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Standard Operating Procedures for Allegations of General Misconduct and Substance Use Misconduct

Effective Date: August 14, 2023

The following procedures implement the Student Code of Conduct (Code) as it relates to allegations of General Misconduct and/or Substance Use Misconduct when the Respondent is an individual student. Reports of conduct that could constitute both Discriminatory Misconduct and General Misconduct and/or Substance Use Misconduct will be assessed, investigated, adjudicated, and/or appealed consistent with the procedures outlined in the university policy AD85.

Throughout these procedures, the term “Senior Director” refers to the Senior Director of Student Accountability & Conflict Response. The Senior Director may designate others, including designees at each Penn State campus, to fulfil the responsibilities outlined in these procedures. For a glossary of additional important terms, see Appendix A.

Section I: Options, Resources, and Other Information

Accessibility Accommodations

Students who have a disability and believe they require reasonable accommodation to participate in the student conduct process should contact their Campus Disability Coordinator. Accommodations deemed necessary and approved will be incorporated into the student conduct process. Requests should be made as soon as possible to ensure the University has sufficient time to review and process the accommodation request. Participants who wish to request language interpretation or translation services, for a need other than disability accommodation should contact their Case Manager to discuss available resources.

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof for finding a violation rests with the University. The Respondent is presumed to be not in violation until such a time as the Respondent accepts responsibility or is found in violation, based on a preponderance of the evidence, at the conclusion of the resolution process.

Complainants and Impacted Persons

Complainant: Generally, under these procedures, there is not a “Complainant.” However, when the alleged misconduct would constitute a crime of violence (as defined by 34 CFR Part 99 – Family Educational Rights and Privacy), a person that has been subject to the alleged misconduct may be considered a Complainant. A Complainant is considered a Party to the conduct matter. Complainants will be identified by the Case Manager and may participate as outlined in these procedures.

Impacted Person: An Impacted Person is someone, other than a Complainant, who has been adversely impacted by the alleged misconduct.  While not considered a Party to the conduct matter, an Impacted Person may participate in the process as a Witness and may request to be notified when a conduct matter has been resolved. In accordance with university policy AD11, specific information may not be shared without the Respondent’s permission except for when specific administrative sanctions and/or outcomes may affect the Impacted Person.

Concurrent Processes

Respondents with other affiliations, including but not limited to student-organization membership, University-affiliated programs (e.g., ROTC), academic programs, NCAA athlete status, University appointment or employment, or visa status, may be subject to other applicable processes or standards in addition to the Student Code of Conduct. Those processes are managed by the offices and/or units which oversee the programs, separately from the student conduct process.

Incidents addressed through the University's conduct system are separate from the criminal justice system. In cases where there are both criminal and conduct processes, those processes may proceed concurrently.

Conduct Withdrawal: When there is a concurrent or pending criminal investigation and/or judicial process, a Respondent may submit a request for a conduct withdrawal to the Senior Director. More information about Conduct Withdrawals is available on the Office of Student Accountability & Conflict Response website.

Temporary Request for Delay: At the request of law enforcement, the Senior Director may temporarily delay the student conduct process until some, or all, of the legal process has been completed. The decision to suspend the student conduct process will be made taking into consideration the health and safety of the campus community and will be at the sole discretion of the Senior Director.

Interim Action and No Contact Directives

Interim Actions: The Senior Director and their designees may impose an interim action(s), as outlined in Section VIII of the Code, when it is necessary to address a threat to the health or safety of any person, a threat to property, or a disruption or interference with the normal operations of the University, or when the Student is charged with a serious violation of state or federal law.

The Senior Director may also authorize University Officials to take temporary, emergency action to address an urgent concern outside of business hours until a determination can be made regarding whether an interim action is appropriate.

Mutual No Contact Directives: The Senior Director may issue a No Contact Directive prohibiting contact between two or more students. Violations of No Contact Directives are subject to student conduct action in accordance with the Code. More information about no contact directives is available on the Office of Student Accountability & Conflict Response website.


