Students suspended or expelled from their college or university face a future fraught with obstacles they must overcome to gain admission into another education institution, begin their careers, and become financially stable in life. Although young adults don't attend Kentucky schools just to get into trouble, every student and their parents must know how the burdensome grievance process can affect them and why they should retain professional assistance early in the proceedings.
Kentucky's college disciplinary boards can be intimidating for students focused on their studies and working toward a bright future. Many students and their parents fail to recognize the need for professional guidance until the school administration makes their final decision, which leads to a separation from studies. The student may be concerned that their academic career has effectively ended once that threshold has been crossed, but it doesn't mean the opportunity for redress and the continuation of their college experience is gone.
An inexperienced local lawyer may persuade you to engage your school in costly litigation that could last for months or even years, leaving you in limbo. Your intention should be to gain prompt, private, negotiated relief that gets you back in class and puts disciplinary action in the past. Therefore, contact college dismissal advisor Joseph D. Lento immediately to preserve your educational and professional future.
Appealing Disciplinary Sanctions
When students face sanctions such as suspension or expulsion when they fail to meet academic standards or commit other code of conduct violations, they have the right to appeal the school's decision. As part of the grievance process in Kentucky colleges and universities, students will receive notice of the time they have to file an appeal and what the student must present to the appeals board or other school administration officials.
Most institutions of higher education in Kentucky and elsewhere detail in their codes of conduct the limited circumstances under which students are allowed to file appeals. The University of Kentucky (UK) details that students can file requests for appeals for the following reasons:
- If deviations in the investigation, hearing, and determination of responsibility procedures were "significantly prejudicial" and would alter the final outcome of the hearing. The student may also demonstrate that the adjudicatory process lacked conformity with the procedures outlined in the school's code of conduct, including bias or conflicts of interest with the University Hearing Board (UHB) members.
- If the sanctions imposed were inappropriate or excessive for the corresponding violation.
- If new evidence emerged following the hearing that would have changed the outcome of the hearing and subsequent determination of responsibility, not known to the appellant at the original hearing.
Students and their advisors have just a few days after the school administration hands down disciplinary action to appeal the decision to suspend or expel. Typically, the timeframe is between two and ten days, but it varies from school to school. For example, the UK provides seven business days upon receiving the decision rendered by the UHB.
With so much pressure on the students as their academic career and future opportunities are suddenly at risk, there will be issues they may not know how to investigate. They may be asking themselves:
- How do I know if the disciplinary board adhered to due process?
- How can I determine if the sanctions can be proven excessive given the findings?
- How do I know if new evidence emerges?
Most students aren't prepared to handle these critical situations, especially when their main concern is their studies. Yet, a proven, professional college dismissal advisor will defend your chance at attaining a university degree by understanding and keeping you aware of all facets of the appeals process and how to find the best outcome for you.
Separation from Studies
Your Kentucky college or university may seek to separate students from their studies for failing to achieve minimum academic standards to qualify for full-time enrollment—known as "satisfactory academic progress" (SAP). Each institution of higher education creates its own SAP policy, including specific criteria for minimum Grade Point Average (GPA), semester credit load, and completion requirements. Schools throughout Kentucky will have similar quantitative and qualitative standards outlined in their code of conduct and the corresponding disciplinary action for failure to meet them.
In another instance, suppose someone alleges that you have committed misconduct that warrants the school to temporarily but immediately remove you from campus? At many Kentucky schools, including Eastern Kentucky University, a student may be temporarily suspended before or during university disciplinary procedures.
Nevertheless, schools in Kentucky sometimes make errors in applying these policies and dismiss students unfairly. Students can be subject to extenuating circumstances that lead to their grades dropping or have them targeted for misconduct allegations. For example, the University of Louisville details certain unfortunate but relatively common issues that school administration may take into consideration for appeals:
- Death of a family member
- Divorce or separation of your own or your parents
- Emotional instability
- Illness or injury of a significant person in your life (parent, sibling, or grandparent)
- Personal injury
- Tough transition into student life
- Victimization of a natural disaster or violent crime
Regardless, disciplinary boards are strict with student progress and don't hesitate to remove young adults from their schools. The academic careers of honest and hardworking students of good character can be at severe risk if you're unprepared.
It's critical to understand that the college grievance process isn't a court of law, and a school isn't required to grant a student due process. Just because your Kentucky school has given up on you, that doesn't mean you should. Students have the opportunity to retain professional guidance to preserve their futures.
Even if your school has already sanctioned you, there is a path to relief. You must contact college dismissal advisor Joseph D. Lento and the expert team at the Lento Law Firm. They have proven experience defending Kentucky students against harsh punishments like suspension and expulsion that have long-lasting consequences that affect more than academics.
What Are The Consequences of Suspension or Expulsion?
A suspension or expulsion ends a student's opportunity, even if temporarily, to complete their degree at a particular institution. However, it can also delay enrollment elsewhere.
For instance, UK students expelled for certain offenses may be trespassed barred from the campus and all related university events, including those off-campus. At Kentucky State University, suspended students will have special requirements that they must fulfill before applying for readmission. Transfer students must also detail any institution they have been separated from, thus risking admission into other schools.
Terms of separation can significantly impact a student's financial aid. If a student receiving financial aid through a federal grant is required to separate from the college or withdrawal from a program, they may have to reimburse the government. Paying thousands of dollars back to federal loan providers can potentially ruin a student's credit score and cause enduring financial stress with years of recovery.
Suspended and expelled students must also disclose disciplinary sanctions on various applications like:
- Behavioral counseling licenses
- Federal clearances
- Government internships
- Graduate school applications
- Law enforcement applications
What Can Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Do?
When you face a suspension or expulsion from school, you may believe that a local Kentucky attorney is your best option. They may try to win you over by explaining how they are a part of the community and know the college personnel on the appeals board. Lawyers like this tend to begin proceedings against the school by threatening legal action to procure better results for their student clients.
This isn't an effective strategy. The skills used to argue before a judge and in front of a jury often don't translate into the finesse necessary to negotiate with school administration officials. Although a formal suit is possible, Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have commonly engaged in beneficial resolutions on behalf of the student with representatives from a school's Office of General Counsel (OGC).
You need an attested college dismissal advisor to handle your situation. Joseph D. Lento is an experienced professional in handling student disciplinary cases. He and his team at the Lento Law Firm have represented hundreds of students in Kentucky and from colleges and universities across the country. They understand how to protect their clients' academic careers from harsh school administration officials and disciplinary boards.
Countless experiences like that mean Lento and his team have formed valued relationships with many representatives in Kentucky schools' internal OGC and those acting on behalf of the school recruited from outside law firms. He and his team know how to help school administration officials come to terms with alternative sanctions that serve the student and the institution better than suspension or expulsion that preserves the student's education.
For expert advice from a college dismissal advisor defending students in Kentucky and throughout the U.S., call 888-535-3686 to discuss how Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can defend you or visit the online consultation form. Your academic and professional future depends on it.