Students at Fairleigh Dickinson University must adhere to a uniform Code of Conduct regardless of which campus they attend. The Code outlines a number of actions and behaviors that are considered "violations" of the code. Committing a violation will subject a student to Fairleigh Dickinson University's Hearing Process. The hearing process has several stages and potential steps to early resolution for students who agree with violations and sanctions. Fairleigh Dickinson University has several campuses; however, the Hearing Process remains mostly consistent across all of them.
Fairleigh Dickinson University Hearings
There are two types of hearings, and one path towards early resolution for allegations of violations against students.
Administrative Action is a brief meeting between an administrator and an accused student. If the student accepts responsibility for their accused code violations, as well as the sanctions that come with them, the issue can be resolved early without having to escalate to higher hearings. However, if the student resolves the issue at this stage, they are not able to appeal any decisions made through Administrative Action.
Administrative Hearings will be lead by the Assistant Dean of Students, or a chosen designee. These hearings are used for code violations that are in dispute from an attempt at Administrative Action resolution. The official who is leading the hearing is responsible for weighing out the facts of the incident in question, hearing out the student's plea and case, and assessing the facts. The official's decision must be based upon the standard of a "preponderance of evidence." After the decision is made, sanctions will be assigned based on what is deemed appropriate by the official. These decisions are eligible for appeal.
Campus Standards Committee Hearings
Campus Standards Committee Hearings will be used at an accused student's request, for severe or high level violations, or complex situations surrounding an alleged violation. The Campus Standards Committee that hears the case will be consisted of 3-5 members, with at least 1 student, 1 staff member, and 1 faculty member making up the committee. During the hearing, while witnesses are being presented, all parties, including the committee itself, will be able to question them. In general, hearings will try to focus on direct evidence, however in some cases circumstantial or hearsay evidence will be permissible if there is a lack of direct evidence. Students will be allowed the right to remain silent. After all the information pertaining to the case has been presented, questioned and heard, the committee will decide if the student can be held responsible for a violation based on majority vote.
The University prefers to keep these hearings between students and University personnel only, however, students are welcome to receive an attorney's help from behind the scenes. Direction and assistance from an attorney outside of hearings will help students understand the consequences they may be facing, as well as the overall process of the hearings. In addition, an attorney experienced in university disciplinary hearings can provide valuable advice on what should be emphasized or avoided while giving testimony as well as the best types of evidence to present.
Fairleigh Dickinson University Sanctions
Fairleigh Dickinson University will impose disciplinary sanctions if an accused student is found responsible for violating the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct. To determine an appropriate sanction, the following is considered: 1) The severity of the disciplinary violation; 2) The respondent student's previous record of disciplinary sanction(s), if any; 3) The effect of the respondent student's misconduct on the Fairleigh Dickinson University community; and 4) Consistency with previously issued disciplinary sanctions for similar student misconduct. More than one of the sanctions listed below may be imposed for a violation, and the full range of sanctions is available depending on the nature and severity of the violation. Possible sanctions include:
- Disciplinary Reprimand
- Campus Standards Probation
- Community Restitution
- Community Service
- Educational Sanctions
- Counseling Assessment/Support
- Campus Restriction
- Social Restriction
- Co-curricular Restriction
- Disengagement Notice
- Parental Notification
- Administrative Assignment of Housing
- Housing Probation
- Housing Suspension
- Housing Dismissal
- University Suspension
- University Dismissal
- Revocation of Admission and/or Degree
- Withholding Degree
In addition to any of the above, the University will impose additional sanctions for academic integrity violations as deemed appropriate.
Regretfully, some Fairleigh Dickinson University students, despite their and their parents' best intentions, proceed with the University disciplinary process without a full understanding of the possible consequences, both immediate and long-term. Those unfamiliar with the realities of the disciplinary process often do not realize until it may be too late that Fairleigh Dickinson University imposes suspensions and expulsions as a sanction more often than would be expected; even in disciplinary matters that may seem to be less serious. The stakes are very high, and some consequences are unforeseen; even sanctions lesser than suspension or expulsion can greatly jeopardize a student's academic and professional goals.
Fairleigh Dickinson University sanctions for Title IX sexual misconduct violations, which include sexual harassment and sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence, will always be severe, and Title IX sexual misconduct violations can have lifetime consequences. Fairleigh Dickinson University will also promptly impose interim measures as deemed necessary to protect the complainant before the final outcome of a Title IX investigation and disciplinary proceeding involving Dating, Relationship or Sexual Misconduct or Violence.
Experience Matters - An Experienced Attorney's Role When Representing a Fairleigh Dickinson University Student
Fairleigh Dickinson University and a student's attorney may be able to work together to achieve an agreeable resolution before Code of Conduct disciplinary violations and/or academic misconduct charges are filed in certain instances. If charges have already been filed against a student, the accused student's attorney, also in certain instances, may be able to serve as an a liaison between Fairleigh Dickinson University, the accused student, and other involved parties, in an effort to achieve a constructive resolution. Whether before or after Code of Conduct charges and/or academic integrity charges are filed, in working towards the prospect of an agreeable resolution, the extent of an attorney's involvement will be at the discretion of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Every student's case is unique; an experienced attorney will understand what the University may be receptive to, and will approach the matter accordingly.
An attorney's involvement at Fairleigh Dickinson University in matters involving Code of Conduct disciplinary charges and/or academic disciplinary charges should not be confused with Fairleigh Dickinson University disciplinary cases involving Title IX sexual misconduct allegations. In Title IX student disciplinary proceedings, an experienced attorney must work both as the point of contact between the accused student and Fairleigh Dickinson University as well as behind the scenes to defend against sexual misconduct and sexual assault allegations.
An experienced student discipline defense attorney will understand and use the most effective strategies when handling a student's case at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Fairleigh Dickinson University Appeals
In the event of an unfavorable result from an Administrative Hearing or a Campus Standards Committee Hearing, students are able to make an appeal. Appeals must be submitted within 2 days after the notification of sanctions. They must be on the grounds of new evidence, overly severe sanctioning, or a violation in the judicial process of the University. The Office of the Dean of Students will conduct any reviews on appeals and respond to students on the final decision.
If you or your student is currently facing disciplinary action from Fairleigh Dickinson University, contact university student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento today.