To the extent that a Respondent, Complainant, or Witness chooses to participate, it is expected that participation will be honest and forthright. Knowingly submitting a false report or information, or making false statements, during the student conduct process may result in formal student conduct action.

Decisions regarding whether a violation occurred will not be based solely on a Complainant, Respondent, or Witness refusing to answer questions or participate in the conduct process. However, choosing to answer some material questions but not others, or choosing to participate in some portions of the process but not others, may be considered during determinations regarding credibility or the weight given to information provided.


Retaliation is prohibited by University policy (see AD67). The University will not tolerate retaliation in any form against any individual who makes an allegation, files or intends to file a report, serves as a Witness, assists a Complainant or Respondent, or participates in the student conduct process. Allegations of retaliation should be reported immediately.

Support Persons

Respondents may seek the assistance of one Support Person to provide support, advice, or guidance throughout the process. To designate a Support Person, a Respondent must notify their Case Manager in writing. Witnesses and other Respondents from the incident cannot serve as Support Persons in that case. The opportunity to have a Support Person present during a meeting does not allow for an unreasonable delay. The Senior Director will determine what constitutes an unreasonable delay. Complainants are welcome to be accompanied by a Support Person during all meetings and interviews.

Once designated, a Support Person may attend meetings and be copied on formal case communications. They are not permitted to act or speak on behalf of the Party, serve as a Witness in the same matter, or disrupt any meetings.  A Support Person may be required to leave a meeting, including the Administrative Conference, if the Support Person engages in unreasonable, disruptive, harassing, or retaliatory behavior.

Section II: Initiating a Resolution Process

Initial Assessment of Reports

When a report covered by these procedures is received, the Senior Director will consider whether:

  • The report contains information that, if proven by Preponderance of the Evidence, would constitute a violation of the Code;
  • The University has jurisdiction over Respondent and the underlying allegations; and
  • The matter requires further response based on the totality of the information obtained, and the wishes of the Complainant, if applicable.

The Senior Director may determine preliminary fact-finding is necessary to facilitate these considerations. This may include interviews with the person who submitted the report, Witnesses (including Impacted Persons), and/or the Complainant, if applicable.

When the Senior Director decides further response is necessary, they will assess whether an adaptable resolution, formal student conduct action, or other process is appropriate. This may include a mandatory meeting between the Respondent and a designated University Official to clarify University expectations. Any resolution will be subject to applicable record retention requirements.

Adaptable Resolutions

Adaptable resolution processes include but are not limited to restorative practices, mediation, and other informal resolutions. This option may be appropriate where the Senior Director determines that it is consistent with the University’s obligations – under the law, institutional policies, and institutional values – to end the misconduct, prevent the misconduct from happening again, and address or remedy its effects.

The Respondent, or any Complainant or Impacted Person, may submit a request for Adaptable Resolution. The Senior Director may also offer an Adaptable Resolution absent a request. If the Senior Director determines it is appropriate, and the Respondent agrees to participate in an adaptable resolution process, the formal conduct process will be placed on hold for a designated period of time. The Respondent, or the Senior Director, may decide to resume the formal conduct process at any time prior to an adaptable resolution agreement being finalized.

Opt-in Resolution: This adaptable resolution option may be offered, at the sole discretion of the Case Manager, for first-time alcohol or cannabis use or possession, and some other types of Prohibited Conduct. The Opt-in Resolution allows the Respondent to take active accountability for their decisions and complete a pre-determined Action Plan. Permitted that the Respondent completes the Action Plan as assigned, there is no formal student conduct action or finding of a violation.

Mutual Agreement: This adaptable resolution may be an option when there is a Complainant for the case. A mutual agreement allows both Parties to mutually agree to what violations(s) will be recorded and what Action Plan will be imposed, outside of the formal student conduct process. As with all adaptable resolutions, the University must determine whether the mutual agreement is appropriate, and both Parties must voluntarily agree to the resolution in writing.

