
2. If the student is found to be "in violation," the deliberations continue to the sanctioning stage. The envelope with data indicating whether the student has been found previously in violation of the Honor Code is opened. If the student has been previously found in violation of the Honor Code, the board will use that information when deciding on a sanction recommendation. Multiple offenses provide a legitimate basis for issuing a more severe sanction. There must be a majority vote in favor of the recommended sanction and all Hearing Board members sign the decision form confirming the hearing results. The decision and recommendations are sent to the dean of the student’s home college within three business days. The dean will have three business days to respond. The student will be informed of the decision within six business days of the hearing by Marquette email.
In making the determination of the sanction recommendation, a discussion will ensue regarding any special circumstances that may mitigate or exacerbate the sanction decision. This would include, but is not limited to, previous Honor Code violation(s).
If a majority opinion is reached among the board (at least three members) and the dissenting board members refuse to sign the Hearing Board Decision form; this does NOT change the hearing outcome. The form will still note that a majority opinion was determined regarding the outcome/sanction, and the signatures of AT LEAST three board members will appear in support of the decision.
In a case where the board cannot come to a majority decision on the sanction recommendation, then the final vote will be forwarded to the dean of the student’s school. The dean will then make the final sanction decision, after consultation with the Academic Integrity Director and the Hearing Board Chair.
The events of a hearing are to remain confidential. All materials and notes, including the Hearing Board Decision form, will be collected at the end of the hearing and returned to the Academic Integrity Director for the purpose of disposal. All members of the Hearing Board, including the Investigating Officer, are charged with maintaining confidentiality.
Students found responsible for a violation of the Honor Code in a hearing may request an appeal of the decision. Appeals are not second hearings, and they are not granted on the basis of disagreement with the original decision. An appeal must be submitted to the Academic Integrity Director or the Provost's Office in the case of a campuswide sanction within five calendar days of the hearing according the guidelines set forth in the Bulletin.