Any adaptable resolution agreement will be in writing and represent the final resolution of the case.  Failure to adhere to the terms of the alternative resolution agreement may constitute a separate violation of the Code and/or result in the reopening of the existing conduct matter. More information about Adaptable Resolutions is available on the Office of Student Accountability & Conflict Response website.

Notice of Allegations

If the Senior Director decides to initiate formal student conduct action, the Parties will be issued Written Notice of the allegations. This Notice will include the following:

  • A brief description of the alleged misconduct;
  • The alleged violation(s) of the Code;
  • The name and contact information for the assigned Case Manager;
  • Whether the Respondent may be subject to suspension or expulsion;
  • A direct link to the Student Code of Conduct and these procedures; and
  • For the Respondent: The date, time, and location (or virtual access information) for the informational meeting; or
  • For the Complainant, if applicable: An opportunity to schedule an informational meeting.

The University may issue a revised Notice of Allegations should new information support additional or different allegations, or impact whether the Respondent may be subject to suspension or expulsion. A revised Notice of Allegations does not restart the formal student conduct process. Parties will be provided with reasonable time to respond to any new allegations.

Nothing in these procedures prevents the Senior Director from dismissing one or more allegations if they determine the allegation(s) are baseless or otherwise unsupported by the available information, or that the underlying issue is better resolved in a different manner. The Senior Director may dismiss the allegation(s) at any stage before an Administrative Conference. In such instances, the Senior Director will provide the Parties with Written Notice of the dismissal. The decision to dismiss is final and may not be appealed.

Fact Gathering

The University may gather relevant information including documents, photographs, communications, and other electronic records as well as other information from the Respondent, Complainant, and/or Witnesses. The University may also consider publicly available information from online sources that comes to the attention of the University. Fact gathering, including interviews, may occur at any time during the resolution process, prior to a final decision. Should additional fact-gathering occur following the Administrative Conference, the Respondent will be given an opportunity to respond to any new information prior to decision making.

Informational Meeting

During the Informational Meeting, the Case Manager will share the report, explain the student conduct process, and review possible options for resolution. While not required, the Respondent may choose to share information about the reported incident with the Case Manager during this meeting. 

A Complainant may also request an informational meeting with the Case Manager to better understand the process and how they may be able to participate.

Accepting Responsibility

The Case Manager will determine whether the case requires an administrative conference. If a Respondent is not subject to suspension or expulsion, the Case Manager may issue a Violation Agreement which includes the violation(s) and an appropriate Action Plan. Respondents receiving such communication will be offered an Administrative Conference upon request. If a Respondent does not request an Administrative Conference within three business days of the communication, the Respondent will be deemed to have accepted responsibility for the violation(s) and agreed to the outlined Action Plan.

A Respondent who is subject to suspension or expulsion may agree to accept responsibility for the alleged violations, accept a proposed action plan, and waive the administrative conference. A Respondent who chooses to resolve their case in this matter also waives any opportunity to appeal. Such a waiver will be knowing, voluntary, and explicit.

Administrative Conference Process

Scheduling the Administrative Conference

The Respondent will be provided with Written Notice of their assigned Decision-maker, who may or may not be the same person as the Case Manager, and the date, time, and location (or virtual access information) for the administrative conference.

Preparing for the Administrative Conference

In preparation for the conference, the Respondent can expect the following:

Sufficient Time: If the Respondent needs additional time to prepare, the Decision-maker may grant reasonable requests to reschedule the administrative conference.

Document Review: The Respondent may schedule a time to review all documentation which may be relied upon in decision-making, subject to limitations from policies, regulations, and state and federal law.

Propose Witnesses and Questions: The Respondent may provide names and contact information for proposed Witnesses, and a brief summary of the information they expect the Witnesses to provide. They may also propose questions they would like to be asked of Witnesses and/or the Complainant, if applicable. With respect to Witnesses:

  • Witnesses determined to be irrelevant or repetitive may not be contacted.
  • Proposed Witnesses who intend to provide opinion(s) solely about character will be considered irrelevant.
  • Witnesses may be interviewed before the administrative conference.
  • Witnesses are not permitted to observe the administrative conference.
  • The University cannot compel a Witness to answer any questions.

Submit a Written Statement: The Respondent may submit a written statement, in their own words, in response to the allegations prior to the Administrative Conference. In this statement, the Respondent may choose to share their side of or perspective about the alleged behavior and/or highlight documentation that supports being found not in violation. This written statement may be no longer than five pages, single spaced. If the Respondent chooses not to attend the Administrative Conference and/or not to answer questions about information presented in the Written Statement, the Decision-maker may give less weight to the written statement.

The Administrative Conference

The administrative conference is an administrative proceeding not comparable to a criminal or civil trial. Rather, it is a meeting with the Decision-maker to discuss the matter and provide a formal response to the allegations. The opportunity to attend a meeting, including the Administrative Conference, is satisfied by the opportunity to appear virtually.

Following the administrative conference, the Decision-maker may conduct additional investigation as they deem appropriate. If new information is gathered, an opportunity to respond will be provided to the parties to that new information before the final determination is made.

Participation: The administrative conference is not open to the public. Generally, the only individuals who may attend are the Respondent, the Support Person of the Respondent, the Decision-maker, and other individuals the Decision-maker deems necessary, such as for logistical support. If the Respondent receives Notice of the administrative conference and does not appear for the conference, the conference will proceed without the Respondent. A Support Person may not appear without, or on behalf of, the Respondent.

Live Hearing: When the Respondent may be subject to suspension or expulsion, the Respondent may elect to have their Administrative Conference conducted as a live hearing. The following only applies to an Administrative Conference when it is a live hearing:

  • When there is a Complainant, they are permitted to participate in the Administrative Conference.
  • When a Complainant chooses to participate in the Administrative Conference, the Parties may submit questions, in writing, to be posed to the other. Questions which are deemed relevant will be asked by the Decision-maker.
  • The Parties may ask questions of any Witness who chooses to attend the Administrative Conference.
  • Specific protocols and rules of decorum for the live hearing are provided to Parties and other participants in advance of the Administrative Conference.

Digital Recording: Generally, the Administrative Conference will not be audio and/or video recorded by the University. When a recording is created, it shall be the sole property of the Pennsylvania State University. No other person (including the Respondent, a Complainant, a Witness, and/or a Support Person) is permitted to record any part of the Conference.

Decision and Action Plan

After the administrative conference, the Decision-maker will determine, based on a Preponderance of the Evidence, whether the Respondent violated the Code.

Consideration Statement: A Party or an Impacted Person may submit a written statement describing any aggravating or mitigating factors they believe should be considered during the creation of the Action Plan. This statement should be submitted to the Decision-maker within three business days, as directed, and may not exceed five pages.

Action Plan: If a violation has been found, the Decision-maker will determine an appropriate Action Plan. The Action Plan consists of educational, reflective, and/or restorative outcomes and administrative sanctions intended to promote personal reflection and growth, repair any harm caused, and help the Respondent recommit to institutional values. A list of outcomes and sanctions can be found in Section V(5) of the Code. A list of factors and guidelines generally considered in creating the Action Plan can be found in Appendix B.  

Decision Letter: Generally, the Case Manager will issue a written decision letter to the Parties no later than 5 business days following the administrative conference, although delays may occur if additional investigation is deemed appropriate. This letter will include:

  • Whether the Respondent has been found in violation;
  • The Action Plan as determined by the Decision-maker, if applicable; and
  • Information about the appeals process.

Parent and/or Guardian Notification: In order to involve families in the total educational experience of the student, and to facilitate communication between students and their parents/legal guardians, the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response has established a consistent policy regarding parent/guardian notification and disclosure. That policy is available on the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response website.

Appeal Process

If the Respondent was subject to suspension or expulsion at the time of the Administrative Conference, a Party may choose to appeal an administrative conference decision. Prior to submitting an appeal, a Party may request access to review the case file. The case manager may provide this access by appointment or view-only virtual access, on a case-by-case basis.

Initiating the Appeals Process

In order for an appeal to be considered, a completed appeal form must be submitted within five (5) business days of the decision letter. The appeal form requires the selection of at least one (1) basis for appeal. As the Parties will not have an opportunity to meet with the Appeal Administrator, any arguments, supporting information, and/or other relevant documentation should be attached to the form. The Respondent or Complainant who initiates the appeal is known as the Appealing Party. An Impacted Person is not permitted to submit an appeal.

Bases for Appeal: An appeal will only be accepted for one or more of the following bases:

  • To determine whether there was any procedural irregularity, including bias, that significantly affected the outcome of the matter;
  • To determine whether the Action Plan imposed was appropriate for the violation(s); and/or
  • To consider new information that could alter a decision, only if such information could not have been known to the appealing party at the time of the administrative conference.

Additionally, the following applies to review of an appeal under these procedures:

  • Cases which are resolved prior to an administrative conference (e.g., adaptable resolutions, acceptance of responsibility, , and violation agreements) may not be appealed.
  • Failing to retrieve official Penn State email communications does not constitute a deviation from procedure and cannot be the basis for appeal.
  • An appeal cannot be submitted solely because the Appealing Party is dissatisfied with the decision.
  • If the Appealing Party was permitted to, but did not, attend the scheduled administrative conference, any information that could have been known to the Appealing Party at the time of the scheduled administrative conference will not be considered new information.

Scope of Appeal: Except for new information, an appeal is limited to the written record, which includes Written Notice, evidence considered by the Decision-maker, and to the extent at issue in the appeal, records related to the Action Plan.

Stay Pending Appeal: The Action Plan imposed by the University will remain in effect though the appeals process, unless the Senior Director grants a Stay Pending Appeal. Within three (3) business days of submitting an appeal, the Respondent may request a stay of the entire action plan or individual outcomes and sanctions pending the appeal decision. Upon request, the Senior Director will generally grant a stay for educational, reflective, and/or restorative outcomes. If the Respondent requests a stay of an administrative sanction (e.g., exclusion, suspension, expulsion, contract termination, etc.), the Respondent must show that irreparable harm will occur if the sanction is not held pending the appeal decision. The Senior Director will decide whether to issue a stay of an administrative sanction upon considering the potential harm caused to the Respondent, as well as to the University community. When a stay is granted, any action plan imposed will take effect after the University’s appeals process has concluded.

Processing the Appeal

Preliminary Review: Appeals will be routed to the Senior Director to determine if the appeal meets the eligibility requirements for appeal and to determine if the appeal provides information to support the identified basis(es) for appeal. If the administrative conference decision was made by the Senior Director, then the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs will assume the responsibilities of the Senior Director for the appeal process.

Within three (3) business days, the Appealing Party will receive a response to their submitted appeal as outlined below:

  • If the Senior Director determines the Appealing Party is ineligible to appeal, the Senior Director will send a communication explaining the ineligibility. This decision is final.
  • If the Senior Director determines the appeal does not provide information to support the identified basis(es), the Senior Director will send an Appeal Decision Letter to deny the appeal and state the reason for that decision. The appealing party will have three (3) business days to provide supplemental information in response to the Senior Director’s decision. Then,
    • If the appealing party does not respond within three (3) business days, the Senior Director’s denial is final.
    • If the supplemental information is insufficient to support the identified basis(es), the Senior Director’s denial is final.
    • If the supplemental information is sufficient to support the identified basis(es), the Senior Director will reverse the denial and send a Notice of Appeal as outlined below.
  • If the Senior Director determines that the appeal does provide information to support the identified basis(es) for appeal, the Senior Director will accept the appeal and send a Notice of Appeal. If the case involves a complainant, both the Appealing Party and the non-Appealing Party will receive the notice. The non-appealing party will be granted five (5) business days to respond to the appeal.

Appeal Review: The Senior Director will compile the appeal file for the Appeal Administrator's review. The appeal file identifies the accepted basis(es) and includes the appeal and supporting documentation, any response from the non-Appealing Party, and the Written Record.

The Appeal Administrator will consider each accepted basis of appeal and make a decision to grant or deny the appeal within ten business days of the Notice of Appeal. The Appeals Administrator may consult the Senior Director or others, as appropriate, regarding matters of procedures.

If the Appeal Administrator determines that the Appealing Party has not met the basis for appeal, the Appeal will be denied. If the Appeal Administrator decides the Appealing Party has met the basis for appeal, the appeal will be granted.

When an appeal is granted, the Appeal Administrator will decide to modify the action plan or send the matter back to the Senior Director with a recommendation for additional fact finding, other resolution, or dismissal of the case.

  • If the appeal was granted based on “new information,” the only action that may be taken is to send the case back to the Director with a recommendation for additional fact finding, other resolution, or dismissal of the case.
  • If the appeal is for an Academic Misconduct Action Plan, and the Appeal Administrator determines the Action Plan was inappropriate for the violation, they may alter, remove, or add any administrative sanction or educational, reflective, and/or restorative outcome. The Appeal Administrator does not have the authority to alter, remove, or add any academic sanction.

Appeal Decision Letter: Within five business days of receipt of the Appeal Administrator’s review decision, the Senior Director will send an Appeal Decision Letter which outlines the decision and any next steps. The letter will be delivered to the Appealing Party and, if applicable, the non-Appealing Party.

If the appeal is granted, the decision letter will indicate that:

  • The violation decision has been upheld but the Appeal Administrator has modified the Action Plan;
  • The Senior Director has decided to dismiss the case;
  • The Senior Director has decided to offer an informal or adaptable resolution; or
  • The Senior Director has assigned the case to a new Decision-maker to be redecided.

Exceptions and Petitions

Petitions by Complainant or Respondent

Either Party may request exceptions to these procedures, including requests to extend or shorten timeframes, by submitting a petition for good cause. 

In order to be considered, petitions must:

  • Provide a brief written statement regarding the reason for the exception; and
  • Be made by the date specified in these procedures and where not specified no later than a date that gives the University a reasonable amount of time to consider the request. 

The University has the discretion to grant or deny petitions.  Where the outcome of a petition has the potential to impact both Parties, the University may choose to provide the other Party with an opportunity to respond to the petition.

Exceptions by the University

For good cause, the University may also make an exception to these procedures. If an exception is made by the University which significantly impacts timelines or other aspects of the process, the University will send out Notice of the exception within a reasonable time. 

Petition for Bias or Conflict of Interest

If a Party believes that a Case Manager, Decision-maker, Appeal Administrator, or other individual who makes decisions as part of the process is biased or has a conflict of interest, they may make a request for a new individual to be assigned or designated to make the decision in question. The following will not, on their own, be considered sufficient to establish bias:

  • The fact that the person has previously worked on, or is currently working on, other cases involving the same Respondent or Complainant;
  • The fact that a Decision-maker has previously decided a case involving the same Respondent or Complainant; or
  • Previous roles or positions held by the Case Manager, Decision-maker, Appeal Administrator or other individual who makes decisions as part of the process.

A finding of bias will require specific allegations about why the individual cannot be fair or impartial under the circumstances of a particular case.  Should the Senior Director find bias or conflict of interest exists, they will assign a new individual to serve in that role or delegate a new person to make the decision.

Appendix A: Glossary of Important Terms

In addition to the terms below, these procedures incorporate by reference the definitions of the Student Code of Conduct and other University policy. For the purpose of these procedures, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

Action Plan – A combination of administrative sanction(s) and educational, reflective, and/or restorative outcomes assigned when there is a violation of the Code or as a part of an adaptable resolution agreement. An “Action Plan” is intended to promote reflection and growth, repair any harm caused, and help the Respondent recommit to institutional values.

Appeal Administrator - A trained and impartial person designated by the University to review appeals of Administrative Conference decisions subject to these procedures. The Appeal Administrator may not have otherwise served as a decision-maker regarding the underlying allegations or have another conflict of interest in reviewing an appeal.

Case Manager – The trained and impartial person designated by the Senior Director to meet with the Respondent to discuss the allegations and the conduct process, investigate reported behaviors, and/or manage alleged violations through resolution.

Complainant – Defined in these procedures as a person, identified by the Senior Director, that has been subject to the alleged misconduct when that misconduct would constitute a crime of violence (as defined by 34 CFR Part 99 – Family Educational Rights and Privacy).

Day – Unless otherwise specified, the word “day” means “business day."

Decision-maker – The trained and impartial person designated by the University to administer the formal resolution process, make a decision regarding the alleged violations based upon a Preponderance of the Evidence, and impose an Action Plan, if applicable. When an Individual Student may be subject to suspension or expulsion, the Decision-maker may not be the same person as the Case Manager.

Impacted Person – Defined in these procedures as someone who has been adversely impacted by the alleged misconduct but does not otherwise meet the definition of a Complainant.

Party – In most cases, the only Party is the Respondent. When there is a Complainant, they are also a Party. An Impacted Person, Support Person, or Witness is not considered a Party to the conduct matter.

Preponderance of the Evidence – The standard of proof that applies to student conduct violation decisions. It means that the evidence supports a conclusion that it is more likely than not that the violation occurred.

Respondent – The Student who allegedly violated the Code.

Senior Director – The Senior Director of Student Accountability & Conflict Response or another individual serving as their designee.

Student – Any person with Student status as defined by the Code.

Support Person – A person who accompanies a Respondent or Complainant for the purpose of providing support, advice, or guidance. Under these procedures, Witnesses and other Respondents from the incident cannot serve as Support Persons in that case.

Witness - An individual who may have information relevant to the incident, including individuals who may have observed the alleged behavior, may be able to provide contextual information, or may have other information related to the incident. The University may identify Witnesses independent of the proposal of Witnesses by the Respondent or any Complainant.

Written Notice – An official correspondence between the University and a Party that is delivered to that Party’s local, permanent, and/or email address. When Written Notice is sent via email, that notice is considered received when sent. When Written Notice is sent via physical mail, it will be considered received three (3) days after it was sent. University Officials may be copied on Written Notice when it is determined they have an educational need to know

Appendix B: Action Plan Guidelines

The Decision-maker will create an Action Plan utilizing the guidelines and criteria outlined below. The Action Plan will consist of administrative sanction(s) and educational, reflective, and/or restorative outcomes, as listed in the Code. The Decision-maker may consult with the Senior Director and/or other University Officials, as appropriate, while creating the action plan.

Each Action Plan will be individualized to the circumstances of the violation and the developmental needs of the Respondent, and is intended to promote reflection and growth, repair any harm caused, and help the Respondent recommit to institutional values.

Key Considerations

The following factors may be considered to guide the range and variation of administrative sanctions and which educational, reflection, and/or restorative outcomes may be appropriate:

  • The violation specific guidance outlined in this document;
  • The nature of the misconduct, including the severity, persistency, and/or pervasiveness of the behavior;
  • The level of risk and/or harm of the respondent to self, others, and/or property;
  • Whether the respondent has previously been found in violation of the Code;
  • The developmental needs of the respondent;
  • Whether a particular sanction is necessary in order to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on others; and/or
  • Any other mitigating, aggravating, or compelling circumstances which should be considered to reach a proportional and appropriate resolution in each case. 

Aggravating and mitigating circumstances are compelling facts that may enhance or reduce the Action Plan. Examples include:

  • Committing a violation of the Code while voluntarily under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs is not considered a mitigating factor but may be considered an aggravating factor, when appropriate.
  • An Act of Bias, as defined by the Code, is especially intolerable in view of the University’s commitment to creating an educational environment which is respectful and welcoming for all members of the community and should be considered as a significant aggravating factor.
  • The decision-maker may consider level of intent, demonstrated remorse, and the respondent’s understanding of their impact on others as either a mitigating or aggravating factor. In some cases, a respondent’s level cooperation during the incident may be considered a mitigating factor.
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